NetApp and iTnews put out a call to the industry for applications to host the challenge, which aims to test NetApp's marketing claim that its storage smarts can reduce an organisation's total storage by 50 per cent - a claim refuted by competitor EMC.
The Not-For-Profit IT Managers Group was nominated to host the benchmarking test after a long and arduous study of the applications sent to iTnews.
CIOs and IT Managers from across the Government and private sectors applied to host the benchmark, attracted to the promise of taking receipt of $1 million worth of NetApp data storage, software and services after the benchmarking test is complete.
The not-for-profit group consists of some twenty IT managers that represent such charities as The Spastic Centre, The Smith Family, Northcott Disability Services, Wesley Mission, Mission Australia, The Salvation Army and The Benevolent Society.
The group was put forward to host the benchmarking test in an application submitted by Steve Scott, technology and information services manager from Northcott Disability Services.
The group was founded two years ago by Spastic Centre IT Manager Joe Perricone who, along with Scott, is attempting to rally his peers at other charities into sharing ideas, resources and even compute power.
The IT managers meet on a quarterly basis and are currently in discussions for sharing their first computing resource - a SharePoint implementation.
"This is brilliant," Perricone said after being informed that the group had been selected.
"We started this group looking at making sure we were all on the same page around compliance and governance, so that we could share best practices," he said. "Over the last six months we have been discussing how we might share resources, trying to work out what we can work together on."
Perricone expects that in the near future the charities might mature their shared services capability to the point of sharing applications as complex as finance and HR.
Perricone said he is incredibly grateful for the assistance the technology community provides to charities.
In December, The Spastic Centre's facilities were destroyed by fire and his team lost $2 million of equipment.
The likes of Cisco and Dell have since pitched in to offer assistance in rebuilding the centre's IT capability.
"We have had to rebuild everything from scratch," he told iTnews.
During the benchmarking exercise, Perricone, iTnews and independent auditor Dr Kevin McIsaac of IBRS Research will oversee the transfer of three terabytes of data - including SQL server data, Microsoft Exchange mail data, backups of VMware virtual machines and standard, raw files, to a new NetApp array.
iTnews will be reporting on the progress of the benchmark as it happens.