UNSW, University of New England move into Metronode's GovDC

UNSW, University of New England move into Metronode's GovDC

Education providers migrate on-campus data centres to Silverwater facilities

The University of New South Wales (UNSW) and the University of New England (UNE) have signed contracts with GovDC to move their on-campus data centres to Metronode's Silverwater data centre facilities.

As reported by sister publication CIO, in January 2017, UNSW decided to relocate its on-campus data centre services to commercially operated co-location facility. UNSW was looking to improve its data centre services as it freed up on-campus accommodation.

At the time, UNSW chief digital officer, Conrad Mackenzie, told CIO that UNSW's facilities were Tier 1-plus at best and all GovDC are Tier 3, so the decision to move was a "no-brainer".

UNSW entered an extensive procurement process in mid-2017 where GovDC demonstrated the best combination of data centre capability and value for money.

“Being a large publicly funded institution, commercial and security risks were an important consideration in addition to the technical capabilities of the data centre,” UNSW director of customer service delivery, Mark Griffith, said.

The migration of UNSW's primary data centres is currently taking place and it is expected to be completed by the first half of 2018.

The process was the same for UNE who, in its transition to the cloud, chose GovDC for its flexibility to vary the mix between private and public cloud over time to suit its business requirements.

"Marketplace gives us easy access to a growing portfolio of vendors and service providers, while the fact these purpose-built facilities are administered by the NSW State not only gives confidence in the robustness of the solution, but also mitigates technical and commercial risk," UNE associate director, cloud and infrastructure, Martin Lindeman, said.

"As an education provider the choice was simple – GovDC offers value and ease of doing business.”

UNE is on the way of starting the migration following the close of the deal in January.

Another education provider who has been using GovDC is the Catholic Education Network (CEnet). According to GovDC, CEnet has been a customer since mid-2017.

“GovDC’s facilities are able to provide high availability and low-latency communication between enterprise assets," CEnet infrastructure specialist and data centre manager, Matthew Gully, said.

"We are getting speeds at latency of less than two milliseconds between sites almost 100km apart. High-speed connectivity is critical for business in today’s agile environment," he added.

To GovDC, the growing interest from education providers is a sign of trust in the program.

“GovDC is becoming the preferred data centre provider for not just NSW Government agencies, but also universities and tertiary education institutions,” GovDC executive director government technology platforms, Simon Geraghty, said.

“World class security features, 100 per cent uptime, a 4.5 star NABERS rating and great value for money are just some of the features that make the GovDC program so attractive to our clients.”

Government Data Centres

In 2012, the New South Wales Government announced it would invest $130 million in the design, build and operation of two "world-class" data centres in Silverwater and Illawara.

The provider responsible for the data centre build and operations is Metronode which, in early 2017, announced it would build further facilities in both locations to grow its footprint to accommodate additional GovDC expansion, focusing on supporting cloud to facilitate digitisation and enabling the delivery of citizen-focused services across many platforms.

GovDC, which runs under the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation, was formed with the purpose to of consolidating 130 government's data centres into two facilities.

A Marketplace was established within the data centres to allow private suppliers to supply as-a-service or Community Cloud services to agencies.

Suppliers in the GovDC marketplace are AC3, Deloitte, Fujitsu, IPFX, IQ3, NetApp, NTT Communications ICT Solutions, Oracle, SecureLogic, Unisys and IBM.

In December 2017, data centre giant Equinix revealed plans to acquire Australian data centre provider, Metronode, for $1.03 billion.

The data centre giant has entered into an agreement with Ontarion Teacher’s Pension Plan (OTPP), the Canadian financial institution which owns Metronode.

Metronode operates 10 data centres in Australia with a single storey facility in Adelaide, an 860 square metres facility in Brisbane, one in Canberra, two in Melbourne, another two in Perth, two in Sydney and one in Wollongong.

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Tags university of new south walesunswUniversity of New EnglandGovDCCatholic Education Network

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