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British Library to move to Azure environment


Mark Say Managing Editor

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The British Library is planning to shift its computing infrastructure into a Microsoft Azure environment as part of a cloud first policy.

It has published a market notice for a one-month consulting exercise to assess the best approach any requirements to be considered.

“Our investigation thus far has led us to believe our future is Azure, as we have a strong dot net direction, plus extensive current and planned use of Dynamics, so anticipate a hybrid solution being led towards this environment,” the document states.

The move derives form a need to replace an ageing infrastructure consisting of around 1,500 VMware virtualised services and more dedicated hardware running a mixture dot net, Java and other environments, along with a variety of software.

These are now struggling to deal with the British Library’s workloads and holding back its modernisation plans.

Flexible platform

“Many of our current platforms are reaching the end of their useful life, and we need to accelerate our planning for replacement, to create a flexible and hybrid compute platform for future growth and change,” it says.

It adds that the Library has limited experience in cloud and hybrid computing, and needs to understand whether it should focus on capital spending or emphasise the use of consumption or subscription based cloud services.

“The output of this work will be sufficient detail for us to begin a formal tendering process to acquire a solution with confidence, but not a kit list” it says.

It has also indicated that any solution will have to co-exist with a recently implemented Dell storage platform.

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