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As in the commercial sector, public service bodies are increasingly turning to the cloud as a means of delivering digital transformation, not only securely, but affordably and at least cost to the environment. To assist with this, the UK government sponsored the creation of Crown Hosting Data Centres Limited, a joint venture with Ark Data Centres, tasked with meeting the datacentre needs of public organisations regardless of size, level of expertise or starting point on their transformation journey. That brief, however, remains a work in progress and although Crown Hosting addresses many of the issues faced by customers through an established framework of platforms and services, some still face difficulties making cloud work for them.
“Mandated to take a ‘cloud first’ approach to IT, it’s easy for organisations to fall into the trap of thinking of Cloud as a place rather than a model and that they have, necessarily, to move everything out of the datacentre to one of the hyperscaler cloud platforms, like AWS or Azure,” said Andrew Puddephatt, Sr. Sales Director, Public Sector at Nutanix. “But that’s not the case, moreover it can be highly disruptive as well as costly with no guarantee that any of the anticipated savings will be realised. This kind of ‘big bang’ cloud migration can also be a real shock to support teams needing to learn new skills and ways of working, on top of which there are technological, cost and support risks from locking into a single platform no matter who the provider.”
Faced with this reality, customers across the board are increasingly looking to take a ‘cloud appropriate’ approach to transformation. An approach where individual workloads are hosted by different platforms to meet their specific needs across a mix of legacy platforms plus both public cloud services and private clouds either on premise or in a colocation datacentre. Indeed, some 83% of respondents to the latest Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Index survey identified this kind of hybrid multicloud approach as their preferred model. Moreover, with Nutanix widely recognised as a champion and market leader in this approach, Nutanix technology is what Trust Systems will be offering as a core component of its new Trust Cloud service for Crown Hosting customers.
“Experience has shown that public organisations are likely to have legacy applications and platforms that can’t be easily migrated to the cloud,” said Chris Boyes, Chief Operating Officer at Trust Systems, “By partnering with Nutanix we’re able to offer those customers the same immediate benefits by migrating those workloads to scalable, highly available and easy to manage hyperconverged Nutanix infrastructure, fully compliant with the DDAT playbook and other government security standards. Beyond that, Trust Cloud customers can also host their own fully segmented private cloud as well as access tools to build, run and manage applications on any cloud, balance workloads across clouds and focus on business outcomes rather than having to manage multiple platforms and technologies. It’s a solution in its own right and a real stepping stone from legacy on-premise platforms to the cloud with less hassle, cost and risk.”
The new Trust Cloud Hosting Service is an IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) solution offering customers access to dedicated, per customer, Hyperconverged Infrastructure ensuring complete data separation. Hardware consists of Tier 1 servers running the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud software and a choice of virtualization hypervisor. Connectivity is also included using high performance COTS switching technologies with a dedicated high security perimeter firewall, shared edge landing network and intermediate Core LAN based on a market leading dual resilient and redundant platform.
As well as both central and local government, the new Crown Hosting service is available now on a subscription basis to NHS and other publicly funded organisations. It is made available with a tiered menu of support packages and access to additional services including encryption and both backup and disaster recovery as a service products.