Demand for hyperscale data centres across New Zealand is exploding, with work to build or upgrade business-critical facilities underway by companies including Amazon, Microsoft and Canberra Data Centres (CDC). Research shows that the data centre market size is expected to grow at a CAGR of 21.12 per cent over the 2021-2026 period. Driving that demand is New Zealand’s position as a global digital innovator. It has one of the highest rates of Internet penetration in APAC (94 per cent), and from SME right through to government, there is a deep understanding of the value of transformation and digitisation.
“The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) estimates that a 20 per cent increase in the uptake of cloud computing could increase New Zealand’s GDP by between $3.5 billion and $6.2 billion,” the New Zealand government noted in a report. “The Government has a vision for New Zealand to have the most digitally engaged small business sector in the world.”
Capitalising on the opportunity
Not all data centre services are created equal, however. One of the reasons that the likes of Amazon and Microsoft are setting up local facilities within New Zealand is that there is a demand for high-performing hyperscale resources that provide leading uptime guarantees, sustainability, security and resilience, while also keeping the data within New Zealand for data sovereignty reasons.
New Zealand has a number of advantages that make data centre construction and operation appealing to hyperscalers. The weather is naturally cooler than in many places that host data centres around the world, helping to reduce operation costs, and an abundance of renewable energy assists with maintaining the sustainability of these facilities.
To support these environments, New Zealand needs a robust connectivity backbone. For that, Vodafone Infrastructure Partners is working with Ciena to provide 100G, 200G and 400G Wavelength Services to offer its wholesale customers super high data transfer capabilities underpinned by a robust, high-performance architecture. Based on new Colourless-Directionless-Contentionless (CDC) and flexible grid optical multiplexers, the optical network infrastructure provides the highest degree of agility and flexibility with the ability to send any service anywhere in the network, and do so seamlessly and dynamically, with no disruption to the service. This network technology is designed to support any coherent technology so Vodafone Infrastructure Partners can eliminate scalability concerns, provide the highest level of network performance, and accelerate digital business with fast service activation.
“Having secure, reliable and high-performing connectivity services is critical for hyperscalers and large data centres, and Vodafone Data Centre Connect is a game-changer in New Zealand. We’ve designed this solution with built-in redundancy to maximise network availability and result in a decreased failure risk along critical data paths,” explained Head of Vodafone Infrastructure Partners, Murray Osborne.
Partnerships are key to success with data centres
The Vodafone Data Centre Connect product leverages Ciena’s WaveLogic Ai and WaveLogic 5 Extreme programmable coherent optics to deliver higher availability, capacity, and self-healing, as is essential for these top-tier data centres.
Vodafone New Zealand is part of the Ciena Partner Network, which provides access to tools, content and programs that help accelerate growth amid changing market and technology conditions. Ciena has also successfully delivered 800G Wavelength Services with Vodafone in Aotearoa – highlighting that this collaboration will continue to scale as demand for hyperscale data centres across the country grows. Vodafone itself, meanwhile, is looking to build its own network of partners leveraging its infrastructure network, via the Vodafone Infrastructure Partners network. Within New Zealand the company already supports over 100 partners across international and domestic telcos, hyperscalers, MSPs, WISPs, property developers, and iwi businesses.
The latter highlights Vodafone’s genuine commitment to understanding and engaging in the New Zealand market. The company has a development strategy, Whārikihia, which aims to assist Māori business and iwi to build relevant infrastructure solutions that will create long-term value.
“Our philosophy is grounded in partnership,” added Osborne. “We want to help unlock the magic of technology for our customers, via world-class infrastructure that is secure, scalable, reliable and innovative. With the explosion of working remotely and massive increases in data use across New Zealand, we know how important it is to stay connected and so we’re working with businesses like Ciena to bring the best possible connectivity solutions to the fore.”