Defence data centre move slips to November

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Defence data centre move slips to November
Defence vehicles in desert terrain

Further slippages could imperil desktop consolidation.

The Department of Defence has revealed the migration of its primary data centre to Sydney's Global Switch will take eight months longer than anticipated.

A Defence spokesman said the deadline for migration into Global Switch had slipped from March to November this year.

The migration is a key part of its 2009 Strategic Reform Program to consolidate data centres and its IT environment in a bid to deliver $1.9 billion in savings over the next decade.

The ambitious data centre consolidation aims to reduce Defence’s 200+ data centres to less than ten, including the new Global Switch facility and others managed by Defence personnel supported by Unisys and Fujitsu.

Defence's existing primary facility is hosted in the Telstra building in the Canberra suburb of Deakin. It has been deemed unfit for purpose, having reached power and cooling capacity in 2010.

When Defence struck a deal for space in Global Switch, the migration was anticipated to be completed in March 2012 - the same month its lease in Deakin expires.

The lease is now being extended to accommodate the migration delay, a Defence spokesman said.

“The migration was delayed to allow more time for planning and the migration of key business applications into the Sydney Centre,” the spokesman said. “This would minimise the impact to Defence business.”

Accenture is handling the data centre migration project under a $40 million contract awarded in the middle of last year. The contract bypassed a data centre panel arrangement.

Desktop delay?

Sources have expressed concerns to iTnews that the data centre migration slippage may impact the outcome of Defence’s Next Generation Desktop consolidation project.

“They have been planning the move for two years and still don't realise just how long a data centre migration takes,” one source said.

“As far as I know, they haven't moved anything into the Sydney Data Centre yet. IBM took about a year to move 400-odd applications out from one data centre to another (in the same city) [under the data centre consolidation project]. Defence has of the order of 4000 [applications].”

However, a Defence spokesman said that "only 123 of Defence’s key enterprise and key business systems" would be migrated from Deakin to Global Switch in Sydney.

Consolidation of the ‘4000’ desktop applications will commence with the implementation of the Next Generation Desktop, which is in pilot stage.

Next Generation Desktop will commence implementation later in 2012, subject to Government approval, the spokesman said.

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