Screen Australia dumps Apple for Microsoft

Government agency is sourcing new Windows information architecture to replace Apple servers, services, desktop and applications

Screen Australia is to implement a new technology architecture design for its IT infrastructure following the decision to dump its Apple environment in favour of Microsoft Windows.

The decision, made in July this year, follows the merger of Australian Film Commission, Film Australia Limited, and Film Finance Corporation into Screen Australia in mid 2008. It also comes despite the predominant platform of two of the agencies being Apple Macintosh OS X server and desktop/laptop systems.

Screen Australia has about 147 desktop/laptop systems of which 80 per cent are Apple Macintosh and 20 per cent Microsoft Windows based.

According to tender documents, Screen Australia is now in the process of sourcing a new technology architecture based around the Microsoft Windows operating system platform to be implemented across all sites.

The new architecture will provide for the progressive replacement of the Apple Macintosh environment (including servers, services, desktop and applications) and where appropriate, incorporate existing Screen Australia Microsoft Windows systems.

The design will also provide the basis for scalability and future business initiatives and directions of Screen Australia.

“The architecture should where appropriate include opportunities for virtualisation as well as the specification for building on Screen Australia’s existing VMware ESX environment,” the documents read.

The architecture is to additionally identify an appropriate Storage Area Network (SAN) solution to provide storage for Screen Australia's VM environment as well as Electronic Document Management (EDM) storage, database, file and home account storage.

“As the existing storage implemented at Screen Australia is primarily Apple Macintosh based, migration of existing data will need to be considered,” the documents read.

Design and specification of Standard Operating environments (SOEs) for servers, desktops and laptops are also required as is an appropriate backup and recovery design.

On the wider integration of the three source agencies, Screen Australia said that while it had begun integrating Finance, Human Resources, Record Keeping and Email and Calendaring systems between the agencies, a full integration of the three IT environments was held off pending the finalisation of a decision on preferred desktop and server platform for the agency going forward.

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