Feds to 'refresh' data centre facilities panel

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Feds to 'refresh' data centre facilities panel

Inhibits take-up of cloud, managed services?

The Federal Government has flagged plans to "refresh" the whole-of-government data centre facilities panel in the second half of this year.

Department of Finance and Deregulation assistant secretary Mundi Tomlinson said in a blog post that the refresh would "not affect current contracts" and existing panellists did not need to reapply.

Agencies are meant to use the panel when faced with certain "trigger events" relating to an existing data centre facility.

Such events include "lease expiry, outsourcing contract expiry, major asset replacement, building move, end-of-life of the data centre, or significant increase in data centre capacity", according to the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO).

Before any refresh of the panel occurs, Tomlinson indicated a public consultation would be conducted. The AGIMO is seeking input from industry by April 15.

Agencies would also be invited to provide feedback on the facilities panel via the Whole-of-government ICT Services Committee.

The consultation will examine the current arrangements and whether "current procurement arrangements hinder take-up of cloud computing and other service models".

"Our work on the Australian Government Data Centre Strategy 2010-2025 has shown that the existing sourcing arrangements represent value for money," Tomlinson wrote.

"However, given the changes in technology and the evolving moves to cloud-type environments, it is timely that we explore how we may expand our data centre service offerings."

The facilities panel got off to a slow start, with Finance becoming the first user of the panel arrangement in April 2012.

The first facility operators were appointed to the panel over a year earlier, in March 2011. More panellists were added in September 2011.

AGIMO also used the panel to lease space in August last year. Agency ComSuper similarly used the facilities panel to strike a ten-year lease with Canberra Data Centres.

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