Federal Govt mulls building own data centre

 

Expert consultants called in.

The Federal Government has announced it will undertake a “feasibility study” to construct its own data centre as a long-term alternative to leasing space from the private sector.

The revelation came at an industry briefing by the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) in Canberra yesterday.

“An upcoming project will be a feasibility study into a Government built and owned data centre as a long term strategic option,” AGIMO said in its data centre strategy.

“This investigation will help determine whether there is value in adopting a build-own-operate model for data centre management, or whether it is more cost effective to maintain a lease-develop-operate model.

“For this process, AGIMO anticipates engaging expert consultants from within the industry to help with this report.”

The report was expected to be handed to the Government in the second quarter of next year.

AGIMO executive Kayelle Wiltshire said the study would take into account "cost benefit analyses, locations and opportunities - and what the opposite side of the coin looks like if we don't do it."

But Wiltshire warned it was unlikely the Government had the budget to build in the short term.

"It is a very large capital investment for a data centre," Wiltshire said.

"We also have to be cognisant of the Government's fiscal position [and] right now there isn't several hundred million dollars in the kitty to build our own [facility].

"But we will be putting a report to the Government on what is the feasibility of doing it, how long it would take, what would be the benefits, what would be the risk and where we should go."

One analyst, who declined to be named, speculated that the study and its timing could be designed to encourage the industry to offer more competitive offers for the Government’s current data centre panels.

DCaaS for small agencies

Another revelation at the briefing was an expectation that the IT requirements for the smallest 50 Australian Government agencies would be met by a "Data Centre as a Service" (DCaaS) strategy.

These agencies spent less than $2 million per year on their ICT operations and had common ICT infrastructure. 

AGIMO was preparing a specification based on industry consultation. Possible solutions included in-sourcing, partial or full outsourcing and cloud computing. 

DCaaS tenders were expected to be called in the latter part of next year. 

It was expected that larger Government agencies could also use DCaaS services if required.

Energy efficiency

The Government announced plans earlier this year to consolidate most Federal Government agencies into larger, more modern third party data centre facilities for the next 15 years in an attempt to avoid around $1 billion in future costs.

"The main source of these future costs are electricity and data centre leasing,” Wiltshire said. 

“Other opportunities for costs avoidance include use of common services, such as backup and disaster recovery.

"Of particular importance is the issue of electricity, as electricity usage is the highest contributor in cost avoidance and is anticipated to be the single largest future cost for data centre operations."

The Data Centre Strategy required agencies to measure and report annually on the electricity used by their data centres and their ICT infrastructure, regardless of where ICT equipment is located, whether insourced or outsourced.

However standards for benchmarking data centre carbon footprints were yet to emerge.

"The Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency is working with the NSW Department of the Environment, Climate Change and Water to develop a National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) rating tool for date centres," the strategy stated. 

AGIMO expected a "preliminary version" of this measurement tool will be available in 2011 and that as it could “replace or supplement Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) as a more informative measure of data centre energy efficiency” as it became more robust.

AGIMO estimated PUE, across all the Australian Government's data centres, to be higher than 2.5. 

Following advice, including from companies represented at the industry briefing yesterday, AGIMO proposed the PUE be cut to an average of 1.9 by 2015. 

"We know some data centres are claiming ratios of between 1.15 and 1.3 in this PUE area. So clearly there's a lot of possibilities here as we start to address demand for electricity, the best way to do things, how to achieve those results," AGIMO executive John Sheridan said.

While AGIMO would take a lead role in defining policy and targets for agencies, it would be up to agencies to decide how to meet these targets.

Wiltshire said the Department of Finance was analysing whole of government electricity supply issues.

Copyright © iTnews.com.au . All rights reserved.


Federal Govt mulls building own data centre
 
 
 
Top Stories
Frugality as a service: the Amazon story
Behind the scenes, Amazon Web Services is one lean machine.
 
Negotiating with the cloud email megavendors
[Blog post] Lessons from Woolworths’ mammoth migration.
 
Qld govt to move up to 149k staff onto Office 365
Australia's largest deployment, outside of the universities.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...

Latest VideosSee all videos »

The great data centre opportunity on Australia's doorstep
The great data centre opportunity on Australia's doorstep
Scott Noteboom, CEO of LitBit speaking at The Australian Data Centre Strategy Summit 2014 in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. http://bit.ly/1qpxVfV Scott Noteboom is a data centre engineer who led builds for Apple and Yahoo in the earliest days of the cloud, and who now eyes Asia as the next big opportunity. Read more: http://www.itnews.com.au/News/372482,how-do-we-serve-three-billion-new-internet-users.aspx#ixzz2yNLmMG5C
Interview: Karl Maftoum, CIO, ACMA
Interview: Karl Maftoum, CIO, ACMA
To COTS or not to COTS? iTnews asks Karl Maftoum, CIO of the ACMA, at the CIO Strategy Summit.
Susan Sly: What is the Role of the CIO?
Susan Sly: What is the Role of the CIO?
AEMO chief information officer Susan Sly calls for more collaboration among Australia's technology leaders at the CIO Strategy Summit.
Meet the 2014 Finance CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Finance CIO of the Year
Credit Union Australia's David Gee awarded Finance CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards.
Meet the 2014 Retail CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Retail CIO of the Year
Damon Rees named Retail CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at Woolworths.
Robyn Elliott named the 2014 Utilities CIO of the Year
Robyn Elliott named the 2014 Utilities CIO of the Year
Acting Foxtel CIO David Marks accepts an iTnews Benchmark Award on behalf of Robyn Elliott.
Meet the 2014 Industrial CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Industrial CIO of the Year
Sanjay Mehta named Industrial CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at ConocoPhillips.
Meet the 2014 Healthcare CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Healthcare CIO of the Year
Greg Wells named Healthcare CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at NSW Health.
Meet the 2014 Education CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Education CIO of the Year
William Confalonieri named Healthcare CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at Deakin University.
Meet the 2014 Government CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Government CIO of the Year
David Johnson named Government CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at the Queensland Police Service.
Q and A: Coalition Broadband Policy
Q and A: Coalition Broadband Policy
Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott discuss the Coalition's broadband policy with the press.
AFP scalps hacker 'leader' inside Australia's IT ranks.
AFP scalps hacker 'leader' inside Australia's IT ranks.
The Australian Federal Police have arrested a Sydney-based IT security professional for hacking a government website.
NBN Petition Delivered To Turnbull's Office
NBN Petition Delivered To Turnbull's Office
UTS CIO: IT teams of the future
UTS CIO: IT teams of the future
UTS CIO Chrissy Burns talks data.
New UTS Building: the IT within
New UTS Building: the IT within
The IT behind tomorrow's universities.
iTnews' NBN Panel
iTnews' NBN Panel
Is your enterprise NBN-ready?
Introducing iTnews Labs
Introducing iTnews Labs
See a timelapse of the iTnews labs being unboxed, set up and switched on! iTnews will produce independent testing of the latest enterprise software to hit the market after installing a purpose-built test lab in Sydney. Watch the installation of two DL380p servers, two HP StoreVirtual 4330 storage arrays and two HP ProCurve 2920 switches.
The True Cost of BYOD
The True Cost of BYOD
iTnews' Brett Winterford gives attendees of the first 'Touch Tomorrow' event in Brisbane a brief look at his research into enterprise mobility. What are the use cases and how can they be quantified? What price should you expect to pay for securing mobile access to corporate applications? What's coming around the corner?
Ghost clouds
Ghost clouds
ACMA chair Chris Chapman says there is uncertainty over whether certain classes of cloud service providers are caught by regulations.
Was the Snowden leak inevitable?
Was the Snowden leak inevitable?
Privacy experts David Vaile (UNSW Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre) and Craig Scroggie (CEO, NextDC) claim they were not surprised by the Snowden leaks about the NSA's PRISM program.
Latest Comments
Polls
Which bank is most likely to suffer an RBS-style meltdown?





   |   View results
ANZ
  21%
 
Bankwest
  9%
 
CommBank
  11%
 
National Australia Bank
  17%
 
Suncorp
  24%
 
Westpac
  19%
TOTAL VOTES: 1455

Vote