Telstra looks to farms to cut server numbers

Telstra has embarked on a project to cut the number of servers in its internal IT environment by up to two thirds through the creation of server farms in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

The farms will replace an environment in which around 2500 Novell NetWare servers and 500 NT servers are dis-tributed across Telstra's 800 sites.

By rationalising and consolidating those servers into the farms, "We are hoping to cut the number of servers [we have] by two thirds", a Telstra source said.

Scheduled for completion by the end of this year, the five server farms will reduce the cost and complexity of maintenance and backup, consolidate data and lead to better data security, the source said.

Although Telstra is increasing the number of its NT Servers, heterogeneous servers including Novell, Unix and NT Servers will be housed in the farms hosting a variety of internal applications including Microsoft Exchange, video services and user and group data.

The first step of the server farms project is a multimillion dollar upgrade of Telstra's internal network -- known as the corporate data network (CDN).

Until now a mix of IPX (NetWare's native LANs communications protocol) and IP, the CDN is currently being upgraded to high-speed IP only, and will be renamed the enterprise data network (EDN).

At the back end of the farms the carrier plans to implement storage area networks (SANs), and is in the process of assessing SAN offerings from a number of vendors.

Meanwhile, Telstra is continuing with the rollout of Windows NT 4.0 across its 45,000 corporate PCs nationally, which is scheduled for completion early next year.

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