Sunderland City Council has modernised its datacentre making it something of a profit centre, and strategic to the council's goals of digital equality and community ICT.
The council has spent the past two years building its cloud computing infrastructure with IBM. “It is very rare to find a local authority building its own cloud computing platform, but the council is very mindful of some of the challenges it faces given the financial backdrop,” says Tom Baker, head of ICT, Sunderland City Council.
Sunderland City Council’s datacentre hosts school systems for Sunderland and the North East, racks for other councils, a node for the NHS Local Involvement Networks (LINks), a rack for a Primary Healthcare Trust, as well as servers for Fire and Rescue.
“We will use the cloud computing platform to provide low-cost, scalable, pay-per-use computing facilities to organisations we might be doing business with,” he says.
The tools IT has provided can give the council the confidence that the organisations using the Sunderland City Cloud are operating in a safe and secure manner when dealing with public data, he adds.