An expensive storage area network (SAN) purchased by the Ministry of Health in December 2006 cannot be put into production until the ministry builds a new datacentre.
The SAN, bought in late 2006, is sitting in a box at IBM’s Petone datacentre and is unlikely to be commissioned until later this year.
The SAN was bought from IBM because the ministry’s old SAN had maxed out, causing some transactions to fail. The new SAN, which is said to have cost around $1 million, is extensible to 3Pbyte and can perform nearly 100,000 I/O operations a second.
With datacentre space at a premium, the ministry had planned to house the new SAN at IBM’s premises in Wellington in the former Logical House. But IBM Australia wasn’t prepared to allow this because the building wasn’t rated as a tier-one datacentre.
So it went to Petone. But there, communications delays were prohibitive.
The new SAN, however, could run while sitting on a concrete floor, so it was decided to move it into the basement of the ministry’s head office datacentre.
Then it was found there was not enough power in the building. Increased consumption caused by air-conditioning had the building close to blowing its fuses.
To fix the data throughput problem, direct storage had to be purchased.
The ministry’s deputy director general of the information directorate, Alan Hesketh, says the SAN is important and will eventually be used when the ministry builds a new datacentre. He expects to go to tender for this in March.
A new datacentre is needed because the existing ones are full. He says the plan is to outsource the new datacentre and the ministry’s three other datacentres.
The warranty on the new SAN doesn’t begin until it is commissioned.