This sub-component will expand the existing shared government datacenter located in BCC on a priority basis, in order to meet the high demand from public sector agencies for hosting their systems and services in a more secure, reliable and efficient manner, and at minimal cost and complexity. A shared datacenter is a common facility used to house computer systems and associated components, such as server, network and storage systems. It generally includes redundant or backup power supplies, redundant data communications connections, environmental controls (e.g., air conditioning, fire suppression) and security devices.
The government has recently completed the construction of a shared datacenter in BCC premises with a capacity of 24 server racks. It is also certified for tier 3 (out of 4) reliability under the TIA-942 standard (estimated uptime of 99.982 percent), which is a datacenter standard that has been evaluated by BCC to be sufficient to meet the current needs of the government agencies. However, the 24-rack spaces have already been fully-booked before the construction of the datacenter was completed. For example, the Bank-funded National ID project will require more than five racks for their systems. In addition, local banks in the private sector have also requested BCC for permission to host their systems. Hence, this sub-component will expand the datacenter in BCC’s building by an estimated 30 additional rack space to enable additional agencies to benefit from the use of a shared hosting service. The datacenter will be constructed based on similar specifications as the existing datacenter (e.g., tier 3). In addition it will utilize a green approach by ensuring its energy efficiency, provide training for BCC staff to operate and maintain the datacenter, develop a sustainable business model by generating revenue from the agencies, and assess the feasibility of providing the hosting service to the private sector. This sub-component will also establish the disaster recovery center (DRC) outside Dhaka for the Government’s IT functions to relocate; in case of disasters such as fire, flood, terrorist threat or other disruptive events. It is highly inefficient and ineffective for every agency to build and operate its own DRC for critical services, and the move toward the shared datacenter by the government agencies will bring significant benefits in terms of public sector effectiveness and efficiency. However, it also increases the risks from disasters as that will become the single point of failure in unforeseen events, hence there is a need to ensure that the government critical IT systems will be not be severely disrupted, and minimum functions and services are available within the government and for citizens and businesses during such disasters. Hence, this sub-component will develop the DRC plan for business continuity from an IT perspective, and provide a DRC datacenter for agencies to set up their backup systems and services. The DRC plan will provide policies, standards and guidelines for the agencies’ systems, processes, procedures, and controls, in order to ensure recovery or continuation of technology infrastructure by these agencies. This will cover the daily chores such as project management, system backups, change control, and help desk for their disaster recovery operations. The DRC datacenter will be a backup site based on the specifications of the government’s existing datacenter in BCC, but it is expected to be of half the size of the existing datacenter to provide basic facilities for the agencies to host only their critical IT systems and services. The DRC datacenter will be set up as a cold site in an existing building, and the agencies will populate the site with their backup systems and data. The backup site’s location will be chosen based on studies already completed by other institutions, and will take into account geographic and supporting infrastructure features needed for such DRCs.
In addition to the datacenter and DRC, this sub-component will establish a government cloud computing infrastructure (G-Cloud) for shared IT hosting. The G-Cloud will be selectively opened for use by private sector and academia to enable access, collaboration, and public services innovation for businesses and citizens. Cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. Cloud computing is now widely regarded as a technology megatrend along with social networking and mobile services. The expected benefits of this G-Cloud for Bangladesh are: