The University of Western Australia has embarked on an 18-month project to consolidate approximately 1000 disparate servers to a private cloud platform in Amcom data centres.
The institution would look to migrate 400 terabytes of data currently held on-campus to Amcom's two Perth-based facilities under a $9 million, three-year agreement signed with the Western Australia service provider over the weekend.
The agreement would cover hosted servers, performance storage and backup and recovery for the university, along with staff training for use of the platform.
Data would be hosted on physically separate infrastructure in Amcom's facilities.
The university and two data centres were connected by a recently upgraded 10 Gbps fibre network.
"As UWA's requirements increase, it is vital for us to strategically plan to provide our students, academics and researchers all the computing power and storage to meet their future needs," Dr Mary Davies, the university's director of information management, said in a statement.
The institution would look to standardise on RedHat Linux and Windows operating systems for its virtual machines.
Richard Whiting, Amcom group executive of networks and technology, told iTnews the university would use virtual machines with 0.8 MHz of processing power and two gigabytes of memory each, at a ratio of eight machines to a single blade server.
The company used a platform-as-a-service offering from local Dimension Data subsidiary BlueFire to provide the private cloud hosting arrangement, with support for RedHat and Windows operating systems as well as both VMware and Citrix hypervisors.
Whiting said the platform would most likely be provisioned by individual departments, rather than centrally, with the $9 million agreement providing a cost floor for management..
"It gives them the ability to delegate out authority to their departments to be able to provision their own virtual machines and storage and backup," Whiting said.
"It's probably 18 months to get to the final point but certainly the technology is there ready for them to use right now."
It would likely mark the first substantial move to a cloud platform for the university, which remains one of the few local institutions to hold off from a move to either Google's Gmail or Microsoft's Live@edu platforms for student and staff email.