IBM United Kingdom Ltd

IBM Blockchain on Bluemix – High Security Business Network (HSBN)

Blockchain on Bluemix provides Blockchain as a service (SaaS) in the IBM Cloud. It is accessed through IBM’s Bluemix service providing an easy to use development environment for blockchain applications. The blockchain service is hosted on a highly secure LinuxONE platform in a UK based data centre for sensitive workloads.


  • Blockchain based on the industry standard Open Linux Foundation Hyperledger
  • Hosted in highly resilient, secure Tier 3 UK data centre
  • Integrated DevOps tools for agile development and deployment
  • Accessed through IBM’s Bluemix service
  • Dedicated compute power in an isolated partition
  • Security up to FIPS 140-2 Level 4
  • Global availability, UK based data centre for regulated workloads
  • Secure Service Containers providing tamper proof security.
  • Performance optimized through crypto acceleration


  • Uses open standards to ensure wide acceptability
  • High availability, security from resilient, secure Tier3 UK data centre
  • Enables agile development and deployment
  • Ease of access through IBM’s Bluemix service
  • Runs in an isolated partition to ensure capacity is available
  • Meets required security standards
  • High security and performance achieved through SSCs and crypto accelerators


£8655.10 per instance per month

  • Free trial available

Service documents

G-Cloud 9


IBM United Kingdom Ltd

Jason Dymott


Service scope

Service scope
Software add-on or extension No
Cloud deployment model Public cloud
Service constraints No constraints
System requirements
  • Internet Connection & Web Browser
  • API Access

User support

User support
Email or online ticketing support Email or online ticketing
Support response times Impact Level is Customer definable.

Sunday at 21:30 UTC to Friday at 23:59 and response time depends upon problem severity specified.

Severity Level 1 Response Time One hour
Severity Level 2 Response Time Two hours
Severity Level 3 Response Time Four hours
Severity Level 4 Response Time Best effort
User can manage status and priority of support tickets Yes
Online ticketing support accessibility None or don’t know
Phone support No
Web chat support No
Onsite support No
Support levels A single level of support is provided:
• Support is available: Sunday at 21:30 UTC to Friday at 23:59 (six days)
• Support is provided by a ticketing system. Customer can define severity levels 1-4.

Severity Level 1 Response Time One hour
Severity Level 2 Response Time Two hours
Severity Level 3 Response Time Four hours
Severity Level 4 Response Time Best effort
Support available to third parties Yes

Onboarding and offboarding

Onboarding and offboarding
Getting started Extensive on-line documentation and educational materials are available for learning, including demos, videos, and tutorials.
Service documentation Yes
Documentation formats HTML
End-of-contract data extraction Users can request a capture of the data. The user is responsible for data reuse.
End-of-contract process When the service is purchased, terms of renewal are specified:
1) No renewal, so terminate service at the end of the contract. In this case, users are notified prior to termination so they have time migrate their data.
2) Automatic monthly renewal, and the user provides the notification to terminate.
There is no immediate data loss.

Using the service

Using the service
Web browser interface Yes
Supported browsers
  • Internet Explorer 8
  • Internet Explorer 9
  • Internet Explorer 10+
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Firefox
  • Chrome
  • Safari 9+
  • Opera
Application to install No
Designed for use on mobile devices Yes
Differences between the mobile and desktop service Can be accessed from a mobile device using a web browser, but the service does not have a mobile application.
Accessibility standards None or don’t know
Description of accessibility Through standard browser interfaces
Accessibility testing Through standard browser interfaces. We have not completed any specific interface testing for this offering.
What users can and can't do using the API 1) Key REST API access are available:
• Instantiate chain code
• Invoke chain code
• Query chain code

For Bluemix API’s, See
2) The service is not setup using an API. It is fully instantiated using the UI. However, users use the API’s described above in #1 to instantiate and run blockchain chain code.
3) User use the API to described above in #1 to manage updates.
There are no limitations.
API documentation Yes
API documentation formats
  • Open API (also known as Swagger)
  • HTML
API sandbox or test environment Yes
Customisation available Yes
Description of customisation New users can be added, service can be split into organisations & spaces to separate projects. The service provides the ability to set policies for business network governance.


Independence of resources Each blockchain HSBN service runs with a set of compute that is dedicated.


Service usage metrics Yes
Metrics types Networks, Peers, Channels, Members, CA
Reporting types
  • API access
  • Real-time dashboards
  • Reports on request


Supplier type Not a reseller

Staff security

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

Asset protection

Asset protection
Knowledge of data storage and processing locations Yes
Data storage and processing locations
  • United Kingdom
  • European Economic Area (EEA)
  • EU-US Privacy Shield agreement locations
  • Other locations
User control over data storage and processing locations Yes
Datacentre security standards Supplier-defined controls
Penetration testing frequency At least once a year
Penetration testing approach In-house
Protecting data at rest
  • Physical access control, complying with CSA CCM v3.0
  • Physical access control, complying with SSAE-16 / ISAE 3402
  • Physical access control, complying with another standard
  • Encryption of all physical media
  • Scale, obfuscating techniques, or data storage sharding
Data sanitisation process No
Equipment disposal approach In-house destruction process

Data importing and exporting

Data importing and exporting
Data export approach Data can be obtained through well defined query API’s.
Data export formats Other
Other data export formats Range of formats are supported depending on the service.
Data import formats Other
Other data import formats Chain code can be instantiated through well documented service interfaces.

Data-in-transit protection

Data-in-transit protection
Data protection between buyer and supplier networks
  • 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

Availability and resilience

Availability and resilience
Guaranteed availability The current IBM Blockchain service does not currently provide an SLA, and refund is not provided; however, there are plans in place for SLA that will guarantee the highest level of availability.
Approach to resilience Available at request.
Outage reporting Email alerts and available on a webpage at:

Identity and authentication

Identity and authentication
User authentication needed Yes
User authentication
  • Public key authentication (including by TLS client certificate)
  • Identity federation with existing provider (for example Google Apps)
  • Username or password
Access restrictions in management interfaces and support channels Role based access restricts access to management interfaces and support channels. Roles include developer, manager, auditor and billing manager. Different roles see different interfaces.
Access restriction testing frequency At least once a year
Management access authentication
  • Public key authentication (including by TLS client certificate)
  • Username or password

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 No
ISO 28000:2007 certification No
CSA STAR certification No
PCI certification No
Other security accreditations Yes
Any other security accreditations Full list see:

Security governance

Security governance
Named board-level person responsible for service security Yes
Security governance accreditation Yes
Security governance standards Other
Other security governance standards Roadmap to have ISO/IEC 27001 certification complete by year end 2017.
The Blockchain HSBN provides cryptographic keys stored in HSM which is compliant up to FIPS 140-2 Level 4 security.
Information security policies and processes IBM has an Information Technology (IT) Security policy that establishes the requirements for the protection of IBM's worldwide IT systems and the information assets they contain, including networks and computing devices such as servers, workstations, host computers, application programs, web services, and telephone systems within the IBM infrastructure. IBM’s IT Security policy is supplemented by standards and guidelines, such as the Security Standards for IBM's Infrastructure, the Security and Use Standards for IBM Employees and the Security Guidelines for Outsourced Business Services. Such are reviewed by a cross-company team led by the IT Risk organization every six months.

IBM has a dedicated Vice President of IT Security who leads a team responsible for IBM's own enterprise data security standards and practices. Responsibility and accountability for executing internal security programs is established through formal documented policies. IBM Services teams also have dedicated executives and teams who are responsible for information and physical security in the delivery of our client services.

Operational security

Operational security
Configuration and change management standard Supplier-defined controls
Configuration and change management approach The HSBN is built from the Linux Foundation, Hyperledger Project Community. Code from the community is rigorously governed. Additionally, internal development processes are used to manage changes using a dev-ops approach.
Vulnerability management type Supplier-defined controls
Vulnerability management approach IBM uses internal tools to scan for malware scanning. Has company procedures for open source vulnerabilities management. Details available upon request.
Protective monitoring type Supplier-defined controls
Protective monitoring approach IBM’s solution has built in controls to detect tampering. This includes the use of cryptographic processes. Details available upon request.
Incident management type Supplier-defined controls
Incident management approach Bluemix follows the IBM Product Security Incident Response Team process for security incident management. See website for full details

Secure development

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

Public sector networks

Public sector networks
Connection to public sector networks No


Price £8655.10 per instance per month
Discount for educational organisations No
Free trial available Yes
Description of free trial Trial access can be requested. Information provided on request.


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