Managed hosting and cloud computing services provider Rackspace, which services growing numbers of South African enterprises, has won a three-year contract to provide fully managed support to the Joint Server Farm (JSF), a secure hosting environment for the British Ministry of Defence (MOD) web sites.

The MOD, Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force web sites will be consolidated onto a single, virtualised infrastructure to enable easier management, greater efficiencies and scalability.
A total of 18 companies bid for the contract to support the JSF. Rackspace will provide MOD partners with the flexibility to manage and change websites quickly to meet user demand. It will also provide enhanced security from firewalls and intrusion detection devices, which constantly monitor for threats, round-the-clock access to certified engineers and a 100% network uptime guarantee, backed by its service level agreement.
“We are delighted to have extended our relationship with the MOD by winning this tender in what was a hard fought pitch by lots of companies,” said Brian Thomson, EMEA MD of Rackspace Hosting. “At a time when costs and efficiencies are being brought to the forefront, we know we can truly help simplify the MOD infrastructure to meet these challenges.”
The JSF is a single infrastructure for all services websites and applications. It currently supports a number of well-known MOD campaigns, such as the recruiting website for the Army, Start Thinking Soldier as well as the Army Pathfinder programme. It also supports Navy and Air Force recruitment campaigns, all of the cadet sites, a number of admin sites and facilitates small short-term public information campaign sites.
Rackspace consolidated 67 servers to 12 physical hypervisors and 72 virtual servers by implementing virtualisation across the MOD infrastructure. This solution, when combined with a raft of changes to the contract cost model, including a reduction in SAN spindle storage costs, resulted in a reduction of overall costs. It also provides greater efficiencies for power and space, with a lower number of overall servers.