National Data Center

 

Why build a National Data Center (NDC)

As a requirement of the Government’s policy to make information resources widely available and accessible to all, it has become necessary to build a National Data Centre infrastructure to facilitate the consolidation and aggregation of all the Government’s key computing infrastructure in secure, highly available and resilient facilities.

About the NDC

The National Data Centre infrastructure will consist of a primary Data Centre and secondary data center, fully replicated facility in the information technology interior of the country. The proposed data center will be a Tier 3 Data Center that will cater to legacy bare metal caging, standard rack-space consolidation, and cloud services consolidation. The National Data Center (NDC) will consolidate all hardware and software resources in to a single location, with the aim of offering central hosting and managed services for all the institutions of the Government including cost effective software application solutions.

Benefits of NDC

NDC will enable access to the e-Government services reliably, efficiently and securely. ICTA will study and design the NDC by considering impact to environment, costs, suitable locations for primary Data Center and Secondary: disaster recovery center, implementation methodology, resource requirements, security, efficiency, reliability and overall architectural designs.

National Data Centre will be a priority as the electronic data requirement by Government organizations and Citizens will be high. The Data center will save costs towards decentralized operations in maintaining and purchasing hardware and software. Overall, the Government data will be located at a central location for consumption and analysis. Further, the NDC will lead the country towards digitized economy and improved levels of efficiency, while joining hands with the new and emerging world and preventing all forms of corruption and irregularities.

ICTA will support, operate, and maintain the NDC on behalf of all the Government and will provide all necessary supporting ICT services to all the ministries, departments and other government organizations and institutes. Therefore, all government organizations will be relieved of the burden of hosting their own applications and obtaining speedier and secure networking facilities which will allow them to increase productivity of their services to the citizens.

It is expected that this project set up will be completed in and implemented by 2019.

objectives

By establishing the Government Data centre it is proposed to reduce costs towards hardware and software resources and decentralized operations. The Government Data centre will consolidate all hardware and software resources in a single location and enable access to the services in reliable, efficient and secure managed by Government organizations to offer Citizen Services. Government Data centre will hold Government data of all the Government institutions and offer software application services.

 

In Essence

Improved efficiency, reduced costs in providing Government services efficiently, securely and reliably to the all the stakeholders of the Government.

All government ministries, departments and organizations

Stakeholder Engagement for Preliminary discussions on Implementation of a National Data Center

Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) is empowered to implement ICT development strategies and programs, in both the government and private sectors, including Legal & Policy reforms in Sri Lanka. The agency functions under direct purview of the Ministry of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure.

ICTA intends to initiate a project that establishes a National Data Centre. The automation of government processes and functions and the setting-up of eServices are expected to give rise to the creation of a large volume of electronic data at various government entities. Government begins to depend more and more on electronic means to function and provide services to its citizens. Under these circumstances it becomes very necessary for the government to secure and ensure that the data is stored in reliable storages, together with proper access control. Also there are large numbers of individual government organizations which have set-up their own servers or rather data centres with high maintenance and operational costs. Therefore, it is vital that Government establish a Government Data Centre to reduce the cost of maintenance and increase the economically added value for country’s data while providing the opportunity for cross validation with very high level of vigilance and high data security.

Therefore, as a part of stakeholders engagement, ICTA published a Request for Information (RFI) on 14th of September 2016.

Stakeholder Engagement

1.    RFI Responses received

2.    Presentations    Thirty-Six (36) Local and International parties/consortiums expressed interest and engaged in preliminary discussions on implementation of a National Data Center (NDC) up to date. Each party has presented their views of the approach for the delivery & operation on all aspects of design and their understanding of costs, timelines, risks and other factors.

In its next step, ICTA gave all the interested parties an opportunity to present their project proposals. Therefore, all parties were requested to do a presentation aligned under the following outline:
1)      Brief Introduction of your company, and your consortium partners with brief corporate history and highlights to reflect stability and presence and ability to do a national project of this nature.  (10 minutes)
2)      A brief recap of your experience with similar projects in relation to Tier 3/ 4 Data Centers (10 minutes)
3)      Technical, financial & best practices, as well as Data Center failures and contributing factors and considerations in implementing a Tier 3/ 4 Data Centers. (20 minutes)
4)      The view of the approach for the delivery & operation on all aspects of design and their understanding of costs, timelines, risks and other factors. (20  minutes)

Observations & Recommendations
Through the outcome of the stakeholder engagement program, ICTA is confident that there are capable and interested parties who would take over the building and operation of the National Data Center on behalf of the government of Sri Lanka if there is sufficient return of investment (ROI) during certain period.

ICTA must determine a certain model of operation which does not compromise the security and the ownership of the data of the citizen of Sri Lanka. The best case would be a Public Private Partnership (PPP) rather than Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) which the ICTA / Government has the authority on the information of the citizen.

Looking at the number of potential parties who has involved at the stakeholder engagement program, ICTA recommends that to explore the possibility of having second datacenter at a distant location to the NDC which could be act as the Disaster Recover Site (DRS).

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