The service is particularly aimed at the visual effects, geo-science, mining, biomedical and financial industries.
"These businesses are exemplified by extreme peaks and troughs in data and infrastructure demand, which makes operating and managing in-house date centre facilities a financially unsound proposition," said Steam's chief commercial officer Stefan Gillard.
"For short term production, simulation or testing requirements, Steam Engine makes it possible to completely negate the capital expenditure involved, while slashing the operating expenditure by up to 40% in comparison to running the same capacity in-house."
The Steam Engine infrastructure as a service offering is based on hardware from companies including HP, Hitachi Data Systems, and Arista Networks [revised information received 12/8/10]. The company currently has 1000 servers in operation, with another 3000 planned for deployment by early 2011.
The equipment is housed at the Harbour MSP data centre in Sydney, another operation within the Frontline Systems group.
What does an early adopter say about the service, and what is Steam Engine planning for the future? Please read on.
Steam Engine plans to rapidly expand its services to the point where it can offer an complete outsourced IT package including management and industry-specific helpdesk and engineering support staff.
"By offering IT from the desktop all the way up to the data centre level, we will provide customers with cost-effective access to HPC infrastructure without being locked into long-term hosting contracts," said Michael Chanter, Steam Engine's chief technology officer.
"Meanwhile, new businesses will benefit from the flexibility and agility that will enable them to completely set up their IT within weeks, not months," he added.