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Contract to alleviate Centrelink data centre capacity

by Staff Writers •
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One of the agencies known to be running critically short of data centre capacity has awarded a significant new contract.

Centrelink has awarded a contract to Canberra Data Centres (CDC) for the lease of its Hume site. The two year contract (commencing 1 September) is valued at $4,880,000.

In late May, AGIMO issued an expression of interest (EOI) for a whole-of-government “panel for the provision of immediate and interim data centre facilities”.  However, Centrelink could not wait for the whole-of-government consolidation strategy that followed the Gershon Review.

Sir Peter Gershon issued a blunt warning that a whole-of-government data centre strategy was urgently needed.  Otherwise, he predicted, the Government risked spending an extra $1 billion over the next 15 years in ad hoc investments.

Following Cabinet acceptance of Gershon’s recommendations, AGIMO was charged with developing a whole-of-government strategy, and an AGIMO led working group was created with twelve key agencies. Having consulted widely with industry, this group is expected next month to release a long term strategy to address data centre requirements over the next 10 to 15 years.

Following a series of data centre power problems that impacted Centrelink services, a June 2009 Audit Report highlighted the need for Centrelink to relocate its current data centres “in the very near future”.

There is no floor space available for future expansion and relocation of the Tuggeranong data centre is considered urgent, with capacity expected to be reached in June 2009.”

One of the issues canvassed in the Gershon Review and in the Audit Report, was Centrelink’s exposure (along with a number of other Federal agencies) to risks associated with reliance on a single power grid.  With an onsite generator farm, CDC’s Hume facility is independent from the power grid.  According to the company’s website, CDC’s site “can run indefinitely in island mode, independent from mains power supply from the single power grid in the ACT.”

NSW Government is also implementing a strategy to meet its urgent data centre requirements.  NSW Department of Commerce is expected to issue an EOI within the next few months for provision of at least two new data centres, initially to accommodate Health and Education as anchor tenants.  Click here to view previous articles on NSW data centres.

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