Ministry seeks storage help

The Ministry of Education is looking for guidance on how to best manage its information storage.

The Ministry of Education is looking for guidance on how to best manage its information storage.

At present the ministry manages its own storage, but CIO Bruce Moorhead says it is looking at building a relationship “with someone who can tell us what our storage needs are”. He says “the idea is to enter into a partnership arrangement with someone for a long period”.

It intends consolidating its storage suppliers and entering into a preferred supplier arrangement for storage hardware and software. While the ministry is open to proposals to lease storage gear and/or outsource the storage environment at an external data centre, nothing is fixed and any such proposals would have to fit with the ministry’s storage strategy.

The ministry put out a tender, which closed earlier this month, for a partner for the supply, support and maintenance of storage gear. If responses to vendor questions at a briefing held in Wellington in April are anything to go by, changes may be ahead for some of the ministry’s suppliers.

Restore times for disaster recovery are likely to be increased from a week to one or two days over the next two years. This means that while it is not actively seeking a new DR software supplier, the ministry is “open to suggestions” for replacing Veritas in that area.

Storage equipment at the ministry includes “two aging Compaq SANs that are nearing the end of their useful lives”. Moorhead says “our [storage] needs have been growing and we’re close to reaching the capacity of the existing environment”.

The ministry has already adopted a preferred vendor arrangement with IBM for its Intel servers and with another supplier for bespoke systems development.

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