Salford City Council offering Cloud

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Salford City Council is one of the first Local Authorities in the UK to be offering Cloud services to local businesses. The entrepreneurial council has not only saved money by replacing aging infrastructure with a private cloud solution over the last 4 years – but are now poised to make money by providing shared services with their community cloud project, effectively acting as a Reseller.

Manchester-based IT solutions provider ANS Group won a highly competitive bid to win the multi-million pound account (over 3 years) and provide the Cloud ‘roll-out’.
The community cloud project works from a multi tenanted cloud platform installed and supported by ANS Group in partnership with the Council’s in house team.

Jon Burt, Corporate Infrastructure Architect at Salford City Council says: “ANS Group listened to what Salford City Council wanted in terms of equipping them with the ability to Re-Sell the Cloud-based platform they are providing us with. Not only are they providing more for less, but allowing us to re-sell this to local businesses”.

With centralised budgets being cut dramatically, the move by Salford City Council to re-sell Cloud services to local businesses, third and public sector organisations is expected to catch on nationwide. It is understood that Staffordshire and Sunderland Councils are close to following Salford City Council’s lead.

According to Paul Sweeney, MD at Manchester based ANS Group: “It’s great to see a Council like Salford leading the way with this highly enterprising activity which I envisage will be emulated by many other Councils nationwide. It’s also fantastic for local businesses to have this resource”.

Salford City Council sees this bold initiative as innovative and a smart way for a Local Council to operate more entrepreneurially.

Councillor John Mullen, Assistant Mayor for IT at Salford City Council, said: “We want Salford to be a connected city with a good technological infrastructure. By making cloud services available to local businesses we are improving what the city is able to offer, while also generating much needed income for the council at a time of extreme budget cuts.”

ANS Group was engaged to implement their award-winning Infrastructure 3.0 data centre design, which is based on the validated FlexPod architecture. The new infrastructure consists of Cisco UCS Blades, NetApp storage, full VMware virtualisation and Cisco Nexus switches. The combined benefits of consolidated storage from NetApp’s de-duplication and thin provisioning with VMware’s virtualisation technology dramatically reduces the physical server count. This will save Salford City Council money in a number of ways: a reduction in cabling, power and cooling required for the data centre, a reduction in maintenance needs and therefore costs, a reduction in management time required to maintain this part of the network and a reduction in future capital expenditure.