'It's just a data centre move, right?'

So, here's a question for you, is it possible to set up a secondary data centre in just 55 hours, increase the resiliency and security of your organisation, while reducing cost, energy, and your carbon footprint?

For anyone that has undergone a similar project, it may sound far-fetched, but it was precisely the challenge facing UKSBS in November 2022.


UKSBS is a leading public sector shared service centre, delivering high quality, efficient and reliable Business IT services, including Finance, HR, Payroll, and Procurement.

Proud of their public status, UKSBS pride themselves in working with their clients to deliver value for money services, and in turn, helping to support UK's economy and society. Today they have over 20,000 users spread across a Government and Arm's Length Bodies client portfolio.

Steve Tomlin, Head of Back Office for UKSBS explains the drivers  behind the initial strategic review - "Like many public sector organisations, the role and demands of our data centres have evolved significantly since our inception and in November of last year,  several factors forced the team to ask some hard questions of its credentials.

Moving the data centre

With the business case signed off, Steve and his team knew that they had just a matter of months to transact (and move the entire data centre) before the end of their financial year. Some of the UKSBS team had previous exposure to Ark Data Centres and at a very early stage, identified their campuses as the quality bar they should look to achieve.

Steve continues "What we didn't know at that stage, was how accessible that aspiration would become, or the significant role Crown Hosting could play in getting us there. We knew the release of Framework II in November 2022 included pre-agreed pricing, which would allow us to do an immediate cost analysis against our business case. In addition to saving us money, it also enabled us to avoid a time-consuming tender process, allowing us to transact with no issues".

Framework ll's extended services also meant that the team at UKSBS had access to the additional skills and resources within the Crown Hosting community required to make it all happen.

"The attention to detail and vigilance from our own team,  supported by Crown Hosting, Sunspeed and BT, was frankly, as good as it gets" said Steve, "and with a comprehensive step by step plan in place between us and the combined Crown Hosting alliances, we were good to go".
From the internet connectivity through to rack diagrams and the physical movement of the hardware itself,  no stone was left unturned.
"We knew who was going to do what, with each interdependency outlined, understood in advance and from the moment we began work through to go live, the relocation took a total of 55 hours. A result frankly unimaginable, just a few months  before.  If you've ever experienced a data centre move and all the risks involved, you'll know precisely how remarkable that is".

Steve Tomlin, Head of Back Office for UKSBS

Fast forward to today

Fast-forward to today and UKSBS has the unique accolade of becoming the first Public Sector organisation to realise the benefits of Framework II.

Steve explains further "What began as one strategic project transpired to be the first important step into a data centre strategy that represents both the best choice for our customers and thanks to Crown's sustainability credentials, the planet. Although, the government pre-approved pricing allowed us to transact quickly, and the savings were compelling, our data centre move was always more about capability than cost - now we can explore the art of the possible".

The result of UKSBS' forward-thinking means that they (and in turn their customers) have the peace of mind that their disaster recovery capability, now resides within the most secure, resilient facilities  in the UK, while significantly reducing its carbon footprint, putting them one step closer to their green goals.

Steve concluded "In contrast to where we were last year our data centre capability is almost unrecognisable. Now that we can leverage all the benefits of a market-leading facility, we are perfectly placed to bring the UKSBS mission to life - Providing high quality and easy to use business services that add value to the Public Sector, empowering them to focus on the best outcomes for the British people and the UK economy".

"We often hear the phrase, 'it's just a data centre move' but we all know the consequences if something goes wrong and the criticality of getting it right. Because we do this every-day, we know precisely  how to make (what is normally) an incredibly complex process into 'just a data centre move'.
I'd also like to take the opportunity to thank the team at UKSBS who were exceptional to work with, collaborating brilliantly with  Crown Hosting and our partners to ensure a seamless transition".

Stephen Hall, CEO of Crown Hosting
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