Qld govt could end lease in Polaris data centre

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Qld govt could end lease in Polaris data centre

Weighs up 'pay-by-the-month' infrastructure panel.

The Queensland government could end its lease in the Polaris data centre when the whole-of-government contract expires in 2019, in favour of more modern, pay-as-you-go options for infrastructure delivery.

Polaris, a commercial co-location facility in the Springfield suburb of Ipswich, has been one of Queensland’s two primary data centre sites since the state kicked off its “ICT consolidation” program in 2007.

But the move into the relatively modern facility has never gone according to plan; Peter Grant’s 2012 government IT audit revealed only 55 percent of the state’s footprint in the facility was being used, with the government paying $3.26 million a year for the surplus space.

The report blamed the wasted capacity on “a poor outcome-based track record” and “demand for the service falling due to competition from other approaches such as SaaS”.

Now the Queensland government is considering either getting out of Polaris altogether or absorbing the data centre into a panel of other providers competing on month-by-month service prices.

In a pre-tender market assessment kicked off late last week, the Department of Science, IT, and Innovation (DSITI) has revealed it is thinking about creating a whole-of-government standing offer arrangement for “data centre and associated services”.

“The government is looking for a data provider with a turnkey solution that is ready for use with an as-a-service approach of only paying for what is consumed eg pay-by-the-month utility unit,” it said.

From now until February next year, it will collect information about the types of pricing models on offer in the Queensland market, which will inform a business case for the new procurement plan.

The state is also eyeing off an eventual migration out of its other primary data centre site, the over-utilised but ageing Edward Street facility.

“Given this data centre’s location, age and other constraints, the government is considering reducing its dependency on the 317 Edward Street site,” it said.

It is anticipating that increasing public and private cloud consumption should reduce agencies’ overall data centre demand in the long run, but concedes “there is still a necessity for physical data spaces in the foreseeable future”.

However, the department has made it clear that nothing is set in stone, and it will likely issue more market updates in the new year.

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