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NHS Digital to become broker for VMware Cloud on AWS following £2m deal

NHS Digital plans to drive forward its cloud-first initiative by enabling hospital trusts across the UK to access VMware Cloud on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Under the terms of the agreement, which is worth £1.9m, the health service’s technology partner will act as a cloud broker, enabling a range of NHS organisations to migrate their VMware vSphere workloads to AWS.

As well as supporting other NHS organisations, NHS Digital has agreed to migrate its own vSphere workloads to AWS, in a bid to drive down costs.

The move forms part of the organisation’s multi-cloud approach. While it has used VMware’s services for more than 15 years, it is now said to have “significant usage” of AWS and Microsoft Azure.

The organisation intends to use the three providers to migrate the majority of its services from on-premise environments to the cloud. By using VMware Cloud on AWS, it will not need to re-architect its applications before migrating them.

“The uptake of digital services in the NHS is accelerating so the NHS and social care’s IT backbone must be up to the job,” said Rob Shaw, the deputy chief executive of NHS Digital. “With VMware Cloud on AWS, we’re providing a resilient platform to support digitally-enabled care today and in the future.”

“We now have a commercial framework in place to enable NHS and public-sector organisations to confidently use the cloud,” Shaw added. “Together we can benefit from the economies of scale and cost efficiencies of this model.”

Michael Flintoff, associate director of infrastructure at NHS Digital, described VMware Cloud on AWS as the “best option for running our vSphere-based environments in the cloud”. He added: “It’s easy to move solutions across the different environments and it’s easy to run and manage.”

The technology was procured through the IT provider Softcat, according to a contract notice seen by NS Tech.