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Gisborne District Council issues tender for IT makeover

By Ashton Young, Thu 2 Nov 2017
FYI, this story is more than a year old

​Gisborne’s District Council has issued a tender depicting the need for the replacement of its end-of-life servers and storage.

The council is the North Island’s largest district council, with 275 staff and spanning 8,386 square kilometres land with 1,855 kilometres of local roads and a total population of around 43,653 people.

The Request for Proposals (RFP) is to identify an organisation able to supply, install and configure a hyper-converged infrastructure solution in addition to being able to provide future professional services if/when required.

“The key driver for this purchase is in keeping our core infrastructure current, reliable and supportable,” the tender states.

“This purchase should also contribute to the Council’s Disaster Recovery (DR) plan.”

Within the tender, the council reveals it is looking to replace its servers and storage area network (SAN), but hang on to its existing network infrastructure

Strictly speaking, hyper-converged infrastructure revolves more around software than hardware as the architecture is tailored to consolidate compute, networking, storage and virtualisation in a solution from a single vendor.

As well as a number of production servers, the council says its current SAN is at end-of-life.

"We’re looking to replace this hardware and take the opportunity to embrace the benefits of adopting hyper-converged infrastructure."

Under the hood the council is maintaining an IBM v3700 fibre channel SAN with 45.5TB usable flash, online and nearline storage.

This was installed in 2013 and apparently has performed well over the last four years, however, “disk failures are beginning to increase in frequency”.

What’s more, the council’s storage is bulging at the seams with 27TB of storage is in use and almost all of the 45.5TB capacity allocated.

Fixed to the IBM solution are two HP DL380 Gen8 and two DL360 Gen9 ESXi hosts, with a combined capacity of 36 CPU cores and 1,184GB of RAM.

With an eye to the future, the council would like leave this traditional stack in the past and move to a hyper-converged design that enables them to boost storage and allow for growth over the next three years – forecasted to be 5TB a year.

DR is also hot on the agenda, with all processing power having to cater to future requirements with the ability to add a future replication counterpart in the council’s DR site.

All hardware, software and licensing is required to integrate with existing systems - the vSphere 5.5 network hypervisor and Veeam 9.5 backup software.

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