The National Broadband Network (NBN) has already started to enhance the way that Australians access and interact with high volumes of data over the Internet. As the national roll out expands from its current handful of active sites to cover a larger percentage of the population, its role as a catalyst for dramatic business and economic shifts in Australia’s data center industry will become more apparent.

According to global broadband testing leader Ookla, Australia has long lagged behind globally in bandwidth and download speeds. This is all about to change. 

With theoretical speeds of up to 100Mbps achievable under the NBN’s infrastructure plans, the door is about to be flung open for a whole new data center boom in Australia. 

Today, many organizations are choosing to outsource their data centers to overseas providers because of the immediate cost savings, the efficiencies achievable with faster infrastructure and the higher availability of resources compared to Australia—but for how long? With higher speeds and increased availability gradually becoming a reality across Australia, there is a clear and growing business opportunity for data center innovators to make their mark in a new phase of the Australian data center evolution. Compounding the significance of this already major technological shift is its further potential impact on the Australian economy, as it entices higher levels of local and international investment in the Australian market. 

Sound good, doesn’t it? You bet it does, but what does this mean for the local data center industry? 

It means we need to be prepared. As IT professionals, we’re aware of the opportunities (and occasional threats) often associated with major technology shifts. There are myriad elements to consider when building a new data center or adapting existing infrastructure to meet new standards—from architecture and engineering design to power availability and cooling. These are constant considerations and are subsequently simple for any qualified professional to assess. Considerations with NBN integrated systems will also bring about other previously unexplored considerations such as the possible need to support rapid scaling of hardware to meet unprecedented demand from increased global and local customers, and whether an immense increase in bandwidth and throughput can be supported by existing systems. 

The NBN is an exciting prospect for a lot of reasons, and especially within the data center industry; however, to take full advantage of the new opportunities that the NBN will offer, data center providers and industry professionals need to be looking at how the increase in bandwidth, speed and availability will impact their configurations. These considerations will be essential to ensuring the performance, success and sustainability of Australia’s data centers over the long term. So, is your data center ready?

About the Author

Reginald Evans

Reginald Evans is the managing director of the East Asia Pacific (EAP) region for the Enterprise Solutions Division of CommScope, a global leader in infrastructure solutions for communications networks. His experience in data and telecommunications spans more than 20 years. Mr. Evans started his career as a learner technician for an electricity generation and distribution company that supplied electricity throughout Southern Africa. He progressed through the ranks in the company to become one of their youngest principal technicians. Mr. Evans has worked in various countries around the world. In New Zealand he was involved in setting up a sales and service office for an Australian manufacturing and distribution company in Auckland. Returning to South Africa, he set up Fibercom (Cape), a specialist fiber optic distribution business. He grew this business to become the leading fiber optic and associated products distribution business. He initiated a fiber optic training course that became the local industry standard and a requirement for employment to many of the local data and voice cabling contractor companies. Mr. Evans was also appointed as chairman of the Cape Chapter for the Communications Cabling Association of South Africa. In 1992, AT&T approached Fibercom to distribute their fiber optic cable and associated products; thus began Mr. Evans’ relationship with SYSTIMAX. In 2000, he joined Lucent Technologies as a business manager covering New Zealand and various states in Australia. He remained with the organization through its various transitions to become SYSTIMAX Solutions™. Mr. Evans holds a National Diploma in Electrical Engineering from the Witwatersrand Technikon (South Africa) through a bursary awarded to him.

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