Big Blue: ServicesAus $50m private cloud server upgrade

Joseph Brookes
Senior Reporter

Services Australia will spend $50 million to upgrade its five-year-old private cloud server fleet to IBM Power midrange hardware for use across the agency.

The upgrade comes through a three year “hardware and software services” contract reported last week. Services Australia told the contract is to “upgrade an existing server fleet to the latest technology release” from IBM.

The deal replaces hardware bought in 2017 for $32.6 million.

Services Australia awarded the contract to IBM’s Australian entity under the IBM Whole of Government Arrangement, currently valued at at least $1.6 billion, based on contracts reported under the standing offer notice since 2018.

$50 million upgrade: Services Australia is upgrading the IBM servers behind its cloud environment

Services Australia has rarely disclosed information about its private cloud, built on open source cloud computing infrastructure software OpenStack.

Services Australia awarded IBM a two-year, $19 million contract last year to upgrade the private cloud and the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) to handle COVID-10 vaccination data.

A “hybrid cloud” approach was selected for the AIR upgrade to better cope with uncertainty around numbers and how providers would access the application, according to Services Australia staff who explained the upgrade at an IBM’s global conference last year.

IBM also holds a massive $480 million hardware lease contract with IBM which runs to 2023, and several other hardware and maintenance deals with the global giant worth another $144.5 million.

Services Australia has also upgraded the Microsoft Surface Pros used by staff across the agency through a new $10.5 million contract with ASI Solutions, an Australian IT services provider. The agency uses several suppliers for staff computers and accessories, but ASI is a frequent provider, currently holding multiple contracts with Services Australia.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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