Stockport Council has reduced its data centre footprint by 20 times in a bid to cut costs and drive up efficiencies.
Stockport plans to free up staff time with flexible and simple data centre – Photo credit: Stockport Council
The council’s deal with cloud computing provider Nutanix will see its two data centre shrink from 10 racks to just half a rack.
The move is part of the councils digital by design strategy, and aims to provide a more flexible and resilient solution to data storage by consolidating computing, virtualisation and storage into a single appliance.
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“We want to deliver services to citizens in a more joined-up way,” Adrian Davies, Stockport Council’s IT operations manager, told PublicTechnology. “That means we have to underpin that with a resilient, responsive and flexible hardware data centre.”
The legacy system was also not flexible enough to provide for the future, Davies said. “We needed something scalable that could deal with future known unknowns.”
The Nutanix system, which was chosen through a competitive tender process, is based on a pay-as-you-go model and can be scaled up simply, as well as having a quicker data recovery and backup system.
Davies said that as well as allowing the council to turn the space saved back into office space, the solution offers energy savings.
“The previous system took a lot of energy to run and generated a lot of heat, which took a lot of energy to cool. The new system is giving out nothing like the heat and using nothing like the power,” Davies said.
The council is not planning to make staff reductions because of the new system – Davies said that, due to significant budget cuts in the past few years the council has lost a lot of specialist skills and has been unable to recruit more staff.
“We didn’t want to purchase seomthing that required the same specialist skills; this allows us to provide the same services but can be supported by generalists,” Davies said. “This isn’t something we’ve brought in to reduce staff further, it’s to deal with staff losses.”
He added that it would also allow staff to focus their energies on improving other services, as less of their time would be taken up by maintaining the system.