Sunday 30 September 2012

Five questions for the G-Cloud team, champions of cloud computing in the 21st century skyscape of UK government

30 September 2012, posted on the G-Cloud blog here and here. The "Eleanor" addressed here is Eleanor Stewart, the main spokesman for G-Cloud since Ian Watmore and Chris Chant left Whitehall:

[Skyscape has subsequently changed its name to UKCloud: "London – August 1, 2016 – Skyscape Cloud Services Limited, the easy to adopt, easy to use and easy to leave assured cloud services company, has today renamed and relaunched as UKCloud Ltd (, to reinforce the company’s exclusive focus on supporting the UK public sector in the digital transformation of services".]
dmossesq says:

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September 30, 2012 at 7:21 am

This business about Skyscape, the Cloudstore and GDS is fascinating, Eleanor, thank you. And I note that HMRC also have contracted for cloud services with Skyscape. Just a few questions.

Skyscape is too young to have filed any accounts yet with Companies House, so we have no idea about its P&L and its balance sheet. On the other hand, we do know from Companies House that Skyscape’s registered office is at Hartham Park, Hartham, Corsham, Wilts SN13 0RP. And that it has a paid up share capital of just £1,000. The company turns out to have just one director, a Mr JR Sanders. And just one shareholder, the same Mr JR Sanders.

Q1: just how small does a company have to be to fall below the exacting standards for inclusion in the Cloudstore?

Q2: GDS and HMRC seem to have contracted not so much with one company as with one man. Do you think that’s wise?

Skyscape claim to be in some sort of an “alliance” with five other companies including ARK Continuity.

ARK Continuity’s registered address is Hartham Park, Hartham, Corsham, Wilts SN13 0RP. One of its directors, a Mr JP Thomas, who owns £3.20 of ARK’s £16 issued share capital, used to own one share in Skyscape, but transferred it to Mr JR Sanders on 19 April 2012.

Q3: just what does this “alliance” amount to?

ARK is basically a property company and on its website it proudly displays its Spring Park data centre at Hartham Park, Hartham, Corsham, Wilts SN13 0RP. They provide a map of how to get there and helpfully add that the MoD have secure facilities nearby.

Q4: GOV.UK and HMRC’s Skyscape contracts cover important national assets and if the blabbermouths at ARK have given away their current location could you arrange for them to be moved?

Obviously you’re busy and this might be too much of an imposition in the case of a traditional data centre. But I understand that with cloud computing you just press a button and the application disappears from one virtual server and effortlessly spins up immediately on another one.

Q5: Is that correct?
Substantially the same comment has been posted to the Government Digital Service (GDS) blog here and here.

Comments will only appear on the G-Cloud and GDS blogs after moderation by them and only if they want the comments to appear.

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