[LINK] Australian Government Data Centre as a Service

John Hilvert john.hilvert at gmail.com
Wed Mar 2 10:08:51 AEDT 2011

I like your idea of a cloud-based set of office apps for smaller agencies.
It could work as well with medium and larger agencies over the next five

But if that's the case, then AGIMO's discussion paper should have positioned
its discussion paper proposals more assertively.

I agree with Bernard it's odd that they promise to discuss the problem - but
don't. At present it comes over as little more than a menu of offerings to
tantalise the smaller agencies.

Could DCaaS be a solution looking for a problem?

By implication the discussion paper discourages small users from opting out
- as "none of the above" is offered. Also it does not discuss savings - more
like avoided costs down the track - which suggests AGIMO may differ with you
on savings available.

That's _not_ to suggest this would help the the small agencies - only that
the business case would be more strategic than tactical.

It doesn't help that they use an ugly and ambiguous name for the offering -
DCaaS. It's more like scalable IT outsourcing.

I suspect AGIMO will simply assert this is the way ahead - collectively -
perhaps do a deal with Centrelink to pilot a trial with maybe five of the
small agencies and go from there.

Baby steps are less threatening.

AGIMO needs to kick goals favourable to the Budget strategy - which is all
about savings (collectively) this year. Smaller agencies are more easily
persuaded and corralled. That's what the DCaaS charm offensive is about, I

On Wed, Mar 2, 2011 at 9:11 AM, Tom Worthington <tom.worthington at tomw.net.au
> wrote:

> 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
> together.
>  >> 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:
> <http://blog.tomw.net.au/2009/05/green-data-centre-in-canberra.html>.
> 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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John Hilvert

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