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GDS to decommission Platform as a Service


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Tom Read
Image source: GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0

The Government Digital Service (GDS) is planning to decommission the GOV.UK Platform as a Service (PaaS).

Chief executive officer Tom Read has outlined the plan in a blogpost, saying it reflects the growing capabilities of major cloud platforms such as AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform.

GOV.UK PaaS was set up in 2015, to help public sector organisations quickly and securely host their digital services, but Read said that since then the commercial providers have “upped their game and reduced the barriers to entry for digital teams”.

He added that government departments have also built up their in-house cloud engineering capabilities, broadly clustered around a Kubernetes based architecture.

'Sunset' the product

“GOV.UK PaaS has not seen the rapid and continued growth that we’ve seen with some of our other platform products, and is now at a point where we either invest heavily in some significant technical architecture changes, or we make the difficult decision to sunset the product,” he said.

“We have decided to do the latter, and GOV.UK PaaS will be decommissioned over the next 18 months.”

He added that GDS is now starting to work with the Central Digital and Data Office and a number of chief technology officers across government to understand where a future central hosting offer should be.

They are keeping an open mind, with options including the creation of a re-usable set of configuration and management components or the development of a new version of PaaS using a different architecture.

Since its launch, PaaS has been used to support 172 digital services.

“GOV.UK PaaS has been a great product, led by a fantastic team,” Read said. “The focus now is on supporting our tenants through the decommission process and reflecting on our future in this space.”

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