A year on from the introduction of a 15-year data centre strategy, James Hutchinson sits down with the First Assistant Secretary of the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO), John Sheridan, to discuss the strategy’s progress and future
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Computerworld (CW): How far has AGIMO advanced with the whole-of-government data centre strategy?
John Sheridan (JS): The strategy, of course, was launched complete, as it were. We didn’t launch a strategy in progress; what we launched was a strategy which contained in it a range of approaches and there are a range of activities that flow from the strategy.
There are five activities we’re running at the moment. The tender for data centre facilities is in place now and people can use the panel right away. Then there are the facilities tenders for what we call the fit-out category; for essentially people who have buildings that can be used as data centres and need to fit them out.
Obviously, there’s a slightly longer time frame for that. Then there are greenfield facilities, which are essentially people proposing to build a data centre in a particular place and again the time frames are a bit longer for those things. Those three are progressing very well; we’re getting very close to announcing where we are with those so I’ve been very pleased with how they’ve come along. The next tender is migration services — the use of vendors to move people between data centres when they need to do that. I think there are about eight services that fall under migration — things such as procurement, program management, commissioning, decommissioning, those sorts of things. We’ll be in negotiation with preferred vendors soon.
The next one is data centre-as-a-service and we’ve had that discussion paper out on the Web since late February. We’re getting some comments back on that and some people voting on the arrangements that are there.
We’ve had a couple of contacts from industry players who’ve told us they are definitely going to send us something or provide more comments. Then we’ve got a couple more activities down the track as we look at examining whether or not we should build a whole-of-government data centre and also starting to take into account the Cloud arrangements and what we should do about that.
We’ve had a very full 12 months or so progressing these things. At the same time the interim panel for data centres has been working well and agencies have been making good use of that, so we’re actually quite pleased with the progress here.