NT government taps mainframe upgrade for core systems

By GovTechReview Staff
Monday, 04 November, 2013

The Northern Territory government will base its core database systems – covering functions including accounting, personnel management and vehicle registration – on an IBM zEnterprise BC12 mainframe that has been chosen over alternatives for its cost-effectiveness and improved efficiency.

The announcement, which reflects a four-year refresh for the government's Department of Corporate and Information Services (DCIS), makes the NT government one of the first customers in the world for the revamped mainframe, which offers twice the capacity of its predecessor z114 and is designed to support high-end, Linux-based server consolidation for construction of private-cloud architectures.IBM-zBC12

“With significant and rising transaction volumes across the department, our infrastructure needs to enable fast, reliable access to data which can drive down costs while also improving levels of service,” said Scott Thomson, data centre services director with DCIS, in a statement.

“Taking an early-adopter approach to technology has always been a priority for DCIS, particularly given our portfolio’s focus on immediate and reliable transfers of often-sensitive information. Following rigorous trials of the zBC12, both test and production systems, we’re confident that its significant advancements will contribute not only to our internal efficiencies, but to the quality of support we can deliver to the agencies that rely on us.”

The choice of the IBM mainframe offers a shot in the arm for mainframe architectures that have progressively been abandoned by many one-time proponents of the technology. Yet despite year-on-year decline of around 40% in unit sales, according to recent Gartner figures, the growing number of MIPS being shipped suggest there is still demand for the high-end, vertically-integrated systems – which will, many predict, play a significant role in cloud architectures moving forward.

DCIS has been an IBM mainframe user for three decades. “We’ve typically run most of our government and business-critical applications on IBM platforms, and have nothing but trust and respect for the technical expertise which their teams bring to the table,” said Thomson.

“As the latest iteration in our technology partnership with IBM, we’re looking forward to the next level of cost and time reductions that the zBC12 will bring to our operations upon completion of the project.”

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