Demand pushes HDS move to surburbia

Demand pushes HDS move to surburbia

STORAGE specialist Hosting and Datacentre Services is moving its central Wellington data centre to a new building in suburban Tawa.

The move is in response to increased customer demand for remote storage over the internet (IP) and the city council’s disaster response plan, which highlights the risk to the present Queens Warf site because it is on reclaimed land and in a tsunami path.

“It’s a bit of both,” chief executive Wayne Norrie says. “There’s some pressure on the infrastructure in terms of the power and bits and pieces. And we do have growing customers too.”

The new 5000-sq ft building should be online next month and enable Auckland and Wellington customers’ data to be managed at either site. The 14,000-sq ft Auckland data centre stores data for energy company United Networks and insurer Tower. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and Radfords Furniture Court are HDS’s main Wellington customers.

The data centres are also used for HDS’s suite of subscription software applications — such as payroll and remote back up — which it dubs Business Fabric.

Norrie says IP-based services are cheaper than ones that rely on “dedicated frame relay and ATM circuits”, which appeals to the country’s mass of small and mid-size organisations.

But despite the theory that says it does not matter where remote access data centres are located, it is practical to have them in the cities because that is where most skills are, Norrie says.

He has taken the HDS helm from fellow shareholder Roger Cockayne, who is in Australia looking at other ventures for the company. Norrie says there will be an announcement on its plans soon. The pair owns 51% of HDS and supplier Hitachi Data Systems owns the rest. HDS employs around 45 staff and does not intend exceeding 50.

“Our business is to grow boxes, not people. So we keep the numbers steady,” Norrie says.

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