Australian department to switch from NetWare to Linux

As part of a core infrastructure refresh project, The New South Wales Department of State and Regional Development (DSRD) in Australia will ditch its legacy NetWare systems in favor of the open source Linux.

The DSRD’s Client Infrastructure Replacement Project (CIRP) is seeking quotations from a panel of 23 approved IT suppliers for an enterprise SAN, server hardware to replace end-of-life units, a centrally-managed data replication and backup solution, and consulting services and training to support the new infrastructure.

Some 20 existing Novell NetWare servers, including 18 at regional locations throughout NSW, are used for file and print serving and GroupWise messaging, and all are at “end-of-life [and] near full capacity”. These are “aging” Compaq ML350 servers with Pentium III processors.

According to tender documents obtained by Computerworld Australia, a “possible migration” from NetWare to Linux may occur within the next five years and the proposed solution must be able to work “within this technical environment.”

This direction should please Novell, which has urged its customer base to migrate from NetWare to Linux since acquiring the SUSE distribution a number of years ago.

The DSRD also stipulates that any proposed storage systems and backup software must be supported by NetWare, Windows, and Linux.

With each regional office hosting one NetWare server for file and print serving and messaging, the existing local tape backup regime is “cumbersome and often fails.”

“It is deemed to be unsatisfactory and in need of replacement by a centrally managed data replication and backup solution,” according to one tender document.

“The data replication solution must provide a facility that will replicate 100 percent of data held on the DSRD regional servers to secondary storage on the SAN solution [in Sydney]. Data from the regional sites will be replicated to the SAN solution where it will be backed up to tape for offsite storage.”

Overall, the capacity of the SAN solution must initially be configured to cater for the total volume of DSRD data, some 4.33 terabytes, plus a projected data growth of 150 to 170 percent over the next two years.

According to the tender, if industry experience of the annual rate of growth of data of approximately 65 percent is reflected within the DSRD and the total volume of DSRD data is 4.33 terabytes, the total amount of data storage required over the next five years will be 53 terabytes.

“The SAN solution must be capable of incremental growth which is both vertical and horizontal and must provide a scalable storage infrastructure to meet DSRD’s expected storage growth for the next 5 to 10 years,” according to one document. “Respondents should provide details of how the SAN solution can be incrementally expanded and should also specify the incremental stages and the cost of each increment.”

The regional sites are connected to the Sydney city hub via Uecomm ADSL and SHDSL broadband services.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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