Dimension Data has announced it will soon offer a government-only cloud hosted in Australia's capital city, Canberra.
The new facility will be another node of the firm's currently-14-strong network of Managed Cloud Platforms (MCPs), but won't be open to the general public. Instead, it's been tweaked to handle Australian government data with “Protected” status. The Australian Government Security Classification [PDF] ranks Protected as the lowest-level of secret data, beneath Confidential, Secret and Top Secret. The bit barn also offers links to the Intra Government Communications Network (ICON) used for communications among Australian government agencies.
Other than that this looks a business-as-usual node of DiData's cloud: there's Cisco UCS and networking, the company's Cloud Control control freak and a multi-tennant arrangement in place.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull launched the service, and used his address to rail against “box-huggers” who he felt protect their own fiefdoms against the inevitability of cloud.
“We need to move away from box-hugging mentality that resits any move to the cloud,” he said, before criticising the previous government's policies for promoting a box-hugging mentality that he said means Federal government agencies have spent just AU$5 million on cloud since 2010.
That observation later brought a riposte from Dimension Data Australia's CEO Rodd Cunico to the effect that it's hard to spend on cloud when there isn't one fit for government use. Other DiData speakers pointed out that their cloud has a higher rating than Azure Australia, which should make it a handy place to run the likes of SharePoint, Exchange and Lync.
Dimension Data won't have this market to itself for long: during its launch event, Telstra “announced its plans to create a cloud environment built specifically for federal, state and local government … Scheduled to launch in the first half of 2015.”
Telstra, too, will be able to handle Protected data. ®