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  2. Lot 1: Cloud hosting
  3. Azure Stack Hub
Exponential-e Ltd

Azure Stack Hub

The Exponential-e Azure Stack Hub Service is a hybrid cloud platform that enables the provision of Azure Virtual Machines, SQL Server Databases, and Market Place items from dedicated infrastructure hosted in your own facilities. It is also available in portable, ruggedised form for expeditionary land, sea, or air operations.

Features

  • Azure native compute deployed at your existing secure hosting facilities
  • Fully integrated with Azure Resource Manager
  • Option to bring-your-own Windows licenses
  • Can extend Azure technologies to locations without continuous connectivity
  • Ruggedised versions for expeditionary land, sea, or air operations

Benefits

  • Dedicated infrastructure meets specific security and compliance requirements
  • Leverage common CI/CD/DevOps skills across public-cloud and dedicated facilities
  • Deploy Azure based compute at the edge in expeditionary scenarios

Pricing

£6,321 a unit 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 psbids@exponential-e.com. Tell them what format you need. It will help if you say what assistive technology you use.

Framework

G-Cloud 13

Service ID

7 9 7 3 1 7 1 6 6 2 5 2 1 3 6

Contact

Exponential-e Ltd Kay Sugg
Telephone: 02034358835
Email: psbids@exponential-e.com

Service scope

Service constraints
Managed with Azure Resource Manager
System requirements
  • Suitable facilities for wheel-in rack
  • 4x 10Gbps uplinks with BGP
  • Existing Microsoft agreement or subscription via CSP

User support

Email or online ticketing support
Email or online ticketing
Support response times
P1 Target Response Time - 15 Minutes P2 Target Response Time - 15 Minutes P3 Target Response Time - 30 Minutes P4 Target Response Time - 30 Minutes
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
No
Onsite support
Yes, at extra cost
Support levels
Exponential-e provides the Azure Stack Hub as a 24x7 managed service.

We manage the appliance health, software upgrades and availability on an ongoing basis. Customer will be responsible for all backup jobs, remediation and policy management unless electing for our managed backup service, whereby we undertake management, remediation and policy management for protect items (this is provided within our Flex Manage Service offerings as a supplementary service).

Other supplementary services include: Technical Design Authority, Professional Services, Managed Services, Service Management, Colocation, private and hybrid cloud services, High Performance Storage, Key Management Solutions.
Support available to third parties
Yes

Onboarding and offboarding

Getting started
The service low-level design is developed through a series of workshops run jointly by Exponential-e and our infrastructure provide Dell Technologies. Dell provide the systems and physical installation and perform the base configuration according to the low-level design.

Exponential-e onboard the services for support and management, connect the system to the desired Azure tenancy, and provide billing and (where required) licensing.

Exponential-e can also provide training where required.
Service documentation
Yes
Documentation formats
HTML
End-of-contract data extraction
Data can be transferred to any other Azure availability zone or third-party hosting following standard Azure connectivity principles.
End-of-contract process
All migration work undertaken by Exponential-e will be considered additional services and subject to additional charges.

Using the service

Web browser interface
Yes
Using the web interface
The Azure Stack Hub appears as an availability zone within the associated Azure tenancy and is managed via Azure Resource Manager as with all other aspects of the Azure platform.
Web interface accessibility standard
WCAG 2.1 AA or EN 301 549
Web interface accessibility testing
See: https://azure.microsoft.com/mediahandler/files/resourcefiles/microsoft-azure-compliance-offerings/Microsoft%20Azure%20Compliance%20Offerings.pdf
API
Yes
What users can and can't do using the API
Azure Stack Hub uses the same APIs as do the Azure services delivered from public availability zones.
API automation tools
  • Ansible
  • Chef
  • SaltStack
  • Terraform
API documentation
Yes
API documentation formats
HTML
Command line interface
Yes
Command line interface compatibility
Windows
Using the command line interface
Resources deployed on Azure Stack Hub can be managed via PowerShell in the same way as if they were deployed on a public Azure availability zone.

Scaling

Scaling available
Yes
Scaling type
  • Automatic
  • Manual
Independence of resources
The Azure Stack Hub platform as deployed by Exponential-e is dedicated to a single tenant and appears within the associated Azure subscription as an availability zone.
Usage notifications
Yes
Usage reporting
  • API
  • Email

Analytics

Infrastructure or application metrics
Yes
Metrics types
  • CPU
  • Disk
  • Memory
  • Network
Reporting types
  • API access
  • Real-time dashboards
  • Reports on request

Resellers

Supplier type
Not a reseller

Staff security

Staff security clearance
Conforms to BS7858:2019
Government security clearance
Up to Security Clearance (SC)

Asset protection

Knowledge of data storage and processing locations
Yes
Data storage and processing locations
  • United Kingdom
  • European Economic Area (EEA)
  • Other locations
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 Tigerscheme qualified provider or a CREST-approved service provider
Protecting data at rest
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
  • Hardware containing data is completely destroyed
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
What’s backed up
  • NTFS and ReFS volumes, shares, folders, files and system state
  • SQL Server 2019, 2017, 2016 and 2014
  • Exchange Server 2019 and 2016
  • Mailboxes and mailbox databases in an Exchange DAG
  • SharePoint 2019 and 2016 farms and front-end web server content
Backup controls
The Microsoft Azure Backup Server (MABS) protection agent manages backups to and restores from the MABS Azure Stack Hub VM.

Protection groups are used to configure and manage data protection. A protection group is a collection of data sources that share the same protection configuration. The protection configuration is the collection of settings common to a protection group, such as the protection group name, protection policy, storage allocations, and replica creation method.

At regular intervals that you can configure, MABS creates a recovery point for the protected data source, which is a version of the data which can be recovered.
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 protection between buyer and supplier networks
  • TLS (version 1.2 or above)
  • IPsec or TLS VPN gateway
Data protection within supplier network
  • TLS (version 1.2 or above)
  • IPsec or TLS VPN gateway

Availability and resilience

Guaranteed availability
If provided on a customer site, availability cannot be provided with an SLA as Exponential-e cannot provide an SLA for customer owned power and security. The appliance is a fully redundant hardware design to remove single points of failure and would therefore be considered a 99.9%+ architecture. If deployed in an Exponential-e Data Centre, a single site solution is provided with 99.9% availability, or 99.95% for a dual site deployment.
Approach to resilience
Azure Stack Hub is provided as a pre-validated configuration designed by Dell Technologies and approved by Microsoft. The system uses a standard N+1 resilient architecture with no single point of failure. Further information available on request.
Outage reporting
Service status is reported in real-time via the Azure management plane. Additionally, Exponential-e report outages via: a customer dashboard and email alerts. Exponential-e are ISO2000-1 accredited and follows standard ITIL conformant processes to notify affected customers in the event of a service outage.

Identity and authentication

User authentication
  • 2-factor authentication
  • Public key authentication (including by TLS client certificate)
  • Identity federation with existing provider (for example Google apps)
  • Dedicated link (for example VPN)
  • Username or password
Access restrictions in management interfaces and support channels
Details available on request.
Access restriction testing frequency
At least every 6 months
Management access authentication
  • 2-factor authentication
  • Public key authentication (including by TLS client certificate)
  • Identity federation with existing provider (for example Google Apps)
  • Dedicated link (for example VPN)
  • Username or password
Devices users manage the service through
  • Dedicated device on a segregated network (providers own provision)
  • 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 have access to real-time audit information
How long user audit data is stored for
User-defined
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
User-defined

Standards and certifications

ISO/IEC 27001 certification
Yes
Who accredited the ISO/IEC 27001
BSI
ISO/IEC 27001 accreditation date
13/04/2021
What the ISO/IEC 27001 doesn’t cover
Details available on request.
ISO 28000:2007 certification
No
CSA STAR certification
Yes
CSA STAR accreditation date
13/04/2021
CSA STAR certification level
Level 3: CSA STAR Certification
What the CSA STAR doesn’t cover
Details available on request.
PCI certification
Yes
Who accredited the PCI DSS certification
Blackmores UK
PCI DSS accreditation date
19/03/2019
What the PCI DSS doesn’t cover
Hosting Provider – Applications, Storage, Security Services, shared hosting, Online Hosting, Managed Services – System Security, IT Support, Backup, Cloud Services Payment Processes – All payment services
Cyber essentials
Yes
Cyber essentials plus
Yes
Other security certifications
Yes
Any other security certifications
  • ISO 27017
  • SOC2 Type 2 Report
  • BS 10012 Personal Information Management
  • ISO 22301
  • ISO 20000
  • ISO 9001
  • ISO 50001
  • ISO 14001
  • SOC Check

Security governance

Named board-level person responsible for service security
Yes
Security governance certified
Yes
Security governance standards
  • CSA CCM version 3.0
  • ISO/IEC 27001
  • Other
Other security governance standards
Exponential-e are CAS(T) and Stage 2 accredited HSCN CN-SP and our network operability conforms to HSCN Framework Obligations.
Information security policies and processes
Depending on the sector we are engaging with, we work with the customer to align design, process and policy to the most appropriate framework. We typically align all services to ISO27001, ISO27017, and NCSC requirements.

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
Details available on request.
Vulnerability management type
Conforms to a recognised standard, for example CSA CCM v3.0 or SSAE-16 / ISAE 3402
Vulnerability management approach
Details available on request.
Protective monitoring type
Conforms to a recognised standard, for example CSA CCM v3.0 or SSAE-16 / ISAE 3402
Protective monitoring approach
Details available on request.
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
Details available on request.

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
Third-party
Third-party virtualisation provider
Microsoft Azure
How shared infrastructure is kept separate
Azure Stack Hub when provided by Exponential-e is deployed as a single tenant appliance.

Energy efficiency

Energy-efficient datacentres
Yes
Description of energy efficient datacentres
Exponential-e datacentres comply with ISO 950001 - Energy Management System (or ESOS). Exponential-e also holds ISO 14001 and ISO 50001.

Social Value

Fighting climate change

Fighting climate change

MAC 4.1: Delivering environmental benefits
Exponential-e is committed to continually improving environmental performance and monitoring environmental effects from our activities to identify potential areas for improvement.
We are accredited and operate within internationally recognised management standards (9 ISO’s) of which two are focused on Environment Management (ISO 14001:2015) and Energy Efficiency (ISO 50001:2015). This standard specifies the requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining and improving an energy management system with a systematic approach in achieving continual improvement of energy performance, including energy efficiency, energy security, energy use and consumption.
Critical to our core operation is our national network infrastructure, and cloud infrastructure. Thanks to unique cooling technology, our Data Centres are the most environmentally efficient in the UK. They save customers on average around £1.1 million per megawatt and 6,000 tonnes of taxable carbon annually compared with an average Data Centre facility.
Some of the practices deployed to achieve carbon footprint include:
• All our Data Centres are ISO 14001 accredited with robust environmental management systems
• Procuring consumed energy from sustainable energy sources wherever possible
• Ensuring the use of hot/cold aisle cooling design in our Data Centres, which reduces energy consumption as the cooling is more efficient and helps our customers to reduce their carbon footprint
• Using the latest virtualisation (VDC) technologies to ensure the most efficient utilisation of hardware resulting in the overall optimisation of our client’s infrastructure. Our VDC delivers dedicated processing instead of having multiple, underutilised physical servers, which helps minimise our environmental impact
• The business considers the environmental impact of goods and services within procurement processes. Working with suppliers, contractors and indeed clients to lessen the environmental impact of their operations.
• Homeworking practices have been developed to allow homeworking whilst preserving security of company data and access to IT systems.
Covid-19 recovery

Covid-19 recovery

MAC 1.5: Improvements to workplace conditions
Exponential-e operates to ISO22301 – Business Continuity Management System (BCMS) standard. This means our critical business functions have existing and proven business continuity plans which are reviewed, exercised and/or tested regularly.
In line with this standard, we have taken the following steps:
• Implemented flexible working arrangements for any high-risk employees, or employees who are unable to travel due to other reasons relating to the coronavirus (Covid-19)
• Conducted a full Business Impact Analysis (BIA), considering shift patterns, physical segregation and cover arrangements across all of our core 24*7 service operations to maintain the appropriate resource levels
• Implemented ongoing monitoring of our workforce and skills capability to ensure all our personnel are multi-skilled and have monitoring in place to address any weakness or gaps
• Completed capacity planning and forecasting of the current and future levels of resource utilisation, taking into consideration the enactment of multiple Business Continuity scenarios
• Introduced enhanced presence of our on-site cleaning personnel throughout the day and evening to ensure the cleanliness of our facilities is maintained
• Initiated a change freeze across our core platforms to allow our key resources to focus on service availability and reacting to changes our customers may require
• Limited any non-essential travel to customer or vendor sites, making the best use of remote technology to ensure we maintain our quality of service and open engagement throughout this period of uncertainty.
Exponential-e has since initiated remote working at a larger scale in a controlled manner. Our Head Office has implemented a Hybrid working model for all staff who are able to work remotely for two days a week and in the office for maximum of three days a week. This also reduces our carbon emissions through travelling and heating/lighting of office premises.
Tackling economic inequality

Tackling economic inequality

MAC 3.1: Diverse supply chain
Exponential-e maintains a policy of working with diverse partners and SME organisations where there is a defined benefit to our customers, and where the limitations of the contract or security requirements are not at risk in any way, which must be our overriding consideration. We reach out to our wider supply chain partners should any subcontracting opportunities arise during the contract duration.
If any strategic supplier fails to deliver and thus breaches the terms of their contract, we will invoke the use of alternative and pre-qualified suppliers. We plan for these contingencies and maintain a supply chain that does not rely on any single source of fulfilment.
MAC 3.2: Supporting innovation & disruptive technologies
We will hold regular engagements, in which we will review, present, and collaborate on new technology and commercial initiatives throughout the life of the contract, and (when applicable), driving equality throughout our supply chain.
MAC 3.3: Scalable & future-proofed methods to modernise delivery/increase productivity
We work with innovative and agile supplier organisations who bring innovative technology solutions to market, by providing a framework to enable the deployment of their services within our stable and risk-controlled corporate environment.
MAC 3.5: Manage cyber security risks
Exponential-e maintains Cyber Essentials Plus and ISO 27001 accreditations. Additionally, Exponential-e operates a 24 x 7 x 365 CSOC desk to alert for any cyber security issues and potential risks. Our CSOC is built using trusted Unified Security Management (USM) technology, which unlike other SIEM software, combines powerful SIEM and log management capabilities with other essential security tools such as asset discovery, vulnerability assessment, intrusion detection (NIDS and HIDS) to provide a centralised security monitoring of networks and endpoints, all through a single pane of glass.
Equal opportunity

Equal opportunity

MAC 5.1 Provision of inclusive working environment
As a commitment to reducing the disability employment gap Exponential-e has adopted a hybrid working model that allows flexibility. Hybrid working, sometimes referred to as "blended working", is a form of flexible working that allows employees to split their time between attending the workplace and working remotely (typically from home).
MAC 6.1: Tackling inequality in the contract workforce
We are committed to equal pay for the contract workforce. To address our gender pay gap, we have a number of initiatives in place, to not only attract more female talent, but to encourage a more balanced, and rewarding workplace:
• Working with educational institutions to help attract more women into STEM focused roles
• The data shows that the disparity in the bonuses paid is due to the fact there a very few women in senior sales positions. We have a junior sales mentoring programme for both men and women, equally, to encourage progression into senior sales roles, especially for women
• Training is available to cover areas like Equality & Diversity, Unconscious Bias
• We have established a Women’s Working Group who will assist in supporting the attraction, retention and promotion of our female talent across the business
• Flexible working arrangements for all staff to encourage work life balance.
Placement Programme & Apprenticeships
Every year Exponential-e offers placements and apprenticeships to students whose degrees would benefit from working in an operational technical environment. The students are paid, which allows them to practice the theory learnt in the classroom in a real world environment; while also supporting themselves financially.
As part of our commitment to the Government’s Apprenticeships Levy Programme we actively work with registered apprenticeship companies to provide upskilling opportunities to employees across a range of subjects.
Wellbeing

Wellbeing

MAC 7.1: Support health and wellbeing in the workforce
All staff are eligible to join our Private Health scheme (on completion of probationary period) run by Vitality which actively encourages physical and mental wellbeing through a broad variety of programmes design to promote and incentivise wellbeing.
Exponential-e has also implemented the six standards in the Mental Health at Work commitment and where possible follows the mental health enhanced standards in Thriving at Work, as follows:

1. Prioritise Health Wellbeing Through Systematic Programme of Activities
Exponential-e partnered with Care first as an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) to provide online and counselling services to all our employees.
2. Work Design & Culture Drives Mental Health Outcomes
Exponential-e offers the following benefits package for all eligible employees - Life Assurance, Private Medical Scheme, Employee Assistance Programme, Ride to Work Scheme, Season Ticket Loan, Employee Referral Scheme and Purchase of Holiday Scheme.
3. Promote Open Culture Around Mental Health
Exponential-e has seen a huge shift in attitudes to mental health and we promote and support employees to think and talk about their mental health which subsequently helps the organisation to thrive.
4. Increase Organisational Confidence & Capability
Exponential-e recognises the importance of leadership and management development and provides programmes designed to upskill our managers and strengthen our leadership capabilities.
5. Provide Mental Health Tools & Support
Exponential-e partners with Care first as an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) to provide online and counselling services to all our employees, including a series of webinars including stress awareness, social anxiety, long Covid, how weather can affect mood and behaviour, financial wellbeing, and breaking bad habits.
6. Increase Transparency/Accountability Through Reporting
Annual Employee Opinion Surveys are used to drive improvements. A monthly Employee Engagement Pulse Survey helps to keep our finger on the pulse of the organisation.

Pricing

Price
£6,321 a unit 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 psbids@exponential-e.com. Tell them what format you need. It will help if you say what assistive technology you use.