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The Limits of Cloud Migration in the Public Sector

James Lord, IT Infrastructure Manager Jul 12, 2018

While industry reports suggesting IT organisations are accelerating their transition towards the cloud, investment in data centres is also on the rise. The 2018 Computer Weekly/Tech Target IT Priorities survey found enterprises across Europe are set to upgrade their data centres for cloud-readiness. However, efficiency and performance were also key concerns and 29% of respondents said updating infrastructure such as servers, power systems and cooling systems is a top priority.

The need for in-house data centre solutions is especially true of public sector organisations, who store, manage and protect a huge amount of sensitive information for the people they serve. Here are some of the reasons why low cost, high quality refurbished hardware is an excellent option to help them achieve their in-house IT requirements in straitened times.

Securing sensitive and proprietary data

With the growing pressure on organisations to protect and secure sensitive data for compliance and security reasons, having in-house access is critical. Firstly, it allows more oversight over which pieces of information are stored about whom, which is important for subject access requests. Secondly, it allows confident destruction of individuals’ data if they request that to happen. Thirdly, it allows more control over security for that information. 

Having a low-cost solution to handle all of this means more capital can be allocated to other security initiatives such as firewalls and training. As ever, it is about assessing which hardware suits which needs and saving money wherever possible.

Capital investment is an important factor

Public sector organisations often receive money as a lump sum. Grant application money usually needs to be allocated to a specific item rather than to a longer term operational expense. Buying in-house equipment at a reduced rate is an excellent way of making the money work hardest. With up to 80% savings off the RRP, our quality refurbished equipment is reliable, fit for purpose and guaranteed for a minimum of three years. It also offers an excellent option on upgrades and repairs as like for like, refurbished performs just as well as new.

Cost saving with legacy systems

Money is a concern for everyone, particularly in the public sector. If you have a series of PCs that are older but still work perfectly well, no manager in their right mind is going to get rid of them. The same is true of software licences attached to these machines. Bought outright and often with lengthy warranties, there is no sense in exchanging these for cloud based options unless absolutely necessary. A large proportion of the computers, then, will not run on the cloud. It makes more sense to have an in-house server to take care of them with as little capital outlay as possible.

Smart upgrades

Keeping servers way past their sell-by date will cost more in energy bills over time than it costs to replace the equipment. Recently, the EU funded Eureca study of 350 public sector data centres found that 40% of servers were over five years old, acccounted for 66% of energy usage but produced just 7% of compute power. Stripping these servers out and redistributing their workload across the other servers would result in a massive saving on the electricity bill year on year.

Other reasons for inefficiency include servers working at drastically reduced capacity – 10% to 15% in some cases – include the memory being saturated and so the CPU is prevented from working harder. Assessing this and addressing it by upgrading memory saves huge amounts of money and is a relatively easy fix. Going for the refurbished option on these component upgrades, in much the same way Google does in it’s data centres, is a way to drastically improve performance at a low capital outlay.

As with everything, the smart solution lies in finding the right technology that suits the organisation’s needs and designing systems accordingly. Saving money on the data centre hardware gives more financial wriggle room to do that.

 

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