CSIRO on the hunt for datacentre partner

The research body is seeking a datacentre partner to host its enterprise IT equipment and services, and support its high performance computing clusters.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

CSIRO Pearcey high-performance cluster

Image: CSIRO

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has published a request for tender (RFT), seeking floor space at a fully managed datacentre to support the research agency's IT equipment.

The space, required in either New South Wales or the Australian Capital Territory, will need to provide managed infrastructure services, including security, power, cooling, environmental protection, and monitoring.

The floor space will support CSIRO-owned enterprise IT equipment and services, which includes corporate applications, CSIRO's large-scale scientific computing clusters, and research data storage, the tender documents explained.

In the RFT, CSIRO said it requires the space to provide geographic diversity with existing datacentres located in Victoria, which supports the CSIRO Business Continuity Strategy failover architecture. However, the Commonwealth entity is bound by the Australian Government Cloud Computing Policy and said it will be examining the options for purchase of enterprise services from cloud offerings in the future.

As CSIRO also performs work in the research data space with partner organisations such as NCI, Pawsey, NeCTAR, ANDS, and RDS, the datacentre space will need to be able to handle the work that spans across Australia, with the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre based in Western Australia.

The CSIRO expects the successful vendor to also provide the agency with hosting services for its current and future IT infrastructure.

In addition, the RFT asks for "opportunities" for client benefit, such as IT staging space, storage areas for tools and equipment, potential for temporary office space, conference or meeting rooms, and hot desk arrangements, as well as other amenities that would benefit client productivity.

CSIRO Information Management and Technology requires a total of 66 racks, of which 16 racks are to be high-power density with the remaining 50 low/medium power density.

The CSIRO has asked the facility demonstrate how it would assist clients to accommodate any potential future service offerings such as Open19, a non-for-profit backed by the likes of LinkedIn and HPE aimed at supporting datacentre designs that are open, economical, and customisable.

The contract up for grabs is for three years with two three-year extension options for a total possible contract term of nine years. The CSIRO said it requires the ability to expand or reduce its datacentre footprint within each three-year review period.

The CSIRO hopes to commence the contract on January 1, 2018 and anticipates the commencement of services throughout the month.

Last week, the CSIRO announced it had awarded a AU$14 million contract to Dimension Data Australia for the provision of network unified communications, IT security, and datacentre equipment.

The contract is dated October 10, 2016 and will run through to June 9, 2018.

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