The Federal Government’s Department of Social Services is calling on providers as it prepares to replace its existing in-house storage and compute equipment with new VMware-compatible hyper-converged infrastructure.
The Department issued a request for tender on 15 June, seeking responses from potential suppliers for the supply of converged infrastructure – for both lease or purchase – and related services.
According to tender documents, the Department currently intends to enter into a standing offer agreement with the successful supplier under a deed of standing offer expected to be for an initial period of three years, with two further option periods of up to 12 months each.
The request for tender comes after the Department identified a requirement for the establishment of a three-year standing offer arrangement for the supply and maintenance of hyper-converged infrastructure.
Specifically, it is seeking a provider of x86-based hyper-converged infrastructure to host both the Department’s ‘protected’ classification workloads and data and ‘unclassified’ workloads and data. Indeed, the Department said it would like to run both ‘protected’ and ‘unclassified’ workloads on the same hardware.
Federal Government’s ‘protected’ data handling clearance is overseen by the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), the intelligence agency that sits within the Department of Defence, and gives providers the ability to handle classified and highly-sensitive government data.
Inclusion on the ASD’s CCSL gives cloud services suppliers – along with certain resellers partnering with the selected vendors – the ability to vie for public sector work requiring an InfoSec Registered Assessors Program (IRAP) security assessment, along with other security checks and balances.
The ASD’s ‘Unclassified - Dissemination Limiting Markers (DLM)’ information certification, meanwhile, means providers can deal with data that is not classified but may be sensitive and is not intended for public release.
Dimension Data, Macquarie Government, Sliced Tech, Vault Systems and Microsoft all claim the ‘protected’ classification for certain cloud services.
The Department of Social Services’ initial work order under the new request for tender is for the provision of hardware for ‘protected’ workloads and is for the replacement of existing storage and compute used for the Department’s Secure Enclave.
It is expected the Department’s virtual compute infrastructure will use VMware for the life of the deed of standing offer. According to tender documents, the solution will need to be compatible with VMware.
Providers have until 12 July to get their tenders in.