Home Affairs agrees to new five-year data centre deal with CDC

The Department of Home Affairs has struck a new five-year data centre hosting deal with Canberra Data Centres to support its migration from Global Switch’s Sydney-based data centre.

The $6.3 million contract, published last week, will allow the department to shift its remaining unclassified and protected-level data from the Chinese-owned facility by July 2022.

The deal comes just weeks after Home Affairs boss Mike Pezzullo revealed the department was finalising a contract with a new Australian-owned data centre provider for the planned exit.

Home Affairs is one of several federal government agencies continuing to use Global Switch, which is no longer an approved data centre provider on the data centre facilities suppliers panel.

Others agencies continuing to use Global Switch include the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the Australian Digital Health Agency, which also plans to leave by mid-2022.

The Department of Defence, on the other hand, intends to remain with Global Switch for up to the next five years, as revealed by iTnews earlier this year, after running into difficulties with its migration.

Home Affairs told iTnews the new contract with CDC was the “result of a competitive procurement process” conducted through the government’s data centre facilities suppliers panel.

“[The department] has a contract with CDC for sovereign data centre hosting and associated services, consistent with the whole-of-government hosting strategy,” the spokesperson said.

The contract joins two existing Home Affairs deals with CDC for “data centre facilities services” and “professional engineering services” worth $31 million over 10 years and $48.6 million over six years.

The larger of the two existing deals facilitated the migration of the then Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s onsite secondary data centre to CDC’s Fyshwick facility. CDC’s nearby Hume facility is used as Home Affairs’ primary data centre.

The spokesperson said the department has already “begun migrating its data from the current data centre, and expects the migration to Canberra Data Centres to be completed by mid-2022”.

Both unclassified and protected-level data is currently stored in Global Switch, though Pezzullo has previously said “additional safeguards” had been applied to the data ahead of the facility exit.

“Australians can be assured that Home Affairs data is safe and secure now and into the future. The department has in place robust security settings to ensure the data is protect, secure and not subjected to compromise,” the spokesperson added.

Home Affairs is co-ordinating the government’s exit from Global Switch after receiving an undisclosed wad of cash to secure immigration, health and other data in last year’s federal budget.