NSW Police has adopted a multi-vendor hybrid cloud for its future IT infrastructure needs, with work now underway to stand up a protected-level Microsoft Azure data centre.
iTnews can reveal Australia’s largest policing agency recently down selected Microsoft and AWS to host a number of frontline IT solutions under what it calls the ‘Azura Cloud Project’.
It follows a year-long expression of interest for a hybrid cloud infrastructure-as-a-service platform, through which both hyperscale providers were selected.
Chief information and technology officer Gordon Dunsford has previously said that hybrid cloud was chosen due to the “co-existence required with legacy on premise IT systems”
NSW Police told iTnews the project will involve building the “cloud foundations” that will “support a range of applications that are either cloud ready or soon to commence delivery”.
Microsoft Azure will become NSW Police’s first “cloud data centre”, with work currently underway to stand up a protected-level platform.
“[NSW Police] has formally engaged directly with Microsoft Australia to assist in the design and build of the Microsoft Azure cloud protected data centre,” a spokesperson said.
NSW Police has entered a $619,000 contract with Insight Enterprises to provide Microsoft Azure design and engineering professional services over the next 10 months.
While the force intends to use “predominately public cloud offerings”, hybrid capabilities such as Azure Stack Hub and AWS Outpost will also be used in "certain circumstances".
One such system to be hosted on the platform is the integrated policing operating system (IPOS) that will replace the state’s 27-year-old core operational policing system (COPS).
The system – which will double as NSW Police’s computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system – will be the force’s main operational systems, supporting everyday operations from arrests to forensic analysis.
Last month, US-based public safety software provider Mark43 was selected to deliver the first crucial components of IPOS after a year-long discovery phase.
NSW Police will utilise the Bezos-backed company’s “single platform” records management system and CAD, which is expected to be rolled out progressively over the next five years.
As part of the IPOS program, the force will also equip every frontline officer with a ‘MobiPol’ mobile device, meaning that the new core system will be accessible on-the-go.
NSW Police has already spent just shy of $40 million on the COPS overhaul, including its dumped NewCOPS venture with Accenture and search for IPOS.
Around $24 million, including $22.6 million in recurrent funding and $1.26 million in capital funding, has been spent “determin[ing] a viable solution and commercial partner for IPOS”.
“Expenditure includes procurement engagements, due diligence, contract negotiation and award process,” the force said in recent answers to question on notice.
It has also progressed interim improvements to COPS using the funding, namely a custody management form, spatial hub, security and search upgrades and new custody systems.