Why Macquarie built a Canberra Data Centre

March 30 2021, by Macquarie Technology Group | Category: Government

For greater security, scalability and cost reduction it’s not surprising the Australian government is in lockstep with corporate Australia in migrating ICT services to data-centre providers. However, the Australian Government does have particularly stringent requirements, and there are unique benefits available with Macquarie’s new Canberra data centre.

From working with government agencies for over 18 years we believe the following cloud and data centre services are essential for federal government agencies.

Colocation, hosting and cloud services.

Just as government agencies differ greatly in size and function, their ICT requirements differ across workloads, security needs and the maintenance of legacy systems. A mix of colocation, hosting and cloud deployment models are needed to leverage legacy systems and to meet varying service-level and security expectations.

Sovereign ownership and control.

From national security to protecting individuals’ confidential information, the Australian Government has the highest information security requirements. Sovereign (aka jurisdictional) control over systems and data is a key security requirement and extends across the government’s ICT supply chain. The Digital Transformation Agency is set to begin assessing and certifying data-centre providers on the extent of their Australian ownership and operation to ensure their services are within the government’s sovereign control.

Resiliency and security baked-in.

For the widespread adoption (and ultimately success) of Australian Government digital services, citizen trust in the security and availability of government services is paramount.

System resiliency ensures service availability and business continuity, so data centres built to Uptime Institute’s Tier 4 classification coupled with interstate geo-redundancy can provide the system resiliency and service availability required.

Information security is not something that can be plugged in as an afterthought. Data centre providers who have designed their services from the ground up, ensuring adequate physical and cyber-security capabilities are built-in can offer Australian Government agencies the level of information security required.

Data centre facilities that are built to conform to the Protective Security Policy Framework and are comprised of Security Equipment Evaluated Product List equipment provide the appropriate security assurances.

Macquarie’s New Canberra Data Centre.

Macquarie’s recently launched Intellicentre 5 is a purpose-built data centre to host the most highly classified Australian Government workloads, and provides Australian government agencies with the following benefits:

  • ICON connectivity – Macquarie’s new Canberra data centre directly connects to the ICON fibre network. With no intermediary service provider or infrastructure between the ICON network and the Canberra data centre, cyber and operational risks are further mitigated.
  • Fast and secure internet connectivity via Macquarie Government’s ASD-certified Secure Internet Gateway improves end-user positive and consistent service experiences.
  • Close proximity means government IT staff, vetted contractors or vendor partners can work onsite and have ready access to ICT infrastructure.
  • Local resources – By investing in local operational capabilities, Macquarie provides Australian Government agencies with access to deep engineering skills, and has bolstered Canberra’s pool of skilled and government-vetted ICT and cyber-security engineers.
  • Supply chain risk mitigation – the adage ‘don’t have all your eggs in one basket’ applies to hosting and service providers. Macquarie’s new Canberra data centre provides much-needed alternatives to the Canberra data centre market. Agencies that use Microsoft Office365 or Azure cloud services can now host systems and store backups with another secure provider locally, thereby mitigating risks and improving strategy resilience and competitiveness.