Oxfam Australia to dump two data centres

The not-for-profit plans to move all of its data into a hybrid cloud by 2017

Oxfam Australia has started decommissioning one data centre and is set to move information from its remaining facility into a hybrid cloud over the next four years.

Speaking to Computerworld Australia, Oxfam Australia technical infrastructure manager, Grant Holton-Picard, said that its two data centres had hardware, software and services implemented in 2008 which were approaching end of lease this year.

“We did some cost estimates and one of the expected outcomes would be that there was a cost savings over the next four years for that [data centre] environment,” he said.

Thomas Duryea Consulting was awarded 70 per cent of the work for the IT infrastructure overhaul. Two other partners, which could not be named, will complete the remaining 30 per cent.

The consulting firm has supplied the head office data centre in Carlton, Melbourne with new EMC VNX5300 storage infrastructure while IBM servers were replaced with Cisco unified computing servers.

A second data centre will be decommissioned and public facing servers migrated to the cloud.

“We weren’t ready to retire both data centres but we didn’t want to do a like-for-like refresh,” Holton-Picard said. “We want to stop owning our own infrastructure and move applications to a cloud hosting arrangement over the next four years.”

As part of the transition to a hybrid cloud, Thomas Duryea will replace Oxfam’s on-site tape library with its back-up as a service offering.

“This gives us four years to get familiar with that type of offering and start implementing the support services that need to be in place to give people the proper user experience that they need.”

He added that it was moving its public facing servers to Amazon Web Services and on-premise disaster recovery (DR) to Thomas Duryea using its DR as-a-service offering.

According to Holton-Picard, DR has been a real “pain point” for the not-for-profit sector.

“It’s been expensive, complex and we haven’t been in a position to adequately test any of our DR procedures because we didn’t have the internal skills,” he said.

The consulting firm has provided managed services to Oxfam Australia for the past four years.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU, or take part in the Computerworld conversation on LinkedIn: Computerworld Australia

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