by Byron Connolly

DHS to roll out network ‘stress testing’ for agencies

Aug 28, 20142 mins
Data CenterGovernmentNetworking

The Department of Human Services (DHS) has tendered for testing and network infrastructure to benchmark and validate changes to its data centre to support the integration of Centrelink, Medicare and CRS Australia.

These agencies were rolled into one DHS portfolio in mid-2011, which has increased the scale and complexity of its data centre environment.

In February last year, DHS told CIO it was hoping to cut the number of system outages across its environment by 5 per cent per quarter until early 2014. The agency experienced 137 system reliability outages in the 12 months between October 1, 2011 and September 30, 2012.

“With general increases in bandwidth from 1Gbps to 10Gbps, and looking to the future at 40Gbps and 100Gbps, previous DHS capability in this area has been superseded,” DHS wrote in tender documents.

The agency currently uses Cisco Nexus, ASR and 6500 series equipment to provide network connectivity in its data centre. Dell M910 Blade servers run VMware virtual infrastructure.

DHS’ desktops run Microsoft Windows 7 and Apple iPhones and iPads are used to remotely access corporate systems and email.

Over the next three years, DHS will use the network and testing infrastructure to test changes to its network in a production environment to ensure the design and components meet reliability and scalability requirements.

The testing is part of a DHS project to create a single IT platform for the agencies, supported by governance, streamlined contract and procurement management, and secure data management practice.

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