Feeds

UK.gov stacking up gang of clouds

Ain't nothin' but a G-thang

Top three mobile application threats

The government's CIO has said he expects the public sector to use commercial cloud computing services as well as the 'G Cloud'.

Government chief information officer John Suffolk said that organisations will make use of generally available clouds as well as the environment being designed specifically for the government.

The Cabinet Office is leading the development of the G Cloud to provide a shared, virtualised infrastructure for data storage and applications.

Speaking to journalists at the launch of Socitm's IT Trends 2009-10 report, he said the key factor will be what is most appropriate to the organisation's needs, and that 'public clouds' could in some cases offer a better deal.

"If it delivers good citizen outcomes at a price you can afford then use the public cloud," he said, adding that organisations will not be mandated to take any specific approach but will be left to make their own choices.

"We are saying to departments that they know their own business," he said. "We think it will flesh out a bigger strategic debate and will drive some towards the cloud, while others will take different approaches."

He qualified this, however, by saying that any personal data should not be kept on a public cloud, adding that when the G Cloud becomes available it will be a more appropriate repository for personal information.

Suffolk also suggested there is likely to be more than one cloud for public services, pointing out that healthcare bodies, the police and other organisations have different demands that would have to be satisfied.

He reiterated the rationale for the G Cloud as a model of reducing duplication and cutting costs for IT services to the public sector.

"You can't have hundreds of data centres and tens or even hundreds of networks. You have to ask 'Do we need to do all this ourselves?' I just don't think it's a suitable model for the next 10 years."

An additional advantage would be that it would support small and medium sized IT companies trying to win a share of the public sector market.

"We see small, innovative organisations struggling to do business with the public sector because they can't show the scale that is necessary," Suffolk said, adding that they often need to provide an underlying infrastructure to applications or services. The G Cloud could provide the infrastructure on which they would work.

"We believe this will open up the market to SMEs because they don't have to bring the infrastructure. We want them to focus on top end innovation delivering with outcomes for citizens, rather than bottom end infrastructure."

Suffolk said that more than 100 organisations are currently working on the G Cloud, addressing issues such as migrating data, security and the dangers of vendor lock-in. Suppliers have been encouraged to provide their knowledge of what has worked in a commercial environment in areas such as licensing.

A review of the work is expected to be published in mid-February. He declined to set a date when the G Cloud would be fully operational, suggesting it could be opened in increments. "We need to walk before we can run," he said.

This article was originally published at Kable.

Kable's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo: Turn your phone into a 72GB beast
USB-usiness in the front, micro-USB party in the back
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Inside the Hekaton: SQL Server 2014's database engine deconstructed
Nadella's database sqares the circle of cheap memory vs speed
BOFH: Oh DO tell us what you think. *CLICK*
$%%&amp Oh dear, we've been cut *CLICK* Well hello *CLICK* You're breaking up...
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
AMD's 'Seattle' 64-bit ARM server chips now sampling, set to launch in late 2014
But they won't appear in SeaMicro Fabric Compute Systems anytime soon
Amazon reveals its Google-killing 'R3' server instances
A mega-memory instance that never forgets
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.