hSo

hSo Virtual Data Centre

hSo Virtual Data Centre is a scalable cloud computing platform, providing on-demand storage, server resources and applications.
It Integrates with your existing IT infrastructure as a cloud based extension to your network.
With the same resources of a physical data centre, RAM, CPU and storage can be allocated as required.

Features

  • Instant Flexible virtual hardware
  • Unmanaged or managed Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
  • Secure networking linking your vDC to your existing IT infrastructure
  • Data is protected and recovered if necessary
  • Data is stored in the UK
  • Real-time portal reporting

Benefits

  • Hosted in multiple locations in the UK
  • Large bandwidth & low latency
  • PAYG - create as many virtual machines as you need
  • Only pay for allocated resources when servers are running
  • Free network and data transfer
  • Guaranteed SLAs

Pricing

£10 to £28 a unit a month

  • Education pricing available

Service documents

Framework

G-Cloud 12

Service ID

6 8 4 4 3 3 9 3 2 6 4 9 0 9 7

Contact

hSo Marketing
Telephone: 020 7847 4510
Email: marketing@hso.co.uk

Service scope

Service constraints
The Service is available in a self service configuration for full customer control of the virtual machines (VMs), or with some of all hSo managed virtual machines. For managed virtual machines hSo support many but not all operating systems (OSs).
Constraints are typically customer limited by the amount of RAM or storage chosen, though these are scalable on request.
When planned maintenance is required to the platform we will advise you a week beforehand, this may or may not be service affecting.
System requirements
  • OS licences for hSo managed VMs are provided by hSo.
  • OS licences for Customer VMs are provided by the Customer.
  • Antivirus for customer VMs is the customers responsibility.

User support

Email or online ticketing support
Email or online ticketing
Support response times
We have a 24/7 support 365 days a week with a 4 hour SLA on service issues. Automated systems log the ticket and follow up is within 4 hours, or quicker for high priority issues.
User can manage status and priority of support tickets
No
Phone support
Yes
Phone support availability
24 hours, 7 days a week
Web chat support
No
Onsite support
Yes, at extra cost
Support levels
HSo provide one level of support 24/7 .

hSo operate a dedicated Customer Services Centre. The Service centre provides tiered telephone support so that customers can speak directly to the appropriate technical or non-technical support staff as required.

Support of the service is covered within the cost of the service.
Support for configuration or migration assistance - i.e. helping/training you use the service for your own needs is a paid for addition.
All customers have an assigned account manager to assist in managing your account.
Support available to third parties
Yes

Onboarding and offboarding

Getting started
HSo Set up the organisation and networking resources for each customer.
Then we work with you to get you logged onto the service and set up any extra virtual machine monitoring or management you have requested.

Online user documentation is freely available, and onsite training is available at extra charge if required.

With the managed virtual machine service level we will install and patch the servers for the customer and provision the firewall policies.
We can also provide supplemental engineering support if the customer requires extended support.
Service documentation
Yes
Documentation formats
PDF
End-of-contract data extraction
Users can request an extra backup vmdk file image of their server if they wish to move this somewhere else.
For managed VM services hSo can create snapshots for the customer to download at the end of the contract if required.
If this extraction requires hSo support then this will be chargeable.
End-of-contract process
The contract includes setting up and hosting the environment; And if required adapting to the varying needs of the customer with flexible charges during the contract. If at the end of the contract the customer wishes to terminate then notice is required as per the contract.
There would be a reasonable window of time thereafter for the customer to remove VM images/data as required. Should you require assistance with this then there would be an additional cost if we help off board and send the data onwards for you.

Using the service

Web browser interface
Yes
Using the web interface
Customers login to the service management console called vCloud Director to access their organisational environment and manage one of more catalogues ( a catalogue is a container for virtual application templates and media files in an organization). Within these Catalogues customers can setup authors and users to further manage the cloud computer system, build Virtual Apps (vApps), VMs).
You can then manage the state of the machine, virtually insert DVDs etc install new operating systems etc - just as you would for a physical server.
You can do all this within the agreed limit of twice your contractual RAM limits. If more needed for a sustained period then the customer should place a new order.
You can also manage networking and firewall requirements with the scope of your VMs.
If required, to set up and add hSo monitoring to previously uncreated & monitored machines will require the customer to talk to their account manager/support to add these features.
Web interface accessibility standard
None or don’t know
How the web interface is accessible
Customers access the virtual DC service via an authenticated URL.
Web interface accessibility testing
None.
API
Yes
What users can and can't do using the API
The vCloud API provides support for developers who are building interactive control of VMware vCloud Director with a RESTful application development.
vCloud API clients communicate with servers over HTTP, exchanging representations of vCloud objects.
Where this feature is required hSo will set up a REST API base URL to allow access to functions within the scope of the users privilege level.
API automation tools
  • Ansible
  • Chef
  • OpenStack
  • SaltStack
  • Terraform
  • Puppet
API documentation
Yes
API documentation formats
  • HTML
  • PDF
Command line interface
Yes
Command line interface compatibility
  • Linux or Unix
  • Windows
Using the command line interface
The command line interface is called vCloud Director PowerCLI. It is a Windows PowerShell snap-in for managing vCloud Director. It includes over 400 scripts to manage your infrastructure.
To run these scripts (cmdlets) on a vCloud Director server and to perform administration or monitoring tasks, you must first establish a connection to the server.
Once connected you can perform task such as using the vApp templates to instantiate vApps. After creating the vApp, you can for example modify its settings to minimize the consumption of computing and storage resources.
Their is also a help page of Sample Scripts for Managing vCloud Director to facilitate quick use of the feature.

Scaling

Scaling available
Yes
Scaling type
  • Automatic
  • Manual
Independence of resources
HSo give users scalability within the limits of their contract and with dedicated RAM for each contract we don't over commit the system.
In fact we provision twice the RAM needed for customers to allow them to quickly take more if needed.
We also employ resource reservation under VMware to protect our customer experience.
Usage notifications
Yes
Usage reporting
  • Email
  • Other

Analytics

Infrastructure or application metrics
Yes
Metrics types
  • CPU
  • Disk
  • Memory
  • Network
  • Other
Other metrics
  • System Uptime
  • Optional - Specific Services
Reporting types
  • Real-time dashboards
  • Reports on request

Resellers

Supplier type
Not a reseller

Staff security

Staff security clearance
Other security clearance
Government security clearance
Up to Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS)

Asset protection

Knowledge of data storage and processing locations
Yes
Data storage and processing locations
United Kingdom
User control over data storage and processing locations
Yes
Datacentre security standards
Managed by a third party
Penetration testing frequency
At least once a year
Penetration testing approach
‘IT Health Check’ performed by a CHECK service provider
Protecting data at rest
Physical access control, complying with another standard
Data sanitisation process
Yes
Data sanitisation type
Deleted data can’t be directly accessed
Equipment disposal approach
Complying with a recognised standard, for example CSA CCM v.30, CAS (Sanitisation) or ISO/IEC 27001

Backup and recovery

Backup and recovery
Yes
What’s backed up
  • The environment is backed up each night
  • Virtual machines as backup up every night
  • File level Backup is available through our companion Veeam service
  • Also geo resiliant backup is available
Backup controls
For fully self managing instances customer need to either ask hSo to manage the VM backups, for a managed service this is included and already in place on a nightly schedule for the virtual machines/Vapps etc.
Users can also request additional ad-hock backups, or regular ones through their account manager.
File level Backup is available through our companion Veeam service if the customer needs it and has it put in place before its needed.
Datacentre setup
  • Multiple datacentres with disaster recovery
  • Multiple datacentres
  • Single datacentre
Scheduling backups
Users contact the support team to schedule backups
Backup recovery
Users contact the support team

Data-in-transit protection

Data protection between buyer and supplier networks
  • Private network or public sector network
  • TLS (version 1.2 or above)
  • IPsec or TLS VPN gateway
  • Legacy SSL and TLS (under version 1.2)
Data protection within supplier network
  • TLS (version 1.2 or above)
  • IPsec or TLS VPN gateway
  • Legacy SSL and TLS (under version 1.2)
  • Other
Other protection within supplier network
We limit access to data transitioning our our network by restricting management access to devices. We also use VLANs to separate traffic through our network. hSo processes for joiners/leavers access, and for media handling cover privileged access.
We are ISO27001, CAS-T and HSCN certified.

Availability and resilience

Guaranteed availability
The service level agreement covers an availability of 99.9%, a response time of 30 minutes; these are backed by customer credits if SLAs are breached.
Approach to resilience
The vDC service is operated out of clustered geo-resilient dual data centres and employees built-in failover and DR capability with a third site backup. The level of resilience chosen in reflected in the monthly charge.
Outage reporting
A customer portal dashboard is available to show the state of hSo services; Also for customer chosen monitoring packages the service data is available for the customer over selectable time periods.
And there is the overall status website - https://status.hso-group.net/
which also has RSS feeds.

Identity and authentication

User authentication
  • Dedicated link (for example VPN)
  • Username or password
Access restrictions in management interfaces and support channels
HSo has identity and authentication controls in place to ensure users are authorised to access specific areas. Authentication and access to management interfaces over secure channels is restricted through ISO 27001 approved hSo access policies, only active staff concerned with the service have access to system management features. These staff are managed through the hSo support department.
Access restriction testing frequency
At least once a year
Management access authentication
  • 2-factor authentication
  • Limited access network (for example PSN)
  • Dedicated link (for example VPN)
  • Username or password
Devices users manage the service through
  • Dedicated device over multiple services or networks
  • Directly from any device which may also be used for normal business (for example web browsing or viewing external email)

Audit information for users

Access to user activity audit information
Users contact the support team to get audit information
How long user audit data is stored for
At least 12 months
Access to supplier activity audit information
Users contact the support team to get audit information
How long supplier audit data is stored for
At least 12 months
How long system logs are stored for
At least 12 months

Standards and certifications

ISO/IEC 27001 certification
Yes
Who accredited the ISO/IEC 27001
Alcumus ISOQAR ISO/IEC 27001-2013
ISO/IEC 27001 accreditation date
13/03/2019
What the ISO/IEC 27001 doesn’t cover
N/a - all hSo business processes are within scope.
ISO 28000:2007 certification
No
CSA STAR certification
No
PCI certification
No
Other security certifications
No

Security governance

Named board-level person responsible for service security
Yes
Security governance certified
Yes
Security governance standards
ISO/IEC 27001
Information security policies and processes
HSo's governance framework includes our ISO 27001 approved Information Security management system of policies and processes. these are regularly assessed .
We have a defined information security manager on the management team and have an on-going process of risk reporting and compliance conformance checking.

Operational security

Configuration and change management standard
Supplier-defined controls
Configuration and change management approach
Our configuration management processes and systems ensure the composite assets of the service are recorded and their configurations known. Changes to services are submitted for review, assessed, prioritised and then planned and recorded in the audited change request system.
Orders, incidents and planned works of the customer service and host environment are covered by our ISO 27001 processes including the patching policy, and by our ISO 20000 service management system.
Vulnerability management type
Supplier-defined controls
Vulnerability management approach
Vulnerability threats to services are managed through the network operations centre and major issues also via the risk register.
These are identified through vendor alerts, threat subscriptions and protective monitoring systems and employee alerting.
We patch systems according to our ISO 27001 patching policy and we protect systems though automated updates to threat management systems.
We also mitigate potential threats through our access control policy.
Protective monitoring type
Supplier-defined controls
Protective monitoring approach
HSo is ISO 27001 certified, and applies these principals to all services it provides.
hSo continually monitors its own base infrastructure through automated network management tools and a 24/7 network operations centre.
We also have a propriety network flow monitoring system called GTflow which is a network data analysis tool to identify potential attacks.
We protect our systems through DDOS protection against abnormal traffic to individual servers.
Incident management type
Conforms to a recognised standard, for example, CSA CCM v3.0 or ISO/IEC 27035:2011 or SSAE-16 / ISAE 3402
Incident management approach
HSo has incident management processes are in place with ISO 27001 certified assurances, hSo follows ITIL incident management processes and has trained its staff using this to satisfy ISO 20000.

We have defined processes for common and uncommon events and test these annually.
Incidents are reported by users, email and phone; And also by our automated monitoring systems.
Incident reports are either through the portal, email or phone calls. For major events a root cause report can be provided. We have built in escalation paths depending on the severity of incidents.
We can demonstrate robust and rehearsed incident management procedures.

Secure development

Approach to secure software development best practice
Independent review of processes (for example CESG CPA Build Standard, ISO/IEC 27034, ISO/IEC 27001 or CSA CCM v3.0)

Separation between users

Virtualisation technology used to keep applications and users sharing the same infrastructure apart
Yes
Who implements virtualisation
Supplier
Virtualisation technologies used
VMware
How shared infrastructure is kept separate
As well as the VMware hypervisor isolation between customers hSo employees an engineering approach that ensures security is a key consideration with separate virtual NICs, VPN's and VLAN's for each customer.

Energy efficiency

Energy-efficient datacentres
No

Pricing

Price
£10 to £28 a unit a month
Discount for educational organisations
Yes
Free trial available
No

Service documents