Finance names new GovCMS provider

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Finance names new GovCMS provider

Aussie SME nabs Acquia's gig.

The Department of Finance has selected Australian SME Salsa Digital to replace Acquia as the provider of the whole-of-government content management system GovCMS.

The open source Drupal-based platform was introduced in 2015 to reduce expenses and pain points for agencies delivering web channels.

There are currently more than 220 sites live platform and a further 37 in development across 77 agencies, with 111 housed in the SaaS version and a further 149 sites on the PaaS version. 

Finance went looking for a new GovCMS provider in February ahead of the September expiry of the Acquia deal, highlighting its desire for the platform to support increasingly sophisticated websites.

Until now, GovCMS has largely supported “smaller, less complex sites”, instead of those that are feature-rich or involve distributed content publishing or resource archives.

Finance has now appointed Salsa Digital to support GovCMS for the next three years.

“Following an evaluation process, Finance has selected Salsa Digital as the preferred supplier, who has partnered with as their subcontractor,” Finance said in a blog post today.

Like Acquia, Salsa Digital will use Drupal open source CMS and provide SaaS and PaaS hosting on AWS public cloud, however “will manage the underlying hosting platform and infrastructure”.

“The new hosting arrangements will be available for GovCMS customers before the end of 2018,” Finance said.

“Finance will manage the migration of existing SaaS websites to the new platform, and will work with agencies to migrate PaaS sites across once SaaS migrations are complete.”

Changes to GovCMS

Salsa Digital and will oversee the build of a “new hosting solution ... on a full-stack, cloud-agnostic platform, complementing the open source GovCMS Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 distributions”.

The single platform will co-host all GovCMS sites – either SaaS or PaaS – but these will be “logically and securely isolated from each other”.

It will also integrate containerisation, continuous integration and continuous delivery feature, leveraging open source tools like Docker, Lagoon, OpenShift and GitLab in addition to Drupal.

Elasticity and autoscaling has also been added to the new GovCMS "which uses metrics from the hosting environments to automatically increase or decrease the amount of resources needed to power the platform".

“This can be triggered by a momentary surge in traffic to a site (or several sites) and will automatically scale down once the spike is over,” Finance said.

The department will look to accredit the platform to Unclassified classification initially, before Unclassified-DLM early next year.

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