(08 12 12) Data Centre Discussions in Thunder Bay

KORI's Franz Seibel took part in discussions concerning the development and business case for collocated data centres in Northern Ontario hosted by the Community Economic Development Corporation Office. Representatives from the local telcos (TBayTel & Bell), Education Institutes (LU & Con College), FedNor, NOHFC and other economic development groups were present to discuss strategies with experts from Toronto (Cybertronics).  The discussions focused on developing a data centre including; governance, infrastructure, business case, partnerships, privacy and attracting companies to collocate.

The group discussed governance and management and it was suggested that a data centre be managed by a group separate from operations, similar to a corporation with a governing board. The data centre should offer services based on need, keeping in mind that some clients will require total isolation and independence within the centre. The independent model could meet the OCAP Principals required by First Nations peoples when dealing with data. The data centre would simply host First Nations data, while its ownership, control, access and possession is controlled by the client. The data centre should determine if it can meet the unique privacy standards of each prospective client. Eg. e-Health Ontario may require encryption for EHR. Develop SLAs with clients.

Data centre services could include: help desk, on-site technician (install & configure for remote access), backup & redundancy, disaster recovery, shared expertise, monitoring, virtual test facility, encryption, web hosting, etc.

The consultant offered a general rule for construction as $200/sqft and $20,00/kWh.

Benefits to co-location include shared expertise, shared costs, shared investment in facility upgrades, etc.
It was suggested that there is no business case for an independent client facility under 4,000 sqft.

Costs and requirements to consider include: power, bandwidth, transport capability, backup power, staff, insurance, cooling, space ratio, facility upgrades, capacity building. It is recommended to motivate telcos and government agencies to develop infrastructure, rather than have the data centre partner in the development.

Gananoque First Nation has successfully established a data centre on reserve with partners in the gaming industry. The NOTC is to produce a findings report as a result of the meeting. www.nwoinnovation.ca