• Kate Craig-Wood fireside chat at Think Cloud for Digital Government 2016

    posted 05-05-16

    Kate Craig-Wood has a fireside chat with Stuart Lauchlan at Think Cloud for Digital Government 2016.

  • Working with HMRC

    posted 05-05-16

    Kate's fireside chat with Stuart Lauchlan at Think Cloud for Digital Government 2016.

    We’ve been working with HMRC now for nearly 18 months. We’ve got an OpenStack deployment with them that has been running for about 12 months now and it’s been great working with them. You know it’s very collaborative. They give us feedback, we’re able to sort of add things and work together to get the right platform for them and they have a bunch of other suppliers as well working with them, so if they can do it, because if their stuff breaks, money stops flowing into the coffers – its kind of bad. But of they can do it, why can’t other departments do it? I think that’s the really big question.

  • Improving the Digital Marketplace and Breaking Up Big Contracts

    posted 05-05-16

    Kate's fireside chat with Stuart Lauchlan at Think Cloud for Digital Government 2016.

    The Digital Marketplace, yes its got its flaws, yes it would be great to see improvements like the ones you mentioned, like the eBay style-ratings, be good to be able to do like for like comparisons, it’s a little bit inaccessible.

    But there’s a lot of good stuff on there. But I don’t see why even some of those big contracts, when you actually look at them, they cant start to think, okay with a bit of help from consultancies, how can we break this up and start to feed it through that framework.

  • Local Government G-Cloud Adoption

    posted 05-05-16

    Kate's fireside chat with Stuart Lauchlan at Think Cloud for Digital Government 2016.

    Local government, back then we thought local government would be the place that G-Cloud would really work. I don't know how many hundred councils there are, but they all need the same sort of stuff; looking after bins and lampposts and roads and what not, so you'd think that G-Cloud would be perfect for them. And again there, we were a bit naive because its kind of selling Christmas to turkeys, the IT manager with a few servers and a couple of people, which you are sorting of putting people out of a job, but where we are seeing success is in the software as a service. We heard one example just there from Ofcom. We host a company called Whitespace who basically do waste management software, which is cloud based and again is good adoption by local council.

  • Moving Central Government Departments to Open Source

    posted 05-05-16

    Kate's fireside chat with Stuart Lauchlan at Think Cloud for Digital Government 2016.

    Whereas in the central government organisations they really are having to try to understand their applications and while in some instances, particularly if they're already on a mature proprietary platform, like VM Ware it is relatively easy to shift and lift.

    But when you are talking about an open standards based, open source based platform like OpenStack, it is often more challenging because you are not talking about a like for like thing. Sometimes you can package up a VM and move it across but it's relatively rarely that simple. So with people like HMRC we're seeing them really starting to build stuff from the ground up.

  • Cloud First Mandate

    posted 05-05-16

    Kate's fireside chat with Stuart Lauchlan at Think Cloud for Digital Government 2016.

    Stuart: Can I ask you about the Cloud First Mandate that was seen to be a shove in the right direction for central government. Has that really had the impact that everyone was thinking?

    Kate: Well you just have to look at the numbers. So the £1bn thing is touted a lot. But you have to remember that that £1bn is the total G-Cloud spend to date. The actual run rate is about £40m per month. So it is still getting on for half a billion a year, so its still good, but when you break down that further actually less than 20% of that is actually cloud services, so infrastructure, platform, and software as a service. More than 80% of it, is Lot 4 SCS, the consultancy services so we're still really seeing a minute spend going to what we'd call true cloud services. So I think, that mandate doesn't seem to be really being embraced.

    I think there have been some good reasons, there have been some good barriers, the security situation has been a mess, PSN didn't work, people didn't understand sufficiently how their applications worked sufficiently. I would hope that going forwards there is less excuses.

  • Does PSN Work Now

    posted 05-05-16

    Kate's fireside chat with Stuart Lauchlan at Think Cloud for Digital Government 2016.

    Stuart: The PSN Works Now Does it?

    Kate: At last! PSN has just been a massive pain in the backside. For us we didn’t have a GCXX connection so we had to do it the hard way, get a new line in effectively.

    We discovered along the way that things like the cryptographic interchanges, they weren’t working up until about a year ago, there are things like BT’s network to talk to Vodafone’s part of the network or whoever simply weren’t working.

    Also there was supposed to be, going back to the original concept, PSN was absolutely central. You need a shared secure platform on which these cloud services can operate. The idea was that is was just a network.

    Now that vision is coming in line with how the Cabinet Office see it, it should be just another network, like the internet. But the idea was that all the other networks would be assimilated by it, so you have N3, PNN, and the criminal justice one, Janet and all the rest, they would be assimilated into one big network that was cheap for people to connect too. But I can tell you from personal experience, it is not cheap compared to what you can get for an internet connection for. And by not cheap, I mean a couple of orders. But that has improved, but I still think there is some way to go.

  • G-Cloud Living Up To The Hype?

    posted 05-05-16

    Kate's fireside chat with Stuart Lauchlan at Think Cloud for Digital Government 2016.

    Stuart: Lets flash back a bit, lets go back to 2010 you were doing something as part of G-Cloud, as part of the formative state of G-Cloud, looking back now where the expectations that were set at the time realistic?

    Yes it was an interesting time, there were about 40 of us, a mixture of private & public sector supported by a small army of Deloitte consultants and we were really putting the flesh on the bones of the sort of G-Cloud concept. I think in some ways we were a little naïve, but in some ways it was really good stuff. One of the areas in which that perhaps we were a little naïve is, you know, cloud was very hype-y at the time, it was starting to be adopted widely but we expected that government organisations would be able to disintegrate their stack, so essentially split out things like infrastructure from software and migrate to cloud platforms relatively easily.

    With hindsight, when you actually look at the state of government IT in practice most government organisations have historically been outsourcing their IT skills, so they don’t actually understand their own applications. So what we’ve been seeing over the last few years is some of the bigger departments they have actually been building those skill bases internally, we’ve got GDS now & HMRC are probably the exemplars in that space and at the other end of the spectrum we’re seeing some success.

  • Biggest Threat to G-Cloud is Amazon

    posted 05-05-16

    Kate has a fireside chat with Stuart Lauchlan at Think Cloud for Digital Government 2016.

    Stuart: She made the point that nowadays we have Oracle, Salesforce, Amazon all part of the DM, all setting up UK data centres so they fit inside the data sovereignty concerns. Do you see a shift there, do you think that the big boys and girls are coming into the playground and taking away the SMEs' lunch

    Kate: Yes and no. Personally I don’t see a lot of them as a threat. I think SMEs can still afford the customer - often the price advantage, the sort of innovative edge, particularly when it comes to things like embracing open source software, that’s something that we specialize in; taking commodity tin, open source software get it accredited in a high security environment and provide a hosting platform & we can do that really quite quickly.

    So I’m not too worried about the vast majority of them, that said, when it comes to the bottom layer, Amazon is the threat. And I don’t think it’s just a threat to the big suppliers and also to government. The war is starting in the infrastructure as a service space in the private sector. Amazon completely dominates at the moment. And if we want to avoid a situation on 10 years time where we’re basically having to do all this again, because amazon and moving higher up the stack people like Google have become the new oligopoly in effect. The only way we can actually avoid that is by suppliers and the government actually getting together as a community and working around open standards and open source technology so that we can maintain, well avoid that vendor lock in and actually sort of maintain that freedom. The trouble is, it really does need a community, and that’s actually where amazon’s genius lies. What they’ve done that’s so clever is that they have actually created an ecosystem around their APIs of people building and innovating and they assimilate the clever bits of that and build on from there. Even the big companies out there, even the giants out there, you know the Oracle’s & co I don’t think they can stand against that. We really do need to collaborate. And you see people like Microsoft, I mean their move to open source, a lot of their software, I think they understand that same sort of threat.

    Kate has written a blog post exploring this topic further which can be found here: ​

  • Can Europeans ever trust the US with their data

    posted 06-05-16

    The recent agreement of the EU-US Privacy Shield agreement has prompted robust debate among the European security channels leading figures as to whether legislation can ever play a role in making our data more secure.

    During a roundtable discussion for tomorrows European Security Summit - a day of specially curated content brought to you by Channelnomics Europe and CRN UK - a panel of industry experts and channel leaders debated the merits of the recently announced EU-US Privacy Shield. The conversation burst into life with a lively - albeit good-natured - debate about the extent to which legislature can ever play a meaningful role in data protection and privacy."

    An excerp from Read the full article.

  • Explaining Hybrid Cloud

    posted 07-07-15

    Learn how Memset deploy hybrid cloud solutions to help meet the needs of the public sector. A typical example within government is when there is a data set that is very secure, your tax records for example, but you are able to log into a web portal to do your tax return. A public cloud is deployed for the web front end that is fairly low security and you have a connector in between that has rigorous controls around what can pass through it to a database in a separate estate that is not connected to the internet but only PSN.

  • Efficiency in the Cloud

    posted 07-07-15

    Memset is a very green conscious company. Here how innovative uses of technology have ensured our Dunsfold data centre is one of the most energy efficient around.

  • Security in the Cloud

    posted 07-07-15

    Listen to Kate debunk some of the common myths around security in the cloud.

  • SMEs Joining G-Cloud

    posted 07-07-15

    If you're an SME thinking about joining the G-Cloud, Kate shares her tips on how you should go about it. Citing the biggest opportunity in the G-Cloud is for SaaS providers - there is huge scope for small software developers to come in and make an application that's suitable for many government departments.

  • Women in IT

    posted 07-07-15

    Kate Craig-Wood is a leading advocate for women in IT, here she shares her advice and tips about how your organisation can bring more women into leading roles.

  • About Memset

    posted 07-07-15

    Memset is famous for being one of the first cloud providers back in 2002. Here about Memset's other claims to fame here.

  • OpenStack

    posted 07-07-15

    OpenStack is something Memset really believes in, and actively contributes to. As a small provider it's hard for us to keep up with the big players, especially Amazon. As an open source community we can continue to develop the cloud infrastructure and cloud platform at a rate to compete with Amazon. Openstack allows us to tap into that.

  • Future of G-Cloud

    posted 07-07-15

    Kate shares her vision for the future of the G-Cloud, following her position as co-led of the technical strand of phase two of the Cabinet Office's G-Cloud and App Store project.

  • Innovation In The Cloud

    posted 07-07-15

    Memset is focusing on innovation in a number of areas including building out their private cloud capabilities. And in the government space, gateways between secure estates and public cloud so uses can get the best of both in a hybrid cloud deployment.

  • Support ticketing system: Introduction

    posted 05-08-14

    Learn how we have improved our support ticketing system to provide you with greater security and more efficient support. This video will demonstrate when and how to lodge support tickets for your managed hosting, search your tickets, check for updates and what happens with emergency support tickets.

  • Open Standards, Open Source, Open Opportunities

    posted 26-03-14

    Nathan Johnston discusses the advantages of implementing Open Source technologies into your Dedicated and Virtual server hosting requirements at the recent ECCV Conference. Memset Ltd are dedicated to providing Better, Cheaper, Greener and Secure hosting and open standards help us achieve this.

  • How To: Self-Managed Packet Patrol Firewall Introduction

    posted 27-02-14

    In the first of our 'How to' guides, we show you around our new self-managed packet patrol firewall tool where you can change the firewall rules through your online account. This feature is available on our Virtual Server hosting and Dedicated Server hosting packages available from UK hosting provider Memset Ltd.

  • Memset Hosting - Better Hosting

    posted 10-02-14

    Memset hosting has won various awards for our outstanding service including 'Best Web Host' voted for by PC Pro readers and 'Best Managed Service' by ISPA.

  • Memset Hosting - Greener Hosting

    posted 10-02-14

    Memset Hosting are dedicated to green policies and have achieved ISO14001 as well as being the first UK hosting provider to be certified Carbon Neutral.

  • Managing Content in the Cloud - Nathan Johnston at BETT 2014

    posted 03-02-14

    Memsets Sales Manager, Nathan Johnston, gives a presentation at the BETT Exhibition 2014 around managing content on the cloud, using a recent project as a case study.

  • 2009 Intellect Annual Regent Conference

    posted 23-01-12

    Kate Craig-Wood from Memset on the 2009 Intellect Annual Regent Conference panel 'Keeping ahead of changing markets', chaired by Jeremy Paxman.

  • Oscon 2010 Presentation 'The Government And The Cloud' from Kate Craig-Wood

    posted 23-01-12

    A presentation given to Oscon 2010 by Kate Craig-Wood from Memset on 'The Government And The Cloud'.

  • CNBC Appearance for Kate Craig-Wood from Memset

    posted 23-01-12

    An appearance from Kate Craig-Wood from Memset on CNBC in 2009, after being listed in the 2008 Deloitte UK Technology Fast 50.