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
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.