Photos: Inside Human Services' data centre in Hume

 

Green facility to cut annual power costs by $5 million.

View larger image View larger image View larger image

See all pictures here »

The Federal Department of Human Services (DHS) expects to save $5 million per year in power costs after merging seven ageing data centres into two more modern facilities.

Since revealing its data centre consolidation plans last January, the department has been working to establish two data centres in Canberra as the primary and back-up site for all constituent agencies.

One of those sites is in the Canberra Data Centres (CDC) facility in Hume. The other is likely to be located in the southern Canberra suburb of Tuggeranong.

On a tour of the Hume data centre yesterday, Human Services Minister Kim Carr said the consolidated systems would ensure that the department's public data was accessible, secure and environmentally friendly.

The Hume data centre would "support nation-wide services", including those of Medicare, Centrelink, Child Support and the Department of Veterans' Affairs, he said.

Carr added that the department would halve its ICT carbon footprint and improve the speed and reliability of ICT services by consolidating its systems.

CDC's facility in Hume opened in May 2008 and serves 20 agencies, including the Department of Health and Ageing and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Human Services will consume half of the CDC's capacity, the department's chief information officer Gary Sterrenberg told iTnews.

CDC managing director Greg Boorer said the department had agreed to host 2500MW of equipment in the facility for ten years with extension options.

"This would be one of the largest cloud deployments in the southern hemisphere or the world today," he said. "For the Government, this [is a] private cloud."

"This takes DHS from 500 physical machines to 50 virtual machines, which is all around moving capacity to where it is needed at a fraction of the cost of the traditional computing model."

The data centre boasts clean and green technologies that are up to 40 percent more efficient in energy use when compared with the department's former facilities.

Although it takes up less physical space than previous centres, it has increased virtual storage capabilities with tape cartridge libraries holding 50 times the amount of data compared to past sites.

The data centre features hot aisle containment with "free air" capable air-cooled chillers that do not use any water, thus avoiding the use of up to 100,000 litres of water per day.

It boasts Uptime Institute Tier 3 architecture, which guarantees a minimum availability of 99.982 percent. Boorer said the data centre had achieved 100 percent availability since launch.

"We’ve had high availability with Medicare but Centrelink [was] always exposed to down time," Sterrenberg said.

"We had 500 independent servers spread across seven or eight data centres. Each of those was a point of failure.

"With the move to Hume we’ve consolidated infrastructure into 50 servers, that are virtualised. That provides a high availability in terms of the ability to serve citizens."

Sterrenberg said the move involved $750 million in operational expenditure and $130 million in capital expenditure.

CDC's online specifications indicate that the facility supports from 7.5 to 30 kW per rack and provides automated, real-time data on power usage, heat and humidity.

The facility is ASIO T4 certified as a "secure area" under the Government's Protective Security Manual, with 24x7 staff and time-stamped IP cameras.

It has a diesel generator farm, bulk fuel storage, and ‘live’ tanker refuelling station on site, as well as emergency diesel supply contracts, allowing the data centre to run indefinitely in "island" mode without mains power.

Liz Tay contributed to this story.

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


 
 
 
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: 1461

Vote