UK Gov, Ark Data Centres team up to launch new cost-saving data centre biz

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The UK government has joined hands with SMB IT supplier Ark Data Centres to launch a new data centre business which it claims will help the public sector save £105m in IT costs over the next seven years.

The new joint venture, known as Crown Hosting Data Centres, will offer physical space to public sector bodies to host their non-cloud-based servers and systems. This will eliminate the need for them to pay separately to either build their own data centres or to outsource to IT suppliers.

The government claims that the communal datacentres will be more eco-friendly and will be equipped with the latest energy-efficient technology.

Department for Work and Pensions, the Home Office and the Highways Agency’s operations unit are the first three departments to make use of the new service. Crown Hosting Data Centres will offer the three departments a “pay for what you use” service, rather than lock them into long-term contracts that lack flexibility.

Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude said the new business venture would serve a cost-saving alternate for the public sector.

“As part of this government’s long-term economic plan, we’re determined to utilise our unique buying power and become a more intelligent customer,” he said.

“It doesn’t make sense for departments to host their servers in different ways and at different costs, and in the past Whitehall wasn’t even sure how many of these centres there were. With this new joint venture, we will save millions and be able to access the necessary commercial and technical skills in the market to create a thriving new business that will deliver better services and allow government to share in its future success.”