Aiven Blog

Jul 4, 2022

Aiven for OpenSearch was chosen for GOV.UK

Aiven for OpenSearch was chosen by the UK Government to run search for its expansive GOV.UK Platform as a Service.

Aiven, a company combining open source streaming and data management technologies with cloud infrastructure is proud of its work with Government Digital Service (GDS) since 2018, helping government departments, arms-length bodies and local services use Aiven’s services with no additional procurement or information assurance due diligence.

The GOV.UK Platform as a Service (PaaS) product was created through the work of GDS in 2015 and now hosts more than 60 departments and public sector organisations.

GDS is a unit of the UK Government’s Cabinet Office tasked with transforming the provision of online public services. Set up in 2011, it was established to improve the way the Government built new technology platforms and transform how it publishes and digitises its services. It’s widely seen as the gold standard of government digital strategies, influencing similar initiatives in the United States, Canada, and beyond.

GOV.UK Customer Story London

The GOV.UK PaaS is part of the Government as a Platform programme, a vision for digital government based around a common core infrastructure of shared digital systems, technology, and processes on which it’s easy to build user-centric government services.

A major requirement for GOV.UK PaaS is to provide a powerful search service on its cloud hosting platform because the ability to search is imperative for many government services. The GOV.UK PaaS team had already settled on the then open source project Elasticsearch as the technology on which to build its search solution. However, it needed an Elasticsearch provider which could match its requirements for APIs, security, information assurance, performance, and price.

GOV.UK PaaS, therefore, laid out a series of requirements for its commercial Elasticsearch service provider:

  • A public REST API to manage the lifecycle of the service
  • An API to manage the lifecycle of API tokens
  • An API to manage the platform in general
  • Strong security, with full compliance
  • High performance
  • Reasonable price
  • A partner that was flexible and willing to work with GOV.UK in fulfilling any gaps in the offering provided the asks were reasonable

The GOV.UK PaaS team was also looking to utilise open source technologies where possible, so it was looking for a service provider that embraced open source too, with Aiven for OpenSearch chosen by the UK Government.

Heikki Nousiainen, CTO of Aiven commented, “We are delighted to have expanded our offering with GDS over the years. Since the contract began in 2018, Aiven’s solution has been able to meet the GOV.UK PaaS requirements, having been the only provider shortlisted that published APIs to manage all aspects of the service.”

Are you leaving Elasticsearch to keep your business open source? Learn how to migrate your Elasticsearch client to OpenSearch® in Python, Java and Node.js.

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