NBN Co plans to spend $9.5 million over the next three years on a data centre compute platform manufactured by Cisco Systems.The platform will be based on Vblock virtual data centre technology packaged by the VCE alliance - VMware, Cisco and EMC.The alliance's Vblock product included - at a base level - Cisco unified computing servers and switches, EMC Symmetrix VMAX storage boxes and VMware vSphere virtualisation software.But more elements were included in the NBN Co deal, including EMC Avamar for back-up and recovery, EMC Data Domain de-duplication software and BMC Software for integrated management, according to a Cisco statement."By combining [these elements], the management and automation of dynamic, virtual IT environments will also provide NBN Co with greater business agility," Cisco said.NBN Co said in a statement that the initial multi-million dollar contract provided "the opportunity to scale up as NBN Co's needs increase."“We are pleased to have acquired yet another strategic supplier as we continue to construct the building blocks that underpin the operation of the NBN,” head of corporate services Kevin Brown said.The announcement came as NBN Co started to bed down its architecture after months of speculation.Last week, NBN Co revealed Global Switch as its primary data centre in a three-year deal worth $3 million. A secondary data centre was thought to be planned for Melbourne, although NBN Co said today that the location would be revealed "later in the year".NBN Co's annual report revealed an IT budget of some $6.4 million in its first year of operations.Cisco said in a statement today that the Vblock technology would aid the energy efficiency of NBN Co's data centre operations."As a result of this simpler, pre-integrated and pre-tested IT infrastructure, NBN Co staff can focus on innovation, virtualising applications and delivering services instead of configuring and tuning separate components," the vendor said.EMC Australia president David Webster said the NBN was "the most significant Australian IT infrastructure project in over a decade", highlighting EMC's participation in the project.
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