Core

Connectivity Hub (Cloud Connectivity Aggregation) - CoreGov

Core offer a solution for aggregating connections to all major cloud platforms via dedicated connections such as Azure ExpressRoute and AWS Direct Connect for government departments who have large branch office networks and need secure connectivity at a rationalized price. Bandwidth ranges from 100Mbps to 160Gbps.

Features

  • Dedicated bandwidth to Azure from 100MB to 160GB
  • For clients whose firewall is not compatible with Azure Gateways
  • Works with any client side firewall
  • Hosted in an Official (Sensitive) certified datacentre in London/Slough
  • Provides connections to 11 different cloud providers
  • Connect to: AWS, Google Cloud Platform, Azure, Rackspace VMWare vCloud

Benefits

  • Fast and secure dedicate connection to Azure
  • Easy way to test Azure with minimal outlay
  • Cheaper than most ExpressRoute connections
  • Fully managed firewalls/routers from your datacentre to the cloud
  • Monthly service reports on utilisation and threat detection

Pricing

£385 to £40,000 a device 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 webenquiry@core.co.uk. Tell them what format you need. It will help if you say what assistive technology you use.

Framework

G-Cloud 13

Service ID

5 8 1 7 4 5 5 6 4 6 9 4 8 5 8

Contact

Core Paul Saer
Telephone: +44 (0) 207 626 0516
Email: webenquiry@core.co.uk

Service scope

Service constraints
All hardware types and firewalls supported for VPN connectivity.
Core offer support for SonicWALL, Cisco and Fortinet firewalls and Cisco, Dell, HP switches.
System requirements
Firewalls must be capable of NSCS IPSEC VPN requirements

User support

Email or online ticketing support
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
See rate card. Depending on chosen products and services.
Support available to third parties
Yes

Onboarding and offboarding

Getting started
Core have various plans available for training. Some training is face to face for Administrators but we have extensive user based online training for our SaaS offerings. User documentation is provided where required in electronic format.
Service documentation
Yes
Documentation formats
  • HTML
  • PDF
  • Other
Other documentation formats
Microsoft Word (.doc)
End-of-contract data extraction
Connectivity Hub does not store data so no data extraction is required.
End-of-contract process
The off-boarding high level process is as follow:
• An authorised client representative formally notifies Core to terminate the service.
• The date and time at which access to the service will be formally agreed.
o All access to servers will cease at this time.
o All networking components / VPN connections will be halted at this time.
• All data requested to be extracted from the servers will be taken out after the access have been cut off. Data extraction fees are on a time and materials basis from the SFIA rate card.
• Once all data extracts are complete all servers for the solution will be programmatically wiped from the IaaS backend including all backups, storage and recovery vaults. This process cannot be reversed once completed and data is permanently wiped and totally unrecoverable once removed.
• Billing for the service will be calculated up to the point at which all servers and services have been wiped from the system and a final bill with usage breakdown will be issued.

Using the service

Web browser interface
No
API
No
Command line interface
No

Scaling

Scaling available
Yes
Scaling type
Manual
Independence of resources
Core monitor services for trending growth and add dynamic services as required. The nature of the design in Azure guarantees no impact to end users.
Usage notifications
Yes
Usage reporting
  • Email
  • Other

Analytics

Infrastructure or application metrics
Yes
Metrics types
  • CPU
  • Disk
  • HTTP request and response status
  • Memory
  • Network
  • Number of active instances
  • Other
Other metrics
  • Website availability
  • Website loadtimes
Reporting types
  • Real-time dashboards
  • Regular reports
  • Reports on request

Resellers

Supplier type
Reseller providing extra features and support
Organisation whose services are being resold
Microsoft, Quest, OneIdentity, Beezy, Nintex, K2, Sonicwall, Dell

Staff security

Staff security clearance
Conforms to BS7858:2019
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 once a year
Penetration testing approach
Another external penetration testing organisation
Protecting data at rest
  • Physical access control, complying with SSAE-16 / ISAE 3402
  • Physical access control, complying with another standard
  • Encryption of all physical media
Data sanitisation process
Yes
Data sanitisation type
  • Explicit overwriting of storage before reallocation
  • Deleted data can’t be directly accessed
Equipment disposal approach
A third-party destruction service

Backup and recovery

Backup and recovery
Yes
What’s backed up
  • Virtual Servers
  • Data Drives
  • DataBases
  • End point devices where required
  • Identity Information
  • Online services data (Sharepoint, OneDrive, Exchange online)
  • Logs
Backup controls
At the storage layer we keep 6 copies of the virtual machine disks available. 3 in the primary datacentre and 3 in the secondary datacentre. Replication of the disks is asynchronous so the RPO for replication is a maximum of 5 minutes for the data disks. Because we keep 6 copies live we take backups on a nightly basis which are stored in a recovery plan of 7 days, 4 weeks, 12 months, 1 year. Charging for storage based per TB.
Datacentre setup
Multiple datacentres with disaster recovery
Scheduling backups
Supplier controls the whole backup schedule
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
Data protection within supplier network
TLS (version 1.2 or above)

Availability and resilience

Guaranteed availability
99.95%
Severity 1
Incident
Response Time: 60 Mins
Resolution Time: Continuous. 6% of the Daily Charges for the
Service Month in which the incident occurred
if Company does not respond to and resolve
100% of the Severity 1 Incidents within the
Resolution time within a Service Month
Severity 2
Incident
Response Time: 2 hours
Resolution Time: Continuous unless customer ops out 4% of the Daily Charges for the
Service Month in which the incident occurred
if Company does not respond to and resolve
100% of the Severity 2 Incidents within the
Resolution time within a Service Month
Severity 3
Incident
Response Time: 4 hours
Resolution Time: Continuous effort between hours of 9-5 2% of the Daily Charges for the
Service Month in which the incident occurred
if Company does not respond to and resolve
100% of the Severity 3 Incidents within the
Resolution time within a Service Month
Severity 4
Problem
Response Time: 8 hours
Resolution Time: Continuous effort between hours of 9-5 2% of the Daily Charges for the
Service Month in which the incident occurred
if Company does not respond to and resolve
100% of the Severity 4 Incidents within the
Resolution time within a Service Month
Approach to resilience
Additional information on request but Core apply best practice Azure IaaS build specifications.
Outage reporting
Service outages in Azure are publicly available by default. Instance outages and failovers are reported during an outage of any kind. This will be further reported against during the service review meetings.

Identity and authentication

User authentication
  • 2-factor authentication
  • Identity federation with existing provider (for example Google apps)
  • Username or password
Access restrictions in management interfaces and support channels
All support access channels are controls via privileged account management (PAM) with auditing.
Access restriction testing frequency
At least every 6 months
Management access authentication
  • 2-factor authentication
  • Username or password
Devices users manage the service through
Dedicated device on a segregated network (providers own provision)

Audit information for users

Access to user activity audit information
You control when users can access 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
Lloyds Register
ISO/IEC 27001 accreditation date
15/04/2020
What the ISO/IEC 27001 doesn’t cover
Not applicable
ISO 28000:2007 certification
No
CSA STAR certification
No
PCI certification
No
Cyber essentials
Yes
Cyber essentials plus
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
Core follow ISO27001 and ISACA COBIT 5 methodology for policy, process and framework. Other connected frameworks that make up our entire managed service and internal IT support service include ITIL, TOGAF and Prince2.

These policies and processes also closely map to the UK Governments Cloud Security Principles.

Our framework is managed directly through the CTO's office at Core where the role of DPO also resides for any GDPR compliancy.

Operational security

Configuration and change management standard
Supplier-defined controls
Configuration and change management approach
Core has a robust and controlled Change Management process. Requests for change (RFC) are evaluated for the intended (and unintended) outcomes. A risk assessment is performed to understand the risk and impact to both the end user and the client entity. The risk of and the impact of failure is calculated as high, medium or low. The RFC requires three signatories (Platform operations, Platform Security and Service Operations) for the change to be implemented. Services, components, and required changes are tracked through the Service catalogue and Change processes. The service lifetime is aligned to Microsofts product, technology and service lifecycle.
Vulnerability management type
Conforms to a recognised standard, for example CSA CCM v3.0 or SSAE-16 / ISAE 3402
Vulnerability management approach
Core use SonicWALL firewall devices with the Complete Gateway Security Service features set which includes Deep Packet Inspection, AV and Malware detection as well as a long list of security features. SonicWALL is unique in offering reassembly free DPI, meaning it can scale higher than other firewall vendors on throughput.
Protective monitoring type
Supplier-defined controls
Protective monitoring approach
Compromises are identified through out of band management servers and monitoring probes. Security Incident response management is dependent on whether the client wants to purchase this from Core but typically as soon as an event is triggered or observed Core are alerted to our monitoring systems and ticketing system in parallel. This will then be followed up in accordance with agreed SLAs or OLAs.
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
Core run an ITIL compliant helpdesk and incident management approach. All calls can be made directly to our 24/7 ServiceDesk function. Reports will be generated by the incident team and delivered to the client via the service delivery manager.

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
Yes
Who implements virtualisation
Third-party
Third-party virtualisation provider
Azure
How shared infrastructure is kept separate
Most Microsoft business cloud services are multitenant services, meaning that your data, deployments, and virtual machines may be stored on the same physical hardware as that of other customers. Microsoft uses logical isolation to segregate storage and processing for different customers through specialized technology engineered to help ensure that your customer data is not combined with anyone else’s.

Energy efficiency

Energy-efficient datacentres
Yes
Description of energy efficient datacentres
Equinix is a Corporate Participant in the European Code of Conduct for Energy Efficiency in Data Centres programme. We recently won an award from the COC for adopting innovative technologies to improve data centre energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption

Social Value

Fighting climate change

Fighting climate change

All Core solutions are hosted in the Microsoft Cloud platform, which is currently 79-93% more energy efficient than a traditional on premise datacentre. Currently over 60% of energy used in Microsoft Cloud datacentres is renewable, Microsoft have pledged to be carbon negative by 2030.

Core runs no on premises IT infrastructure and all internal services are cloud-based, ensuring that all service compute is done using high efficiency hardware and powered by renewable energy. It reduces the demand for mined precious materials, manufacturing and road transportation impacts associated with acquiring and receiving private infrastructure, as well as overall energy consumption inefficiencies of running infrastructure that may not be being optimally utilised.

Core advocates and supports the adoption of Hybrid Working to reduce unnecessary travel and associated emissions, reduce our corporate office footprint and support flexible working practices for our teams.

All Core staff are issued with modern Energy Star rated laptop devices which typically consume 2/3 less electrical power than desktop computers. 95% of Core staff work remotely on any given day, reducing the overall load on public transport infrastructure, helping to reduce overall emissions.

In addition to the above, Core is also taking steps to reduce the environmental impact of our hybrid working operations.

In early 2022, we completed an audit of all end user devices in use across the company and calculated the carbon footprint generated as they are used to deliver our business outcomes, and we are currently developing a program to not only offset this in a properly accredited scheme, but to provide offerings to support our customers and partners to be able to easily do the same.

Microsoft, with their commitment to reaching net zero emissions by 2030, will enable Core to become a net zero emissions organisation in the same timeframe.
Covid-19 recovery

Covid-19 recovery

Core changed our operational policies to protect our staff during the Covid 19 pandemic, and to help our customers to continue to build and develop services to support a hybrid workforce.

We provide solutions to help customers make the most of remote working, including the ability to support and manage services without having to travel to specific office locations. However, these solutions also seamlessly enable users to work in the office environment too.

This includes full collaboration and communication solutions and employee wellbeing platforms to ensure that staff are supported and included, regardless of their location.

Our solutions will help customers to continue to work with no impact on user productivity in the event of a future wave of Covid-19 causing health concerns or impacting travel or office attendance capability, such as lockdown or if a member of staff tests positive for Covid-19.
Tackling economic inequality

Tackling economic inequality

Core is a London Living Wage accredited employer, ensuring that our staff members are able to live and thrive in their life outside of work (Decent work and Economic Growth)
We are an inclusive employer, hiring people based on their talents and capabilities, regardless of any other factors (Gender Equality and Reduced Inequalities)
Core hires new entrants to the employee marketplace where possible, such as graduates, then trains and develops them to start their IT career journey with Core, building skills and experience (Decent work and Economic Growth)
Core’s hybrid working policy enables people who may have personal responsibilities such as care for children or other dependants who may not be suited to an environment where they have to attend an office on a daily basis (Gender Equality and Reduced Inequalities)
Core is continually hiring staff as our business grows and develops. We currently have open roles in both London and Gdansk, and every new contract, such as this one, secures existing employment and presents opportunities for us to continue to grow our team. (Decent work and Economic Growth)
Core funds training and development of all staff and encourages involvement in programmes that enable us to continuously develop our technical acumen. (Decent work and Economic Growth)
Every employee at Core has a vested stake in our business success, all qualifying post probationary employees participate in an Enterprise Management Incentive where they have an equity stake in the Core business (Decent work and Economic Growth)
Core’s employee benefits package includes Life Assurance and Private Healthcare coverage for the employee and the option of their immediate families at no cost to the staff member, other than the income tax liability (Good Health and Wellbeing)
Every member of permanent staff is enrolled in the company’s Pension Scheme (Decent work and Economic Growth)
Equal opportunity

Equal opportunity

We are an inclusive employer, hiring people based on their talents and capabilities, regardless of any other factors (Gender Equality and Reduced Inequalities)
Core hires new entrants to the employee marketplace where possible, such as graduates, then trains and develops them to start their IT career journey with Core, building skills and experience (Decent work and Economic Growth)
Core’s hybrid working policy enables people who may have personal responsibilities such as care for children or other dependants who may not be suited to an environment where they have to attend an office on a daily basis (Gender Equality and Reduced Inequalities)
Core funds training and development of all staff and encourages involvement in programmes that enable us to continuously develop our technical acumen. (Decent work and Economic Growth)
Every employee at Core has a vested stake in our business success, all qualifying post probationary employees participate in an Enterprise Management Incentive where they have an equity stake in the Core business (Decent work and Economic Growth)
Core’s employee benefits package includes Life Assurance and Private Healthcare coverage for the employee and the option of their immediate families at no cost to the staff member, other than the income tax liability (Good Health and Wellbeing)
Every member of permanent staff is enrolled in the company’s Pension Scheme (Decent work and Economic Growth)
Wellbeing

Wellbeing

Core’s hybrid working policy enables people who may have personal responsibilities such as care for children or other dependants who may not be suited to an environment where they have to attend an office on a daily basis (Gender Equality and Reduced Inequalities)
Core’s employee benefits package includes Life Assurance and Private Healthcare coverage for the employee and the option of their immediate families at no cost to the staff member, other than the income tax liability (Good Health and Wellbeing)
Core conducts frequent Employee surveys, collecting feedback from our team on how the business can adapt or improve, internally or externally. We get good engagement from this process and all employee feedback is reviewed, discussed and implemented where appropriate. (Good health and Wellbeing)

Pricing

Price
£385 to £40,000 a device 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 webenquiry@core.co.uk. Tell them what format you need. It will help if you say what assistive technology you use.