Scotland's Digital Future: Data Hosting and Data Centre Strategy for the Scottish Public Sector

The data hosting and data centre strategy sets the vision that Scotland’s public sector data hosting is cost-effective, carbon neutral and makes appropriate use of cloud technology, for the delivery of efficient and highly available ICT services.

Annex F - Internal Service Model for the public sector

Service Model Advantages Disadvantages Exemplar
Internal IT A facility owned by an organisation for running their own ICT functions where they own and manage the facility including servers, racks, power, UPS, air conditioning, fire detection prevention and suppression, monitoring and alerting, security and network connectivity. They also have their own ICT resource to manage the facility.
  • purpose built for an organisations own business requirements and systems
  • organisations retain full control and flexibility in how they set-up and operate their servers organisations can implement their own risk management policies without the worry about the stability or reliability of the provider
  • organisation with ICT spread over multiple locations can benefit from consolidating in one place direct IT personnel accountable to the organisation
  • upgrades to new technology can be carried out at the pace you need to go at, as slow or as fast as you like
  • lack of scalability - potential space limitations as business demand grows and additional server capacity is required.
  • high costs - employ/train specialist ICT staff in every discipline
  • servers and spare capacity that are not being utilised cost money to purchase and run
  • energy prices are increasingly more expensive
University of St. Andrews Data Centre Consolidation

St. Andrews university currently run their data centre at a PUE of 1.34 and have a target to run their data centre at less than 1.2. through further programmes of virtualisation and shared and managed services. They will save over 10 years, £1,400,000 and a reduction of 6.8m Kg CO2emissions.

The University of St Andrews underwent a data centre initiative to replace ageing legacy facilities with an efficient, reliable and scalable facility that would support its dedication to academic excellence for more than 8,000 students in around 160 buildings and with over 2,100 staff. At the time the University had 50 campus locations for servers with no fit for purpose server rooms. A working party of internal stakeholders and external consulting engineers produced a business case for the construction of primary and secondary data centres in order to underpin reliable service delivery. At every stage of the process, energy efficiency was pushed and design decisions taken to minimize overall power consumption. Key parts of the design philosophy are free cooling, fully enclosed hot and cold air paths & ability to reuse the waste heat generated by the computing facility. The facility has a design for a full-load annualised PUE of 1.2. From an infrastructure perspective, the high efficiency of operation is underpinned by extensive telemetry of the datacentre, allowing optimisation of the equipment. Running parallel with the population of the data centre, a path of increased virtualization and use of shared and managed services to reduce the footprint was undertaken, with great success. The project delivered all the expected benefits and will deliver calculated savings against sector average of £1.4m over 10 years, a reduction of 6.8m kg CO2 emissions and is a stepping stone to the University's aspiration to Carbon Neutrality for Power. Further improvement works are earmarked to optimise the PUE for part-load operations and reduce annual operating costs by a further £10K. The data centre has been awarded the BCS CEEDA Gold award.


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