[LINK] Australian Government Data Centre as a Service

Tom Worthington tom.worthington at tomw.net.au
Wed Mar 2 09:11:15 AEDT 2011

Michael Skeggs mike at bystander.net wrote:
> On 1 March 2011 09:23, Tom Worthington <tom.worthington at tomw.net.au> wrote:
> <snip>
>> ...  The service should provide for at least two physical locations more than
>> 300 km apart, to allow for backup.
> ... speed of light becomes a factor at higher distances (from memory the maximum distance
> was 40km) ... an arbitrary distance is not suitable for all applications.  ...

The average tropical cyclone has a radius of more than 300 km. Cyclones 
are unlikely in Canberra, but there are other events which could disable 
two data centres only 40 km apart.

Bernard Robertson-Dunn wrote:
 > On 1/03/2011 11:41 AM, John Hilvert wrote...
 >> ...  According to the Gershon review this facility will cater for
 >> agencies that represent just 1% of all ICT expenditure ...

The large agencies are big enough to achieve economies of scale on their
own. The small and medium ones need some help (and persuasion) to work

 >> The apparent delay in the forthcoming data centre panels, the lack 
of news about AGIMO's feasibility study into a whole of Government data 
centre option ...

When I visited Canberra Data Centres about a year ago it was almost
empty. I get the impression they have got a lot of government customers 
since then and the interim arrangements for agencies to use such centres 
are working well:

I am not sure that the government will need as much space as has been
predicted. If bespoke applications are replaced with standard web based
ones, the processing and data storage requirements will be much smaller.
My estimate is a 99% saving in processing and data storage. Before you 
challenge that, let me explain it is an estimate and I am an expert, so 
I do not have to back it up with any actual evidence. ;-)

 > What I find interesting is that the discussion paper says “The paper
 > will set out the nature of the business problem, rather than any
 > solution.”, but doesn't. ...

Gershon was essentially about saving money by rationalisation, with some
environmental and other benefits as a by-product.

 > ... DCaaS attempts to address the whole-of-government problem, not 
agency problems. In fact it is likely to create problems for the 
agencies. ...

If there is less paperwork to go through to use the shared facility and 
it is cheaper, then this should not be a problem for agencies.

The more interesting issue is shared applications, such as for email,
social networking, office suite, HR, recruiting, finance and web 
servers. My suggestion would be for AGIMO to use Yammer's marketing 
technique: <https://www.yammer.com/about/product>.

AGIMO could make a suite of web based applications freely available for 
any public servant to use. Their agency will then have to buy into the 
system in order to have some control over what their staff are doing.

Tom Worthington FACS CP HLM, TomW Communications Pty Ltd. t: 0419496150
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617, Australia  http://www.tomw.net.au
Adjunct Senior Lecturer, School of Computer Science, The
Australian National University http://cs.anu.edu.au/courses/COMP7310/
Visiting Scientist, CSIRO ICT Centre: http://bit.ly/csiro_ict_canberra

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