Slough Borough to virtualise datacentres

Slough Borough Council will become one of the first councils to roll out virtualisation technology, under a deal with Unisys.

Under the programme, Slough will attempt to reduce the number of servers and applications it runs, remove costs and improve environmental efficiency.

Slough has already removed almost half of its servers, reducing the number from 150 to 80, and cut the number of applications it runs from 420 to 300. The borough said the result is lower support, maintenance and licensing costs.

The local authority in Berkshire has extended a framework contract for a further five year with IT services firm Unisys for its Microsoft virtualisation programme.

Andrew Blake-Herbert, director of resources at Slough Borough Council, said the council has seen "multiple benefits" from its virtualisation programme. The move to virtualisation "has led to better delivery of services, reduced costs and a more resilient infrastructure", he said.

"Consolidating our servers and the number of desktops will enable us to move forward with some pioneering business initiatives which will put us in the best position possible to deliver unrivalled service in the face of tightening budgets," he said.

The council is considering moving to a Unisys hosted environment for further cost and efficiency benefits. About 60 of the council's 2,000 IT users are already working on a thin client device using hosted services.

The council has also worked with Unisys on implementing CRM solutions and developing processes within both its social services and revenue and benefits Departments.

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