Stockport Council invests in digital future


Stockport Council is investing in next generation data centre infrastructure to drive its digital service offering to the 286,000 residents it serves across the borough.

Nutanix’s enterprise cloud will be the background of the council’s Digital by Design programme, which aims to improve access to services through a new website and make better use of the data the Council holds.

The investment allows the council to consolidate computing, virtualisation and storage into a single highly scalable and turnkey appliance, replacing the local authority’s ageing legacy SAN architecture which had become slow, inflexible and expensive to operate and maintain.

The new enterprise cloud solution will power the council’s two data centres, which handle disaster recovery and production respectively, while reducing the data centre footprint by 20 times.

As well as simplifying and consolidating operations and deployment, the move is expected to generate major cost savings and reduce the technical requirements to run, maintain and develop data storage.


Competitive tender

In a competitive tender process, the incumbent vendor XMA steered the Council towards the web-scale capabilities of Nutanix, confident that the agility afforded by a configurable network was best-equipped to meet the demands of an unpredictable and evolving public sector environment, defined by tighter budgets, leaner teams and the need to drive efficiencies.

Based on a pay-as-you-grow model, the virtual desktop environment can be scaled up by additional computing modes, a simplicity that negates the use and expense of the specialist teams which managed the previous infrastructure.

From swift installation over a few days, the speed and efficiency is further evident in the approach to the data recovery and backup. Previously, a third party would be used to rebuild the server from scratch over five days, a process that now takes just a few hours, which also translates to a major cost saving.

In adopting a web-scale IT approach, more associated with the global cloud services of Google, Amazon and Facebook, the move represents significant new territory for the Council, making it something of a frontrunner among peers.

“Local public services are experiencing significant change and it’s hard to know what services requirements will be over the next five years,” said Stockport Council’s IT operations manager, Adrian Davies.

“We need a highly flexible cloud solution that will evolve as the requirements of the Council change. It needs to support potential expansion, collaboration with partners and the demands of new ways of working, all without disruption to services.”

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