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Hosting GOV.UK in the cloud to cost GDS record-breaking £600,000

Government Digital Service signed a deal with Skyscape last month

The Government Digital Service's (GDS) infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) deal with Skyscape to host single domain website GOV.UK, which was procured through the G-Cloud, is worth an estimated £600,000.

Denise McDonagh, G-Cloud programme director, revealed the figure in an article for the Financial Times, where she said that the deal is the biggest sale to date from CloudStore and is "an important milestone for G-Cloud, showing that the public sector is ready to embrace low-cost utility cloud services".

The Ministry of Justice secured the second largest deal to be procured through CloudStore, where it agreed to spend £251,000 with enterprise collaboration company Huddle.

GDS announced the IaaS deal last month, where Mark O'Neill, head of service delivery and innovation at the department, explained the benefits of using cloud computing over hosting the service within the four walls of government.

"In the past, we might have looked at dedicated servers or possibly even our own rack in a data centre somewhere. We would then have had to decide if we wanted to own the servers or if we should rent them some time to break out amortisation tables and spreadsheets," said O'Neill.

"We would have to make sure that we were not locked in if we needed to move servers, so it would be necessary to negotiate break clauses in contracts; we would need to arrange access to server rooms for security accreditation; we would need to well, the list goes on and on."

He added: "The cloud has transformed all of this. Through the G-Cloud framework we are able to simply and rapidly buy highly reliable, highly cost-effective hosting services."

GOV.UK is currently running in beta, where new features are being added to the site every week or two, and will act as a single domain website for citizens accessing services and information across government. It is due to launch on 17 October.

The government launched its CloudStore in February, which saw 257 suppliers signed up to the G-Cloud framework and catalogued within an online portal. The government plans to accredit each service offered only once and then any government body can reuse that service without going through the accreditation process again.


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