Australian DoD Standardizes Storage with Network Appliance

Network Appliance today announced that it has been selected by the Australian Department of Defense Information Services Branch, the entity responsible for managing the majority of the Department’s IT infrastructure, as the preferred storage supplier to standardize storage technology across the organization. The deal is for a total storage solution comprising hardware, software, and services, with implementation to be phased over three years for an anticipated 150 sites across Australia.

According to Network Appliance, this is the first time Australian Defense has had a standard solution across all areas of the Information Services Branch for any IT solution and there are plans to adopt this approach in other areas.

Previously, Australian Defense’s sites had installed a range of different storage solutions, meaning that it had no economies of scale in terms of infrastructure, management, pricing, training, or support. Although the different storage suppliers were similar in terms of the services they offered, Australian Defense faced a number of problems and additional expense from dealing with multiple vendors and believes this new approach will remedy these limitations.

“Standardization is a critical factor in Defense’s IT strategy and it expects to achieve significant cost savings, not just from consolidating storage technology, but also from the human aspects — one set of training, one set of support, and one skills base. There are also savings to be gained by working with one vendor,” said Michael Burnie, Network Appliance’s managing director for Australia and New Zealand.

Prior to this deal, Information Services Branch predominantly relied upon direct-attached storage, making high levels of data availability and scalability difficult to achieve. Driving the change requirement was the need to obtain a solution that provided high levels of redundancy and data mirroring at all levels, to an extent not normally required in many commercial applications.

“The Network Appliance solution will provide Defense with tangible operational and business advantages and a low total cost of ownership, which was not possible with its existing storage solutions,” continued Burnie. “Due to the mission-critical nature of Defense’s information, it required a reliable and scalable solution that is easy to use and manage by people with differing levels of technical skills. The ability of our technology to work openly with the Defense’s existing infrastructure was viewed as a major benefit.”

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