Ministry of Justice to move infrastructure to the public cloud

Written by Public Technology staff on 16 October 2018 in News
News

Department aims to save £30m a year as it moves to public cloud hosting

The Ministry of Justice has laid out plans to move its infrastructure to public cloud hosting, in an attempt to better manage systems, increase resilience and save millions of pounds a year.

Steve Marshall, head of hosting for the department, outlined the new approach in a blog post which details how his team plans to refine the ministry’s infrastructure. 

The ministry currently has a mixed approach to hosting, with thousands of different systems running on many different types of hosting, including modern, hyper-scale cloud providers as well as physical servers located in data centres and server rooms. 

It spends around £75m annually on hosting, but predicts it will reduce costs to £45m in the move. 

“As well as saving money, moving to the cloud makes us better able to manage, change, improve, and secure our systems and the data they hold, as well as making it easier to make them more resilient to failure,” writes Marshall.

“We’re trying to reduce the amount of manual administration we do on every system, making them easier to run and update. Doing this makes us able to more respond quickly security threats and bugs and spend more time improving our systems and making them more resilient.”

The programme to move the ministry’s infrastructure to the public cloud or, in some cases, cease running it, operates under three streams: ‘retirement’ (“where most of our expensive contracts and oldest systems are,” he writes), ‘modernisation’ and ‘cloud native.’ 

According to the blog post, the ministry is saving millions of pounds by closing down and consolidating ‘retirement’ infrastructure, seeing an end to some contracts. It has already moved or turned off all of the systems that support Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service to ‘modernisation’ infrastructure, saving £6m annually.

“We will keep improving the systems in our modernisation infrastructure until they’re cloud native and, when they are, move them onto our Cloud Platform,” Marshall writes. 

The Cloud Platform’s first ‘tenant,’ the legal aid agency fee calculator, went live a few weeks ago.

The Ministry of Justice’s plans fits with government’s Cloud First policy which was introduced as mandatory for central government in 2013. 

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