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Three ways public sector data centre consolidation can benefit citizens

By Patrick Martlew
Fri 24 Nov 2017
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Article by Greg Whiffin, ‎Corning Optical Communications director of commercial operations and enterprise networks.

When choosing a facility to outsource data storage and management, today’s customer rightly expects that the data center will deliver superior reliability and 100 percent uptime. There’s no room for shutdowns for maintenance, repair or replacement of equipment.

This is especially important when the success of the data center relies not only on driving improved availability and security to SMB and enterprise customers but more so on providing a seamless end-user experience for Australian citizens.

Such was the case for GovDC, the first data center and private cloud environment in Australia built specifically to meet the ICT needs of public bodies. The program mandates the consolidation of 130 NSW Government agency data centers into two built-for-purpose certified facilities that meet recognised global standards of security, availability and efficiency.

As a result, the NSW government was challenged with moving government ICT away from the traditional sector silos towards consolidation and a much-reduced cost. While this means taxpayers will benefit from reduced government service delivery costs, GovDC is working with NSW citizens’ highly sensitive, personal data.

Security and data sovereignty is critical. As customer interaction becomes more and more digital, everything from health records to automated payments is reliant on optimal stability and security of the data center.

GovDC isn’t alone in its quest to provide customers with the seamless experience they expect. All government data centers must be equipped to securely manage customer information and access without any fear of downtime, while also handling both current and future IT requirements.

With this in mind, here are three reasons why deploying the right cabling infrastructure is key to delivering a seamless customer experience, while at the same time, addressing the needs of public bodies:

Improve speed of deployment

With less than three years to move data from 130 government agencies into two purpose-built data centers, rapid deployment of infrastructure was essential for GovDC. Ensuring the core infrastructure was effectively installed was critical in enabling GovDC to meet strict deadlines and service level obligations across key government sectors.

By deploying an all-optical, pre-terminated solution that can be installed 35% faster than traditional cabling systems, GovDC was able to do just that. The network was ready and capable of servicing the needs of end-users, fast. Custom-engineered components enable simple integration into common SAN directors, while the pre-terminated components allow for reduced installation time and faster moves, adds and changes (MACs).

Provide a more reliable and flexible environment

It’s no easy task to deliver seamless bandwidth capacity every time customers need more provisioning and increased service velocity. Public sector bodies expect the data center infrastructure will have sufficient built-in redundancy – if one element fails, there will be another to take its place without affecting service. For GovDC, the infrastructure put in place today must be able to scale seamlessly as the needs and application demands of multiple government departments and their end-users grow.

In 2010 there were around 130 facilities being used as data centers by NSW state government agencies. Power usage was unknown and total costs were high. Demand for greater capacity and quicker transmission speeds was growing at an unprecedented rate. Importantly, no existing facility could meet projected government demand over the next 15 years.

This challenge was addressed by consolidating 130 government data centers into two facilities, maximising density within a smaller footprint, to optimise space and capacity. With its high-density structured cabling architecture, GovDC can now scale easily to address new users, applications, protocols and services without having to change its core infrastructure, run more cable, add more floor space or risk downtime.

Ensure a seamless citizen experience

Lower ICT costs and improved reliability means government service delivery costs can be reduced, which helps all taxpayers. This is essential for GovDC, whose success is measured on creating positive interactions between Australian citizens and government services.

The new technology platform is transforming service delivery to citizens, for example, OneGov automated transactions and the new Service NSW shop lounges. With new digital government services, connectivity failure is not an option.

This challenge amplifies GovDC’s requirement for an effective fibre connectivity solution – one that’s fully backward compatible with legacy standard single-mode fibres, to reduce latency. A highly reliable solution provides consistency throughout the entire connection – from interconnection through to rack deployment. This ensures customers won’t experience an outage if there is an external issue.

It’s clear that public sector data center consolidation offers improved operational and financial efficiencies for both government organisations and their end-users. GovDC is a unique example of how a connectivity solution with greater flexibility and security is transforming service delivery to NSW citizens.

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