The NSW Government is calling upon cloud suppliers to register their interest in supplying as-a-service products to the State’s agencies from within two purpose built data centres due to be completed by Metronode later in 2013.
This year, the Government hopes to have established a Government Private Marketplace covering infrastructure-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service and software-as-a-service offerings that have been created within the facilities.
In the first instance, interested suppliers will need to sign up online for membership of the NSW ICT Services Scheme to qualify for inclusion in the Marketplace. Then they will have to lodge an indicative day one commitment, including the data centre capacity they would like to have available to them measured in kilowatts or rack space.
Registrations can be lodged by email on or before 15 April 2013.
This process will possibly result in an ‘app store’ style database of approved applications and infrastructure services that can be purchased by agencies via an online portal upon a per-user or per unit basis.
It also constitutes a noteworthy step towards the Government’s longer-term goal of setting up a trusted Government private cloud by the middle of this year, and having agency environment’s migrated to it by the end of 2015, according to its ICT Strategy.
“It is envisaged that a significant part of ‘the trusted Government private cloud’ will be delivered from the Metronode data centres and the published ‘invitation to respond’ facilitates engagement with suppliers of these types of services,” explained a spokesperson for the NSW Department of Finance and Services.
The kinds of products and services that agencies might look to source from the marketplace is likely to be informed by a series of five parallel cloud pilots currently underway within a variety of NSW Government organisations, covering desktop-as-a-service, email-as-a-service and infrastructure-as-a-service implementation projects.
The NSW Government will also use the pilots as a basis from which to formulate its upcoming whole-of-government cloud policy.
NSW’s cloud marketplace experiment is sure attract the attention of the Government’s interstate peers who are also grappling with the conundrum of making cost-effective cloud alternatives available to agencies in a secure manner.
By inviting suppliers to host the services in either one of the two data centres being built by Metronode specifically for the NSW Governments use, the State no-doubt hopes to sidestep security concerns around handing sensitive data over to a private sector operator not beholden to the same rigid information laws as the public sector.
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