'

Government datacentres see ups and downs

The range of size and capability in the central government's 130-strong stable of datacenters has led to security risks, according to a government technologist.In some cases, a number of public sector organisations had installed systems in the same datacentre or colocation datacentre, without knowing they were sharing the space, said Andrew Bull, who chairs the CTO Council’s public sector infrastructure team.

The range of size and capability in the central government's 130-strong stable of datacenters has led to security risks, according to a government technologist.

In some cases, a number of public sector organisations had installed systems in the same datacentre or colocation datacentre, without knowing they were sharing the space, said Andrew Bull, who chairs the CTO Council’s public sector infrastructure team. This led to an "accidental consolidation of risk", he told the Government ICT conference in London on Tuesday.

“These problems have since been fixed,” Bull said.

As part of its efficiency drive, the government plans to merge the facilities down to around a dozen datacentres, he said.

Some of the central government’s datacentres are 1980s builds refreshed with new hardware, while others are state of the art, according to Bull. Despite this, "in general, they've got poor environmental credentials," he said.

For example, they consistently demonstrate low space utilisation, Bull said, due to a lack of power and cooling infrastructure.

"There are lots of common things — common challenges and common opportunities — to be doing things in a similar way," Bull said, adding that central government IT decision makers need to change their ways of thinking to move to a a rationalised datacentre estate.