The NSW Government will ditch its ownership model for storage infrastructure in favour of an as-a-service approach, in line with plans to move away from asset ownership under its ICT Strategy.
The state government plans to appoint an external provider to supply storage services to systems hosted by NSW shared services agency ServiceFirst on a consumption-based pricing model.
ServiceFirst currently owns and operates storage assets and related switch infrastructure.
Its storage infrastructure is housed in Global Switch’s Ultimo data centre, as well as the new Metronode GovDC data centre in Unanderra, using HP, Netapp and Hitachi hardware and Commvault’s Simpana v10 backup.
It also has some data communications infrastructure at Metronode’s new GovDC in Silverwater. The agency replicates some storage workloads over the high speed links between data centres.
The government wants to provision storage for new workloads and move existing workloads to storage-as-a-service. It also revealed a possible move to backup-as-a-service.
“The ServiceFirst client base is continually changing due to inter and intra‐agency restructures and other initiatives,” the state said in tender documents.
“Ongoing technology upgrades and other changes also result in a changing environment. Therefore, the current landscape .. should be interpreted as a snapshot at a point in time.”
The NSW minister for Finance and Services Andrew Constance confirmed in September the agency was looking at outsourcing some of ServiceFirst’s functions.
The move had been hinted at for several years since the Liberal government’s election win in 2011.
Constance revealed the finance department was currently consulting with the IT industry on ServiceFirst’s path to outsourcing.
The outsourcing of ServiceFirst was recommended by the 2012 NSW Commission of Audit. The shared services agency delivers services to around 40 NSW government agencies and employs more than 500 staff.
As outlined in the 2012 ICT Strategy, the state wants to move to an as-a-service model for IT where appropriate. The strategy outlines 85 actions - to be reviewed annually until 2014 - to improve procurement, infrastructure, services, openness and skills.