DTA plots data centre panel overhaul

The Digital Transformation Agency has taken the first step to replace the federal government’s important data center dashboard before its expiration in mid-2023.

The agency issued a request for information (RFI) late Thursday asking for comment on a new data center panel, which will offer “newer technology and additional products.”

The arrangement will replace the existing data center facilities supply panel introduced in 2014 to sit alongside two other data center panels.

Canberra, NEXTDC, Macquarie Telecom, Equinix, Fujitsu and Australian data centers are among the 15 vendors in the existing panel.

The DTA said the new panel will be “broadly similar,” although “it will enhance data sovereignty … by incorporating the hosting certification framework.”

The framework was introduced in March to address property and supply chain risks by separating hosting providers into two camps: ‘strategic certified’ and ‘certified insured’.

The certified strategy is the highest level of assurance under the framework and requires providers to allow the government to specify the conditions of ownership and control.

To date, only six data center providers have been certified: Canberra Data Centers, Macquarie Telecom, Australian Data Centers, NEXTDC, Equinix, and Fujitsu.

DTA also plans to incorporate “enhanced security and risk management provisions for supply chain, cybersecurity, and critical infrastructure” into the panel chair agreement.

Other planned changes to the existing data center facility supplies will be the inclusion of prefabricated data centers and models.

Equinix Managing Director Guy Danskine welcomed the update, saying it was a “good opportunity … to see all the options available” after the turmoil of the last two years.

“This review will help ensure that the panel gives the Commonwealth access to all necessary digital components that will help ensure Australia remains a competitive global digital economy,” he said.

DTA will accept comments on the planned data center panel through December 17.

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