For years, the has relied on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to deliver all kinds of services to Australia and other parts of the world. Australian Government has planned to make ICT more effective and efficient in order to strengthen Government business.
As a result, the Australian Government has come up with a Data Centre Strategy spanning for a time period of fifteen (15) years, commencing in 2010 and due to be completed in 2025. In the long run, this strategy will be very beneficial for the Australian community. An effective and efficient strategy will ensure better service delivery at lower cost.
A Brief Overview
In order to effectively implement this strategy, the Australian Government’s data centre sites, like the Canberra data centre have been made permanent and shared. These facilities are stocked with a wide range of ICT equipment which is either currently being used, or will be used by agencies in future. The Government’s Data Centre Strategy is now applicable to all areas including, cooling, fire suppression, and even electricity. Moreover, data storage, networks and servers are also included in this strategy.
The main purpose of this strategy is to effectively use data centers and reduce around $1 billion in costs.
What is the Need of Data Centre Strategy
As mentioned earlier, Government businesses completely rely on ICT. Similarly, efficiency of ICT depends on the kind of data centre in which it is housed. The number of ICT and data holdings by Government agencies are growing rapidly. Efficient and reliable data centers are important because of the increasing demand of ICT.
In the near future, existing data centers which are being used by the Government will be unable to meet the increased demand. Therefore, most of the Government agencies have already planned to move data centers.
There is not much space left for data centres in Australia. This strategy aims to resolve this crisis, so that Government agencies don’t compete with one another. Due to their competition, prices will substantially rise. If the demand for data centre space by Government agencies is aggregated, it will help achieve better prices.
Basic Objectives of the Data Centre Strategy
As mentioned earlier, the main objective of this strategy is to save around $1 billion over a period of 10 to 15 years. However, this strategy also focuses on additional objectives, as according to Government policies and priorities. Promoting innovation and improving sustainability are two good examples.
Scope of Data Centre Strategy
Data Centre Strategy has a very broad scope. Here are some of the aspects which this strategy considers :
· Location, Construction and Lifecycle costs of data centres.
Infrastructure, Management and Operation of current and future data centres.
Everything involving contracts, leasing and managed services related to data centres.
Consolidating and Standardisation, which results in cost avoidance.
Supply and demand in data centres.
Everything related to implementation, governance, costs, risks, transition and benefits.
What is the Vision of Data Centre Strategy
The basic vision states that Government agencies’, ICT data centre facilities, and infrastructure should meet the business needs in the best possible manner, while considering energy use, cost and operations.
What is the Aim of Data Centre Strategy
This strategy has three major aims, which are as follows :
· Government agencies should adopt modern technologies to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of data centres.
Government data centres and their services should be shared in order to reduce the cost of infrastructure and other services.
Government data centres should meet the needs and requirements of Government agencies. Systems which have round-the-clock needs should be the only ones running 24/7 in high-end and expensive data centres.
What is the Basic Model of Data Centre Strategy
As per this strategy, the location of the particular data data centres will be obtained, planned and managed by the Government. A whole-of-government panel will regulate data centre facilities and their services. This panel will be set up according to the usual practices of co-ordinated procurement policy.
The whole process will be led by Finance, which will make data centre facilities and their services available. All the service providers will be a part of the panel, once they meet contractual, financial and technical conditions and oblations.
What Are The Various Cost Avoidance Measures
Various measures will be taken during the course of the strategy. Some of these measures include :
· Efforts to be more efficient while using electricity.
Minimize data centre floor space and related costs.
Efforts to be more efficient while utilizing data centre ICT assets.
Efforts to effectively match business needs with data centre ICT facilities.
Using new technologies and standardisation of ICT infrastructure architectures.
Implementation of Data Centre Strategy
The Australian Government plans to implement a three-phase process. For the first five years, the Government will aggregate data centre demand and establish a panel, which will monitor supply of data centre facilities and their services. The Government will also assist these centres to adopt new technologies and shared-resource solutions early. It will also standardize data centre operations and equipment.
The second five years will be quite different from the first. The second five years will ensure that Government agencies share technologies and solutions to reduce higher costs.
In the last five years, Government agencies will try to adopt latest opportunities to minimize costs that usually arise from transition and changes in processes, policies and technologies.
Approach Towards The Market
The first approach of the new Data Centre Strategy was released in the market by the Australian Government in the third quarter of 2010. This was done through AusTender. In the first approach, the Australian Government seeks to acquire appropriate locations for the data centre services both outside and inside the (ACT). A minimum of 500 square metres of floor space is required in this approach. The length of the lease is 10 years. There are also optional extensions for five years.
The second approach was released by the Australian Government in the fourth quarter of 2013. In this approach, the Australian Government seeks various services which can assist Government agencies to move to new data centre facilities.
The new Data Centre Strategy is believed to be revolutionary and aims to solve major financial problems of the Australian Government. It will be interesting to see if it lives up to its promises.