Southend-on-Sea Council Plans £1.5m Data Centre

Local borough council scouts for provider to build hybrid cloud data centre to serve as Digital Strategy catalyst

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council is looking to build its very own hybrid cloud data centre, as the council prepares to spend £1.5 million in expanding its hybrid cloud services, according to The Register.

In a contract advertisement, the council said it is looking for a provider to “supply, install, commission and test a data centre”, a facility that would “serve as a catalyst for contributing to its digital strategy which aims to deliver real benefits to communities and businesses across the Borough of Southend-on-Sea”.

data centreA Southend Council spokesperson said in a statement: “The Council is seeking to refurbish vital equipment that is coming to the end of its life and it cannot be placed into the Cloud for either cost effectiveness or security reasons.

“The Hybrid Cloud tender that has been put out hopes to give the best of both worlds and allows both G-Cloud vendors and local enterprise alike to bid for refurbishing the equipment onsite and leveraging technology in the cloud where it is the most cost effective, to enable a Digital Borough.

The data centre would be the latest example of a local council wanting to build its own data centre and cloud services, shunning dedicated use of Government-provided solutions like G-Cloud.

But as The Register notes, councils’ own data centres are not without their fair share of problems. Last December saw Glasgow City Council’s data centre go offline when a fire suppressant accidentally went off. The accident caused widespread IT problems for the staff.

Southend Council’s spokesperson said: “We do use G-Cloud services where they are economic to do so. However, after research, it is not economically viable for items such as network cabs, power, CCTV, Traffic Camera equipment, Radio and Borough WAN equipment to be hosted elsewhere as yet.

“Whilst storage and other services in the Cloud are seen as ‘en vogue’, they are still often not the most cost effective method of delivery or, following changes in Safe Harbour regulations, clear on ownership outside of the UK and data governance.”

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