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'Not achieved': all-of-government IaaS and TaaS miss service targets

'Not achieved': all-of-government IaaS and TaaS miss service targets

Internal Affairs signals hardware will shift to public cloud "where appropriate".

Credit: Supplied

The Department of Internal Affairs' infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offering for government agencies missed its performance goal for 2021 as outages struck providers Datacom and CCL.

What were described as "priority 1 issues" hit the all-of-government IaaS service in July 2020, with the Datacom outage also impacting some desktop-as-a-service functions. 

Telecommunications-as-a-service (TaaS) connectivity services delivered by Vodafone NZ were disrupted by "ongoing issues" in August, October and December 2020, according to the department's annual report. DIA said this week these had since been resolved.

Understandably, the department sets a high performance bar for what it calls its "common capability" services, targeting 99.995 per cent uptime. Due to the outages, however, the service level agreements where graded as "not achieved" in the 2021 financial year after being met in both 2019 and 2020.

DIA told a parliamentary committee during this year's Budget process the Datacom outage in July 2020 was due to faulty line cards on a core network switch.

"Our suppliers maintain a high level of service availability," a DIA spokesperson told Reseller News this week. "When an incident does occur we work closely with the supplier while they resolve it."

Datacom said there were two specific incidents that each had a brief impact on services last year. 

"The first related to a software bug, which was rectified as soon as we were made aware of the issue," the company said in a statement. "The second was a hardware fault, with the impacted equipment being replaced end-to-end by our team as a precaution.

“We fully understand and respect the role we play in keeping our customers connected. On the rare occasion where there is an issue, we take the matter very seriously and have strict protocols in place to investigate and address these as quickly as possible to ensure minimal disruption to services.”

Spark-owned CCL said there was a performance issue with a part of the CCL storage service that was used to support its contract with DIA during July 2020. 

CCL  said it worked with the vendor to resolve the root cause, the company said. No data was lost, but some applications were impacted due to the slow response from the storage system. 

"We recognise the importance of our services meeting the service level agreements set with the DIA and work hard to avoid any instances where we do not meet these," CCL said. "Since this incident, we have put mitigations in place to avoid this issue reoccurring with this level of impact."

On the TaaS outages, Vodafone NZ said it had a good track record of delivery, reported monthly on a range of SLA targets and, over the past year, met the vast majority. 

“As DIA indicated in their annual report, all network providers and technology companies will experience performance issues from time to time," said Megan Martin, head of public sector at Vodafone NZ. "These issues can arise from a range of factors including fibre cuts during construction work, power outages or equipment issues." 

Martin said Vodafone resolved issues as quickly as possible when they occurred, maintaining open communication with all impacted customers including DIA as the lead agency for all-of-government services.

“We maintain a good working relationship with DIA and are committed to delivering all-of-government connectivity services that support our  customers digital transformation initiatives," Martin said.

During its annual review, DIA told Parliament's social services committee it planned to move its hardware systems to public cloud "where appropriate", as technology modernisation investments were completed. 

"Additionally, the ‘infrastructure as a service’ products are continuing to be updated by the vendors," the department said. "We continually assess these new products and take them up when they are appropriate for DIA’s operating environment."

DIA renewed the all-of-government IaaS panel for five more years in May, however, the long term prospects for providers on the panel look uncertain as hyperscale cloud providers arrive on-shore.


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Tags iaasDatacomdatacentresinfrastructure-as-a-serviceReveraCCLDepartment of Internal Affairssparkgovernment

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