DWP signs £5m deal to ‘refresh ageing infrastructure’ in datacentres

Organisation will work with tech supplier Computacenter over course of three year contract, during which department’s hosting facilities will be equipped with updated hardware, software and greater use of automation

The Department for Work and Pensions has signed a multimillion-pound deal to update “ageing” kit currently installed in its private datacentre locations.

On 8 December the DWP entered into an initial three-year contract with Computacenter. The deal, which can be extended for two further periods of 12 months, will be worth at least £4.86m to the tech supplier.

According to a commercial notice newly published by the department, “this contract provides DWP with the required network infrastructure, software and support services to refresh the existing ageing infrastructure within the department’s on-premises hosting (OPH) datacentres”.

The text of the contract itself reveals that, within the first few months of the engagement, Computacenter will be asked to “deliver a complete design for the new OPH”. The design should include a “new network topology” and plans for increased use of automation.

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Once the design has been signed off, the IT supplier will begin delivering and installing hardware in the DWP’s on-premises hosting facilities during the spring and summer months. This work “should include any orchestration early in the delivery phase to support build activities of the software and integrations”, according to the contract.

DWP require integration such that operating the new network is as automated as possible and enables efficiencies to be gained,” it said. The actual integrations will be detailed during the Design but will include Service Now for ticketing and potentially tools for asset management [and] data analytics, [such as] Splunk. The supplier will also be responsible for testing throughout, to ensure that, from delivery, the equipment is working.”

The document added: “The supplier [will] carefully plan the migration from the existing network to the new network after installation. It must be prepared to minimise risk and to fit into the existing change programme so as not to impact DWP business.”

Once the new network and upgraded infrastructure is up and running, Computacenter will be expected “to remove the equipment that is now redundant, [such as] the current network switches”.

The £5m contract to tone up the DWP’s on-premises hosting facilities comes shortly after the department revealed that its renewed three-year cloud hosting deal with Amazon Web Services will be worth £94m to the tech firm. This figure is £37m higher than the department’s previous engagement with AWS, which ran from 2020 to 2023.

Sam Trendall

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