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Ref: PCC/D/2023/28

Executive Summary

The Force utilises physical Citrix NetScaler’s in the existing Brownfield digital services environment for ‘Load Balancing’ of services to the Internet and PSN and to allow for reach back for mobile phone applications that are operating in the Greenfield environment.

There is a capital allocation in the 2023/24 budget of £150k to support the replacement of current devices which will reach the end of manufacturer support in December 2023.

The request is to approve the use of a capital allocation within the 2023/24 budget to support the replacement.

The Commissioner is recommended to approve;

  • the purchase of physical NetScaler devices to support the load balancing of services to the Internet and PSN and to allow reach back for mobile devices from the greenfield to brownfield digital services environment.
  • The release £79,643.41 of the capital allocation within the 2023/24 budget to fund the purchase of the required physical hardware


West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner



The Force utilises physical Citrix NetScaler’s in the existing Brownfield environment for ‘load balancing’ of services to the Internet and PSN and to allow for reach back for mobile phone applications from Greenfield. The migration of Brownfield legacy environment into the new Greenfield is planned to continue over the next 2 years.

The current provision is a mix of hardware and virtual devices, which reach end of manufacturer support in December 2023. Therefore a new solution is required to continue to support services users during the migration.

The original intention was to move the services that are currently supported by the physical devices to a virtual NetScaler’s solution. £150k of capital funding was requested for this. Following formal technical discovery workshops between the Force Technical Architects and Citrix its been confirmed that only physical devices meet the Force technical requirements.

Therefore, the bid has been revised to request to procure the required physical devices at a capital cost of £79,643.41, to cover their purchase and installation.

As the Force are not able to move to the planned virtual network, which was expected to deliver a revenue saving on support costs, the proposal will also result in an ongoing annual revenue support commitment of £64,443.88 for the next 3 years. This additional revenue cost will be funded from the Digital Services revenue hardware budget.

Alternative solutions have been considered by the Technical Architects including combining the NetScaler replacement work with a more secure DMZ solution for Brownfield.  However, these alternative options are not considered viable due to projected costs being significantly higher than the proposal.

The risks associated with not updating the hardware are as detailed below :

  • Unsupported firmware resulting in no security updates.
  • Lack of support/outdated devices will impact national accreditation (SyAps).
  • With unsupported hardware we will not be able to replace faulty hardware in event of failure(s).
  • Increases the risk of outside attack resulting in security breaches.


This decision supports the following element(s) of the Safer West Mercia Plan:

  • Building a More Secure West Mercia  
  • Reforming West Mercia 
  • Reassuring West Mercia’s Communities

The decision supports this/ these objective(s) through the following:

  • Ensuring that the Force is fit for the digital age


Ensure that all West Mercia Officers and Staff are able to continue to access key information and applications on the brownfield digital services environment as the migration onto the new greenfield service continues over the next 2 years.


Name   Paul Benfield (request from WMP)                Date 11/09/23


The proposal is within the capital allocation approved at budget setting.

Following on from the detailed planning it has been identified that the planned virtual network solution is not viable, which has resulted in a reduced capital requirement, with additional pressure on ongoing revenue support costs of up to £65,000 per annum. The Force have confirmed that this cost will be managed within the digital services budget.

Date 12/09/23


By virtue of schedule 11, paragraph 14 of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 the Police and Crime Commissioner may do anything which is calculated to facilitate, or is conducive or incidental to, the exercise of the functions of commissioner.  That includes: entering into contracts and other agreements (whether legally binding or not) and acquiring and disposing of property (including land).


Information in this form is subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI Act) and other legislation.  Part 1 of this form will be made available on the West Mercia Commissioner’s website. Any facts and advice that should not be made automatically available on request are not included in Part 1 but instead in a separate Part 2 report.


Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Date 14/09/2023