NEL Commissioning Support Unit

NEL Business Intelligence (BI) Cloud Hosting and Analytics Services

NEL BI Cloud Hosting Services design, build and offer solution-focused services to support health/social care improvement and population health management, within public/private sector.
•Microsoft Azure-based
•IaaS/PaaS/SaaS options
•Data warehousing, reporting and visualisation tools (SQL/PowerBI/SSRS/SharePoint)
•System-wide offer
•Information Governance, NHS/social care data use of Public Cloud Services compliant.


  • Scale one to thousands of virtual machines instances, almost instantly
  • Built-in virtual networking and load balancing
  • Drive for hybrid consistency with on-premises systems
  • Support Microsoft SQL Server and SharePoint Server
  • Run Oracle, MySQL, Redis, MongoDB and other DBs
  • RLI connected
  • Choose your own VM or download a certified pre-configured image
  • Per minute billing
  • Machine Learning to support big data project


  • Deploy what you want, almost instantly
  • Ensure scalability and consistency using templates
  • Run enterprise applications in the cloud with world-class support
  • Build security-enhanced, compliant solutions
  • Maximise the benefit of existing investments using hybrid connections
  • Get true HPC capabilities in the cloud, on demand
  • Save money with per-minute billing


£250 per server per month

Service documents


G-Cloud 11

Service ID

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NEL Commissioning Support Unit

Business Development


Service scope

Service constraints
For public cloud services we utilise Microsoft Azure, please refer to current technical limitations (

Licence and Azure, Office 365 resources and billing are not included with this service, and are to be purchased separately. This will seek to maximise existing product and service and licence arrangements. Constraints may apply to the scope of work agreed with the Authority. These will be clearly documented in the Call-Off contract.
System requirements
  • System requirements will depend on the chosen solutions
  • For more information please see

User support

Email or online ticketing support
Email or online ticketing
Support response times
As a standard offering, first-line support will be provided between 8:30AM am to 5:30PM pm, Monday to Friday (excluding national holidays) via email and phone.

Agreeing priorities for logged service requests and incidents with the designated team in line with customer business needs and priorities
User can manage status and priority of support tickets
Phone support
Phone support availability
9 to 5 (UK time), Monday to Friday
Web chat support
Onsite support
Yes, at extra cost
Support levels
Microsoft can provide support levels ranging from basic to premier.
For more details please see
Support available to third parties

Onboarding and offboarding

Getting started
To help users start using Microsoft Azure service, we recommend that you look at the detailed description available here plus comprehensive online documentation for various solutions available across the platform. Additionally, please see:
Service documentation
Documentation formats
  • HTML
  • PDF
End-of-contract data extraction
An agreement will be reached with the user as to how users might extract data.
End-of-contract process
Microsoft has a robust off-boarding process at the end of the contract. They contractually commits to specific processes when a customer leaves a cloud service or the subscription expires. This includes deleting customer data from systems under our control. If you terminate a cloud subscription or it expires (except for free trials), Microsoft will store your customer data in a limited-function account for 90 days (the “retention period”) to give you time to extract the data or renew your subscription. During this period, Microsoft provides multiple notices, so you will be amply forewarned of the upcoming deletion of data. After this 90-day retention period, Microsoft will disable the account and delete the customer data, including any cached or backup copies. For in-scope services, that deletion will occur within 90 days after the end of the retention period. (In-scope services are defined in the Data Processing Terms section of our Online Services Terms.)
For more details please see:

Using the service

Web browser interface
Using the web interface
Users can manage and deploy services via the Azure Portal.
For more details please see
Web interface accessibility standard
None or don’t know
How the web interface is accessible
All Azure resources are accessible via the Azure portal (
For more details please see
Web interface accessibility testing
What users can and can't do using the API
Users are able to utilise the Azure API Managament service to create their own API's for the solutions they deploy on to the platform. Additionally Microsoft have the Azure Service Management API which provides programmatic access to much of the functionality available through the Management Portal.
For more details please see
API automation tools
API documentation
API documentation formats
  • HTML
  • PDF
Command line interface
Command line interface compatibility
  • Linux or Unix
  • Windows
  • Other
Using the command line interface
Depending on user permissions, setup and management specifications, users can access a different command line interface.
Azure CLI 2.0 is optimized for managing and administering Azure resources from the command line, and for building automation scripts that work against the Azure Resource Manager.
For more details please see


Scaling available
Scaling type
  • Automatic
  • Manual
Independence of resources
Azure represents a hyper-scale public cloud service. It has many built-in platform features such as data centres spread across multiple regions and high availability technologies that guarantee a specific level of service for the customer.
Usage notifications
Usage reporting
  • API
  • Email


Infrastructure or application metrics
Metrics types
  • CPU
  • Disk
  • HTTP request and response status
  • Memory
  • Network
  • Number of active instances
Reporting types
  • Regular reports
  • Reports on request


Supplier type
Reseller providing extra features and support
Organisation whose services are being resold
Microsoft Azure Services

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
Data storage and processing locations
  • United Kingdom
  • European Economic Area (EEA)
User control over data storage and processing locations
Datacentre security standards
Complies with a recognised standard (for example CSA CCM version 3.0)
Penetration testing frequency
At least once a year
Penetration testing approach
Another external penetration testing organisation
Protecting data at rest
  • Physical access control, complying with CSA CCM v3.0
  • Physical access control, complying with SSAE-16 / ISAE 3402
  • Encryption of all physical media
  • Scale, obfuscating techniques, or data storage sharding
Data sanitisation process
Data sanitisation type
  • Explicit overwriting of storage before reallocation
  • 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
What’s backed up
  • Multiple, flexible options available
  • Files
  • Virtual machines
  • Databases
Backup controls
Pre-agreed schedules and Service Desk request and users can also schedule backups through a web interface.
Datacentre setup
Multiple datacentres with disaster recovery
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
  • Other
Other protection within supplier network
ACL Based Network Security Groups are also used.
For more details please see:

Availability and resilience

Guaranteed availability
For more details please see Microsoft's Online Service Terms at
Approach to resilience
For more details please see and
Outage reporting
For more details on reporting service outages please see
Additionally, please see

Identity and authentication

User authentication
  • Public key authentication (including by TLS client certificate)
  • Identity federation with existing provider (for example Google apps)
  • Limited access network (for example PSN)
  • Dedicated link (for example VPN)
  • Username or password
  • Other
Other user authentication
Azure Active Directory is Microsoft’s multi-tenant cloud based directory and identity management service. Azure-AD provides an affordable, easy to use solution to give employees and business partners single sign-on (SSO) access to thousands of cloud SaaS Applications like Office365,, DropBox, and Concur. For application developers, Azure-AD lets you focus on building your application by making it fast and simple to integrate with a world class identity management solution used by millions of organizations.

Azure-AD also includes a full suite of identity management capabilities including multi-factor authentication, device registration, self-service password management, self-service group management, privileged account management.

Access restrictions in management interfaces and support channels
Azure-AD can designate separate administrators to serve different functions. These administrators will have access to features in the Azure portal and, depending on their role, will be able to create or edit users, assign administrative roles to others, reset user passwords, manage user-licenses, and manage domains, among other things. A user who is assigned an admin role will have the same permissions across all of the cloud services that your organization has subscribed to, regardless of whether you assign the role in the Office365 portal, or in the Azure classic-portal, or by using the Azure-AD module for Windows PowerShell.
Access restriction testing frequency
At least once a year
Management access authentication
  • 2-factor authentication
  • Public key authentication (including by TLS client certificate)
  • Identity federation with existing provider (for example Google Apps)
  • Username or password
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

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 6 months and 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
Between 6 months and 12 months
How long system logs are stored for
Between 6 months and 12 months

Standards and certifications

ISO/IEC 27001 certification
ISO 28000:2007 certification
CSA STAR certification
PCI certification
Who accredited the PCI DSS certification
Microsoft Azure Services - Coalfire Systems Inc
PCI DSS accreditation date
What the PCI DSS doesn’t cover
For more details on Microsoft Azure Services please see more information about the Service Scope here:
Other security certifications
Any other security certifications
IG Toolkit - Level 2

Security governance

Named board-level person responsible for service security
Security governance certified
Security governance standards
  • CSA CCM version 3.0
  • ISO/IEC 27001
  • Other
Other security governance standards
FACT, NHS IG Toolkit level 2, FedRamp, NIST 800-171, EU Model Clauses, Cyber Essentials Plus
Information security policies and processes
An Information Security Management Program has been established to enable Microsoft Azure to maintain and improve its management system for information security. Through establishment of the ISMS, Azure plans for and manages protection of its assets to acceptable security levels based on defined risk management processes. In addition, Azure monitors the ISMS and the effectiveness of controls in maintaining the confidentiality, integrity and availability of assets to continuously improve information security.

The ISMS framework encompasses industry best-practices for information security and privacy. The ISMS has been documented and communicated in a customer-facing Information Security Policy, which can be made available upon request (customers and prospective customers must have a signed NDA or equivalent in place to receive a copy).

Microsoft Azure performs annual ISMS reviews, the results of which are reviewed by management. This involves monitoring ongoing effectiveness and improvement of the ISMS control environment by reviewing security issues, audit results, and monitoring status, and by planning and tracking necessary corrective actions.

Also, please see

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
Azure has developed formal standard operating procedures (SOPs) governing the change management process. These SOPs cover both software development and hardware change and release management, and are consistent with established regulatory guidelines including ISO 27001, SOC 1 / SOC 2, NIST 800-53, and others.

Microsoft also uses Operational Security Assurance (OSA), a framework that incorporates the knowledge gained through a variety of capabilities that are unique to Microsoft including the Microsoft Security Development Lifecycle (SDL), the Microsoft Security Response Center program, and deep awareness of the cyber-security threat landscape.

Please see
Also, please see
Vulnerability management type
Conforms to a recognised standard, for example CSA CCM v3.0 or SSAE-16 / ISAE 3402
Vulnerability management approach
When providing the Antimalware solution for Virtual Machines, Azure is responsible for ensuring the service is highly available, definitions are updated regularly, that configuration through the Azure Management Portal is effective and that the software detects and protects against known types of malicious software.

MCIO-managed hosts in the scope boundary are scanned to validate anti-virus clients are installed and current signature-definition files exist.

Vulnerability scans are performed on a quarterly basis at a minimum. Microsoft Azure contracts with independent assessors to perform penetration testing of the Microsoft Azure boundary.
Protective monitoring type
Supplier-defined controls
Protective monitoring approach
Microsoft Azure employs sophisticated software-defined service instrumentation and monitoring that integrates at the component or server level, the datacenter edge, our network backbone, Internet exchange sites, and at the real or simulated user level, providing visibility when a service disruption is occurring and pinpointing its cause.

Proactive monitoring continuously measures the performance of key subsystems of the Microsoft Azure services platform against the established boundaries for acceptable service performance and availability. When a threshold is reached or an irregular event occurs, the monitoring system generates warnings so that operations staff can address the threshold or event.
Incident management type
Supplier-defined controls
Incident management approach
Microsoft has developed robust processes to facilitate a coordinated response to incidents.
• Identification – System and security alerts may be harvested, correlated, and analysed.
• Containment – The escalation team evaluates the scope and impact of an incident.
• Eradication – The escalation team eradicates any damage caused by the security breach, identifies root cause for why the security issue occurred.
• Recovery – During recovery, software or configuration updates are applied to the system and services are returned to a full working capacity.
• Lessons Learned – Each security incident is analysed to protect against future reoccurrence.

Secure development

Approach to secure software development best practice
Conforms to a recognised standard, but self-assessed

Separation between users

Virtualisation technology used to keep applications and users sharing the same infrastructure apart
Who implements virtualisation
Virtualisation technologies used
How shared infrastructure is kept separate
For infrastructure security framework, please see

Energy efficiency

Energy-efficient datacentres
Description of energy efficient datacentres
Services provided through Microsoft datacentres. The following two articles give an overview of compliance.


£250 per server per month
Discount for educational organisations
Free trial available

Service documents

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