Australia’s Department of Defence has delayed its exit from Global Switch’s Sydney-based data center by up to five years.

The DoD first made plans to make exit the Sydney facility into its own data center in 2017, saying there was a security risk after Chinese steel giant Shagang made its first investment in Global Switch. The original plan – estimated to cost AU$200m ($151m) – was to leave by the time the contract expired in 2020.

But the department extended its tenure in the facility in a AU$53.5 million (US$41.2 million) deal in October last year after the migration plans were delayed due to the scale of the undertaking. The new contract at the Switch Sydney East / West Data Center facility in Ultimo runs until September 2025.

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A spokesperson told iTnews that while some of the migration to an alternative data center has been completed, “the size of the Defence holdings made it impractical to migrate all the holdings from the data centre prior to the expiry of the Defence lease in September 2020.”

“Defence has developed a plan to migrate its remaining holdings cover the next three to five years, as supported by government.”

Global Switch: persona non grata with Aussie Government

– Global Switch

Since the DoD’s plan to migrate first came to light Shagang has become the majority shareholder of Global Switch, and the issue of sovereignty has seemingly led to an exodus of Global Switch locations by Australian Government customers.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission this month announced plans to move out of Global Switch’s Sydney-based data center, while in April 2020 the Australian Taxation Office signed a 10-year deal with Canberra Data Centres to move away from Global Switch's Sydney facility.

Last year the Australian Financial Review reported that the Australian government had issued a directive requiring that agencies leave Global Switch data centers by September 2020. Affected departments reportedly included Home Affairs, Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Defence.