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NSW ServiceFirst considers storage-as-a-service

by Pallavi Singhal •
Free resource

NSW Government shared services provider ServiceFirst is considering infrastructure-as-as-service options in addition to its trials for desktop- and messaging-as-a-service, in line with the NSW Government’s stated aim of moving away from the asset ownership model.

ServiceFirst has issued a Request for Quotation (RFQ) for cloud storage services to transition new and existing workloads off ServiceFirst platforms.

ServiceFirst currently owns and manages its storage assets and switch infrastructure, which includes:

  • Hewlett Packard XP 24000;
  • Netapp FAS6240; and
  • Hitachi HUS 150 storage platforms.

These are hosted in ServiceFirst’s Global Switch data centre in Ultimo and the NSW Government’s newly opened data centre (Metronode facility) in Unanderra.

The agency uses a Commvault Simpana v10 backup platform, according to RFQ documents.

ServiceFirst provides back office shared services, including human resource and financial services, to around 40 NSW Government client agencies.

It has become a leading adopter of cloud solutions, and launched a number of cloud trials in 2013. It announced proof of concept trials for desktop-as-a-service (with Hewlett Packard) and messaging-as-a-service (with Unisys and Fronde) in July.

The requested services align with the aim of “moving to a service orientation” and shifting “the focus of ICT [away] from asset ownership and operation” included in the NSW Government ICT Strategy 2012.

“The NSW Government has identified cloud based ICT services as an opportunity to achieve better value ICT investment and improve the scalability and reliability of ICT services,” the ICT Strategy Implementation Update 2013-14 reiterates.

“Cloud services will become one of the key ICT delivery models to be evaluated when agencies are undertaking ICT procurements.”

The NSW Government also released a Cloud Services Policy and Guidelines in September 2013, which formally requires all agencies to consider cloud options when procuring services.

Services requested under ServiceFirst’s RFQ include the “high priority” categories of:

  • Storage as a service in the form of logical unit numbers (LUNs) “presented to hosts located in ServiceFirst data centres”; and
  • Storage as a service provided as Common Internet File System (CIFS) or Network File System (NFS) shares “presented to the ServiceFirst data centre network with integration to the ServiceFirst Active Directory”.

Additional optional service categories include:

  • “Snapshot capability and inter-site storage replication” for LUNs relating to systems stored across ServiceFirst’s two data centres; and
  • Switching services and cloud backup for ServiceFirst hosts and the storage as a service infrastructure.

Respondents are expected to provide a “consumption-based pricing model” for each of the service categories, as well as one-off transition in and transition out charges.

Submissions for the RFQ close on 15 January 2014. ServiceFirst will review responses and offer feedback by the end of January 2014.

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For more information, please contact the Editor (02) 9955 9896.

  • NSW
  • IT Services
  • Finance & Services
  • Fronde
  • global switch
  • Hewlett Packard
  • Hitachi
  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service
  • metronode
  • NetApp
  • NSW Cloud Services Policy and Guidelines
  • NSW ICT Strategy 2012
  • NSW ServiceFirst
  • Unisys