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​Reserve Bank of Australia looks to upgrade servers amid 'obsolescence' review

Australia's central bank is conducting a review of its 'server computing solutions', seeking more physical kit in an attempt to avoid technology obsolescence.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is conducting a review of the server computing solutions it currently has in place, hoping to determine whether its physical kit will still serve relevance over the next decade.

The review forms part of the RBA's Technology Strategy 2017-22, and is expected to focus specifically on if its server computing solutions, which are largely supported and operated internally within the bank's datacentres, can meet "ongoing needs" and avoid technology obsolescence.

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The central bank has identified four primary forms of server computing that it said will be required to meet the various needs of the business over the 10-year period: Stand-alone servers, converged servers, hyperconverged infrastructure, and cloud.

Currently, the RBA relies mostly on converged servers, with VMware the current internal standard used to provide the platform for the majority of its computing and server needs.

As part of its review, the RBA has turned to market, publishing an expression of interest (EOI) for the "provision of server computing solutions".

The RBA is seeking Intel-based server compute solutions, including stand-alone rack-mounted servers, converged modular and scalable chassis-based or rack-mounted servers, and a scalable hyperconverged infrastructure solution including compute and networking.

The EOI also details a requirement for a set of layered management tools covering all of the server compute solutions that includes an ability to perform manual and automated updates in a "non-impacting to operations manner".

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The to-be-supplied kit must also integrate with its VMware converged infrastructure.

Facing the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics in August, RBA Governor Philip Lowe had revealed that the bank is expecting to reduce its staffing numbers.

Lowe discussed the findings of an independent review he commissioned back in February 2017, which suggested some areas for the bank to focus on was the development of a shared, internal services centre to drive continuous improvement within the bank, and the further evolution of its approach to IT as some of the RBA's major IT-related projects come to an end.

"As these projects wind down, we're looking to make sure that the size and structure of our IT function remains appropriate, and more broadly as some of these projects finish later this year, the bank's overall staff numbers will decline," Lowe said at the time.

"These projects are in the banking and payments areas, and they've been undertaken in a national interest."

The RBA sent Australia's New Payments Platform live earlier this year.

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