Crown Commercial Service

Office for National Statistics successfully migrates data centre

Office for National Statistics (ONS) moves to Crown Hosting framework and benefits from competitive pricing and strategic alignment with its needs.

The requirement

The opportunity first became apparent through Government Digital Service tech leaders.

Simon Sandford-Taylor, Chief Technology Officer at Office for National Statistics, said:

“We were considering our future Data Centre strategy and upon investigation were pleasantly surprised by the pricing structure and strategic alignment of Crown Hosting to ONS needs.

“While there were no break clauses in the data centre we were migrating from, it had become apparent that it would be cost effective and beneficial to leave, so we decided to accelerate the process once we had understood the many advantages of using the framework.

“Our investigations also led to site visits to see Crown Hosting’s data centres, which enabled us to understand how our servers would be configured within secure data rooms.

“The move to Crown Hosting has been a slick process. The project began a number of months ago and it continues to be delivered as we would wish.”

The solution

Simon continued:

“The move to Crown Hosting itself has not presented any challenges. In fact, it has been so smooth that we’re continuing to work with Crown Hosting to allocate further racks from our existing data centre estate.

“It’s been a pretty easy process; we’ve found the experience a good one and have quickly built up good working relationships with the Crown Hosting team.

“Furthermore, the model has been very easy to understand. The way that we have worked together has been great, the service fantastic, and it is excellent value for money.”

The result

Simon added:

“Crucially, Crown Hosting has also provided ONS with the flexibility we required during the implementation process.

“After getting cables and equipment in, it has proved straight-forward in arranging for people and the third party support that we need to come in and fit out the environment that the hosting solution ONS has opted for.

“Crown Hosting also has a very pragmatic approach to site accessibility. Where this can sometimes be intrusively complicated we found that by giving Crown Hosting good lead-time, it was a smooth process. Security, while stringent, is also easier to navigate due to the various systems in place, meaning that those ONS people that are on the security list find access relatively simple, which in turn saves time.

“It is our longer-term view that our data centre requirement will continue to benefit from the comprehensive service provided by Crown Hosting and we are exploring the extent to which this could increase in the future.”

The Crown Hosting Data Centres and Crown Commercial Service joint venture was agreed after a comprehensive tender process to identify best value against a number of critical government criteria, including energy efficiency, resilience, security, sustainability and both contractual and deployment flexibility.

For further information, view the Crown Hosting Services framework webpage.

Originally published 2 February 2017

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