National Library looks beyond Gen-i for Sun gear

The National Library is gearing up for two major projects by changing its hardware supply arrangements.

The library will be implementing parts of the government's Digital Strategy, including the second part of the People's Network, designed to provide internet access and training through libraries for people who do not own computers.

Building the National Digital Heritage Archive is another major task looming.

The hardware procurement for phase 2 of the Archive project "is unknown at this point, but will likely involve a substantial investment," says a recently-issued request for proposal. Hardware for phase 1 of the project will be handled under the current supply arrangement, through Gen-i.

The library has issued a request for proposal (RFP) for a preferred supplier for the three years following expiry of the Gen-i contract. No dissatisfaction is implied by that, says National Library CIO Ralph Proops, it's simply that given the library's anticipated Sun expenditure over the period, it is required by government to "exercise the market" and ensure it gets the best deal possible.

As well as supplying and assisting installation and management of servers, software and storage, the new supplier is asked to provide access to a benchmarking laboratory, similar to the current iForce Centre.

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