Centrelink plans $40 million storage upgrade

 

To issue request for tender by October.

Centrelink has announced its intention to procure up to $40 million of enterprise storage equipment, including disk, mainframe, data protection and archiving products.

The Federal agency expected to issue a request for tender (RFT) in October. A spokesman declined to disclose details of the project prior to the RFT's release.

According to Centrelink's pre-tender notice, the tender would encompass open disk storage systems, mainframe direct access storage devices (DASD), data protection and archiving solutions.

Other components included an enterprise document and record management system (EDRMS), software for storage management (SRM), reporting and chargeback, and professional services for deployment and projects.

Centrelink initially planned to host an industry briefing in Canberra on August 16 to discuss the tender. The briefing was called off yesterday and postponed until after the RFT was finalised and released.

"Centrelink considers that the extra time taken to ensure that these requirements are correct and meet Centrelink's requirements for the future is worthwhile and will achieve the best possible outcome," a spokesman told iTnews.

In May, Centrelink's former CIO John Wadeson revealed plans to share its excess compute and storage capacity with other agencies, including the Australian Tax Office and Department of Immigration.

"We are going to try and create a single piece of infrastructure that will house the data centre environments for all these agencies. That's the plan," Wadeson told iTnews at the time.

"But we're not going to get there next week. It's going to take time. First of all we have to get Centrelink's data centre issues in a better position."

The request for reporting and chargeback suggests the large agency may indeed be planning to offer storage as a service to other Human Services agencies or agencies further afield.

Centrelink's data centres are more than 20 years old, besides a small portion of its hardware that was hosted within a customised pod at the Canberra Data Centre under a deal signed last year.

In the 2010-11 Federal Budget, the agency won $14.7 million for a virtualisation project, $8 million for an ICT shared services project, and $71 million for a system to fight welfare fraud.

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