Hewlett-Packard will build a $60 million datacentre that could house some of the country's most important computer systems in a Waikato farming town.
HP enterprise services country manager Gavin Greaves said Tuakau, population 3508 and 61 kilometres from Auckland, would make an ideal location for the world's largest computer maker to house computers for customers in New Zealand and Asia-Pacific.
"It has got a low risk of natural disaster and multiple feeds for power, fibre-optic cable and water," he said.
It was close enough to HP's Auckland datacentre to allow firms to synchronise computers at both sites, ensuring they could keep systems running with no disruption if there was an outage at either location. The centre should open by next March, he said.
The investment is part of a US$1 billion (NZ$1.35b) global programme HP announced in June to retire old datacentres and build new facilities.
IDC Research analyst Rasika Versleijen-Pradhan said many New Zealand datacentres were old. Computer companies had seen the need to invest after the growing popularity of cloud computing and a Government move to rationalise its $2b yearly spend on information technology.
The Department of Internal Affairs is tendering for a contractor or consortium to provide datacentre capacity to government agencies. Mr Greaves hoped the "new generation" datacentre at Tuakau would be "part of its thinking". The centre, with a 500-square-metre computer room, will have about a third the floor size of a Datacom facility built in Auckland in 2009 at an initial cost of $30 million and another that IBM will soon open in Auckland.
Mr Greaves said the HP site, a paddock, had lots of room for expansion. The ability to channel power to density-packed computer servers would determine capacity.