Netregistry’s World Class Data Centre

Written on 01 April, 2005 by Brett Fenton
Categories Web Hosting

As Netregistry completes its move to a new data centre, we ask Chief Operating Officer, Brett Fenton about the reasons behind the move and what it means for customers.

Q1. Why is Netregistry moving its data centre?

Netregistry commissioned its core datacenter in the Chippendale location approximately 5 years ago. At that time we purpose-constructed the facility to be able to meet our existing customer requirements and those for the foreseeable future.

Over the last 5 years and more specifically over the last two years our business has grown at a rate that exceeded even the most optimistic projections that we prepared as part of the initial capacity planning review. This growth coupled with a number of identified deficiencies in the existing infrastructure, such as internet connectivity being provided by a sole data provider, really dictated that we either expand the existing facilities or move to new facilities.

The business case ultimately became relatively simple. We projected, based on current growth, that even by expanding existing technical space we would have to move the facility in the medium term. We also had the opportunity to address some of the technical deficiencies that had been identified.

Q2. Where is the data centre moving to?

We reviewed a large number of facilities in making the decision to move our operations into a managed facility. I should note that by 'managed' I mean another party managing the technical space - not the services that we deploy within that space.

Ultimately we opted for GlobalSwitch (Sydney) which is very clearly the most advanced facility in Australia at this time and has the advantage of being carrier neutral, allowing us to put into place data feeds from a number of diverse carriers resulting in a truly multi-homed solution.

Q3. How does the new data facility stack up against the competition?

From the reviews that we performed including technical tours of a large number of facilities, there is no comparison between other facilities that were presenting their offering as a Tier 1 datacenter facility, and GlobalSwitch. To give an indication, the facility was commissioned in 2002 after a fitout that exceeded $150 million dollars. The types of customers they attract are large financial institutions and international telecommunication companies taking hundreds of square meters of technical real estate.

The entire building has been fitted out for the specific purpose of data center operations. This was grossly different to the competitors reviewed, who typically operated retro fit office space relabelled as data center space. Because of this, the core facilities such as power coming into the building from diverse feeds on the power grid that are present in the GlobalSwitch facility are lacking in most competitive offerings.

Q3. What has happened to the 'fully clustered, load balanced hosting infrastructure'?

There has been almost no change. We migrated all the core infrastructure to the new facility. We additionally took the opportunity to remove single points of failure that we had identified. We provisioned data feeds from Optus, Telstra and PIPE Networks on our own class of IP numbers. The net result of this is far better network response times for clients on the Telstra network, and historical issues such as the peering failing between Telstra and Optus will no longer affect our customer base, or users of their websites and the like.

Q4. What are the benefits of the new data centre for customers?

Over the last 12 months we and our customers have experienced service degradation through both failure of our single data provider and power failure. Issues like this have been addressed which result in us being able to provide a better and clearly more robust service to our customers.

We have also taken the migration to implement some new technologies in the way we manage our customers web hosting data. This deployment of a new storage area network will, for the first time, allow us to offer Windows based hosting for example. We are currently in beta testing of this new service and expect to be offering it to clients in the very near future.

Q5. Are there any issues with the move that customers should be aware of?

There were a number of small issues that were addressed as they were identified. At this time all normal customer services are operating as per usual.

Q6. Will customers notice any tangible difference?

Apart from the service uptime, a lot of end users accessing services from a range of networks now should definitely see improvements in terms of speed of the service.

Going forward this is also going to provide us with the opportunity to start offering a range of new services such as low cost dedicated hosting which I feel will be of tangible benefit to clients.