A new 60 rack facility opened in Albany, north of Auckland, earlier brings Vocus Communications New Zealand data capacity to a total of 260 racks with space for a further 110.

Previously the company operated the 200 rack data centre it picked up as part of the June 2012 Maxnet acquisition.

The Albany site is directly connected to the Auckland fibre ring. From there it can link to Vocus’s own network which can give users private connections to Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Asia without touching the public internet.

Chairman David Spence told me the Albany facility is part of a network across Australia and New Zealand which now stretches to 11 data centres in eight locations. He says the company’s data centres are all highly connected allowing customers to have a high degree of redundancy.

Strong demand

Spence says he is confident the new capacity will fill quickly. He says: “We already have five customers in the data centre and there are another seven committed customers in the sales pipeline. Our prices are keen and there’s certainly no lack of demand for capacity in New Zealand.”

He says Vocus may need to add further capacity in New Zealand; “We’re demand driven, the world is moving to the cloud and New Zealanders are ahead of others.”

Last month Vocus launched an end-to-end service linking New Zealand companies to Amazon’s cloud servers in Sydney. Is there a conflict between this business and operating a data centre? Spence doesn’t think so, he says there is a demand for both types of service and Vocus’ business is about meeting those demands.

From reselling international bandwidth

Vocus Communications is a relatively new name in the New Zealand infrastructure business. Until five years ago the Australian-based company was mainly reselling international data capacity on the Southern Cross Cable Network.

The price structure for international bandwidth favours larger customers, Vocus would get a volume discount buying a fat pipe then divide up the bandwidth among its customers charging each less than they would pay if they purchased direct. Pocketing the difference proved lucrative and a win for all concerned. It’s a business Spence describes as “being an ISP for the ISPs”.

Three years ago Vocus listed in Australia. That process raised A$6 million, valuing the company at around $25 million. Spence says today Vocus is worth north of $200 million and the company has become a significant infrastructure player.