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​AgResearch consolidates data centres, eyes Azure storage

Pastoral research powerhouse plans to reduce risk and boost capability, collaboration and security.

AgResearch is outsourcing and consolidating its South Island data centre services and eyeing increased use of Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform.

The agricultural researcher has already implemented a similar project in the North Island at Datacom’s Tier 3-plus Kapua data centre in Hamilton, and is now seeking to match that with a mirror facility in the South.

The overall project will remove data centre hardware and services “where possible” from AgResearch’s Ruakura site in Hamilton, Invermay in Otago, Lincoln in Canterbury and Grasslands in Palmerston North.

“Included in the high level scope of the work is to replace aging hardware, increase business continuity redundancy [and] mitigate network and location specific risks,” a tender document stated.

“It is anticipated that the underlying solution will look to move to a pair of Active-Active data centres and also make more use of the MS Azure Cloud based storage options.”

Requirements include industry accredited security, consistency with the principles of a Tier 3 data centre, consistently high standards of service and diverse network connectivity with the REANNZ high-speed research network to facilitate collaboration.

AgResearch, which employs nearly 700 staff, aims to have the infrastructure moved before the end of the year.

The project will mitigate a number of risks including a single point of failure for network links into the Invermay site.

The deadline for questions is 4pm, 10 March, while proposals should be submitted by 4pm, 24 March.