GlobalCenter expands into Sydney

GlobalCenter, a Melbourne web hosting and network operation centre, is planning to establish additional facilities in Sydney to meet the burgeoning demand for its hosting services.

The Sydney web hosting centre is expected to be established within four months. GlobalCenter, part of US-based Global Crossing, hosts websites and delivers web content for large corporations, many of whom are recognised internet players such as Netscape, Yahoo!, LookSmart and USA Today. It has 15 employees in Melbourne.

"We have been in Melbourne for a little more than 18 months and are quickly reaching capacity. Because we expect to be filled up by June or July, we are building a bigger hosting centre up in Sydney," said Terry Gray, GlobalCenter's regional director for Asia Pacific.

Its 24 x 7 network operation service uses 100Mbps redundant fibre-optic networks and a dedicated transpacific backbone spanning 150,000 kilometres, 24 countries and more than 170 major cities. Other services provided include monitoring of customers' servers and networks, technical support, and consultation.

GlobalCenter's Melbourne centre counts Dymocks, Wine Planet, LibertyOne and MYOB Virtual Communities among its clients.

The centre also hosts global "mirror sites" that duplicate internet content around the world to make access faster. Therefore, local web users in Australia are routed to a mirror copy of a US site in Melbourne rather than having to cross the congested lines to the US.

In Australia, the company has peering arrangements with Telstra, Connect.com, AAPT and other second-tier ISPs to enable customers to bypass the congested public internet, providing high-speed connections over the company's fibre-optic network.

"When ISPs connect their customers to a website that we host, they pay telcos around $0.19 for every megabyte. But if they have a peering arrangement to connect directly to GlobalCenter, they pay nothing for traffic and their customers get faster access. We do not charge ISPs because our role is to deliver traffic as efficiently as possible," Gray said.

Music download site MP3.com.au has been using GlobalCenter since its launch in September last year because Global Crossing's network satisfies its need for high bandwidth.

"MP3.com.au is very bandwidth intensive, dealing with gigabytes of data daily. We have found GlobalCenter's network performance second to none and their infrastructure of a world standard," said Domenic Carosa, MP3's CEO.

Peakhour hosts ecommerce sites for small and medium-sized businesses via GlobalCenter, and relies on its high-speed, secure networks. "Peakhour's customers enjoy speed of service and response time because they are hosted within GlobalCenter's facility and know that it is our, and GlobalCenter's, job to continuously monitor and improve performance," said Megan Clarken, Peakhour's chief of service operations.

GlobalCenter's hosting and network operation centre in Sydney will occupy 50,000 square metres, more than triple the size of its Melbourne operation, which measures 15,000 square metres.

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