ARES Software UK Ltd

ARES PRISM Software Hosting by UKCloud

Our managed 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. This managed service is on-demand, flexible, billed by the hour, and with full support free of charge.

Features

  • Managed provision of critical core OS security patches
  • Initial deployment of a standardised OS image
  • Monitoring of OS availability (e.g. PING response)
  • Hosted entirely within the UK - Sovereign alternative to AWS
  • Operated by UK based, SC cleared engineers by UKCloud

Benefits

  • Reduce low-level, repeated activities that take time and effort
  • Ensure managed VMs are patched and updated regularly
  • Allow operations to focus on more strategic activities
  • Part of a suite of genuine cloud services
  • Elastic – easily scale the platform to handle growing requirements

Pricing

£150 a virtual machine a month

Service documents

Request an accessible format
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need versions of these documents in a more accessible format, email the supplier at ldaly@aresprism.com. Tell them what format you need. It will help if you say what assistive technology you use.

Framework

G-Cloud 12

Service ID

9 0 9 2 4 0 4 2 6 9 4 1 9 0 4

Contact

ARES Software UK Ltd Lateef Daly
Telephone: 07800 665049
Email: ldaly@aresprism.com

Service scope

Service constraints
No
System requirements
Customers must ensure appropriate data is stored on the environment

User support

Email or online ticketing support
Email or online ticketing
Support response times
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
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
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.
Support available to third parties
Yes

Onboarding and offboarding

Getting started
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 maximized for the workloads, along with a range of user guides.
Service documentation
Yes
Documentation formats
  • HTML
  • PDF
End-of-contract data extraction
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
We 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. We will not penalise you for terminating your contract with us unless specifically stated in the Service Definition. We will also return all of your confidential information, unless there is a legal requirement that we keep it.

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
WCAG 2.1 AAA
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
API documentation
Yes
API documentation formats
Open API (also known as Swagger)
Command line interface
Yes
Command line interface compatibility
Linux or Unix
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 available
Yes
Scaling type
Automatic
Independence of resources
In order to guarantee that users are not affected by the demands from other users, we use reource reservations and shares such as internet bandwidth shaping. In addition, the capapcity planning team ensure that usage in terms of all resources are constantly monitored and increased accordinglty relating to user demand.
Usage notifications
Yes
Usage reporting
API

Analytics

Infrastructure or application metrics
Yes
Metrics types
  • CPU
  • Disk
  • Memory
Reporting types
API access

Resellers

Supplier type
Reseller providing extra support
Organisation whose services are being resold
UK Cloud

Staff security

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

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
Data sanitisation process
No
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
Backup controls
Depending on the backup or replication service that the customer chooses, this can be done either via the API or the UKCloud portal.
Datacentre setup
Multiple datacentres
Scheduling backups
Users schedule backups through a web interface
Backup recovery
Users can recover backups themselves, for example through a web interface

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
Data protection within supplier network
  • IPsec or TLS VPN gateway
  • Legacy SSL and TLS (under version 1.2)

Availability and resilience

Guaranteed availability
99.90%
Approach to resilience
Our service is deployed across a number of sites, regions and zones. Each zone is designed to eliminate single points of failure (such as power, network and hardware). Customers are encouraged to ensure their solution spans multiple sites, regions or zones to ensure service continuity should a failure occur.
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

User authentication
  • 2-factor authentication
  • Public key authentication (including by TLS client certificate)
Access restrictions in management interfaces and support channels
For online systems (e.g. Customer Portal & API interfaces), all users are required to have a unique username, password and memorable word combination. Customers may also use 2FA authentication tokens.
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

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 have access to real-time audit information
How long supplier audit data is stored for
User-defined
How long system logs are stored for
Between 1 month and 6 months

Standards and certifications

ISO/IEC 27001 certification
Yes
Who accredited the ISO/IEC 27001
Lloyds Register (LR)
ISO/IEC 27001 accreditation date
8th May 2012
What the ISO/IEC 27001 doesn’t cover
Nothing
ISO 28000:2007 certification
No
CSA STAR certification
Yes
CSA STAR accreditation date
28th October 2016
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
  • Cyber Essentials
  • Cyber Essentials Plus
  • ISO9001
  • ISO20000
  • ISO27017
  • CISPE Code of Conduct Certification

Security governance

Named board-level person responsible for service security
Yes
Security governance certified
Yes
Security governance standards
CSA CCM version 3.0
Information security policies and processes
Information security policies and processes provided by hosting provider

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
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, and any identified 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
UKCloud has a documented vulnerability 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. Where technically possible, real-time updates and status reports are identified and sourced from credible vendor sources, which cover a significant proportion of UKCloud’s asset population. For other systems and software, assigned personnel have responsibility for regularly reviewing technical forums and specialist groups to promptly identify and evaluate any emerging patches or updates which require our attention.
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.  Our 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
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, which ensures that each is promptly assigned to an appropriate resource, and its progress tracked (and escalated, as required) to resolution.

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
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 independent IT Security Health Checks conducted by a CHECK service provider.

Energy efficiency

Energy-efficient datacentres
Yes
Description of energy efficient datacentres
UKCloud’s services are CarbonNeutral® cloud services. We achieved this certification by working with Natural Capital Partners to measure and reduce our CO2 emissions across all sources used to deliver our cloud services to our customers. These include direct emissions from all owned or leased stationary sources that use fossil fuels and/or emit fugitive emissions, and emissions from the generation of purchased electricity and steam (including transmission and distribution losses) to power our servers. For our cloud services to achieve CarbonNeutral® status, an independent assessment of the CO2 emissions produced from direct and indirect sources required to deliver them was carried out, followed by an offset-inclusive emissions reduction programme. This means that for every tonne of greenhouse gas emissions we produce in delivering cloud services, we buy a verified carbon offset which guarantees that an equivalent amount of greenhouse gas emissions is reduced from the atmosphere through a renewable energy or clean technology project.

Pricing

Price
£150 a virtual machine a month
Discount for educational organisations
No
Free trial available
No

Service documents

Request an accessible format
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need versions of these documents in a more accessible format, email the supplier at ldaly@aresprism.com. Tell them what format you need. It will help if you say what assistive technology you use.