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The Netherlands opens fourth government data centre in consolidation efforts

Thu 26 Mar 2015

The Hague

The Dutch government has opened its newest data centre [auto translation from Dutch] ‘The Hague Square Kilometre’ in Rijswijk, South Holland, as part of its wider national data centre consolidation and footprint reduction plans.

The new advanced facility, opened on Monday by the country’s Minister of Infrastructure, is the fourth national data centre to support the project and joins existing sites in Groningen, Apeldoorn and the Dutch capital city Amsterdam. Its build, operations and capacity have all been designed to cater for growing demand and future needs. The centre has also taken great considerations around sustainability and low energy consumption.

In its efforts to consolidate its data centre footprint and combine the IT infrastructure of several ministries, the government has reduced the number of facilities from 64 to these four locations. By reducing at this scale, the Dutch government hopes to significantly cut time and costs related to bureaucracy and operations.

In a published memo entitled The Netherlands’ iStrategy [PDF], the Dutch Ministry of Internal Affairs outlines the national consolidation plans: “unifying the current fragmented ICT infrastructure, reducing the number of data centres, establishing a single Central Government ICT security authority, developing proposals to harmonise the design and use of software, and digitalising services provided by Central Government to the public.”

As such the four data centres together lay the foundations for the Dutch National Cloud initiative, which aims to efficiently migrate governmental services to the cloud in order to further the development of digital services available to the businesses community, as well as the general public.

Ministerial digital services in the Netherlands are already an extremely popular way of interacting with the government. According to a Deloitte report from November 2014, 79% of the Dutch population interacted with e-government in the previous year compared to an EU average of 41%.

The Rijswijk data centre is a collaboration development project involving ICT Shared Service Centre (SSC-ICT), the Government Buildings Agency and HP HOMIJ, a partnership between Hewlett Packard Netherlands and HOMIJ Technical Systems.

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