GovDC's success celebrated at Innovation Show

By Jonathan Nally
Wednesday, 04 April, 2018

GovDC's success celebrated at Innovation Show

Last week’s Public Sector Innovation Show in Canberra was a highly successful event, attracting around 800 attendees to hear local and international experts convey the latest news, developments and learnings in the ICT space.

Around 50 keynotes, presentations, panel sessions and roundtables tackled the overall theme of building a smarter, more sustainable and citizen-focused government.

And the exhibition floor thronged with delegates all day, all eager to see and test the latest technology from major local and international government-orientated vendors.

One presentation that particularly caught my attention was that of Dr Vladas Leonas, A/Director GovDC and Marketplace Services, Government Technology Platforms, at the NSW Department of Finance, Services and Innovation.

Dr Leonas described the mammoth task undertaken by the NSW Government to create GovDC, a process that involved consolidating 130 government data centres down to just two in the space of five years (2013 to 2017).

The two new centres are located at Silverwater in Sydney and Unanderra in Wollongong.

Each of the GovDC centres is operated by Metronode on behalf of the NSW Government. They are NABERS 4.5 rated and are Australia’s only data centres to hold Tier III Operations certificates from the Uptime Institute.

GovDC has generated some impressive statistics when compared to the pre-consolidation days:

  • 40% savings from consolidation of infrastructure
  • Reduced electricity consumption by more than 50%
  • 646,000 tonnes of CO2 saved

It’s no wonder the project was the global winner of the 2014 Brill Awards for Efficient IT.

According to Leonas, GovDC began as a data centre reform project but it swiftly evolved into being also a network and connectivity provider.

GovDC provides a range of solutions to government customers, including a private cloud network, secure links to the public cloud, a single-sign-on service and an e-commerce platform.

A Managed Services Backbone provides inter-data centre connectivity between Silverwater and Unanderra to enable geographically diverse data recovery, data migration and synchronous replication with less than a 1.3 ms delay.

“It’s a shared environment, and you need security,” Dr Leonas told the audience.

“To ensure security of all the tenants, to ensure there are no backdoors, to ensure that every client is properly isolated from the others, we have put in a Managed Services Backbone — which is effectively a single door into the data centre for any client who wants to connect to other clients, or to a service provider on the Marketplace.”

“The GovDC Marketplace is a combination of two things,” he added. “It’s a set of approved or accredited partners that provide a variety of services, and… it is effectively a matchmaking portal that brings together our clients and approved service providers.

“This works really, really nicely and helps people to find the right service provider.”

GovDC and the Marketplace will be the focus of attention at the NSW Government Digital Marketplace conference on 13 September. Hosted by the NSW Department Finance, Services and Innovation, the annual event will bring together key government stakeholders from across Australia, including CIOs and heads of departments involved with procuring relevant services and solutions.

The Public Sector Innovation Show and NSW Government Digital Marketplace conference are initiatives of the Public Sector Network (PSN). A full list of upcoming conferences — including the Data and Analytics Roadshow, Local Government Transformation Series, Women in Leadership Roadshow, Public Sector Contact Centre Series and the Australian Security Summit — can be found on the PSN website.

Image courtesy Metronode.

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