Vantage UK: A Private Cloud for the Public Sector (Local Digital Capital case study)
To coincide with the publication of our 2022 Local Digital Capital Index report, a tool designed to aid discussions and decisions in strengthening local tech ecosystems across the UK, we asked the techUK community to provide case studies to celebrate the contributions made by the tech sector to drive forward levelling up, digital adoption, develop digital skills, connect people, and harness R&D in the UK’s nations and regions.
This case study is focused on digital adoption.
Established in 2010, Shared Resource Service (SRS) is a collaborative public sector organisation that provides technology services to the public sector in South Wales. In total it serves approximately 350 sites including 120 schools. Vantage UK’s CWL1 data centre campus offers SRS an affordable and future-proofed private cloud hosting environment for delivering shared digital services to the South Wales Public Sector.
The key objectives behind SRS’s move to Vantage last year were to:
- Transform the SRS into an organisation that delivers the best digital services to its partners
- Consolidate ageing on premise data centres to reduce costs and complexity
- Increase agility by transforming into a cloud delivery partner
- Build a standard service catalogue of commoditised services based on a single infrastructure
- Support more Public Sector organisations wishing to join the partnership
- Increase the value for money proposition that the SRS delivers
- Ensure the investment in technology is focused on delivery of the corporate priorities of the partner organisations
SRS required a more efficient, cost-effective and future proof solution for delivering the various digital services it provides to many hundreds of users across four Local Authorities. This needed to accommodate the ongoing shift towards virtualisation, necessitating the use of higher density racks with more power draw per rack.
SRS’s range of shared standardised digital service offerings are now being delivered from a single highly secure and resilient private cloud platform, hosted at Vantage’s CWL1 data centre campus near Cardiff. These include compute and storage resources, firewalls, IT support/helpdesk and access to WAN services via connection to the PSBA (Public Sector Broadband Aggregation) which connects Welsh public sector organisations to a private, secure, Wide Area Network (WAN). There are currently 18 server racks drawing a total of 90kW for supporting the data processing and storage requirements.
Vantage CWL1 provides SRS with a world class data centre solution, offering state-of-the-art critical infrastructure and cooling, abundant space and 100% renewable power, multiple connectivity solutions, along with a convenient location to the M4.
We now have a much more cost-effective data centre solution and one that is fit for purpose for hosting a modern private cloud to seamlessly deliver a common set of services to all our stakeholders. And without any of the burden of capital expenditure just to remain up to date with the latest infrastructure technologies. Furthermore, Vantage’s commitment to using 100% renewable power is of key importance to our Council members. Previously we only had one network connectivity option available to us with BT. Now we can choose from multiple carriers with direct points of presence at Vantage CWL1 as well as leverage further potential cost savings including access to the LINX Wales Internet Exchange and Peering Service.
In the future, SRS foresees the need for housing up to a total of 30 racks in support of its growing private cloud solution.
Matt Lewis concluded: “The scalable power and space available at Vantage CWL1 will give us plenty of room to expand which brings great peace of mind. And with the growing reliance on cloud and continuing virtualisation, having a very competent engineering team available to support us inside a well-connected carrier neutral data centre will help us to always respond quickly to changing requirements and ensure maximum choice and competitiveness. In CWL1, we have found a safe harbour for securing the future of SRS and the shared services we are responsible for providing on a continuous basis.”
techUK – Building Stronger Local Economies
techUK champions the tech sector throughout the UK. We work with local authorities, devolved government, and local and national policy makers to advocate for the tech sector in strengthening economic growth and resilience. We provide opportunities for our members and local stakeholders to meet, build relationships, and collaborate to drive forward local projects. For more information or to get in touch, please visit our Nations and Regions Hub and click ‘contact us’.