Parliamentary Services on server consolidation drive

Virtualising 150 servers by January 2011

The Department of Parliamentary Services (DPS) plans to consolidate its physical servers from 300 to 150 by 2011.

According to government documents, the department has already begun to virtualise existing services but still expects to add a further 100 physical servers in the next 12 months.

In July 2010, DPS announced a panel for the selection of servers as part of an ongoing server consolidation project. The department will ultimately transition to a shared services model providing server virtualisation and storage area network arrays.

“There has been an average increase of 10 per cent in the number of new servers added each year,” the documents read. “Following this trend, it is expected that DPS will have at least 500 servers in the next five years.”

The servers are mainly Intel-based HP ProLiant and Dell PowerEdge. Operating systems include a mixture of Microsoft Windows 2000, 2003 and 2008 with a small number of Sun Solaris systems.

The DPS is also upgrading its network to a data centre switching and network core. The new core will replace two Cisco 6509 ethernet switches and form the heart of the new computing environment.

The parliamentary computing network consists of a local area network (LAN) implemented across Parliament House connected to an extended parliamentary network comprising senators’ and members’ electorate offices.

The DPS is seeking to procure a zero interruption data centre switching infrastructure.

“This new core will form the foundation of the next generation of high-speed data centre communications consolidating local area network and the storage area network,” the documents read.

“DPS intends that the new structure will be a smaller version of the data centre switch and will support virtual networking.”

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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