The UK government has issued a tender to find a partner to considerably drive down the cost of procuring hosting for the Crown Hosting Service (CHS).
The contract, which is estimated to be worth around £700 million, is expected to save the CHS up to £530 million a year by 2018. Hosting is one of the biggest spending items on the current government's list and according to the Government's CTO, Liam Maxwell, is ripe for consolidation.
The tender is specifically seeking for a joint venture partner that will provide data centre co-location services to the central government and public sector entities. The more secure applications and services however are unlikely to be included.
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The CHS will cater for what Maxwell refers to as a large legacy estate that cannot make the transition to the cloud in the short-to-medium term for various reasons.
A separate tender will seek a partner that can provider with Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) for applications that are virtualisation-friendly but still require to be physically close to legacy hardware.
The contracts are expected to be awarded early in 2015 with online services to be available shortly after.
Via Computer Weekly