Linked by 70 miles of rolling Welsh countryside, two companies, each located within their own unassuming offices, are leading the charge in one of the Ministry of Defence’s biggest digital transformation projects to date.
The MoD’s Data Centre Rationalisation (DCR) Project is designed to move the current defence data centre infrastructure to a more resilient state. This involves a two-pronged attack – one physical and one virtual; this is where we, Net Consulting - the project leaders, along with Hereford-based HS Infra come into play.
Reflecting on the MoD’s current digital network, Clint Chambers, Department Head of Application Services and DevOps explains how the MoD were relying on a vast, disparate data centre infrastructure, with physical sites scattered across the British Isles, along with some use of the Cloud as well.
“This situation doesn’t align with the MoD’s strategic direction of promoting information-led business transformation and creating a capable and cohesive function,” says Mr Chambers. “In short, the DCR Project is designed to make better use of the technology available to us and work as efficiently and securely as possible.”
The MoD’s Data Centre Rationalisation (DCR) Project is designed to move the current defence data centre infrastructure to a more resilient state. HS Infra looked after the physical aspect of the DCR Project. This has involved visiting the multitude of data centres that the MoD currently occupy and compiling a detailed audit of what’s being used and where, but also, what’s not being used and therefore redundant.
As far as we at Net Consulting are concerned, the key word underpinning this whole project is ‘knowledge’. The combined analysis of the MoD’s data centre infrastructure that both we, and HS Infra are carrying out, provides a level of knowledge that would be impossible to extract any other way.
From our facility in Wiltshire, our team were able to employ a mixture of specialist technologies to take an in-depth look at all the applications running across the data centre infrastructure. We’re then able to see what’s being used and what isn’t, and where opportunities lie to migrate to a cloud hosting option instead.
The value this project brought for the MoD comes from complete visibility of the MoD Enterprise. This might reveal forgotten/deprioritised issues like wasted equipment or ineffective applications; bringing these to light means appropriate action can be taken.
Clint Chambers agreed with this when he said, "I know I speak for my colleagues as well when I say that in Defence there is a strong ambition to use digital and information technologies in a genuinely transformative way. While the ambition is plain to see, laying robust technological foundations and deploying specific, reliable and trusted services is spearheading the MoD’s wider digital strategy."
"What Net Consulting provides us with is a baseline for where we are now. We can achieve our longer-term objectives with this robust foundation of information. It’s key to success, and that’s why we collaborate with companies like Net Consulting to build trust and deliver our outputs."
– Clint Chambers
Department Head of Application Services and DevOps