WA Health flags infrastructure overhaul

Data Centre renewal part of six major ICT renewal projects

Western Australia Health is to shortly go to market for the procurement of managed central computing services.

The procurement will see WA Health source primary and secondary data centres, servers, storage, appliances, firewalls, and a data network.

It will also feature a strong services component including data centre management services, disaster recovery services, project services and relocation services to help facilitate the move to the new provider.

The massive undertaking will commence in late November, with the primary data centre slated to be fully operational at the end of April 2011, while the second data centre will be up and running by early June 2011.

The primary data centre will be located in WA, offer Tier 3 certification and will have a minimum capacity of 125 square metres. The contract for the new data centres will be for a period of up to eight years.

WA Health’s existing data centres are located in the Perth metropolitan area. The primary centre hosts Health’s business critical production applications and the secondary centre is the disaster recovery site.

The management contract for the primary data centre is due to expire on 30 April 2011, while the secondary centre is due to expire on 7 June 2011.

In addition, data centre renewal is part of a wider Infrastructure project and is part of six major IT initiatives underway at WA Health aimed at ensuring ICT can support the future health needs of the state.

The other five projects fall under the categories of Portal and Interoperability Environment, Existing Information Systems Stabilisation and Transition Management, New Core Systems (including an electronic health record), New Facilities, and Medical Technology.

According to WA Health documents, while ICT is critical both to the current delivery of patient care and to the reform of the WA Health system, some of the agency’s technical infrastructure is in need of significant renewal.

“A number of the core information systems are running on operating systems and hardware, sufficiently aged to be out of vendor support, including significant mission critical applications…” the documents read.

“Key information systems are near the end of their useful support life both because of vendor issues and their ICT technical environment, data centre and server hardware in some key areas is dated, [and] there is no unified desktop environment and some desktop software and PC equipment is old and past vendor support. Data and Voice Networks need upgrading – to a higher grade of reliability, scalability and resilience.”

WA Health comprises 11 public hospitals in metropolitan Perth, community health services, country health services, a pathology service, a dental service, the Drug and Alcohol Office and support services such as Health Corporate Network, Health Information Network and various other policy and statutory responsibilities.

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