Softsource Building Data Center in New York

There is a global industry trend towards providing IT infrastructure as a ‘service.’ Auckland company, Softsource, who employs a staff of 42, is planning to heavily invest in ‘cloud computing’ by building a $10 million data center in Albany, NY, so that it can rent computer servers and storage to businesses around the country on a “pay-as-you-go” basis. All of the computer equipment for the data center has been supplied by Hewlett-Packard.

General manager Pablo Garcia-Curtis said, “a distinguishing feature between the facility and larger centers recently commissioned by IBM and Datacom was that customers would be able to increase or decrease the amount of infrastructure they rented within 15 to 30 minutes through a self-service online portal.” For instance, “businesses will have the ability increase capacity to process accounts at the end of the financial year, without having equipment sitting idle during the rest of the year.”

In March, Hewlett-Packard announced a plan to build a $60 million data center in the Waikato town of Tuakau. Early customers of the data center include DB Breweries, Genesis Energy, Navico and Specsavers. Mr. Garcia-Curtis said, “Softsource might install wind turbines and solar panels to increase its ‘green’ credentials.”

According to the study entitled ‘The State of the Data Center’ that was conducted by AFCOM, a global association of data centers, data centers have expanded rapidly in recent years. The study found, “approximately 44.2 percent of data centers occupy more floor space than they did three years ago. An additional 49.4 percent are either currently expanding or have plans to do so in the near future.” The study also revealed that cloud computing has played an important role in the expansion of data centers worldwide

Jill Yaoz, CEO of AFCOM, said that “change and technological innovations are now an accepted part of day-to-day life, making it important for data center managers to be able to adapt to the new technologies and directions emerging in the industry.” She noted, “one of the most interesting changes our survey illustrates is the continued transition to the cloud. When we last did this survey in October 2009, very few data centers were even interested in the cloud, let alone actually adapting it. Now, however, we see that data center managers are more familiar with the risks and concepts, and cloud computing is quickly becoming a new standard of operation.”