The NHS has announced a £6 million deal with Novell to lay the foundations for the UK government cloud computing programme and support the NHS' ongoing commitment to green IT.

The deal will provide enhanced IT security as well as infrastructure software and collaboration solutions across the organisation.

Novell will provide the NHS with its Open Enterprise Server 2 and storage and access manager to act as the operating system backbone to support over 300,000 users, as well as ZENworks configuration management for remote management, enabling IT teams to issue updates and fixes remotely.

Javier Colado, EMEA president at Novell, said: “Using Novell's intelligent workload management solutions will help the NHS keep patient data safe, streamline operations, boost green IT and prepare to move to a cloud computing IT environment. We look forward to working closely with senior members at the NHS over the next three to five years to make these plans a reality.”

Mark Ferrar, strategy director at the NHS, said: “One of the goals for the NHS is to achieve greater value from its infrastructure. Standardising on open source not only reduces costs, but will also underpin two key strategic initiatives for the NHS – reducing our environmental impact and moving towards a cloud computing environment.

“The Novell contract will ultimately improve the working lives of more than 530,000 healthcare professionals, benefiting over 50 million patients.”