The mainframe natural environment underpinning Australia’s large estate of mission-important immigration and cargo systems is established for a the moment in a era overhaul.
The Division of Household Affairs has disclosed ideas for a “mainframe workload modernisation and optimisation” project to tackle locations of escalating dangers and drive down operational expenditures.
The project, disclosed on Friday, will look at the “future operation” of the department’s “IBM mainframe infrastructure” and how its “critical computing workloads” could be remodeled.
The mainframe currently hosts a quantity of “mission-critical” traveller, cargo and trade systems, which run 24 several hours a working day and as a result “require extremely higher levels of reliability and availability”.
Household Affairs will use the proposed improve to tackle a quantity of “perceived issues and workforce dangers with the currently supply of products and services delivered by the mainframe platform”.
One particular of these issues is the department’s ongoing wrestle to find proficient staff to swap or augment its ageing mainframe workforce – a “significant proportion” of which are approaching retirement.
“This has the prospective to go away the department in a place the place there is insufficient staff to efficiently run the current mainframe dependent environments,” RFI doc point out.
The department claimed this had the prospective to expose it to “some operational chance if even a tiny quantity of staff ended up to depart at close to the exact same time”.
“Due to the reducing alternatives and/or deficiency of enthusiasm for mainframe education and learning, the department is obtaining it challenging to swap departing staff, producing it progressively challenging to completely assistance the Department’s important apps,” it claimed.
Household Affairs is also expanding relocating to “contemporary progress methodologies” to lessen the time in between “development to product or service deployment for apps changes”.
It has presently begun laying the groundwork to re-architect parts of its core systems working with more compact – possibly cloud-hosted – components by experimenting with AWS and DevOps at the periphery.
Opening up monolithic and mainframe-dependent systems with APIs and refactoring some current apps to run in the cloud ended up just some of the tasks thought of at the time.
Though not explicitly mentioned, the department has also experienced a surge in method outages in the latest months, most not too long ago in December.
“Unscheduled method outages have a substantial impression for front line ABF officers in the overall performance of their day by day duties, RFI documents point out.
The department claimed it will use the RFI to achieve a far better understanding of “what possibilities currently exist for porting and/or redeveloping mainframe-dependent systems to contemporary platforms”.
It anticipates working with responses to “assess appropriate and emerging methodologies and systems that could affect the progress of capability prerequisites for the project”.
This “may or may well not include things like the ongoing procedure of a mainframe platform”, the department claimed.
“The Division is supplying no course on the doable instructions that can be taken in ‘modernising’ the mainframe workload,” the RFI states.
In addition to relocating to a a lot more contemporary operating natural environment and reducing chance from an ageing workforce, the department will use the project to reduce expenses and maximize performance.
Mainframe running expenses currently will increase as extra million guidance for each 2nd (MIPS) prerequisites for regular small business processing is essential.
“Under current arrangements the department is committed to a mainframe hardware refresh just about every five a long time. These refreshes impose a substantial money burden on the Division,” the RFI states.
“The option of extending the operational lifestyle of the hardware to unfold the value over a lengthier period is built challenging by the manufacturer’s schedules for Stop of Profits Lifetime (EOSL) and Stop of Aid (EOS).”
The department’s mainframe currently operates “all environments with an allocation 7700 MIPS”.