Australian Tax Office's HPE SAN failed twice in slightly different ways

Rickety array still at work: In tax-speak 'Commissioned new SAN' doesn't mean it's live yet

The Australia Taxation Office's HPE SAN failed twice, in different ways, when causing its infamous December and February outages that brought down online tax services on which citizens and accountants rely.

And despite the Tax Office telling the world on its blog that it had “commissioned a new Storage Area Network (SAN) which has arrived on ATO premises”, it transpires that it's still running the old SAN.

Silly us: it turns out that when the ATO wrote “commissioned” and then announced it had restored services, it had actually started work on the new SAN and left the old one in place.

But now the ATO tells us, in response to queries about why the old kit failed and the disposition of the new SAN, that “The HPE storage array has not yet been replaced. The new hardware has arrived and HPE engineers are preparing it for use. This new system will contain vast amounts of ATO data and it is currently being configured to provide more reliability and stability. The process of replacing the affected hardware will take some time.”

And there we'll leave it because the ATO is keeping shtum about things like timelines.

And also not entirely forthcoming on the SAN failed in the first place, while it waits for a review by PwC, other than to say “were caused by an unprecedented failure in IT infrastructure not previously experienced with any of HPE’s clients in Australia or internationally.”

“We know that the exact nature of the respective hardware faults is slightly different and expect more detail once the PwC report is finalised.”

Reg tipsters have suggested the faults saw a disk drawer go kablooie so thoroughly that not even RAID was much use.

The report lands in March. When it does, The Register will be all over it like hungry kids on a birthday cake. ®

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