Canberra keeps $100m IT refresh InTACT

Canberra keeps $100m IT refresh InTACT

Nation’s capital preps large-scale hardware replacement

The ACT government's shared ICT service organization, InTACT, has announced its procurement plans for five categories of equipment and services valued between $80 and $100 million over five years.

The new contracts will cover desktops, notebooks, servers, monitors, and printers and multi-function devices in the largest hardware procurement exercise the ACT has undertaken since 2002.

InTACT services some 13,500 end-users across 300 locations throughout the ACT.

The ICT Business Equipment Tender 2007 was outlined last week by InTACT business manager Greg Tong who said tendering for off the shelf software is also under consideration but is not being tendered for within this process.

Tenders are expected to be released at the end of the month with a closing date set for late June. From then the tender evaluations will be complete by mid-August and contract negotiations finalized by November.

The whole process is due for completion by December 2007 when the former contracts expire and new arrangements commence. One general expectation resulting from the contract is for the life of new hardware procured to extend beyond four years.

As a whole of government "in-sourced" agency, InTACT supplies a range of information, computing and telecommunications products and services to ACT government agencies, including a territory wide private fibre data network with VoIP.

Desktop and application services are provided from centralized server farms at the Callam offices in Woden and Macarthur House in Lyneham. There are also servers located in the various client agency offices throughout the ACT.

In general, InTACT uses servers running either Solaris, Red Hat and other types of Linux, and Windows operating systems.

The Windows servers are operating either Windows 2000 or Windows 2003 SP1.

Most ACT government servers are backed up over the network to one of the InTACT datacentres, which now have storage capability of about 175 terabytes.

On the desktop, most of the ACT government is migrating from Windows 2000 to XP, and work is underway to develop a Vista SOE.

To win the desktop contract, suppliers must ensure "all equipment is fully supported by the manufacturer with device drivers for Microsoft operating systems and at least one Linux platform".

This requirement is in keeping with the ACT's 2003 law mandating the consideration of open source software during procurement.

"Tenderers as applicable should also give consideration to addressing the capability of hardware to support an open source software (OSS) based operating system," according to the discussion draft.

Other InTACT infrastructure includes about 450 Windows and 80 Unix (Solaris and Red Hat Linux) servers, four datacentres, 820 network switches and routers, three whole of government applications, and some 1500 business applications.

In a shift from the previous process, InTACT is separately tendering for the logistics side of the hardware supply.

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