Global cloud computing and hosting company Rackspace will soon open its first Australian data centre, in the Sydney suburb of Erskine Park. The investment is part of a multi-million dollar move to bolster the company's local presence in response to growing demand.
The data centre, which is in the late stages of construction, is the sixth for Rackspace; the company also maintains premises in Dallas, Virginia, Chicago, Hong Kong, and London. Construction is being carried out by data centre builder Digital Realty. The Erskine Park data centre is expected to be completed and hosting customer data by late 2012.
The centre's construction and staffing will create up to 50 new jobs in Western Sydney, according to NSW Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner. “This is fantastic news for Western Sydney and for the State’s reputation as Australia’s ICT hub. “The opening of this new data centre is also great news for government, enterprise and financial customers looking for local dedicated world class onshore data hosting and cloud solutions."
Customers had asked Rackspace in the past to offer hosting agreements under New South Wales law, in compliance with Australia's privacy principals, to ensure data could not be accessed by overseas third parties without fulfilling Australian legal obligations. The new data centre's customers will be covered by these agreements.
Alan Schoenbaum, General Counsel of Rackspace, said that Australians' data would not be freely accessible to overseas law enforcement without proper protocols. “Rackspace will not transfer customer owned data from our Australia data centre to a law enforcement agency of another country (including the United States) without a customer’s consent unless it is compelled to do so by Australian law.
"Data hosted in Australia by Rackspace is subject to the same laws as cloud services operated by wholly owned Australian companies.”
Rackspace has offered hosting to Australian businesses since 2009, with News Limited, Webjet, Pacific Brands, Rio Tinto and Kogan all prominent customers. The cloud provider has over 190,000 customers worldwide and hosts more than 60 per cent of Fortune 100 companies.