More upgrades in the pipeline
Beckett, a long-term advocate of IT and project management frameworks and policies such as ITIL and Prince2, plans to put his staff through additional ITIL training during the version 3 transition this year. Staff training for version 2 began in January 2007 and was completed in September last year which he said filled knowledge gaps and ensured consistent service delivery.
"If people are trained in ITIL or [an equivalent] framework, they can move within the industry to process-orientated environments... it is extremely valuable to everyone in IT," Beckett said.
The organisation has rationalised support contracts and slashed data centre costs with extensive virtualisation, including its IBM SAP servers, and by cutting its 200 servers down to 100 and moving them into a single warehouse.
The number of devices, including those used by scientists, was reduced from 3000 to 1200 which helped Beckett patch the entire fleet of Microsoft machines for a critical Windows exploit in less than three weeks.
IT managers are great for saving [and] investing capital
Maintenance costs have been reduced through upgrades to the "entire network fabric", Beckett said, including core SAP and Oracle databases.
"IT managers are a great help for saving money. I have no problem allowing them to both invest capital for upgrades and for reducing ongoing costs where possible. Every dollar we spend is a dollar less in research," he said.
ANSTO is now operating on the AARNET multi-gigabit research network between Sydney and Wollongong, as part of the upgrades, which also introduced gigabit links to staff computers and shifted network infrastructure from the organisation’s two campus sites to street grey boxes (kerbside nodes), which resembles the architecture of a commercial telecommunications provider.
A new wireless network dubbed ScienceNet will come online this year which will require new access controls to allow scientists and visitors to use the same AARNET WAN, while Beckett will continue work on a knowledge and content management strategy.
ANSTO's IT staff are a mix of industry veterans, TAFE students and post-graduates from Wollongong University. Beckett recruited 11 staff, many university and TAFE students, within nine months during a previous shortage.
The organisation's IT department is certified in ISO 9001 and will this year upgrade to 20000 and push through more certifications.
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