NT Govt budgets $3.6m for data centre upgrades

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NT Govt budgets $3.6m for data centre upgrades

Prepares bus wi-fi, Telstra network expansion.

The Northern Territory Government will spend $3.6 million upgrading its whole-of-government data centre facilities in the coming year.

Budget documents released today indicate the NT’s central Data Centre Services provider would spend a total of $22.3 million on data centre maintenance in the 2013-14 financial year.

The shared services agency expected to employ 60 staff to manage some 1.6 PB of data on behalf of other government agencies in the coming year, compared with 1.3 PB of data at a cost of $21.7 million in 2012-13.

This week’s budget pledged $800,000 to continue expanding the central enterprise data storage system and $200,000 to continue expanding its virtual server infrastructure.

Data Centre Services also won $1.1 million for a mainframe environment upgrade, $900,000 to continue upgrading a backup generator, and $600,000 to continue upgrading an automatic tape library data backup system.

The agency hoped to improve efficiency further by minimising the number of physical servers through virtualisation, and promoting the utility computing model.

It expected to avoid 3000 tonnes of carbon emissions through its ‘virtualise first’ policy in 2013-14, compared with an estimated 2900 tonnes in 2012-13 and about 1464 tonnes in 2010-11 (pdf).

Data Centre Services hosted 600 servers in its Chan Data Centre in Darwin and provided 700 fully managed servers in 2012-13. It expected demand to grow to 625 and 740 respectively in the coming year.

Improved telecommunications for residents

NT Treasurer Dave Tollner described the territory’s 2013-14 budget as “belt-tightening”, reporting a $1.19 billion deficit and a total of $5.7 billion in projected spending.

The NT Government set aside almost $3 million to improve telecommunications services on buses and in remote areas during the next two years.

Budget documents accounted for the NT Government’s recent promise to match Telstra’s investment of $2.8 million to deliver 3G and fixed broadband services to remote communities.

Telstra is expected to install 3G mobile towers in eight locations and fixed broadband in six locations under the two-year agreement with NT’s Department of Corporate and Information Services.

Those locations housed 8000 people in total, NT Chief Minister Adam Giles announced last month.

The NT Government set aside a separate $110,000 to provide free wi-fi on public buses and in interchanges, as part of a total $320 million investment in road and transport assets.

The free wi-fi service kicked off at Darwin, Palmerston and Casuarina bus interchanges in mid-February. It offers commuters up to 90 minutes or 100MB of internet access daily in 20-minute blocks.

Minister Giles said in January the service would cost $60,000 to install and run for the first year and $21,000 for subsequent years.

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