The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) has become the latest agency to utilise the whole-of-government Data Centre Facilities Panel, signing a ten year lease with Global Switch worth $7.6 million.
In a market currently dominated by Canberra Data Centres, it’s the first large Government agency contract for Global Switch since the establishment of the panel. Prior to the panel the Department of Defence signed a ten year lease with Global Switch Property worth over $37 million.
Government agencies have spent $310.3 million on data centre contracts to date with $278.1 million or 89 per cent of that money going to Canberra Data Centres.
A number of agencies have signed significant, ten-year agreements through the panel:
- The Department of Finance and Deregulation signed an agreement worth over $46 million with Canberra Data Centres in 2011 on behalf of a consortium of smaller agencies;
- Finance also signed a second consortium lease on behalf of agencies with TransACT for $9.7 million;
- The Department of Human Services struck a $224 million deal with Canberra Data Centres in 2011;
- The Bureau of Meteorology signed a $22 million lease with Metronode in 2012;
- The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission also signed a deal with Canberra Data Centres worth almost $4 million in March 2013.
ASIC previously stored data throughout three centres in Martin Place and Ultimo. They also utilised the data facilities within the Reserve Bank of Australia. This new lease will see them vacate the three data centres, opting for a single facility.
The consolidation into a single facility is exactly what the panel had in mind when they implemented the policy back in 2011. It is estimated that this data centre consolidation will save $1 billion in government spending.
ASIC’s move to one centralised centre will assist with the added demand for data storage after they announced in December last year a hosted market surveillance system from software vendor First Derivatives. The project received $43.7 million in the Federal Budget and was seeking to increase data mining and analysis capabilities in order to identify suspicious trading.
In February, Global Switch announced a new $300 million centre in Sydney’s East. It is yet to be seen whether or not any Government agencies will store their data within the facility.
In 2011, Finance had only entered into two Consortium Arrangement Agreements (CAAs) with Canberra Data Centres and TransACT Capital Communications. That agreement has since been extended to seventeen suppliers including Global Switch.
That is set to be revised once again, however, with AGIMO announcing that they intend to begin a refresh of the Data Centre Facilities Panel in the latter part of the year. According to Mundi Thomlinson, “Australian Government’s use of virtualisation technology is decreasing the footprint required to deliver the same ICT outcomes… floor space requirements are dropping; agencies don’t need as many servers as they used to because the density is increasing”.
To allow agencies more flexibility to cope with new technologies and opportunities, it is expected that the refresh will involve a reduction on current minimum requirements of a 10-year lease and 500 square metres or 500 kilowatts of storage space. New vendors will be able to apply for a position on the panel while existing vendors will automatically retain their position.
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