The NHS has extended a networking deal with Novell, covering security and workload management for cloud applications.

The agreement is worth around £6 million and will run for up to five years. The NHS will use Novell’s Open Enterprise Server 2 system, as well as the Storage and Access Manager software, as the security “backbone” for 300,000 users accessing the applications.

Novell Zenworks, as well as Patch Management and Asset Management, will be used for remote management and patching. The supplier’s SecureLogin software will aim to improve access controls for different types of hospital records.

The NHS will also use Novell Teaming+Conferencing software to improve collaboration between departments.

The deal is also aimed at helping the NHS move further into using software as a service, as encouraged by Whitehall's IT strategy.

Mark Ferrar, strategy director at the NHS, said that using an open source-based system “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”.