Reserve Bank of Australia gets 'data bunker' project underway

This data bunker is part of its ongoing efforts to improve the resilience of the payment system, the Reserve Bank said.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has gone to market for help with standing up a "data bunker", which it said forms part of its ongoing efforts to improve the resilience of the country's payment system.

"As part of its role as Australia's central bank, the Reserve Bank of Australia operates infrastructure critical to the Nation's payment systems which requires the provision of 'continuously available' and 'highly available' externally facing technology services," it wrote in a request for tender (RFT).

According to the RBA, in order to enhance the resiliency of its key business technology services in the event of data loss or corruption, it believes the establishment of a data bunker to sequester certain data will effectively keep the lights on.

"Recent events have highlighted the risk of prolonged outages through: Extended loss of utilities or other essential services to the primary data store; data not being accessible due to corruption of the primary data store; or denial of service or other similar nefarious actions," it said.

The successful vendor, as the systems integrator, will be charged with planning and designing the bunker; building and implementing it, along with supporting components; and running the bunker, including developing operational procedures, policies, and tools for the first year of its operation.

The RBA envisages the data bunker would house standby online replicas and offline backups of data for a selected set of designated Reserve Bank services. It said the bunker must be physically and logically segregated from other data in the Reserve Bank environment and housed within a suitably secure facility for Protected level information.

The data for which copies would be maintained in the data bunker is housed on "a combination of Oracle databases and SQL databases", the RFT details. It also says both databases provide synchronised copies of the data at each of the Reserve Bank's Martin Place and BRS data centres.

According to the RFT, it is expected that the data bunker would be implemented by locating Reserve Bank owned equipment that host Oracle databases in a suitably located "co-lo" data centre sourced from the DTA Data Centre Panel and provisioning SQL databases within a secure public cloud.

"While the Reserve Bank has existing public cloud tenancies, it does not have an established Secure Public Cloud that is suitable for the purposes of the data bunker and appropriately integrated into the enterprise," it wrote.

"These services are to be developed in a way that they can be utilised for broader adoption of the cloud services by the Reserve Bank, including transactional processing."

The RBA has commenced the development of the data bunker and is targeting to have it operational by February 2021. 

The tender closes on 16 July 2020.

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