NSW Finance and Services Minister Greg Pearce today presided over the signing of a $182 million, ten year data centre lease with Metronode following a tender process that has taken more than two years to reach this point.
“It is important to get to the stage where we are able to sign this data centre contract. We did go through some wobbles as we went along,” Pearce acknowledged prior to the official signing at the Department of Finance and Services (DFS) this morning.
The contract value covers data centre services, security, inter-site network, on-site cabling, services desk, rack and power provisioning services for lifetime of the lease.
Pedro Harris, General Manager of Corporate Information and Systems at DFS said that the Government anticipated the data centre reform program to produce savings of $230 million over its first ten years, and $300 million over 15 years, through the consolidation of agency data centre needs into two facilities to be built by Metronode over the next twelve months.
“Benefits will accrue from aggregating demand. Benefits will also accrue from using less electricity and the application of a consistent price when it comes to electricity through a government wholesale price,” said Harris, a former Chief Information Officer at the Land and Property Management Authority.
Anchor tenants NSW Health and the Department of Education and Communities (DEC) are currently in the process of planning their migration to the new facilities. NSW Corrective Services is also scheduled to move in as soon as doors open in 12 months time.
Other agencies will be expected to put together detailed plans outlining their strategy to transition to the new facilities over the next several months.
“Come September we’ll have a better line of sight as to how as a sector we’re going to coordinate those plans. We will certainly be looking at achieving efficiencies across agencies around how they do this. We will want to drive some coordinated planning across the sector,” said Anne Skewes, Deputy Director General, Government Services at DFS.
The move by all relevant agencies into the new facilities is expected to take place over four years from the commencement of operation, with natural trigger points such as infrastructure renewals and lease expiries determining when agencies will begin their move.
Harris said that each agency will be different in terms of the amount of managed services they will require for the maintenance of their IT infrastructure, but that there is a general push towards an outsourced model.
“How each agency co-locates or moves into the data space is subject to their needs. Some agencies might require a space by themselves. Others may require managed services, storage for instance, and as per the ICT Strategic Plan our desire is to get agencies to move from owning towards starting to use a managed service.
“Obviously some will come with their whole data centre infrastructure. Others will have hybrid,” he said, adding that services associated with this management are likely to be available through a planned NSW Government IT Service Catalogue.
Metronode General Manager Malcolm Roe also hinted that he was looking to provide leases to public sector clients beyond the NSW Government.
“The Illawarra was chosen as a location that was potentially usable by Federal Government agencies as a disaster recovery, backup or primary computing facility,” he said.
“The intent is that Federal Government agencies will be able to take advantage of these facilities and Metronode is already a Greenfield panellist under the Federal whole-of-government panel arrangement.”