CSIRO has put out feelers for infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offerings after saying that this year would be one for trying cloud computing in experimental set-ups.
The CSIRO has gone to tender for a sole provider for desktops and laptops, as well as a panel or sole provider for the provision of servers. Both contracts would be two-year arrangements with the option of having two additional one-year terms.
CSIRO said that tenderers responding to the server component can also provide IaaS options for the organisation that "complement or enhance server product lines".
CSIRO was interested in long-term IaaS hosting — placing services into the cloud — and short-term hosting for development, testing and training environments, as well as disaster recovery IaaS to replicate data off-premise.
The move comes after CSIRO Information Sciences group executive, Dr Alex Zelinsky, told the Australian in February that the agency would be testing different cloud technologies this year, including NASA's Nebula open-source cloud computing project, which allows researchers to make use of the computing resources NASA isn't exploiting.
"We've got 6500 people and we can't afford for every scientist to have their own supercomputer ... even though some of them would love to have their own," Zelinsky told the publication.
CSIRO and NICTA are already making use of Microsoft cloud facilities after the software giant offered 4 million hours worth of free access to its Azure platform over three years.
The Australian Government Information Management Office has also this year released a cloud directions strategy for government agencies, providing a guideline for how agencies should engage with the technology.