The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has signed a data centre deal with Ark, which claims to provide the most efficient data centres in the UK.
The data centres, or the ‘Arks’, can achieve a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) score of as low as 1.08, according to the company’s website. The PUE rating defines 1.0 as an ideal score for an efficient data centre, but in reality the average score for companies is between 1.8 and 2.0.
The deal was awarded at the end of 2013 and is worth almost £11.5 million.
Services will be provided from two of Ark’s data centres, covering government Business Impact Levels (IL) 3 and 4, with the potential to go up to IL5 in the future.
The government applies an IL classification to suppliers to indicate the security level of their services. IL0 (protected) is the lowest level of security, while IL6 (top secret) is the highest. IL2 is often the minimum requirement for government services, for example, it is the minimum requirement for providers bidding for network contracts.
The MoJ has also demanded that environments should be flexible enough to increase or decrease the volume of services during the contract term. As a result, it has said that charging will be based on utility usage – opting for the cloud computing model of only paying for what is consumed.
In other news, the MoJ is currently involved in a row with Serco and G4s over allegations of fraud and overcharging on an electronic tagging contract. The Serious Fraud Office is conducting an investigation in the companies, which has resulted in a number of bosses at the companies stepping down.