New Zealand as Australia's Data Centre?

Like many rubyists I’ve often used Slicehost to host my virtual servers.

As a networking nerd who cares about latency (see It’s the Latency Stupid ) I’ve always wanted to host my client sites in Australia, however data prices here made it prohibitively expensive. Slicehost in the States was often the next best option.

Some time ago they were purchased by Rackspace and they’re finally preparing to migrate everyone to the Rackspace cloud platform.

I was happy enough with the migration, however it prompted me to do a quick scan of other options and I found something surprising. I can run a VPS at Rimuhosting’s Auckland data centre for about the same price as their US datacentre and it’s only a 50ms RTT from Melbourne.

It’s not unusual to find data costs with Australian VPS providers (including Rimu) hovering around AUD$2/Gb. At rimuhosting’s Auckland datacentre it’s NZD$0.20/Gb (currently about AUD$0.15).

What’s going on here? Are data prices in New Zealand cheaper than Australia? Is Rimuhosting oversubscribing their transit links? Are they buying budget transit? Are other New Zealand companies cheaper than their Australian competitors or is this an edge case?

Whatever the reason, I moved a clients VPS from the US to Auckland two weeks ago and couldn’t be happier with the result.