Scotland's Digital Future: Report on the current landscape for Data Hosting and Data Centres in the Scottish Public Sector

This report sets out the findings of a review of the public sector data centre landscape. The landscape review was the first phase of the project to deliver the data hosting and data centre strategy published in April 2014. The findings in this report ref

Section 4: Conclusions

Energy consumption accounts for around one third of the cost of running a data centre and there is little evidence that public sector organisations are controlling this effectively while private sector facilities are managing this as a priority.

Given the extent of organisation specific arrangements there would continue to appear to be considerable scope for cost saving through consolidation.

Organisations face many options in making arrangements for data hosting but lack both an information base for doing so, and wish guidance for the Scottish public sector on use of cloud services.

Views expressed in meetings were to the effect that public sector shared service offerings were not attractive in terms of service offered or costs (although noting that full costing of their own facilities may not be available for detailed comparison).

Cloud services offer scalability and the avoidance of capital expenditure. A procurement framework for these, to include hosting is required.

Other governments are driving consolidation through provision of new public sector or external data hosting services.

However, all engaged parties considered that consolidation of data centres and or services at a national level could be problematic. There was a greater appetite for driving consolidation at sectoral and/or geographic level.

These points and the fuller information in previous sections suggest a foundation for consolidation requires:

(a) provision available outside the individual organisation that meets business requirements, and

(b) this can be demonstrated to:

  • address concerns in relation to security
  • be a more cost and energy efficient solution than present arrangements.



In order to provide a basis for consolidation it is suggested that organisations should follow a set of principles and that related guidance could usefully be developed. The expectation is that, by following such principles and guidance, decisions would be taken that would result purchasing via a range of procurement framework's that deliver on the strategy. Suggested principles are below. Further detail of possible guidance is at Annex E. with the guidance on use of cloud identified as that which is required most urgently.

Principle guidance
1. No new data centres should be built to meet the needs of an individual or small number of organisations. Standards that a public sector data centre should meet.
2. Organisations audit their ICT data centre and hosting arrangements Audit of existing data centre/hosting facilities
3. Cost of running data centres and hosting is known. Standardised cost model that will allow organisations to compare their current delivery model to the alternatives.
4. Organisations measure and continually improve on their data centres PUE. Toolkit for assessing the efficiency and effectiveness of existing services and data centres in line with Industry Standards
5. Utility and cloud computing is considered in assessing the appropriateness of current arrangements and future investment plans The High Level Operating Framework is developed to set out principles to follow in determining use of cloud services
6. Co-location in existing data centres is considered Model SLA provisions


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