Cabinet Office to launch data hosting company

Written by Colin Marrs on 18 July 2014 in News

Local authorities will be able to host applications not suitable for cloud hosting via a new company being created by central government to provide data hosting services.

The Cabinet Office today issued a tender notice seeking a private sector partner to take a majority stake in the new company, which will be named DatacentreCo.

Purchases over the four years of a framework agreement could be worth between £50m and £700m, according to the document.

The tender says: “Under HM Government's Cloud First policy, the hosting of many existing and new applications will move to the public cloud over the next few years.

“DatacentreCo will support and compliment this policy by providing 'legacy' (non -public cloud) hosting for applications not suitable or not ready for cloud hosting or for which conversion to cloud readiness would be uneconomic.”

The contract notice relates to the provision of data centre space and related services including energy, cooling, connectivity and physical security.

Any successful provider will be required to provide the infrastructure from at least two separate locations.

The Cabinet Office and Government Digital Service want a private sector facilities partner to subscribe for a majority shareholding of up to 75% less one share in the new company. The government would own the remaining shareholding.

The operating environment will be required to handle information marked with the UK government “official” security classification, but may need to handle secret and top secret information in future.

The first customers to make use of the data centre framework agreement, which will be awarded to the new company, are expected to be the Department of Work and Pensions, the Home Office and the Highways Agency.

According to the Cabinet Office, the intention is then to open up the services to other public sector bodies including local authorities.

The closing date for responses to the tender is 15 August.

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JKHerbert73 (not verified)

Submitted on 21 July, 2014 - 09:00
I think this might not be a good idea but I understand the logic - Central Gov depts have made virtually no progress in moving to the cloud in the last 5 years and there is a massively inefficient Central Government Data Centre estate out there that could be consolidated - that is if we were living in 2009 and not 2014. This initiative could be a get out of jail free card for CCG Depts and CIOs who don't want to deal with how they manage their data and don't want to move to more efficient and flexible models - i.e. public cloud. Yes the legacy apps will be around for a while and need to be hosted but this could prolong that. What is needed is urgency not get outs and work arounds. If all departments has firm strategies, plans and milestones for moving to the cloud then maybe but they don't so use of this should be a condition of that at least.

Bhavna Singh (not verified)

Submitted on 22 July, 2014 - 11:13
There are so many professional organizations are in competition for providing hosting services on cloud server across the world. I think rather than investing lots of amount in launching your own hosting company, the best idea is to outsource to a good cloud server and data center providing company.

Sukhwinder Uppal (not verified)

Submitted on 4 August, 2014 - 11:51
The 'provider will be required to provide the infrastructure from at least two separate locations' - these would need to be in the UK (hopefully far apart). Any physical structure based in a foreign country would come under their data protection laws and that government may be able to access the data that is probably why public 'cloud' would not be suitable since we would not have control on where the data is stored or passed through.

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