Guidance

The Crown Hosting Data Centres framework on the Digital Marketplace

How the Crown Hosting Data Centres framework provides physical datacentre space for public sector organisations.

The Crown Hosting Data Centres framework is available to all central government departments, arm’s length bodies and the wider public sector.

Email crownhosting@crowncommercial.gov.uk to talk about your datacentre hosting needs.

Digital Marketplace overview

The Digital Marketplace helps you find cloud technology and specialist services for digital projects.

It uses 3 frameworks (agreements between government and suppliers). You can find:

  • digital outcomes, digital specialists and user research services through the Digital Outcomes and Specialists framework
  • cloud services (for example, cloud hosting, software and support) through the G-Cloud framework
  • physical datacentre space through the Crown Hosting Data Centres framework

All public sector organisations, including agencies and arm’s length bodies, can use the Digital Marketplace.

The Crown Hosting Data Centres framework

The Crown Hosting Data Centres framework is an agreement between the government and a supplier called Crown Hosting Data Centres Limited. Crown Hosting Data Centres Limited is a joint venture between the government and Ark Data Centres Limited. The framework provides public sector organisations with access to physical datacentre space.

The Crown Hosting Data Centres framework supplements the government’s Cloud First policy. Although Cloud First has helped the government move many applications to the cloud, some applications either can’t make the transition in the short term or are too expensive to switch. This cross-government framework ensures that these applications can continue to be hosted for as long as is necessary, cheaply and securely.

Features

The Crown Hosting service offers:

  • mission-critical datacentres
  • a secure environment for transition to the cloud
  • a flexible, pay-for-what-you-use model
  • power uptime availability that exceeds Tier III
  • leading environmental performance

Benefits

The framework offers:

  • easy access to co-located, secure datacentres with no minimum volume commitment
  • cost savings (because government demand for datacentre space is aggregated)
  • time savings (because there’s no need to manage multiple supplier tenders)
  • simple, transparent ‘pay-for-what-you-use’ pricing so usage can be scaled as required
  • choice of duration commitments that can be ended early without charge
  • volume rebates as volumes rise
  • robust performance service-level agreements, including power uptime
  • strong step-in rights for government to ensure continuity of service if required

Security

The datacentres are:

  • assured by the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) and National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to OFFICIAL
  • capable of delivering services with increased security levels
  • compliant with Security Policy Framework 2014, which covers mandatory policies for:
  • protective marking
  • personnel security
  • physical security
  • information security
  • compliant with the ISO 27001 standard for security management

Connectivity

The datacentres are connected to the:

  • Public Services Network (PSN)
  • NHS Network (N3)
  • Secret LAN Interconnect (SLI) networks
  • Restricted LAN Interconnect (RLI) networks
  • internet

Service-level agreements

The service contract covers:

  • power uptime
  • power outages
  • environmental performance
  • incident management
  • change management
  • capacity management
  • backup and disaster recovery through dual-datacentre campuses

Specific government requirements (for example, those relating to latency or service levels) can be agreed with the supplier and framework authority.

Infrastructure management and remote support

Datacentre infrastructure management tools offer the government real-time insight into:

  • power usage
  • cooling
  • asset location
  • infrastructure availability

Crown Hosting users get remote Smart Hands support for certain tasks, for example, reboots and power cycling.

Quality and environmental standards

All data centres are compliant with industry standards, including:

  • ISO 9001 standard for quality management
  • ISO 14001 standard for environmental management
  • EU Code of Conduct, which is aligned with industry-recognised energy efficiency practices

Further information

If you want to learn more about the framework, email crownhosting@crowncommercial.gov.uk.

If you’d like to buy technology services from another framework, email enquiries@digitalmarketplace.service.gov.uk or find an agreement on the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) website.

Published 1 December 2013
Last updated 20 December 2017 + show all updates
  1. The Pan-Government Accreditation (PGA) has been replaced by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). Changes have also been made to the 'Service-level agreements' section.
  2. Updated Crown Hosting email address.
  3. First published.