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Airservices eyes IaaS transition amid wide-scale transformation

by Justin Hendry •
Free resource

A newly revitalised Airservices Australia is considering shifting its current IT infrastructure environment to the cloud as the agency nears the latter part of its transformation program.

Sparked by Airservices’ ageing core computing environment, the agency has recently released a Request for Information (RFI) to identity and understand the range of potential Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solutions available for a transition “from an internally managed ICT environment to a fully Managed Service outcome”.

Suppliers will need to provide a solution that covers not only the core computing environment, including “operating systems, backups, archiving, exchange, Microsoft Forefront Identity Manager and Active Directory”, but also the provision of end user compute (EUC) devices, including “asset management, software packaging and deployment”.

Airservices expects suppliers to be certified to an unclassified DLM level by the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) as the solution will hold sensitive information. Amazon Web Services, IBM, Macquarie Telecom, Microsoft, Salesforce, Sliced Tech and Vault Systems are currently the only service providers to have been certified to an unclassified DLM level through the ASD’s Certified Cloud Services List.

Airservices’ current core computing environment consists of both internally owned and managed data centres and external data centres, while its fleet of almost 5000 desktop and laptops are provided through Whole-of-Government leasing arrangements and supported internally.

Airservices’ two internal server rooms in its Canberra offices, which contain 109 physical servers over two levels, are the focus of the RFI, while two smaller data centres in Brisbane and Melbourne “will be dealt with in a collaborative manner”. Airservices’ external Canberra data centre facility, which contains 41 physical servers, appears to be exempt from the procurement.

The procurement forms part of Airservices’ wide-scale transformation program known as Accelerate, which has already implemented a new operating model and reintroduced a CIO role at the agency since it was launched in March 2016.

Chris Seller was appointed CIO in September 2016, two years after the position was scrapped and responsibly passed to Airservices’ engineering division. He is tasked with ensuring that the agency has the right technology systems and organisation structures in place.

The program is currently focused on modernising information systems, introducing new technology and improving asset management at the agency, as it transitions to an information-based service provider to the aviation industry, according to the 2015-16 Annual Report.

The program is happening alongside the agency’s other major reform: the $600 million joint project with the Department of Defence known as OneSKY, which will replace the outdated Australian Advanced Air Traffic System (TAATS) and Australian Defence Air Traffic System (ADATS) with a single Civil-Military Air Traffic Management System (CMATS) between 2018 and 2021.

A recent audit into the conduct of the OneSKY tendering process found that Airservices and Defence were continuing to negotiate the scope of the acquisition and support contracts, despite selecting Thales for the delivery of the OneSKY initiative in March 2015, and that contracts were unlikely to be signed prior to mid-2017.

The RFI closes 5 May 2017. An information sharing session will be held on 1 May 2017.

Related Articles:

Thales set to deliver $600 million OneSKY

Airservices seeks green light for $35.4 million data centres plan

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