Centrelink to establish x86 server panel

Upgrading servers to aid virtualisation program

Statutory agency Centrelink will shortly appoint a panel of service providers to manage its x86 server environment as part of a two year server consolidation and virtualisation program.

The x86 panel will maintain the agency's server-related hardware, software, support and associated services. It will also look after servers at Centrelink’s data centres and its Australia-wide network, including remote locations.

Successful panel appointees will have to supply a server management capability, with a single point of control, which will enable Centrelink to remotely and centrally configure and manage its fleet of x86 servers.

Centrelink currently uses x86 architecture servers across both its distributed network and data centre environments. Its existing environment consists of HP BL685G6 Blade servers hosted on VMware’s vSphere with a maximum of eight blades per cluster.

Centrelink's server operating system includes Windows 2003 server, and Windows 2008 R2 server. These operating systems are offered in both virtual machine and bare metal configurations.

According to Centrelink documents, the agency's nationally distributed network contains 500 hosts, while data centre environments contain approximately 220 hosts. Ninety one of these hosts support Centrelink's centralised virtual infrastructure.

In October, the agency announced an enterprise storage panel ahead of the end of its current enterprise storage arrangements in June 2011.

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