Centrelink this week issued tender documents for a $40 million storage upgrade that would see it become Government agencies' storage as a service provider of choice.
The agency sought to establish an enterprise storage panel as a "market test" for elements it would require to implement information lifecycle management (ILM) and storage management services.
In accordance with SNIA standards, ILM would underpin the provision of Centrelink's internal storage services, which would eventually be extended to other Commonwealth agencies.
Centrelink planned to establish a "modernised environment" that supported a "private shared cloud", storage as a service, multi-tenancy, optimisation and capacity on demand.
It would procure mid-range and mainframe storage hardware, operational and disaster recovery solutions, storage management software and implementation services.
It also sought data archiving solutions capable of retaining data for up to 130 years and that complied with National Archives of Australia recommendations and legislative requirements.
The request for tender was in line with comments by Centrelink's former CIO John Wadeson, who in May revealed plans to share its excess compute and storage capacity with other agencies.
Wadeson, currently the ICT infrastructure deputy secretary of Centrelink's parent Department of Human Services, said today that Centrelink already administered products and services for more than 20 policy departments and other agencies.
It also worked closely with Government departments and agencies to distribute $86.8 billion in social security payments, he said.
"Centrelink already provides ICT services across the Australian Government and this RFT aligns with that role by ensuring the future capacity and integrity of our storage systems," Wadeson told iTnews.
"We build and provide ICT capability for Government. As part of the Commonwealth Human Services Portfolio, Centrelink's Enterprise Storage RFT enables us to continue to maintain and provide effective, efficient and reliable services on behalf of Government."
According to tender documents, Centrelink's storage environment comprised SAN fabrics in data centres at Bruce, Hume, the Tuggeranong Canberra Data Centre (CDC), and in the AOFR building at Symonston.
Centrelink's data centres were more than 20 years old, aside from a small portion of its hardware that was hosted within a customised pod at the CDC 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.