Telstra unveils invite-only government cloud trial

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Telstra unveils invite-only government cloud trial

Free compute, IT resource access.

Telstra has made a bid to attract government agencies onto its 'network computing' cloud  service with an invitation-only free trial of up to 45 days.

The carrier - named as Australia's 'local performer' in a cloud ranking system launched last week - said it had tailored "new services specifically for government agencies".

The tailored services included full live access to Telstra's production cloud environment and "professional advice to assist [agencies] in determining the best options for moving storage and computing functions into the cloud."

Technically, the offer includes up to five managed servers, each capable of providing 10 virtual machines. The telco will also offer up to one terabyte of storage for the free trial, but bandwidth charges "will depend on the customers network connection to Telstra."

Telstra is taking its cloud service, codenamed Silver Lining, to market in partnership with services firm Accenture. But to date the telco has refused to release pricing details for its service, calling into question whether it should be defined as a "cloud compute" at all. 

Question marks have also been raised about a recent re-shuffle of the senior management of Telstra Business and Government, the team responsible for selling the service.

"Before fully adopting a cloud computing service, government agencies told us they would like the ability to trial a service to best assess how they could receive the most benefits by moving their IT resources into the cloud," Telstra enterprise and government executive director Chris Pearce said today.

"The trial we are offering to government is conducted in Telstra's live cloud computing environment and includes regular security, redundancy and support.

"Part of our cloud computing service is to provide IT consultants to help them move their IT resources into the cloud."

Telstra was not the only cloud provider to be eyeing the government market. Earlier this month, Microsoft and Canberra-based hosting company Uber announced what they termed a "proof of concept" for a government community cloud.

The Federal government has made moves in recent weeks and months to prepare for the use of cloud compute resources by agencies.

The Department of Finance and Deregulation has indicated its intention to certify cloud computing providers for a whole-of-Government procurement panel to assist agencies mitigate the many risks of migrating workloads to the cloud.

It expected to allow agencies to "choose cloud based services if they demonstrate value for money and were adequately secure".

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