DVLA signs £3m contract for cloud service

One-year G-Cloud-based contract with IBM requires disaster recovery in ‘hours not days’

Credit: Enrique/Pixabay

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency has agreed to pay IBM a fixed price of £2.98m for the 12 months starting 16 August for cloud-based mainframe computing services, according to a contract published on 1 September.

The new contract, a call-off from the Crown Commercial Service’s G-Cloud framework agreement, sets an availability standard of 99.9% at all times except for agreed maintenance periods. It adds that “time for recovery to the DR solution infrastructure is important to our business, with recovery within hours… rather than days”.

Both the production and disaster recovery service include 3.27TB of direct access storage, with 160TB of virtual tape storage for production and 140TB for disaster recovery. Key components must be based in the UK and any offshore staff involved must be barred from accessing customer data. 

The DVLA’s previous provision of mainframe service contract with IBM, which started in August 2020, cost £4.09m over two years. It included the provision to move this work to a cloud environment, effectively renting capacity rather than buying hardware periodically then paying for its maintenance and support. The 2020 contract described the mainframe as “the primary hosting platform for a number of DVLA key applications”. 

DVLA is making increasing use of cloud computing. In its 2021-22 annual report published in July, it said it had launched a new cloud-based service for tachographs used by professional drivers, which has been adopted by around 90% of those applicable. It listed cloud engineering as an area where it offers apprenticeships and development programmes with local education providers. In its 2017-20 IT strategy the agency said it planned to move gradually away from legacy systems, reducing technology management costs.


Sam Trendall

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