by Tim Lohman

ABS seeks better management over its software

Jun 17, 20092 mins
GovernmentGovernment IT

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is looking to get a better handle over the 600 or so applications used across its PCs and notebooks.

In a request for tender document the ABS said it was looking to spend up to $450,000 on a new a information technology desktop asset management solution to replace its existing software management system (SMS).

The ABS said its SMS relied on a combination of commercially available products and ABS developed applications to provide software distribution, application package management, licence management and asset tracking.

The new system, the ABS said, will manage the software and hardware life-cycle end to end, improve software licence management, provide a client self-service software portal, and include software packaging and software distribution tools.

The new system will also allow software licence entitlement and enforcement based on role definitions and a client self-service software portal to confirm licence availability, enforce compliance and support ABS business processes.

In an indication of the complexity of the ABS’ IT environment, the organisation said its SMS managed about 600 commercial and ABS developed applications across a fleet of around 3000 desktops and 1000 notebooks.

Each desktop and notebook computer is issued with a standard suite of 60 applications while over 500 applications are available upon request via the client self-service software portal, the ABS said.

Desktop and notebook computers are also distributed throughout ABS state and territory offices with approximately 1500 desktops and notebooks located in the Canberra office.

In April the ABS reported that it was well down the road to completing its virtualisation strategy, aimed at better managing its infrastructure.

According to Tony Marion, director of infrastructure at the ABS, using VMware’s vSphere, the government body was able to reduce 300 physical servers to 70 and create some 1500 virtual machines running on those 70 physical servers.

It was also able to reduce its admin head count, used to run its infrastructure environment down from 30 people four years ago to just 7 staff.

At the time the ABS also reported that with the virtualization of its server infrastructure, it was able to form its own private cloud with the potential to host the 2016 eCensus thus avoiding a $9 million outsourcing contract.