Q Associates Limited

Q_UKcloud_Compute Intensive Infrastructure OFFICIAL (Assured)

Our core and memory-intensive public cloud is designed exclusively for the UK Public Sector, and is compliant with GDPR and suitable for OFFICIAL workloads, based in UK Crown hosting datacentres to ensure data sovereignty. It is scalable on-demand, flexible, billed by the hour, and with  full support free of charge.

Features

  • Internet-connected Assured OFFICIAL security domain
  • Extensive independent testing and validation of assurance
  • Connected to PSN Assured, PSN Protect, N3/HSCN, JANET and Internet
  • Scalable high-throughput compute with large amounts of cores and memory
  • Optimised for Grid Engines, High Performance Compute,Massively Parallel Processing
  • Choice of virtual CPU mode core-to-memory ratio and node sizes
  • Hosted entirely within the UK
  • Operated by UK based, SC cleared engineers
  • Additional cloud support services migrate, onboard, manage, exit and hybrid.
  • QAssociates can provide SC_DV cleared personnel to support onboarding

Benefits

  • Low cost – effective price from 5p per core hour
  • Highest assurance from 100% UK sovereign cloud platform
  • Available exclusively to UK public sector organisations
  • Proven solution for Genomics, Life Sciences and Medical Research
  • Connected to UK public sector communities
  • Fixed and predictable costs to facilitate budgeting
  • Self-service – complete autonomy to configure and operate your solution
  • Elastic – easily scale the platform to handle growing requirements
  • Additional Cloud Support Services Offers Single Supplier Simplicity & Support
  • Q Associates security cleared personnel can assist onboarding

Pricing

£0.05 per unit per hour

Service documents

G-Cloud 10

702738700885863

Q Associates Limited

Chris Pike

01635 248181

gcloud@qassociates.co.uk

Service scope

Service scope
Service constraints Default mode for DRS is set to manual mode HA admission control is not enabled
Uses techniques for reducing the activity of live migration (vMotion)
Workloads are more likely to be disrupted during planned maintenance
System requirements
  • Customers will require a workload management tool (e.g. Grid Engine)
  • Management tool to distribute workload across multiple VMs within cluster
  • Management tool to automatically recover from individual failure of VMs
  • VMs must be identically configured and pro-grammatically provisioned
  • Use a configuration management tool such as Puppet or SaltStack
  • Connectivity via the DDoS-protected internet or a government secure network

User support

User support
Email or online ticketing support Email or online ticketing
Support response times Q Associates - offer access to a 24x7 service desk and can front all calls relating to the service.
UKCloud - Tickets are responded to on a priority basis. We aim to respond to ALL initial questions within 15 minutes during normal business hours and High Severity tickets will be answered 24/7.
User can manage status and priority of support tickets Yes
Online ticketing support accessibility None or don’t know
Phone support Yes
Phone support availability 24 hours, 7 days a week
Web chat support Web chat
Web chat support availability 9 to 5 (UK time), Monday to Friday
Web chat support accessibility standard None or don’t know
How the web chat support is accessible Slack (from UKCloud) is accessible via any web browser that supports HTML5 and is also accessible programmatically via its API. Alternatively, Slack can be used via its own desktop client.
Web chat accessibility testing None
Onsite support Yes, at extra cost
Support levels UKCloud's standard support includes Customer Success Managers, Technical Account Managers, support engineers and a 24/7 Network Operations Centre. We aim to respond to ALL incidents within 15 minutes between 08:00-20:00 every weekday.
Q Associates offers access to a 24x7 Service desk, particularly useful for Hybrid Cloud users of this service.
Support available to third parties Yes

Onboarding and offboarding

Onboarding and offboarding
Getting started Q Associates - In support of all of our Cloud Hosting Services offer Cloud Readiness, Cloud Migration and as needed Cloud Exit Services - all available via G-Cloud.
UKCloud - All new customers are assigned a Customer Success Manager that will provide proactive support and advise for the first 90 days. This also includes the assistance from devops and cloud architects to ensure the right solution is provisioned and maximised for the workloads, along with a range of user guides.
Service documentation Yes
Documentation formats
  • HTML
  • ODF
  • PDF
  • Other
Other documentation formats
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Webinars/WebEx
  • Presentations
End-of-contract data extraction Q Associates - In addition to the extraction of data, there may be more detailed integration requirements when exiting a cloud and Q Associates Cloud Exit service available via G-Cloud can further assist in this process.
UKCloud - The customer has complete autonomy of how data is stored and managed within their virtual environment. Data can be extracted either from within the VM (for example, copying data over virtual networks), or the entire VM (for example, exporting as a VMDK or OVF).
End-of-contract process Q Associates - In addition to the extraction of data, there may be more detailed integration requirements when exiting a cloud and Q Associates Cloud Exit service available via G-Cloud can further assist in this process.
UKCloud - Will return all your data and materials which cannot be deleted or exported by you, and securely destroy all copies of your data on your written instruction.  We will return any pre-paid sums for services not delivered to you. They will not penalise you for terminating your contract with us unless specifically stated in the Service Definition. They will also return all of your confidential information, unless there is a legal requirement that they keep it.

Using the service

Using the service
Web browser interface Yes
Using the web interface We provide a control panel allowing users to provision, manage and decommission various aspects of this service. It also allows users to interface with the UKCloud service management system including raising tickets and requests. The web interface also provides access to a comprehensive set of documentation and videos. Launch, manage and delete virtual network, compute and storage resources. Display network topology. Manage images including creation and recover of backups. Control access and security including key pairs, API access and floating IPs. Manage load balancers.
Web interface accessibility standard None or don’t know
How the web interface is accessible The web interface is accessible using the most common web browsers and is delivered over various public and private networks including the internet, PSN, N3/HSCN and Janet. The web interface is protected by standards-based encryption, two-factor authentication and optionally IP address restrictions. The web interface is entirely HTML5 and does not require any auxilary plug-ins, therefore the web interface is accessible by any modern day desktop or mobile internet browser able to support secure HTTPS connections.
Web interface accessibility testing None
API Yes
What users can and can't do using the API You can use API calls to create, manage and monitor Service Requests and view information about the components of your environment. We provide native access to underlying APIs such as vCloud and OpenStack. These are compatible with tools such as Terraform and platforms such as AWS S3.
API automation tools
  • Ansible
  • Chef
  • OpenStack
  • SaltStack
  • Terraform
  • Puppet
  • Other
Other API automation tools Jenkins
API documentation Yes
API documentation formats
  • Open API (also known as Swagger)
  • HTML
  • ODF
  • PDF
Command line interface Yes
Command line interface compatibility
  • Linux or Unix
  • Windows
  • MacOS
Using the command line interface Customers can fully manage their virtual infrastructure resources including compute, storage and networking, including management of virtual images, programmatically or manually via the CLI

Scaling

Scaling
Scaling available Yes
Scaling type
  • Automatic
  • Manual
Independence of resources Compute Intensive Infrastructure is a single tenant environment, where the service is not affected by the demands from other users. We do have resource reservations and shares on our connectivity services that are not dedicated to our customers - such as internet bandwidth. In addition, the capacity planning team ensure that connectivity usage in terms of all resources are constantly monitored and increased accordingly to demand.
Usage notifications Yes
Usage reporting API

Analytics

Analytics
Infrastructure or application metrics Yes
Metrics types
  • CPU
  • Disk
  • Memory
  • Number of active instances
  • Other
Other metrics
  • IP Management
  • USer Quotas
Reporting types
  • API access
  • Real-time dashboards
  • Reports on request

Resellers

Resellers
Supplier type Reseller providing extra support
Organisation whose services are being resold UKCloud

Staff security

Staff security
Staff security clearance Conforms to BS7858:2012
Government security clearance Up to Developed Vetting (DV)

Asset protection

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 Complies with a recognised standard (for example CSA CCM version 3.0)
Penetration testing frequency At least every 6 months
Penetration testing approach ‘IT Health Check’ performed by a CHECK service provider
Protecting data at rest
  • Physical access control, complying with CSA CCM v3.0
  • Other
Other data at rest protection approach Q Associates and UKCloud encourage clients to protect their own data using encryption technologies where only they have the decryption key. In this way, our customers are assured that their data can never be accessed by a third party.
Data sanitisation process Yes
Data sanitisation type Explicit overwriting of storage before reallocation
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
Backup and recovery Yes
What’s backed up
  • Virtual Machines and Data
  • Customers can re-deploy their entire solution in different regions
Backup controls UKCloud - Depending on the backup or replication service that the customer chooses, this can be done either via the API or the UKCloud portal.
Q Associates also has a managed backup entry in G-Cloud.
Datacentre setup Multiple datacentres with disaster recovery
Scheduling backups Users schedule backups through a web interface
Backup recovery
  • Users can recover backups themselves, for example through a web interface
  • Users contact the support team

Data-in-transit protection

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
  • Bonded fibre optic connections
  • Other
Other protection between networks Our Service Provider UKCloud offer the choice of connecting:
• Via the internet using additional encryption such as TLS 1.2
• IPSec VPN tunnels
• Via private networks such as leased lines or MPLS
• Via public sector networks such as PSN, N3, Janet
"
Data protection within supplier network
  • TLS (version 1.2 or above)
  • Other
Other protection within supplier network Our Service Provider UKcloud use dedicated CAS-T circuits between each of their sites to ensure the protection of customer data in-flight. UKcloud additionally encrypt this data within their Elevated OFFICIAL platform. All data flows are also subject to their protective monitoring service.

Availability and resilience

Availability and resilience
Guaranteed availability 99.90%
Approach to resilience A number of options enable you to build resilience into your applications. We offer Compute Intensive Infrastructure from two geographically distinct sites, both located in the UK and separated by over 100km for excellent geo-diversity.

Q Associates also offer a Cloud Migration Service available via G-Cloud can assist in the setup of solution to span multiple sites, regions or zones.
Outage reporting All outages will be reported via the Service Status page and the notifications service within the UKCloud Portal.  Outages are identified as Planned maintenance, Emergency maintenance, and platform issues.  In addition, the designated Technical Account Manager will proactively contact customers as appropriate.

Identity and authentication

Identity and authentication
User authentication
  • 2-factor authentication
  • Limited access network (for example PSN)
Access restrictions in management interfaces and support channels Q Associates 24x7 service desk can front calls to/from UKCloud and client where necessary Alternatively, customers have the option to raise a support request via telephone or email. UKCloud will always authenticate the identity of the user by validating known phone numbers and asking them for specific characters within their pre-agreed memorable word. The management interfaces are only available on the UKCloud network.
Access restriction testing frequency At least every 6 months
Management access authentication 2-factor authentication
Devices users manage the service through
  • Dedicated device on a segregated network (providers own provision)
  • Dedicated device on a government network (for example PSN)
  • Dedicated device over multiple services or networks
  • Any device but through a bastion host (a bastion host is a server that provides access to a private network from an external network such as the internet)
  • Directly from any device which may also be used for normal business (for example web browsing or viewing external email)

Audit information for users

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 Between 1 month and 6 months
Access to supplier activity audit information Users contact the support team to get audit information
How long supplier audit data is stored for Between 1 month and 6 months
How long system logs are stored for Between 1 month and 6 months

Standards and certifications

Standards and certifications
ISO/IEC 27001 certification Yes
Who accredited the ISO/IEC 27001 NQA for Q Associates/LRQA for UKCloud
ISO/IEC 27001 accreditation date April 2016 for Q Associates May 2012 for UKCloud
What the ISO/IEC 27001 doesn’t cover Nothing
ISO 28000:2007 certification No
CSA STAR certification Yes
CSA STAR accreditation date 28 October 2016 for UKCloud
CSA STAR certification level Level 1: CSA STAR Self-Assessment
What the CSA STAR doesn’t cover Nothing
PCI certification No
Other security certifications Yes
Any other security certifications ISO27018 for UKCloud

Security governance

Security governance
Named board-level person responsible for service security Yes
Security governance certified Yes
Security governance standards
  • ISO/IEC 27001
  • Other
Other security governance standards UK Cloud our service provider also comply with - CSA STAR, ISO27001, ISO27017, ISO27018 and ISO20000
Information security policies and processes Q Associates are accredited to ISO27001 and independently audited each year. All staff are reviewed and tested annually in relation to their understanding of our ISO27001 policies and training aligned according to the overall results. We are also Cyber Essentials certified and have access when necessary to a team of secure staff from our QSS division who regularly deal with sensitive public-sector organisations. Full information relating to our ISO27001 policies and processes is available upon request. Additionally, our service provider, UKCloud, has a number of inter-connected governance frameworks in place which control both how the Company operates and the manner in which it delivers cloud services to its customers. These have been independently assessed and certified against ISO20000, ISO27001, ISO27017 and ISO27018 by LRQA, a UKAS accredited audit body. The Company is governed by an integrated suite of information security policies. Under the top level Information Security Policy itself are second-level documents with specific focus on Acceptable Use, Antivirus Protection, Asset Management, Business Continuity Management, Data Protection, Password Management, Personnel Management, Supply Chain Management and many others.

Operational security

Operational security
Configuration and change management standard Conforms to a recognised standard, for example CSA CCM v3.0 or SSAE-16 / ISAE 3402
Configuration and change management approach Q Associates has documented configuration and change management controls (Available On Request).
UKCloud, has documented configuration and change management policies and processes, which have been implemented, maintained and assessed in accordance with the guidance from ITIL v.3 and the current ISO20000 standard. Formal configuration management activities, including record management and asset reporting, are monitored and validated constantly, any discrepancies promptly escalated for investigation. A robust, established process for the formal submission of change requests is mandated prior to review and approval of the daily Change Advisory Board, which is attended by a quorum of operational and technical management personnel.
Vulnerability management type Conforms to a recognised standard, for example CSA CCM v3.0 or SSAE-16 / ISAE 3402
Vulnerability management approach Following best practice from the National Cyber Security Centre, UKCloud protects both its Assured and Elevated platforms with 24x7 enhanced protective monitoring services, vulnerability scanning and assessment.  Their approach to protective monitoring at minimum meets the Protective Monitoring Controls (PMC 1-12) outlined in NCSC document GPG13 (Protective Monitoring for HMG ICT Systems).  It includes checks against systems events (SIEM) and network traffic analysis, including time sources, cross-boundary traffic, suspicious activities at a boundary, network connections and status of backups.  Any alerts generated are logged and investigated 24x7.
Protective monitoring type Conforms to a recognised standard, for example CSA CCM v3.0 or SSAE-16 / ISAE 3402
Protective monitoring approach Following best practice from the National Cyber Security Centre, UKCloud protects both its Assured and Elevated platforms with 24x7 enhanced protective monitoring services, vulnerability scanning and assessment.  Their approach to protective monitoring at minimum meets the Protective Monitoring Controls (PMC 1-12) outlined in NCSC document GPG13 (Protective Monitoring for HMG ICT Systems).  It includes checks against systems events (SIEM) and network traffic analysis, including time sources, cross-boundary traffic, suspicious activities at a boundary, network connections and status of backups.  Any alerts generated are logged and investigated 24x7.
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 Q Associates has a fully documented Incident management process (Available_on_request) UKCloud has a documented incident management policy and process, which have been implemented, maintained and assessed in accordance with the guidance from ITIL v.3 and the current ISO20000 and ISO27001 standards. This activity is responsible for the progression of alerts generated by automated monitoring systems, issues identified by UKCloud personnel, and incidents identified and reported to UKCloud by its customers and partners. All incidents are promptly reported into a central ticketing system, ensuring each is promptly assigned to an appropriate resource, and progress tracked (and escalated, as required) to resolution.

Secure development

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

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 At the compute/storage layer, consumers are separated via robust hypervisor controls based on VMware vSphere technology. This solution has been previously been validated by the NCSC PGA and the implementation is regularly tested via by regular PGA scoped independent IT Security Health Checks conducted by a CHECK service provider.

Energy efficiency

Energy efficiency
Energy-efficient datacentres Yes

Pricing

Pricing
Price £0.05 per unit per hour
Discount for educational organisations No
Free trial available No

Documents

Documents
Pricing document View uploaded document
Skills Framework for the Information Age rate card View uploaded document
Service definition document View uploaded document
Terms and conditions document View uploaded document
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