NSW, Vic move on datacentres

The NSW Government yesterday went to market with its plan to move its dozens of datacentres from over 30 agencies into two new efficient facilities by 2011, while Victoria said it would soon release a tender for whole-of-government needs.

update The NSW Government yesterday went to market with its plan to move its dozens of datacentres owned by over 30 agencies into just two new efficient facilities by 2011, while Victoria said it would soon release a tender for whole-of-government needs.

(CERN Datacentre, CERN, Geneva image by Cory Doctorow, CC2.0)

The NSW Government yesterday put out an expression of interest (EOI) to gauge industry capability to provide datacentres to cater for, initially, 3MW of NSW government ICT load.

The drive to consolidate datacentres came in response to a 2008 review of 55 datacentre installations across 32 NSW government agencies, according to the EOI document. The government has 130 datacentres over all. The review found that agency datacentre demand was significantly higher than levels of installed datacentre infrastructure. In particular, the Department of Health and Education had "pressing needs" for more datacentre capacity. The review also found that the government would be using 5.8MW of power on datacentres by 2012.

The hope was that the two new, consolidated and more efficient facilities could reduce the cost of datacentre operation, as well as going green and improving reliability, security and capacity.

"Like all sectors of the economy, the NSW Government has a growing demand for data storage and computing capacity, and we want to ensure that we are using this as effectively and efficiently as possible," NSW Commerce Minister Jodi McKay said today in a statement, adding that consolidating the datacentres would support up to 500 jobs.

NSW Health and the Department of Education would be the anchor tenants for the new facilities, according to the EOI document, while 30 other NSW government agencies which had more than 50 metres squared of datacentre space or over $1 million worth of ICT equipment in their datacentres would be moved over when they needed to expand significantly or move locations.

The government hadn't set the location of the datacentres, but suggested regions of low electricity cost and temperatures such as the Hunter Valley, Illawarra, Goulbourn/ACT border and Bathurst/Orange/Blue Mountains.

NSW's government was open to sharing its datacentre with non-government organisations depending on how it changed the value for money it received.

The government has engaged a bevy of advisors to help it with its strategy. PricewaterhouseCoopers will help in a financial capacity, Commtech Asia as technical advisers, Gilbert and Tobin on the legal side, WalterTurnbull on probity and EMF Griffiths/CS Technology on sustainability.

An industry briefing is being held on 4 November. A shortlist of respondents to the EOI will be created in the first quarter of next year. That shortlist will then be issued the request for tender. The project was scheduled for start sometime in 2010, to be completed and operational by 2011.

Victoria gave advance tender notice today for a tender it intended to release on 18 November for whole-of-government datacentre facilities. The briefing for this tender is on 18 November.

The Federal and Queensland Government have also been carrying out datacentre consolidation. At an event last Friday, Finance Minister Lindsey said the Federal Government's strategy was on a "slow burn" to do something about the 45 datacentres outside of Defence which the government operated. The number was "too many", in his opinion.

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