Welfare agency Centrelink has revealed it is moving to simplify its mid-range server fleet, cutting down on costs in the process.
The project -- dubbed Refresh 5.9 -- is "a significant new initiative aimed at introducing new mid-range server platforms that are standardised and more manageable, with reduced costs in terms of resource utilisation and operational support," Centrelink said in tender documents released last week.
Centrelink has a large fleet of mid-range servers, running Solaris, Linux and Windows operating systems.
Like other local organisations such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the University of Western Sydney and the federal Department of Veterans' Affairs, virtualisation technology will be key to Centrelink's server consolidation plan.
Virtualisation allows servers to run more than one operating system simultaneously, while maintaining the security and performance of each. The technology is allowing some companies to take advantage of unused processing power in their datacentres.
"In order for Centrelink to transform its computing platforms to better meet future demands, the introduction and use of key enabling technologies in the form of server virtualisation is required," the tender documents said.
One of Centrelink's goals is to consolidate its applications onto fewer servers. It will also, for example, use virtualisation to separate mutually incompatible applications, and take a more automatic approach to deploying and managing its operating system environments.
Centrelink has settled on the use of VMWare's popular virtualisation software for its servers running on x86 hardware. It will soon purchase multiple licences of the vendor's VirtualCentre solution, as well as other products from the EMC subsidiary.
Centrelink's technology operations are headed up by chief information officer John Wadeson.