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PRESS RELEASE

Optus and Alphawest help Curtin University of Technology get ready for cloud

February 10, 2010

Optus Business and Alphawest announced today that Curtin University of Technology (Curtin) is the first pilot customer to sign up to a beta cloud-based service from Optus Business.   The beta service – which utilises technology from Cisco, EMC and VMware – will provide Curtin with on demand access to a fully virtualised private data centre via the Optus Evolve IP network.

For the past twelve months, Optus Business and Alphawest have worked closely with Curtin to help define their cloud computing road-map.  While Curtin has already deployed server virtualisation across much of the organisation, they are currently deploying an internal private cloud, based on the Cisco Unified Computing System.  Once implemented this private cloud will allow the University to provision and upload virtual machines into the virtual private data centre, or enterprise cloud, which will initially be piloted by Optus Business via the Evolve IP MPLS network. 

Scott Mason, Director of Strategy and Fixed Marketing, Optus Business said, "Optus is fortunate to have worked closely with Curtin for more than ten years as a telecommunications service provider and more recently as an ICT supplier.  Already one of the most virtualised enterprises in the country, we look forward to working with Curtin on the pilot of our external cloud service.

"Stemming from an ongoing focus on cost efficiencies and greater organisational effectiveness and collaboration, many organisations are looking to rationalise their data availability and storage resources.  Optus Business and Alphawest are well positioned to provide the elements necessary to deploy an enterprise grade cloud solution, one that is built to deliver quality of service and is supported by a range of service level agreements," Mr Mason said.

Over the coming months, Curtin will work with Optus Business and Alphawest to determine which of their systems, applications and computing needs are most suitable to migrate into the beta Optus cloud environment based on performance and availability.

Peter Nikoletatos, Chief Information Officer, Curtin University of Technology said, "Using virtual machines or infrastructure on a consumption basis provides enormous flexibility in terms of pricing and usage, as well as the ability to scale up and down depending on our current computing needs.  It enables us to rapidly provision new infrastructure to meet any sudden need for increased capacity, while on the flip side, it allows us to scale down infrastructure when it is no longer required.  That we are able to provision the service ourselves and enact changes as and when we need to makes it even more compelling."

With a common Cisco Unified Computing architecture across the internal private cloud and the beta Optus Business hosted cloud service, Curtin expects to increase IT staff productivity and business agility through rapid delivery of services, which will now take hours rather than weeks.  In addition, as part of its cloud roadmap, Curtin is piloting EMC's Avamar data de-duplication technology, which identifies redundant data at the source, minimising backup data before it is sent over the network.

"With facilities in a diverse range of locations across Asia, including Singapore and Malaysia, and more than 43,000 students and 3,200 (FTE) staff, we need a technology environment that can adapt to our changing needs," Mr Nikoletatos said.  "As such we've opted for a simpler, flatter network which will allow us to concentrate on delivering outcomes for our students, teaching and learning, and research colleagues."

"Working in collaboration with our strategic partners, Cisco, EMC and VMware, alongside Optus Business and Alphawest, we're looking forward to taking our lead in virtualisation to the next stage, through the deployment of an internal and external enterprise cloud," Mr Nikoletatos said.

"Optus' approach to cloud computing aims to provide customers with a well managed, evolution toward a virtualised, private data centre environment that will deliver greater flexibility, cost efficiencies, scalability and choice that compliments our customers existing technology environment.  As the broader cloud market matures, our goal is to have commercial offerings which move 'up the stack' away from pure Infrastructure and through to Platform and Application services.  This will allow us to link in with solutions from our parent company SingTel, offering seamless Asia Pacific cloud services as standard," Mr Mason said.

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