https://governmenttechnology.blog.gov.uk/2015/03/19/launching-crown-hosting-data-centres/

Launching Crown Hosting Data Centres

Image courtesy of Ark Data Centres
Image courtesy of Ark Data Centres

In July last year I wrote about Crown Hosting.

Today I'm pleased to confirm that we have created a joint venture - Crown Hosting Data Centres -  with Ark Data Centres and signed a framework contract with the joint venture, to deliver legacy hosting services. Ark are already well known as suppliers of colocation services to the public sector with existing contracts with both the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Defence.

The Cloud First policy will see most of our applications migrate to the cloud. As the policy says, public sector organisations should consider and fully evaluate potential cloud solutions first – before they consider any other option.

However, we do have some hosting arrangements that cannot make this transition to the cloud in the short to medium term. This tin forms a legacy estate that requires some form of ongoing hosting provision, and Crown Hosting Data Centres will provide a secure and cost effective home for those applications.

The framework is open to the whole of the public sector. Because we are working as one government customer, we can achieve lower prices and better terms than each individual department procuring on their own. The potential savings are significant enough to warrant inclusion in the Budget published yesterday.

The services will be delivered from shared state-of-the-art facilities that will also help us significantly reduce our energy costs.

Crown Hosting Data Centres will enable Technology Leaders to keep legacy systems running, which will provide the platform to design and develop new services based on user needs. We will also finally have an effective overview of this legacy estate and where it sits. That view will help us reduce over-specification and standardise what government needs from a legacy hosting environment.

Crown Hosting Data Centres are now a reality with three Founder Customers — Department for Work and Pensions, Home Office and Highways Agency — and more to follow. Services are available to call off immediately from the framework.  To use it, email  crownhosting@cabinetoffice.gov.uk.

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4 comments

  1. Comment by Riverside Decorators London posted on

    Good Article.

    Reply
  2. Comment by John Smith posted on

    Does this mean this government backed venture is now in competition with the rest of the commercial UK data centre industry? That doesn't sound like something a government that claims to support UK small businesses should be doing. Guaranteeing all your future business to one supplier in an inflexible contract you can't get out of, usually leads to worse service for more money, not better for less, as all the old multi year big government it outsourcing contracts proved. This just sounds like more of the same old "business for the old boys network" of old style government IT. what happened to wanting to use an open and competitive market of many suppliers under standard terms as G Cloud was supposed to be?

    Reply
    • Replies to John Smith>

      Comment by Raphaelle Heaf posted on

      The Cloud-First Policy states that a cloud solution must be considered first and that a range of services are available to the whole of government through the Digital Marketplace. As part of the Spend Control process, departments must explain the reason why moving to the cloud solution is not immediately possible. In this case, Crown Hosting Service provides a solution to buy hosting at the same price for the whole of the public sector, without tying departments into lengthy and expensive contracts. It works in a similar way to G-Cloud, allowing departments to purchase what they need, when they need it.

      Reply
  3. Comment by Alex Cable posted on

    It’s now some months since CHDC was launched, and despite the process mentioned here, there are an increasing number of Departments and Agencies who are asking the market for colocation facilities in Crown Hosting to host applications that are perfectly fit for public-cloud. When challenged on this, the answer is usually that they believe this to be Cabinet Office policy, and/or Cabinet Office people have given that advice. It would be very useful for those Departments and Agencies (and suppliers) to know who in Cabinet Office these scenarios could be channeled through in the market-engagement phase (not at the end of the process with Spending Controls) so that the correct advice can be given at all stages through a procurement process.

    Reply

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