Australian company Pipe Networks claims to have set a new data centre benchmark by creating a data centre in 60 days, albeit with a few extra days of clean up, all while documenting the project online through a live blog and webcam.
After starting on Monday, 16 April, the project was completed on Friday, June 15. The Opening Ceremony of DC3 (or Data Centre 3) will be held this afternoon in Brisbane (Wednesday, 20 June), 66 days after the project was started.
Pipe Networks owns and operates a sizeable internet exchange. It also claims to operate one the country's largest Metropolitan Fibre Optic network and provides Australian telecommunication service providers with independent network infrastructure.
DC3, or Pipe's third data centre in Brisbane, boasts an area of 450sqm and has the capacity to accommodate 170 server racks. According to the project blog, "the carrier neutral facility will provide critical infrastructure to support the current and future growth, and requirements for secure and reliable data storage facing the ICT industry and local companies."
The project began when the company's two directors set a 60 day challenge down to their Networks teams.
"When Pipe was founded 4 years ago, we were set the challenge to build a Data Centre in around 100 days. The stakes were high; if we failed we'd lose our first substantial customer. At that time the two founders of the company built the Data Centre from scratch themselves, and managed to just meet that deadline", said Amanda Banks, the marketing communications coordinator at Pipe.
"Our two directors love setting the challenge down for staff, and our Networks team accepted this latest one (to build our 3rd Brisbane Data Centre in 60 days). This time because of experience and resources we were aiming for the shorter turn around of 60 days, and testing just how much we could accelerate the build process", Banks said.
The facilities staff blogged the project throughout its build, which began with an empty room in Brisbane on April 16th. A webcam was also used to allow viewers to watch the project via the company's website, an unusual move as many data centre builds have in the past been kept under wraps.
"We set a challenge to our suppliers and staff to get it done and we thought putting a camera and blog together with a clock counting down would be a good motivator," said Bevan Slattery, the Managing Director of Pipe Networks. "Also, it was something new. We thought as long as we didn't go into detail on the blog about most of our security systems and measures, then there was little risk involved. At the end of the day everyone knows where data centres are. We just showed how we built ours."
The motivation behind the data centre came from a lack of critical infrastructure available to support commercial data centre demands in Brisbane.
"The biggest motivation for us was to create availability, and perhaps more noteworthy space availability in Metropolitan Brisbane, which for metropolitan customers will allow cheaper and more direct services than what is currently available. Our Data Centre 3 facility will be one of the larger sites built in Brisbane, and [will be] one of the only carrier neutral facilities of this size available in South East Queensland", Banks said.
The Opening Ceremony was unable to be held any earlier due to construction of the main entrance to the ground floor tenancy (where DC3 is located).