Auckland Council reveals multi-cloud shopping list

Auckland Council reveals multi-cloud shopping list

Council's major cloud component purchases expected to be completed by June

Credit: Dreamstime

Auckland Council is moving ahead with a large multi-cloud procurement but keeping the expected cost of the project confidential.

Council IT and procurement leaders presented high-level plans for the cloud shift to a December meeting of the Strategic Procurement Committee, which vets project spending over $22.5 million.

In a closed hearing, the committee approved a plan to source the multi-cloud components through a mixture of competitive tenders and, where appropriate, direct sources.

"To date we have purchased the hypervisor software through Revera as our reseller," Auckland Council's director of ICT Mark Denvir told Reseller News last week.

The software selected was from VMware.

Denvir also outlined the other items on the council's cloud shopping list.

Core components to be sought for its private cloud environment are server hardware, data virtualisation and back-up software, an application performance management tool, network and security analytics tools and services in support of those technologies.

For the public cloud components, council will be seeking foundational work to enable future extension of the council environment into public cloud environments, for example, to enable chosen workloads to move between clouds without requiring re-engineering.

Also required will be traffic management components to reduce internet introduced network complexity, for example, direct connect, mega port and so on.

The procurement is expected to be completed by June for implementation from May through October.

As reported by Reseller News last June, the council is looking to shift out of its current Revera data centre service to a new multi-cloud environment which will allow access to a variety of private and public cloud technologies.

"These services will enable a significant operation expenditure reduction over 10 years and allow council to deliver its services with greater flexibility, responsiveness and enable it to proactively respond to service disruptions," a meeting agenda recorded.

Mark Denvir (Auckland Council)Credit: Supplied
Mark Denvir (Auckland Council)

Denvir fleshed that out further this week, saying that while project budget information was confidential, the council expects to achieve a reduction in opex of $20 million over five years.

All contracts awarded over $50,000 will be published on the council's website, he added.

In 2017, council and Revera began planning how to move to the new technologies. Last June, the Strategic Procurement Committee granted approval for a new agreement for the provision of data centre services, first in a transition state and then via a multi-cloud model.

A key part of the data centre strategy is to take advantage of a range of infrastructure platforms, including public cloud services such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, in addition to infrastructure owned by council, the committee agenda from December said.

"Such a large technology project has provided council with a significant opportunity to leverage this procurement to seek sustainable and social outcomes," it said. "Council will work with Revera and other relevant suppliers to identify and deliver sustainable and social outcomes.

"These may include reduced carbon footprint through shipping methods, selecting suppliers with better environmental, social and carbon credentials, and working with suppliers to introduce social inclusion programmes."

Auckland Council was created through the merger of a regional council and seven district councils in 2010.

The organisation used All of Government “Infrastructure as a Service” data centres provided by Revera since 2013, allowing it to escape from 16 legacy data centres and provide a more robust service.

"Risk and speed were the primary drivers since there was limited time to move most of our services out of the Greys Avenue Civic Building," the December agenda explained. "A secondary goal was to complete a robust discovery of what was, at the time, a rapidly evolving ICT landscape."

Asked this week about new concerns over the security of data held in Australian hosted cloud services, Denvir said the council takes the issue seriously.

"Currently, the council has a process whereby all ICT solutions that will store any data in the cloud are reviewed from both a technical and legal view," he said. "This review requires the sign-off of both council's director of ICT and group CFO before implementation.

"ICT will continue to work with our legal services team to assess all potential risks including Australia’s encryption laws."

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