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Government goes to market to meet immediate data centre requirements

by Staff Writers •
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Last Thursday, AGIMO issued an expression of interest (EOI) for a whole of government “panel for the provision of immediate and interim data centre facilities”. So what does this new panel mean for agencies and vendors?

In his report to Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner last year, Sir Peter Gershon issued a blunt warning, that a whole of government data centre strategy was urgently needed. Otherwise, he warned, 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. An AGIMO led working group was created with twelve key agencies. This group has since consulted widely with industry, and is now considering the outcomes of more than fifty industry submissions. A long term strategy is expected to be tabled by the end of September, to address data centre requirements over the next 10 to 15 years.

However data centre capacity is already running critically short for a number of agencies. There is sufficient private sector capacity available in the marketplace, but agencies currently have no method of purchasing the additional short term capacity.

The current EOI is aimed at addressing these most pressing needs. It will provide “a limited supply of facilities and services to maintain the ongoing continuity of services during the development of the whole-of-government data centre strategy”. It calls for a panel of suppliers to provide 1,000 – 2,000 square metres of purpose-build data centre space in the ACT, and a similar amount outside the ACT.

According to Simon Wise from CS Technology, the data centre market is highly volatile with available space quickly snapped up. He welcomed the government’s EOI noting the Government was more likely to get a better deal by approaching the market for a large wholesale purchase, even for meeting immediate needs. “If agencies approach the market individually, they are competing with each other for small uncoordinated parcels of data centre space”.

While the current EOI will only address only a small amount of the expected requirements, it will deliver urgently needed capacity and will provide a much needed market signal that the Federal Government will continue to be a big purchaser of ICT capability.

Last Thursday, AGIMO issued an expression of interest (EOI) for a whole of government “panel for the provision of immediate and interim data centre facilities”. So what does this new panel mean for agencies and vendors?

 

In his report to Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner last year, Sir Peter Gershon issued a blunt warning, that a whole of government data centre strategy was urgently needed. Otherwise, he warned, 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. An AGIMO led working group was created with twelve key agencies. This group has since consulted widely with industry, and is now considering the outcomes of more than fifty industry submissions. A long term strategy is expected to be tabled by the end of September, to address data centre requirements over the next 10 to 15 years.

 

However data centre capacity is already running critically short for a number of agencies. There is sufficient private sector capacity available in the marketplace, but agencies currently have no method of purchasing the additional short term capacity.

 

The current EOI is aimed at addressing these most pressing needs. It will provide “a limited supply of facilities and services to maintain the ongoing continuity of services during the development of the whole-of-government data centre strategy”. It calls for a panel of suppliers to provide 1,000 – 2,000 square metres of purpose-build data centre space in the ACT, and a similar amount outside the ACT.

 

According to Simon Wise from CS Technology, the data centre market is highly volatile with available space quickly snapped up. He welcomed the government’s EOI noting the Government was more likely to get a better deal by approaching the market for a large wholesale purchase, even for meeting immediate needs. “If agencies approach the market individually, they are competing with each other for small uncoordinated parcels of data centre space”.

 

While the current EOI will only address only a small amount of the expected requirements, it will deliver urgently needed capacity and will provide a much needed market signal that the Federal Government will continue to be a big purchaser of ICT capability.

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Jurisdiction
  • Federal
Sector
  • Policy
Tags
  • AGIMO
  • EOI
  • Federal Government
  • Gershon
  • Lindsay Tanner
  • Simon Wise
  • Data Centres