Tassie housing system stands test of time

Housing Tasmania (HT) has put the support work for its eleven-year-old property management system on the market, saying the technology itself is good for a few more years yet.HT sits within the state's Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS), helping meet the housing needs of Tasmanians on low incomes or with special needs.

Housing Tasmania (HT) has put the support work for its eleven-year-old property management system on the market, saying the technology itself is good for a few more years yet.

HT sits within the state's Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS), helping meet the housing needs of Tasmanians on low incomes or with special needs.

The group's Tasmanian Housing Information System (THIS) is based on UK-based Sherwood Computing Services's THRESHOLD system and was built back in 1995. The system is HT's primary tool for managing rental properties throughout Tasmania.

Local software specialist ProLogic currently supports the application, with several dedicated staff working alongside HT's own IT team. But HT has now put that support work on the market.

"It's going pretty well, it's a good solid system compared to some," HT's system coordinator Michael Wilson told ZDNet Australia via telephone this morning.

"It needs some work doing to it, but it's pretty solid. We're always looking at a system replacement and things like that, but that probably won't happen for the next four to five years."

Wilson manages HT's Housing Information Systems Unit, which carries out general systems administration, help desk services and so on. The group is distinct from DHHS's own IT department.

Getting down to details

According to tender documents, THIS uses an Ingres database and runs on two Sun Microsystems SunFire V240 boxes (one for production, one for development) with dual UltraSparc3i processors, 4Gb of RAM and four gigabit network adapters each.

Two Sun StorEdge 3000 Disc Cabinets hold a total of 1600Gb of storage, with each of the servers having an addition 145Mb (the development box actually has more).

HT is using Sun's latest Solaris 10 operating system, with Ingres 2.6. A network link is provided by Telstra.

The THIS system also interacts with a number of external parties, such as Australia Post, Centrelink, the state government portal Service Tasmania and others.

Users access THIS via terminal sessions through NetTerm software loaded on their desktop PCs.