Friday, April 04, 2008

How many data centers does it take to run a nation?

Two recent Australian Government tenders caught my attention. One is from the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) for a Supercomputer System for the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the Australian National University and the other is for Infrustructure Servers for the Family Court of Australia. These might seem to have little in common: the BOM want one large supercomputer for predicting the weather, the family court wants what they call a "server fleet", of five categories of computers ( small, medium, large, backup and consolidation). But with reliable and inexpensive data communications and increasing office and energy costs, server consolidation makes more sense. It might be feasable for the family court to put all its servers in one location (with a backup location). These could be in the same center as the BOM supercomputers, sharing its power system and cooling.
ATM ID RT038/2007
Category 43000000 - Information Technology Broadcasting and Telecommunications ...

By this RFT, the Commonwealth of Australia ('the Commonwealth') represented by and acting through the Bureau of Meteorology ('the Bureau'), an Executive Agency of the Commonwealth, invites tenderers to provide specific information regarding the supply, installation, maintenance, and support of two (2) balanced, high performance, parallel computational systems and peripheral equipment - one will meet the Bureau's operational service and development requirements and the other to meet the computational science requirements, operational and associated development requirements for the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) system to be located at the Australian National University (ANU) supercomputer facility.

It is intended that the supply of the supercomputer systems, and their interoperability and capability, will meet the research science requirements of the new joint Bureau/CSIRO Centre of Australian Weather and Climate Research (CAWCR), established in 2007, Australian Community Climate Earth System Simulator (ACCESS) program, and the earth system science user community.

In addition, this RFT also invites tenderers to provide details for an option to supply, install, maintain, and provide vendor managed data hosting facilities for an additional capability to meet the research science requirements of the joint Bureau/CSIRO CAWCR, ACCESS program, and the general earth science user community.

This RFT will be conducted by the Bureau/CSIRO High Performance Computing and Communications Centre (HPCCC). The Bureau will be the lead agency and point of contact for tenderers under this RFT, however, the Bureau and the ANU will jointly evaluate the tenders. ...

From: Supercomputer System for the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the Australian National University, Bureau of Meteorology, 3-Apr-2008

ATM ID RFT 2007 - 0136 ...
Category 43211501 - Computer servers ...

The Court is reviewing its current fleet of servers that offer services such as file and print, application servers, backup servers, etc. The Court requires x86-64 servers meeting the specification set out in this RFT. The Court reserves the right to vary the quantity of servers required after the Closing Date of this RFT.

The Court has classified its server fleet in five categories – small, medium, large, backup and consolidation. The RFT highlights server category specifications with approximate quantities over the initial term of the deed. All equipment must comply with, or exceed, the listed requirements.

The RFT also highlights the Court’s technical requirements which have been captured in a traditional manner whereby the Court has categorised the requirements into server specifications to their best knowledge.

The Court is happy to review new alternative solutions that could satisfactorily address the requirements. In addition to the requirements set out below, any alternative solutions should be presented separately as part of the Tenderers response. ...

From: Infrustructure Servers, Family Court of Australia, 3-Apr-2008

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