WHITE PAPER: Utility Computing for GovernmentHarnessing the Benefitsof Utility Computingfor GovernmentInformation technolo...
The internet, is bringing speed and efficiency to the dissemination of information,improving access to transactional servi...
Key challenges for Government IT leadersGovernment IT leaders are squeezed by the opposing pressures of risingexpectations...
Rethinking IT delivery with Infrastructure-as-a-ServiceInfrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) is a provision model whereby the...
Greater standardisation of IT infrastructure would eliminate the extensive and costly design, construction and testing    ...
A hybrid approach to utility computingThis vision of a utility computing model does not demand wholesale overnightmigratio...
Rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach often prescribed by the proponentsof pure-play cloud computing, a hybrid a...
Key considerations when choosing a utility computing partner•	Single-source simplicity  Multi-sourcing to external provide...
•	Cost-effective service  To optimise operational expenditure, consider a multi-tenant public cloud to  create a virtual p...
In conclusionInformation technology offers the potential to change the relationship betweencitizens and Government by faci...
About SavvisSavvis, a CenturyLink company, is a global leader in cloud infrastructure and hostedIT solutions for enterpris...
To find out more about Savvis visit	                                                                           www.savvis....
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Harnessing the benefits of utility compute for government savvis white paper september 2012

  1. 1. WHITE PAPER: Utility Computing for GovernmentHarnessing the Benefitsof Utility Computingfor GovernmentInformation technology is an essentialvehicle for the delivery of well-organised,cost-effective public services that respondto the needs of citizens and business. Table of Contents 3 ey challenges for K 8 ey considerations K Government IT leaders when choosing a utility computing partner 4 ethinking IT delivery R with Infrastructure-as- 10 ind your solution F a-Service with Savvis 6 hybrid approach to A 11 bout Savvis A utility computing
  2. 2. The internet, is bringing speed and efficiency to the dissemination of information,improving access to transactional services and making citizen interactions simplerand more convenient — whether that be a school-leaver applying for a studentloan, an entrepreneur setting up a business for the first time, or a neighbourhoodwatch group scrutinising crime figures.Local and central government also has the need for technology applicationsto connect, mobilise and reduce the cost of internal processes. That meansequipping the civil service to operate flexibly and productively, eliminatingavoidable travel and promoting sustainability. These aspirations (which notcoincidentally support the rationalisation of Government’s large and diverseproperty estate) are driving the need to exploit mobile technologies, collaborationtools and audio and video conferencing.In parallel, explosive growth in public data — fuelled by the emphasis ontransparency that accompanies the pursuit of modernisation — placesgovernment IT departments at the confluence between policy and technology.The opportunities for data-driven policy creation and tuning are greater than everand should be a key focus of public sector planning.However, current government IT infrastructure is typically under-prepared tosupport this modernisation due to a number of constraints, principally:• ack of integration, leading to inefficiency and duplication, and impeding the L sharing and re-use of services• Capacity underutilisation in government data centres caused by the historical practice of planning and provisioning to accommodate (usually rare) peak use scenarios on dedicated infrastructure• Long and costly procurement timescales that prevent government from being responsive to the evolving needs of citizens and businesses• arge, unwieldy IT projects that fail to meet mission objectives LThis white paper examines how a “buy not build” approach, analogous to theconsumption of electricity and other utility services, can better meet governmentdemand for compute resource.To most efficiently support the modernisation of public services, the paperadvocates a hybrid infrastructure consisting of private and public cloud servicesand the colocation of government-owned IT assets in third-party data centres,provided as a managed service. It goes on to explore how this can achievecross-government economies of scale, deliver responsive IT systems, supportthe exploitation of new technologies and encourage a more dynamic suppliermarketplace.Finally, it sets out the criteria that government IT leaders should ascertainwhen evaluating any prospective infrastructure partner to reduce risk, maintaincontinuous availability of critical systems and maximise efficiency gains. 2
  3. 3. Key challenges for Government IT leadersGovernment IT leaders are squeezed by the opposing pressures of risingexpectations and dwindling budgets. This translates into a mandate to achievecost efficiencies, refocus resource on improving public service delivery andsupport the transition to a ‘digital by default’ model of citizen service provision.• Efficiency and financial savings The prevailing austerity programme demands unprecedented cuts in the way public sector services are delivered. In parallel, however, the cost and complexity of acquiring and maintaining internal IT infrastructure to meet rapidly changing operational demand continue to rise. Furthermore, build-it-yourself IT strategies in the public (and indeed, private) sector suffer from an inherent lack of scalability, leading to step-changes in capacity at a time when “just in case” over-provisioning is no longer an admissible practice.• Refocus resource Under pressure to demonstrate accountability for taxpayers’ money, central and local government must now visibly focus on assisting those in genuine need, identifying and preventing fraudulent activity and supporting high-quality citizen interactions. That means directing resource towards the exploitation of technologies that will deliver benefits to citizens and business alike, faster and at reduced cost. The bottom line: public money can no longer be justifiably committed to building and maintaining underlying IT infrastructure that could be bought more cost-effectively as a service.• Prioritise online delivery Online is becoming the consumption model of choice for a growing majority of citizens, with reduced emphasis on face-to-face, telephone or paper- based channels. Social media and e-petitions allow citizens greater dialogue and involvement with government, enabling people to increasingly influence and contribute to public policy. Shifting to a ‘digital by default’ approach to transactional services can enable government to break down barriers, engage cost-effectively with citizens en masse and target vital resource at those who are not best served online. But prioritising online delivery doesn’t simply mean digitising forms and making them available on a website — it requires a fundamental reconsideration of how departments and processes operate. According to a recent study of 200 councils, visits to council websites cost just £0.15 compared to £2.83 per phone call or £8.62 per face-to-face interaction. Source: SOCITM, 2011 3
  4. 4. Rethinking IT delivery with Infrastructure-as-a-ServiceInfrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) is a provision model whereby the IT equipmentused to support operations (such as storage, hardware, servers and networkingcomponents) are housed, run and maintained by an outsource services provider.This model effectively turns compute resource into a utility stream, characterisedby usage-based billing, automation of administrative tasks, dynamic scaling,desktop virtualisation, policy-based services and internet connectivity.In the private sector, organisations are increasingly divesting themselves ofresponsibility for managing their IT infrastructure in favour of focusing on innovationand competitive advantages such as speed to market. Enterprise-grade cloudofferings are now a broadly-accepted replacement for, or complement to, in-housedata centres. Because IaaS turns IT costs into operational expenditure, it enablesorganisations to conserve capital, align compute resource directly to businessneed and focus on strategic imperatives. Crucially, IaaS extends to government ITorganisations the same opportunity as their private sector counterparts to choosea supplier based on price, service, contract terms and brand values.The Government’s ICT strategy, issued by the Cabinet Office in 2011, outlines a firmagenda for data centre, network, software and asset consolidation and a concertedshift towards cloud computing to create a common ICT infrastructure. The publicsector stands to benefit from a ‘buy not build’ approach in three primary areas:• Reduced cost and complexity The public sector IT purchasing landscape is characterised by an oligopoly of large suppliers, complex contracts and cumbersome procurement processes. Historically, this has hampered agility and transparency and has often failed to deliver adequate value for public money. A consumption-based model for commoditised compute resource would enable government IT departments to provision infrastructure more flexibly and responsively. Traditional, expensive supply agreements would be replaced by true utility contracts. Capital expenditure on IT would be converted into more manageable and predictable operating expenditure. ‘Care and feeding’ tasks would be substantially reduced or eliminated altogether, liberating resource which could be redirected at projects that drive cost savings or enhance citizen engagement.• Greater predictability, reduced risk, accelerated delivery Government departments have traditionally worked The government aims to achieve efficiency independently to design, procure and run their own and financial savings of £20 million in IT solutions, resulting in expensive and fragmented 2012-2013, £60 million in 2013-2014 and infrastructure that frequently leads to duplication while £80 million in 2014-2015 through the impeding the sharing and re-use of services. Some displacement of data centres in favour of technology-based initiatives in the public sector have the Cloud. culminated in the high-profile failure of large programmes Source: Government ICT Strategy — many of which started with a blank sheet of paper rather Cabinet Office 2011 than proven platforms and re-usable components. 4
  5. 5. Greater standardisation of IT infrastructure would eliminate the extensive and costly design, construction and testing According to the Cabinet Office, phase 1 of processes typically required for new projects, significantly the G-Cloud programme established that reducing deployment timescales. IaaS provisioning can be there are now over 130 data centres and an enacted in a matter of hours or days, rather than the lengthy additional 8,000 server rooms in central procurement cycles involved in hardware acquisition. government alone, running an estimated 90,000 servers at average utilisation level The use of proven building blocks and platforms would of less than 10%. increase predictability in the way IT services are delivered, Source: Government ICT Strategy simultaneously reducing risk and complexity. The ability to Cabinet Office 2011 re-use shared platforms and capabilities would generate tangible efficiency gains by enabling government IT departments to pay only for service integration and customisation, rather than systems build and integration – a key proof point of accountability for public money. The use of open standards and open source applications would not only reduce cost but also reduce dependencies on specific vendors, to avoid public services being locked in to proprietary software licensing agreements.• Lower barriers to change The move to a utility computing model based on an open platform supports the Government’s aim of being able to procure interoperable solutions from small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) rather than predominantly through large systems integrators. This will help to create a more competitive IT marketplace, defined by specialists that can deliver in their domains more effectively than generic providers. Government IT departments will no longer be locked into lengthy and restrictive IT contracts that cannot adapt to evolving needs and circumstances.Ultimately, the ambition is that like any utility, “infrastructure on tap” will becometaken for granted as an invisible enabler, allowing government IT departments tofocus on delivering real capability rather than low-value tasks. 5
  6. 6. A hybrid approach to utility computingThis vision of a utility computing model does not demand wholesale overnightmigration to the cloud. Government data centres are typically the embodiment ofyears of conflicting pressures and operational requirements. The trend towardsvirtualisation has been gathering momentum for some time, leaving in its wake atrail of complex, hybrid environments.Now, the challenge for IT leaders is to understand when it is appropriate andjustifiable to maintain mission-critical or high-dependency IT assets in-houseand when to take advantage of a consumption-based model. Notwithstanding,the question of whether it still makes sense to procure and manage commodityinfrastructure is becoming a moot point, particularly in the current economic climate.However, not all utility computing providers are equal. Infrastructure-as-a-Service should be provided according to a flexible model that lets governmentdepartments choose which components of their IT infrastructure they continue toown and manage, and what is more appropriately owned and managed on theirbehalf. The outcome should not only support maximum cost efficiency but alsoensure the environment is optimised from a technical perspective.To deliver on the vision for utility computing, a hybrid strategy needs to be able tosupport a combination of models within a common delivery portfolio: What? Why? Colocation Offers government IT Delivers considerable departments space and economies of scale, frees power for their servers and up internal networks, can networking equipment in the accelerate access speeds due service provider’s data centre to increased bandwidth Managed Provides dedicated servers Alleviates government IT Hosting and a full suite of technical departments of virtually support, maintenance and all administrative and monitoring services maintenance tasks and is a strong solution for legacy applications Dedicated Delivers a fully managed, Enables government IT Cloud customisable, private cloud departments to deploy infrastructure with dedicated, compute and storage resources secure virtualised hosting quickly and easily when needed Open Cloud Multi-tenanted public Compute resources can be architecture offers a provisioned elastically without highly flexible computing the burden of long-term environment with the contracts or the lead-time of scalability and security of an traditional deployments enterprise-class platform 6
  7. 7. Rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach often prescribed by the proponentsof pure-play cloud computing, a hybrid approach is both more realistic andfeasible to adopt, because it takes into account the diversified and often complexcomposition of a typical Government data centre, which dictates the most suitablecombination of services. In a hypothetical yet very typical scenario:• raditional hosting would be used to catch legacy services and migrate them to T modern cloud-based delivery• elected Government services would continue to rely on dedicated physical hosting S• loud bursting – retaining an application within the data centre and using the C cloud to meet demand spikes — would prevent over-provisioning by avoiding the need to size capacity to meet peak loads• anaged services would enable the government IT department to tap into M technology specialists that would augment the expertise of its own staff• olocation would help to reduce capital costs and improve availability while C using in-house teams to run critical or sensitive workloads. Proof Point: Giving Slough Borough Council’s data centre a new home and a new lease of life Challenge Slough Borough Council relies heavily on its data centre to run more than 179 business applications and power the website that serves its citizens. Maintained by a staff of 27 IT professionals, the cost of server sprawl, power and cooling was becoming uneconomical and the premises were due for closure to make way for a school to be located in its place. Solution Savvis migrated the Council’s IT infrastructure, (including web server hardware, application software and networking equipment) to its secure, state-of-the-art colocation facility in Slough within just five months. The migration proceeded so smoothly that the Council decided to colocate in another Savvis data centre for back- up and disaster recovery services. Benefit Since employing Savvis’ colocation services, the Council has experienced zero downtime. No longer spending several hours a day on IT infrastructure maintenance and repair, the IT department is focused on the higher value tasks involved in proactively serving its 1,200 employees and the public. With substantially reduced power, cooling and capital costs, the Council has freed up funds to invest in innovation to fulfil its strategic objectives. 7
  8. 8. Key considerations when choosing a utility computing partner• Single-source simplicity Multi-sourcing to external providers who offer specific services may be perceived as a way to diversify risk. However, in practice it generally results in greater complexity than managing a single in-house IT team. Consider a partner that is able to provide both traditional and cloud-based hosting capabilities, including private, public and hybrid models.• An enterprise-class provider Offering a robust, scalable platform that meets the long term needs of the government organisation is only half the story. Any eligible supplier should also be able to fully satisfy data ownership concerns; mandate security and privacy policies and procedures; accelerate the roll-out process; mitigate development and deployment risks and fulfil availability and business continuity requirements. And perhaps almost as importantly, given the aggressive targets for efficiencies, the provider should eliminate unanticipated or unnecessary costs through up-front consultation and rigorous planning. Furthermore, insist on an enterprise-grade SLA that is fit for purpose and clearly stipulates availability of your critical systems and data rather than simply uptime.• Data sovereignty As the government moves towards increased adoption of cloud-based services, data sovereignty is becoming a crucial consideration. Personal information held by the public sector must be housed within UK borders, therefore it is imperative that any provider can meet the demand for in-country hosting rather than offering vague assurances that data will be held in the “European region”. Transparency and governance is key.• A true utility contract The supply agreement should be based on a consumption model of billing and be explicit and transparent in its conditions. It should minimise dependence on a specific vendor through the use of standard platforms and components, thereby avoiding the punitive lock-in periods that have previously blighted public sector IT. 8
  9. 9. • Cost-effective service To optimise operational expenditure, consider a multi-tenant public cloud to create a virtual private data centre in instances where dedicated infrastructure may not be warranted. Look for a choice of SLA levels governing specific layers, to maximise cost savings (for example, to avoid paying a premium for mission- critical levels of availability for archive data that is rarely accessed) while retaining the option of committed or uncontended resources for essential services.• Seamless migration A hybrid utility provider should work consultatively with the in-house government IT team to determine the most appropriate approach to migration, taking into account complexity, budget, timeframes and end-user impact, anticipating any challenges or risks that may need to be planned for, measured, managed or mitigated.• Security accreditation Shortlist providers with specialist government security teams and look for accredited versions of core utility services as well as accredited facilities for more traditional managed services and colocation.• Public sector-ready Delivering successfully to government means the provider’s services will need to fit within the traditional public sector supply chain. Solicit evidence of assured and accredited solutions together with availability of the gCloud Procurement Framework and core government networks, and a guarantee of UK sovereign services. Any prospective provider’s credentials should additionally demonstrate a strong partner ethos and experience of working successfully with government IT departments. 9
  10. 10. In conclusionInformation technology offers the potential to change the relationship betweencitizens and Government by facilitating interaction and collaboration, as well asfulfilling the urgent fundamental remit of delivering public services at lower cost.Making more effective use of IT affords the opportunity to enhance and innovatethe way public policy is delivered, and its impact measured and improved.A utility computing model can clearly support these aspirations and more,making Government IT departments more adaptable and resilient to change andproviding a reliable foundation for the adoption of new technologies and evermore sophisticated services.The government agenda for consolidation of data centres, networks, softwareand assets is driving the shift towards cloud computing. However, not allapplications are suited to the cloud: it may not always be desirable or practicalto migrate certain types of systems or data, and specific legacy hardware andapplications may not be cloud-enabled by the original equipment manufacturer.Instead, a hybrid approach — bringing together colocation, managed services,private and open cloud — can offer a joined-up, cost-effective solution,particularly when supported by a utility computing provider that takes intoindividual account the maturity of the government data centre in question. Onethat offers transparent, comparable pricing and simple procurement, encouragesand enables re-use of IT assets and intellectual property, and provides a clearcommercial and operational roadmap for the transition process.Find your solution with SavvisGovernments around the world have turned to Savvis to help them achieve theIT infrastructure they need to deliver services in the face of today’s budgetarypressures and constantly changing environment. Savvis will help you make theright decisions about how and where to house your data and infrastructure. Usinga blend of accredited colocation, managed hosting and public and private cloudservices, we can ensure you achieve the optimised infrastructure you’re lookingfor, and the flexibility and agility your organisation demands. 10
  11. 11. About SavvisSavvis, a CenturyLink company, is a global leader in cloud infrastructure and hostedIT solutions for enterprises. Nearly 2,500 unique clients, including more than 30 ofthe top 100 companies in the Fortune 500, use Savvis to reduce capital expense,improve service levels and harness the latest advances in cloud computing.For more information call us on +44(0)207 400 5600 or email emea-sales@savvis.com.www.savvis.co.uk/government. 11
  12. 12. To find out more about Savvis visit www.savvis.co.uk/government or call +44(0)207 400 5600.Global Headquarters Canada EMEA Asia Pacific Japan1 Savvis Parkway 6800 Millcreek Drive Eskdale Road 50 Raffles Place 7th FloorSt. Louis, MO 63017 Mississauga, ON Winnersh Triangle Singapore Land Tower Kyodo Building L5N 4J9 Wokingham #13-01 (Jinbocho 3cho-me)Tel 1.800.SAVVIS.1 Berkshire RG41 5TS Singapore 048623 3-29 Kanda Jinbocho(1.800.728.8471) Tel 1.877.387.3764 United Kingdom Chiyoda-kuwww.savvis.com www.savvis.ca Tel +65 6768 8000 Tokyo 101-0051 Tel +44 (0)118 322 6000 www.savvis.sg Japan www.savvis.co.uk Tel +81.3.5214.0151 www.savvis.jp© 2012 CenturyLink, Inc. All rights reserved. The Savvis mark, logo and certain Savvis product namesare the property of CenturyLink, Inc. All other marks are the property of their respective owners. -1-

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