After years of planning, and months of supplier selection, the NSW government Department of Services, Technology and Administration (DSTA) has called for proposals for its data centre reform program, which will consolidate some 100 disparate facilities into two.
The five shortlisted suppliers had until the end of January to put forward their ideas and capabilities for the shared data centres — either existing or purpose-built facilities — for government agencies across the state.
Data centre reform is one of the eight ‘People First’ programs of the NSW government. It will involve acquiring capacity in two dedicated data centres to house the computer systems from the existing decentralised government agency data centres throughout NSW.
DSTA is looking at the suppliers to provide “scalable, robust data centre capacity in fit-for-purpose data centres to satisfy NSW government agencies’ long term data centre capacity requirements”. The Government Chief Information Office is also a division of DSTA, but the agency has yet to announce who will spearhead the reform program following the departure of former NSW government CIO, Emmanuel Rodriguez, in December last year.
Andrew Gavrielatos has replaced Rodriguez as acting NSW government CIO, so the program would be high on his agenda. He has a background in management and was previously with the Department of Fair Trading. The situation may change, however, with a new government set to be elected in late March.
According to the Government Chief Information Office, the data centre reform project has the potential to prevent the consumption of some 473GWh of electricity for 15 years from 2011. The consolidation program is expected to take between 10 and 15 years.
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Potential suppliers need to include the operation and site management services and the provision and maintenance of data centre capacity. A spokesperson for the DSTA, said that with the release of the tender, the NSW government will enter into a contract if a suitable candidate is identified as a result of the process.
“The timeframe for delivery of the project depends on the outcome of the tender process,” the spokesperson said. “The successful bidder will have the choice of using established data centres or constructing new facilities.”
The NSW government operates about 130 data centres of varying size and purpose, and the DSTA anticipates the program will deliver enough data storage and computing capacity for all government agencies.
The project’s ‘anchor tenants’ are the Department of Education and Training, NSW Health, NSW Treasury and Department of Premier and Cabinet.
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