Tasmania seeks IaaS providers

The Tasmanian government has put out a tender to find companies to assist with its Infrastructure as a Service plans.
Written by Michael Lee, Contributor

The Tasmanian government is looking for companies that can help it tap into Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

The government, via its IT management division TMD, has issued a tender in which it hopes to appoint one or two suppliers to provide hosted server and storage facilities and related higher layer managed services. It is expecting to form a panel of two providers by March 2013.

The timing of the tender comes as TMD goes through its own transformation process, aimed at focusing more on whole-of-Government services. As such, the tenderers will also need to assist in this transition.

"Some agency specific systems, which TMD currently provide, will need to be migrated to other arrangements, and it is anticipated that a number of these services could be supported by the successful tenderer(s)."

TMD's recent surveys indicate that the Tasmanian government holds over 600 physical servers, over 2500 virtual servers, and greater than 1.9 petabytes of storage.

"Agencies have indicated that roughly 400 servers, and associated storage, would be candidates for moving to an IaaS service in the next 2 years. It is expected that this requirement would ramp up over time as hardware (some of which has only just been renewed) reaches the end of its lifecycle, and as the whole of government strategy in this area is developed."

On the server front, TMD is looking for support for Windows Server and Linux environments in the first two years of use, but in the longer term, it has said that Solaris support could be required.

"It is anticipated that the majority of Solaris based systems would be migrated at the platform or application level, rather than as infrastructure only."

TMD has not laid down specific requirements for storage, leaving this open for tenderers to compete on, but has stated that it expects it to be available in a range of tiers to suit various applications.

It does expect both server and storage to be made available on virtualised infrastructure, but is open to other suggestions from tenderers, and hasn't ruled out the possibility of needing dedicated infrastructure for certain circumstances.

How successful tenderers will deliver the managed services on this infrastructure has also been loosely defined. Tenderers have the option of providing these services via broad packages and guaranteed with standard service-specific service level agreements, or on a case-by-case basis.

"The most appropriate approach will be dependent on the particular service being offered; for example, it makes sense to package up a standard back-up service or a commodity application, but application management for agency specific systems would be better negotiated on a case by-case-basis."

Such services could include managed operating systems, database management, and platform/application management.

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