There has been talk in the industry that IBM, which is apparently struggling to fill out its Highbrook data centre in Auckland, might use Unisys' Kapiti data centre.

Computerworld NZ asked Big Blue (IBM) if this is true, but got no answer.

Co-opetition is the word that Unisys used when asked to respond to industry suggestions that IBM had done a deal to use the Unisys data centre at Kapiti.

"In today's IT market we regularly partner with the same companies we compete against," says Unisys country manager Steve Griffin. "Co-opetition is inevitable, particularly in a small market like New Zealand.

"We can't comment on specific deals due to commercial confidentiality on both sides. But at the end of the day it is about working together to deliver the best solutions the market needs."

Tier 3 data centres cost in the tens of millions of dollars to build and thus need to be well utilised.

Unisys' has had its Kapiti data centre operative for many years now and has always had the capacity to extend it through a system of moveable walls.

Other larger companies with data centres will inevitably have to use, from time to time, their opposition's data centres.

Dimension Data, for example, which has a data centre in Auckland, says it works with all of what it describes as its data centre partners.

"We lease space off others," says Dimension Data spokesman Phil Goodwin. "We do what our clients want us to do, complementing their other providers."

That is an inevitable outcome of infrastructure-as-a-service, with IBM, Datacom and Revera chosen to provide those services to government departments.