Construction is officially underway on FKG Group’s $40 million Pulse Data Centre in Toowoomba, Queensland.
The first regional tier III data centre of its kind in Australia, Pulse Data Centre is set to become one of the region’s most valuable economic assets, providing a major boost to business innovation as companies increasingly turn to technology to drive growth and efficiency.
The brainchild of Gary Gardner and his team at FKG Group, the centre capitalises on the global demand for large-scale data centres and a growing trend to build wholesale data centre capacity in regional areas like Toowoomba.
“We are seeing major international companies making significant commitments to co-location and hyperscale data centre capacity in Australia right now, which is why we are excited to be developing a data centre that meets that brief,” Gardner said.
“Together with our key partners, Telstra and Schneider Electric, it is great to be part of the next generation in building innovation, and creating an opportunity to attract national and global tech giants to Toowoomba.
“The likes of these companies will bring investment in infrastructure, jobs, skills, knowledge and commercial horsepower, which will help grow businesses in the area,” he said.
As ICT partner of FKG Group, Telstra’s involvement in the project and investment in its regional network brings world-class capability for Pulse Data Centre and its customers.
“Technology is at the heart of business transformation and developments such as the Internet of Things (IoT), where more and more smart, connected devices are running on data networks, and able to talk to each other, are providing incredible opportunities,” said Telstra’s executive director, premier business, Andrew Wildblood.
“There are implications for every business because of the opportunities that stem from being able to do things differently. It’s exciting to think about what’s possible in terms of new productivity gains, new growth opportunities or creating the best experience for customers.
“It’s why this project and Telstra’s additional $1.5 billion investment in building the networks of the future are so critical. We want to support Australian businesses to operate in a whole new way and be ready for a world with billions of connected devices.”
Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management and automation, has provided the project with expertise in data centre solutions, IoT and innovative industrial technologies.
Schneider Electric vice president for IT division and strategic segments, Joe Craparotta, said that when the project first began over a year ago the focus was two-fold.
"First, to bring our data centre technology experience to the project and second, to ensure that Pulse Data Centre will be state-of-the-art,” he said.
Toowoomba Lord Mayor Paul Antonio said business is flourishing in Toowoomba, as new industries begin to understand the diverse opportunities presented by regional locations to extend their influence and deliver cost-effective operations.
CEO of Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce, Jo Sheppard, said members were eagerly anticipating the benefits for their businesses.
“Everyday businesses across the region are starting to realise how technology can improve productivity. Pulse Data Centre will be a key driver of innovation amongst traditional businesses, such as agriculture, mining, education and health, as well as acting as a catalyst for growth in IT-related industries, which are relatively new to the region,” she said.
While data centres have typically been restricted to metro areas due to concerns about power supply and network connectivity, Pulse Data Centre will be uniquely positioned to offer low cost due to its large volume of land, high-grade communications, reliable power supply and scalable solutions.
University of Southern Queensland’s executive director (Institute for Agriculture and the Environment), Steven Raine, said the University was already researching and developing the data platforms and cloud services that will assist the agricultural sector, in particular, in making the digital transformation.
“We are currently exploring how innovations in the fields of precision control, sensor technology and robotic solutions can be best applied within the agricultural industry to automate production processes and bring greater efficiency and innovation to all areas of a business. So we’re very excited by the capabilities Pulse Data Centre will offer us,” he said.
The centre, which will open in early 2018, will be a single level data centre located on the Great Dividing Range on the outskirts of Toowoomba.
Situated on 30 hectares, it is 500m above sea level which significantly reduces the facility’s energy consumption and costs.