New Zealand Health SAN collecting dust since 2006

AUCKLAND – Fifteen months ago New Zealand health ministry bought an expensive IBM storage area network to replace an aging system. But it’s been sitting in a box until the government opens a new data centre, probably later this year.

For the time being, it’s sitting at IBM’s Petone data center.

The SAN was bought from IBM because the ministry’s old storage system had maxed out, causing some transactions to fail. The new SAN, which is said to have cost around NZ$1 million (US$792,460), is extensible to 3Pbyte and can perform nearly 100,000 I/O operations a second.

With data center. space at a premium, the ministry had planned to house the new SAN at IBM’s premises in Wellington in the former Logical House. But IBM Australia wasn’t prepared to allow this because the building wasn’t rated as a tier-one data center.

So it went to IBM’s facility in Petone. But there, communications delays were prohibitive. The new SAN, however, could run while sitting on a concrete floor, so it was decided to move it into the basement of the ministry’s head office data center.

Then it was found there was not enough power in the building. Increased consumption caused by air-conditioning had the building close to blowing its fuses.

To fix the data throughput problem, direct storage had to be purchased.

The ministry’s deputy director general of the information directorate, Alan Hesketh, says the SAN is important and will eventually be used when the ministry builds a new data center. He expected it to go to tender this month.

A new data center is needed because the existing ones are full. Hesketh says the plan is to outsource the new data center and the ministry’s three other data centers.

The warranty on the new SAN doesn’t begin until it is commissioned.

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