Case Study: Dundee City Council


The Challenge

Dundee City Council is a council working in the heart of a reinvigorated city, with significant regeneration projects ongoing and recognition as one of the Best Places to live in the UK in 2020 (Sunday Times). The council itself, according to Audit Scotland, is one with strong leadership, self-awareness about how it performs and ‘sound financial management, with good use of longer-term financial planning.’

So, when faced with the challenge of ageing data centres which not only would need significant investment to keep running, but some significant resiliency upgrades to ensure current and future risks could be managed, it’s no surprise that the looked at ways to optimise their future plans.

The Solution

Dundee City Council now use Brightsolid’s colocation service to host almost all their ICT in Brightsolid’s Tier III designed data centre in Dundee.

A migration project in summer 2020 led to over 95% of the council’s infrastructure migrating to the Dundee centre, offsetting significant costs and improving resilience for Council services.

The council’s decision to opt for colocation had three key drivers: Cost efficiency, best practice and strategic fit. An early cost analysis showed that to continue with on-premises data centres would require a significant investment, estimated to be up to £1m.

This not only covered the costs for the council to continue to manage their own on-premises data centres but to make necessary improvements in resilience. This investment was not only challenging in terms of size but also in terms of lack of agility – the council wanted more flexibility to be able to take advantage of cost efficiencies speedily.

Scalability was also important, critically the option to scale down when new technology, performance or software would allow the council to provide the same or new services with less equipment and infrastructure.

By choosing to colocate in Brightsolid’s Dundee data centre the council was not only able to achieve increased resilience and improve the management and monitoring of services, especially out of working hours and off-set that future investment. Not only that but the flexible, modular billing provided by Brightsolid allows the council to translate any infrastructure efficiencies they make quickly in to cost reductions.

Colocation aligned perfectly with the Council’s pragmatic approach to being ‘Cloud First’, where it makes sense. The council aims to be largely public cloud in the long term but is ensuring that choices around IT infrastructure deliver the right benefits as they continue on that cloud journey.

The council benefitted from the experiences of partners, such as NHS Tayside who had successfully transitioned their own data centres with Brightsolid, to ensure that the proposed move to colocation would work in practice.

Brightsolid’s breadth of experience also ensured the council was supported during the transition and allows the Council to consolidate the management of multiple suppliers in future. Peace of mind that was enhanced when the migration of services went as planned with users being unaffected by the transition.

The Results

  • Offsetting £1million of CAPEX spend for capacity that may not be required in future
  • Streamlining supplier management, allowing Council employees to concentrate on core services
  • Enhanced internal skills with focussed data centre skills
  • Improving resilience and performance for users
  • Creating a more agile financial model
  • Providing a strong foundation and logical next step to the cloud

Using an experienced data centre partner with established best practices in data centre migrations and data centre management, whose performance we could validate with other government organisations, provided us with significant peace of mind throughout the migration and for the long term.

Graeme Quinn, Senior Manager IT Infrastructure