By Claire Sangster, State Manager, Western Australia
In a world where digital transformation is becoming pervasive across businesses of all shapes and sizes, connectivity is more important than ever. In Western Australia, it is arguably more important than elsewhere in the country because of the vast geographic spread across a mammoth territory.
To successfully compete, partner and trade – nationally and internationally – WA-based organisations need to be able to access secure, resilient, and high-speed connectivity and, with so much distance to deal with, long-haul connectivity also has to be affordable.
New infrastructure, new opportunities
The good news is there has been a sequence of significant infrastructure investments in and around Perth that are working together, to accelerate opportunities for local organisations to optimise their connectivity strategies. These extended connectivity platforms serve to reduce the tyranny of distance that makes this state such a unique place to do business.
They are also introducing the capability for local businesses to bring all of their systems, sites, teams, partners and customers onto a single management plane along with the rest of their digital infrastructure.
These new digital infrastructure assets include two subsea cables connecting Perth to Asia and the world – one of which also extends around to the east coast of Australia – and NEXTDC’s brand new P2 data centre in the CBD. Together, they serve to bring the global digital economy right to the doorstep of the WA economy.
Never has the state been better positioned to take advantage of all the digital innovation that is driving economies in general and increasingly playing a critical role in business continuity during a once-in-100-years global health crisis. Our borders may be closed for the moment, but we remain intimately connected to the world, the clouds that are transforming business operations and the digital platforms that are keeping us employed, informed and safe.
Thanks to this world class digital infrastructure and universal connectivity platform, WA is in an ideal situation to take full advantage of the opportunities that abound in leading the way forward when the economy begins its post-pandemic rebound.
Evolving network requirements
In addition to the organic growth we have seen in our business as the result of ongoing digital transformation, we are seeing organisations responding to new pandemic-induced business continuity challenges around resilience planning, remote working, and online transactions. The timing around the opening of P2 could not have been better for WA businesses.
P2 is 13km from our P1 facility in Malaga where WA’s only direct connections to the AWS and Microsoft Azure global public cloud platforms that provide high performance, on-demand virtual machines, data storage and a range of as-a-service digital innovations. The two facilities are also directly connected to each other and the entire NEXTDC national footprint of nine facilities across five capital cities via our high bandwidth, flexible AXON connectivity platform.
Here in Perth, in response to the pandemic, we have seen many customers bolstering their redundancy, back-up, and disaster recovery planning as the resilience of technology platforms became even more critical than it already was prior to COVID-19. By leveraging our cross-town DCI (Data Centre Interconnect) services to connect primary and secondary points of presence in two separate locations, our customers gain further assurance there is no single point of failure in their search for 100% availability of their critical systems.
Keeping the data flowing
As a measure of how critical resilience and connectivity planning has become, we are supporting key players in the resources sector to build remote operations capability that connects all of their sites, autonomous haulage assets and people. There is an enormous amount of telemetric, CCTV and operational data that has to be managed in real time to keep production high and people safe. This can only be achieved when there is 100% confidence in the security, availability and flexibility of the systems and networks that underpin it all.
It’s not just the resources sector either. Organisations of all sizes are using more data, demand for Government services has sky-rocketed and a socially distanced population is using entertainment and social platforms significantly more. Much of this digital activity today takes place in the cloud platforms that reside in highly resilient data centres such as NEXTDC’s P1 and P2.
Of course, utilisation of cloud services makes perfect sense in many circumstances because they offer secure, resilient, and scalable high-density computing capacity on a utility service basis. Essentially that means that you can turn it on and off as required and only pay for what you use.
The current business landscape has forced the need for an urgent rethink of connectivity best practice for improved resilience. Risk management, redundancy, uptime, and disaster recovery have never been more important.
While this represents short-term challenges for businesses that want to ensure they are always on in a pandemic-compromised digital world. It is also a pivotal moment that is sure to introduce a range of long-term benefits as organisations adapt to new digital platform models that have been re-engineered to embrace these new imperatives for flexibility, agility, and high availability.
Organisations that best adapt to these changed circumstances are the ones that will be optimally positioned for recovery. By guaranteeing consistent and stable connections to the critical services they rely on and the performance benefits they introduce courtesy of having shorter paths to the clouds with fewer potential points of failure businesses have the agility needed to stride forward when the economy recovers.
We all need to be resourceful in the way we attack the challenges of the present and prepare for a future that is largely unknown. When it comes to staying connected to each other in a disrupted economy, direct access to public clouds over privatised infrastructure that introduces operational efficiencies, performance improvements and reduced long-haul connectivity costs represents intelligent change.
Our new P2 data centre is more than just an engineering masterpiece and new landmark building in the Perth CBD. It is a critical piece of infrastructure that is powering the digital economy here in Perth as well providing the hub that connects us to the rest of Australia and into global markets. P2 gives our customers easy access to the digital innovations of over 640 partners that make up our ecosystem and that are there to ensure that you can build the type of resilience that allows you to be always on and always connected.
If we can help you stay connected to the platforms, people and organisations that keep your team functioning, please reach out. We’re here to help.