AirTrunk expands Australia footprint with hyperscale data centre campus in Melbourne
Asia-Pacific data centre operator AirTrunk has unveiled a new hyperscale campus in Melbourne, just weeks after opening a brand-new facility in Sydney.
Located in the west of Melbourne, the site is designed for large cloud, content and enterprise customers who require services for housing high volumes of information. The campus is also designed to meet the Australian government’s high security requirements.
According to Robin Khuda, CEO and founder of AirTrunk, the lack of hyperscale platforms that can support the rapid growth of cloud and content services in the region led to this project going ahead.
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He said: “Complementing our flagship facility in Sydney, AirTrunk Melbourne is the latest milestone in our expansion in the Asia-Pacific region, meeting the needs of customers in this market.
“The adoption of cloud services continues to climb at an incredible rate. And as this data grows, technology companies need the flexibility to scale up their data requirements quickly, securely and efficiently. AirTrunk is uniquely positioned to build innovative hyperscale data centres of the class and scale that meets the needs of our customers today and tomorrow.”
When fully completed, the data centre will have a total capacity in excess of 50MW of IT load across 20 data halls. This will make AirTrunk Melbourne the largest carrier neutral data centre in Victoria, storing mission critical infrastructure for some of the world’s biggest companies.
SAS: Improving the British Army’s decision making with data
SAS’ long-standing relationship with the British Army is built on mutual respect and grounded by a reciprocal understanding of each others’ capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM for SAS UKI, states that the company’s thorough grasp of the defence sector makes it an ideal partner for the Army as it undergoes its own digital transformation.
“Major General Jon Cole told us that he wanted to enable better, faster decision-making in order to improve operational efficiency,” he explains. Therefore, SAS’ task was to help the British Army realise the “significant potential” of data through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks and conduct complex analysis.
In 2020, the Army invested in the SAS ‘Viya platform’ as an overture to embarking on its new digital roadmap. The goal was to deliver a new way of working that enabled agility, flexibility, faster deployment, and reduced risk and cost: “SAS put a commercial framework in place to free the Army of limits in terms of their access to our tech capabilities.”
Doing so was important not just in terms of facilitating faster innovation but also, in Crawford’s words, to “connect the unconnected.” This means structuring data in a simultaneously secure and accessible manner for all skill levels, from analysts to data engineers and military commanders. The result is that analytics and decision-making that drives innovation and increases collaboration.
Crawford also highlights the importance of the SAS platform’s open nature, “General Cole was very clear that the Army wanted a way to work with other data and analytics tools such as Python. We allow them to do that, but with improved governance and faster delivery capabilities.”
SAS realises that collaboration is at the heart of a strong partnership and has been closely developing a long-term roadmap with the Army. “Although we're separate organisations, we come together to work effectively as one,” says Crawford. “Companies usually find it very easy to partner with SAS because we're a very open, honest, and people-based business by nature.”
With digital technology itself changing with great regularity, it’s safe to imagine that SAS’ own relationship with the Army will become even closer and more diverse. As SAS assists it in enhancing its operational readiness and providing its commanders with a secure view of key data points, Crawford is certain that the company will have a continually valuable role to play.
“As warfare moves into what we might call ‘the grey-zone’, the need to understand, decide, and act on complex information streams and diverse sources has never been more important. AI, computer vision and natural language processing are technologies that we hope to exploit over the next three to five years in conjunction with the Army.”
Fundamentally, data analytics is a tool for gaining valuable insights and expediting the delivery of outcomes. The goal of the two parties’ partnership, concludes Crawford, will be to reach the point where both access to data and decision-making can be performed qualitatively and in real-time.
“SAS is absolutely delighted to have this relationship with the British Army, and across the MOD. It’s a great privilege to be part of the armed forces covenant.”