Maxnet readies South Island datacentre

Disaster recovery facility also allows tiered service levels and pricing

Maxnet started life as an ISP in 1998, became a datacentre hoster in 2003 and in 2006 began its journey as a newly-minted "cloud computing" provider courtesy of VMware virtualisation.

The company is now readying its next move by opening a South Island datacentre that will allow it to offer tiered services and to shift capacity to boost profitability.

Maxnet's road to virtualisation began with its own servers. It had five racks providing server capacity for the business. Implementing VMware reduced those five racks to half a rack and spurred the company to think about how such virtualised infrastructure could be provided as a service.

Chief technical officer Derek Gaeth says virtualisation isn't all about servers, either, with the company virtualising its security, networks, storage and other areas too.

Thanks to virtualisation, space, power and computing requirements in the company's new high-density datacentre in Albany have stayed more or less stable as the business grew, says Maxnet's systems and development manager, Jeremy Nees, speaking at a VMware event today.

An investment in chilled water cooling has also paid dividends, saving $1 million a year in power costs.

Gaeth says Maxnet sells to the CEO and CFO and seeks to upgrade hosting customers to a virtualised environment as they reach a hardware upgrade decision.

Disaster recovery is another advantage, and that's where the new Christchurch datacentre comes in. VMware's VMotion technology, which allows live migration of virtual machines, allows such a centre to be used for seamless recovery.

Such a centre can also be configured to, say, 99.7 percent availability compared to the Auckland centre's 99.9 percent and priced accordingly for customers whose needs are less critical, he says.

Gaeth says Maxnet has had its best year yet during the recession when organisations have been looking to cut costs. He says the total cost of ownership business case from outsourced virtualised hosting is highly compelling, with some approaching 50 percent in savings.

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