City of Sydney relocates datacentres to prepare for cloud

Having held its infrastructure on a mix of its own premises and collocation datacentres, the City of Sydney is seeking out a new home for its data as it prepares to move towards an infrastructure-as-a-service model.
Written by Michael Lee, Contributor

The City of Sydney is seeking out a new datacentre provider for two facilities as it seeks to move towards a complete infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) model.

The council currently has two datacentre facilities, one of which is run on its own property, while the other is collocated with another provider. In an invitation to tender, the council stated that the new facilities must be up to Tier-3 standard, including having N+1 redundancy for power, cooling, security, and data links.

The council requires both datacentres to be located in separate areas in the greater Sydney region, and provide its approved staff with unescorted access at any hour of any day.

In terms of its hardware requirements, the tender documents state a need of about 64 megawatt hours per month (MWh/mo) for each datacentre, with the ability to scale up in the future. Its existing primary datacentre power consumption matches this figure; however, the secondary datacentre currently only consumes 12MWh/mo.

Across the two existing datacentres, the successful tenderer will need to move several pieces of equipment, including firewalls, core switches, tape backup systems, and HP blade servers. A total of 339 servers are in use, mainly running Windows Server 2003 and 2008, which in turn support 291 virtual servers.

Data is currently replicated between the primary and secondary datacentres, and, after the move, the council will require a minimum 2 gigabits per second (Gbps) link between the two sites.

It also requires a 2Gbps-minimum link between the primary datacentre and Town Hall House, as well as a 1Gbps-minimum link between the secondary centre and another council premises. These links will be used as part of the council's own network, and must be sufficiently fast enough to ensure that any latency does not contribute to data access delays.

Tenderers are not required to submit a proposal for how they would provide an IaaS model. However, the tender documents do invite such proposals with the understanding that tenderers and the council would agree on services as it progressively moves more to the infrastructure model.

The successful tenderer is expected to be informed by the end of March, with the contract to commence two weeks after execution. Migrating from its existing facilities to the new one is expected to take four weeks. The contract is for five years, with two options for one-year extensions at the council's discretion.

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