by Rodney Gedda

Tassie cops refresh ‘legacy’ Sun, move to Web services

May 31, 2010
Computers and Peripherals Government Government IT

Tasmania’s Department of Police and Emergency Management will spend about $200,000 to modernise its ‘legacy’ Sun Solaris-based infrastructure which has hosted is core business applications for more than two decades.

The department’s core data and mission-critical applications are hosted on Sun Microsystems SPARC hardware running the Solaris 8 operating system. The applications use the UniVerse database management system (Rocket Software) with MQ Series middleware.

Police IT manager, Murray Lawler, said the upgrade is expected to be complete within four to six months.

“We can’t run the SPARC stuff in a virtualisation environment so we will consider Linux if we get that option,” Lawler said.

The budget is around the $200,000 mark, but Lawler said it could be more depending on the value provided.

“The Oracle buyout of Sun has given us more confidence to look at other options like Linux,” he said. “It is difficult to get Sun skills here and we need to get to a platform that is more manageable.”

That said, Lawler is not ruling out a straight upgrade of Sun Solaris systems with this project.

“Our application is a legacy and for some command and control jobs it is more than twenty years old,” he said. “We are setting the stage to modernise our applications too.”

The department is converting the majority of it applications to a Web-based architecture with an Oracle MySQL or Microsoft SQL Server database backend.

“So everything will be a Web service over the next couple of years,” Lawler said.

In tender documents released this week, Tasmania Police outlined the extent of its infrastructure and the upgrade requirements.

“The systems provided by the current Sun infrastructure deliver business critical production applications,” according to the department. “The applications have been in use for over 20 years and exist within a mature and stable environment.”

The project includes replacement and upgrade of four Sun SPARC servers to the latest Oracle-Sun hardware, or “conversion to an equivalent hardware platform”.

Without specifying a direct intention to migrate off Oracle hardware completely, Police is keeping its options open, so long as the application software can be supported.

“Upgrade of the current Solaris 8 software to Solaris 10 or conversion and upgrade to an equivalent software platform capable of running UniVerse RDMS and MQ Series applications,” the documents state.

An upgrade (or conversion and replacement) of the existing Oracle Sun StorageTek 6140 SAN infrastructure is also part of the project.

“The Solaris systems use a SAN infrastructure for data volumes. The data volume sizes for the existing deployment are around 200GB per full backup. Hardware and software for the Solaris solution is end of life and obsolete.”

All suppliers must include assembly, project management services, documentation, training and three years of support. No less than 99.999 per cent uptime for the new systems is stipulated by the contract.

This project will be the fifth refresh since the systems were first installed. Each upgrade other than the initial implementation has been deployed on Sun SPARC hardware and Solaris.

“A significant component of the UniVerse production environment consists of in-house written applications. These applications contain 35,000 lines of C source code and over 650,000 lines of UniVerse Basic,” according to Police.

Another requirement for the new solution is that it integrates with Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard server and desktop infrastructure, Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7 desktop infrastructure and LDAP (AD 2008 and Open Directory) authentication.

Tenders close on Wednesday June 16, 2010.

[Article updated on May 31, 2010 at 1:45pm]