Cabinet Office Seek Data Centre Partner

News Article - Tuesday, 22 July 2014 10:28

By: Kerry Butters Category: Hosting

The Cabinet Office and Government Digital Service (GDS) are looking to partner with a private service contractor that can supply "data centre colocation services” to handle "top secret” information, Computer Weekly reports.

A service contract notice has been issued alongside funding of up to £700m for a four year agreement.

"The operating environment is to be capable of housing computer infrastructure that initially handles information with UK Government security classification 'official' but there may be a future requirement for Data Centre Colocation Services that handle information with 'secret' and 'top secret' security classification," the government document said .

"The provision of secret and top secret [data] would be subject to separate security accreditation and security classification."

The data centre is expected to be able to house rack space, power facilities, network and security services and will take up an area of around 350 square metres. The initiative is part of the government’s Cloud First policy which is intended to drive wider adoption of the cloud in the public sector. The strategy sets out that any IT buying carried out in the sector should consider cloud before any other solutions.

It’s thought that the partner must also have the capability of subscribing for a majority shareholding of the private company set up by the Cabinet Office, DatacentreCo, up to 75% less one share.

The data centre will also be required to host legacy applications which may not be suitable or ready for cloud hosting or where it would not be cost effective to implement. The data centre should also be housed in a minimum of two facilities and the potential partner should have a proven track record spanning at least three years.

The government is also expected to establish IaaS capability for apps which whilst being capable of virtualization, require "close proximity to legacy hardware”.

It’s expected that contracts will be awarded early next year, with services going live soon thereafter.

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