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Qantas Opts to Outsource

As Qantas
becomes the latest firm to announce a massive outsourcing deal, data center managers warn that companies should be prepared to do some serious thinking if they want to reap the benefits of outsourcing.

Today, Qantas awarded IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)
a $448 million deal to manage the airlines data center and technology infrastructure. The ten-year agreement comes on the back of similar deals between IBM and firms such as Morgan Stanley and Michelin.

And these are not the only firms cutting this type of deal. Earlier this month Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ)
and BT Group plc (NYSE: BTY; London: BTA) signed a $1.5 billion deal, which will see HP manage the telecom firm’s midrange server and desktop IT infrastructure within the U.K.

Although precise details on what the IBM/Qantas contract involves are still being kept under wraps, a key element in the ten-year deal is the migration of Qantas’s servers to an IBM data center in Sydney. However, a spokesman for IBM did confirm that some 320 of the airline’s 400 midrange servers will be moved from Unix to Linux as part of the migration.

Consolidation of servers to a managed data center is becoming increasingly attractive to enterprises striving to keep their IT overheads low. Last month, for example, Daimler-Chrysler announced a multiyear agreement with Electronic Data Systems Corp. (EDS), which involves the migration and consolidation of the automotive firm’s servers.

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