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Southend-on-Sea UK tenders for £1.5m council data center

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Hybrid cloud services facility to be procured for UK seaside town

Southend-on-Sea, in the United Kingdom, is the latest local borough council to announce its intention to build a dedicated data center. The £1.5m facility, designed to house ‘hybrid cloud’ services was announced at the same time as a tough draft council budget which seeks to make savings of £10m this year.

The council budget only mentions an additional £1.3m on core ICT infrastructure and software improvements that the council says are: “.. vital to ensure the council remains a modern and productive business.”  The council’s website, however, is asking for tenders for a ‘Hybrid Cloud Data Center’ which they want constructed by the end of 2019 – suggesting that the cost may well be spread across a number of years .

Southend-on-Sea beach huts - administered by a hybrid cloud data center

Source: Violette Nlandu Ngoy

For all residents

The tender documents say that the provider will be responsible for specifying the design and components to be used and run the operation once it is implemented.

But the tender continues: “Note that the Council will make separate arrangements for the running of the Hybrid Cloud Data Centre, however should these involve outsourced services, the provider of this contract will be eligible to tender for such services.”

The fact that Southend-on-Sea borough council has not tendered through the UK government G-Cloud initiative does indicate that the council would be more comfortable with a ‘local’ supplier rather than one of the multi-nationals which still dominate UK government procurement, despite attempts to widen it out.

It has also rejected Crown Hosting, the joint venture with Ark Data Centres designed to provide space for public sector IT in the UK. 

The council’s hybrid strategy also indicates that it doesn’t put much trust in the public cloud.

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