6. RCSIS Service Level Agreement¶
This Service Level Agreement (SLA) between UIS and the user (Customer) of UIS Research Computing Infrastructure Cloud (Service) sets forth the service level terms and conditions and is an integral part of the Agreement. This SLA defines the terms of the Customer’s responsibility with respect to the Service that UIS provides and the Customer’s remedies in the event that UIS fails to meet these Service commitments.
The SLA set forth herein represents UIS’ sole obligations and the Customer’s sole remedy in the event of failure to meet such Service Commitments. This SLA does not apply to the availability of Third Party Services (TPS) which are subject to the TPS Agreements. The SLA is binding only on the Customer and UIS and does not apply to any Third Parties, including Customers’ End Users.
Business Hours - means (local UK time), Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and notwithstanding the foregoing, does not include times during Service Maintenance.
Service Maintenance - means maintenance of the Service including software. Service Maintenance includes (but is not limited to) hardware upgrades, software upgrades and consistency checking of components of the Service. Although this time may not routinely be utilised the advertised time for routine Service Maintenance is 10:00 a.m to 5.00 p.m weekly on Tuesdays.
6.2. Data Retention¶
6.3. Service Availability¶
UIS’ goal is to provide RCSIS Service Availability twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week (referred to as “24x7 Availability”) EXCEPT during times of Service Maintenance as set forth in the Section ‘Service Maintenance’ herein. However, the parties recognize that 24x7 Availability is only a goal, and UIS cannot represent or guarantee that this goal will be achieved.
6.4. Service Availability Level Goals¶
UIS shall use reasonable efforts to achieve the specified Service Availability excluding Service Maintenance (“Service Commitment”). Notwithstanding this, the Customer recognizes that the Internet is comprised of many autonomous systems that are beyond the control of UIS.
It is understood that UIS is unable to remedy problems using the services arising from issues with infrastructure not managed by UIS, such as failures of networks external to the University or hardware problems with the Customer’s own equipment and such instances shall not be considered any failure of service availability. Since the purpose of the RCSIS is to host unmanaged virtual infrastructure, availability of that infrastructure is the responsibility of the customer. Availability of the physical compute, storage and network infrastructure providing RCSIS Service is the responsibility of UIS.
6.5. RCSIS Customer Responsibilities¶
RCSIS customers are responsible for all activities on the RCSIS service that may occur under their service project, regardless of whether these activities were authorized or undertaken by the named project lead, their colleagues on the project or a third party.
RCSIS customers are responsible for ensuring that their applications, content and end users’ use of these do not violate any of the RCSIS Service policies or any applicable regulations or legislation.
RCSIS customers are responsible for properly configuring and using any infrastructure they may deploy onto the platform provided by the RCSIS service, including taking the appropriate actions to secure and protect their infrastructure, and provisioning an appropriate backup or recovery procedure for their deployed services and content.
6.6. Software Licencing¶
Appropriate licences for any software run on the service by users must be sought and applied by the users, including any licenses that may be required to run instance operating systems.
6.7. Service Security and Security Response¶
The parties agree that UIS shall ensure timely patching of security issues as they arise on the systems offering RCSIS Service, as and when this is necessary within the boundaries of advertised service maintenance except in those cases where this would introduce unacceptable delay in security issue remediation.
Virtual infrastructure hosted by customers on RCSIS Service will be subject to regular security scanning by the UIS security probing services. The customer party agrees that these probes will not be actively blocked by the virtual infrastructure hosted by the UIS RCSIS Service, and if such active blocking is discovered or virtual infrastructure is found by security probes to be emitting traffic considered harmful to the CUDN, customer virtual infrastructure may have their external network access or cloud service access disabled at the recommendation of the Cambridge CERT.
In the first instance, where virtual infrastructure is found to be a security risk by Cambridge CERT, the owners of this infrastructure will be contacted directly by Cambridge CERT and not by the operators of the cloud service. If a response by virtual infrastructure owners is not forthcoming, recommendations by Cambridge CERT on incident response will be followed by the operators of the cloud service.
6.8. Service Maintenance¶
The parties agree that UIS shall provide Service Maintenance, which may cause errors within the period of the maintenance. UIS shall notify the Customer by announcing the maintenance using an official UIS news channel prior to performing any Service Maintenance which UIS predicts will cause a Severity One Error outside of standard Service Maintenance Times.
The Service Availability goals exclude any time required for implementing Customer-requested changes that may due to their nature require temporary loss of availability.
- Regular maintenance TBA 1 week when availed of. OOB maintenance to happen as required.
UIS shall attempt to schedule Service Maintenance during the times as specified below. However, the parties agree that it may be necessary for UIS to perform Service Maintenance during times other than business hours , and UIS reserves the right to perform Service Maintenance during times other than those specified as ‘business hours’ should the need arise, e.g. in order to perform a pre-emptive action to safeguard the integrity of the data stored or in the event of serious hardware or environmental issues.
Where possible, maintenance activities involving a level of disruption to service will be scheduled on:
Tuesdays, 10:00-18:00 (local UK time).
Please note that this does not mean that there will be disruption at this time every week, merely that if potentially disruptive maintenance is necessary we will do our best to ensure it takes place during this period, in which case there will be advance notification.
Establishing a predictable time slot for planned maintenance has the advantage that users may be confident that dangerous changes will not intentionally be undertaken at other times.
Disclaimer of Actions Caused by and/or Under the Control of Third Parties. UIS DOES NOT AND CANNOT CONTROL THE FLOW OF DATA TO OR FROM UIS RCSIS SERVICES ON LOCAL NETWORKS AND OTHER PORTIONS OF THE INTERNET. SUCH FLOW DEPENDS IN LARGE PART ON THE PERFORMANCE OF INTERNET SERVICES PROVIDED OR CONTROLLED BY LOCAL INSTITUTIONS OR THIRD PARTIES. ALTHOUGH UIS WILL USE COMMERCIALLY REASONABLE EFFORTS TO TAKE ACTIONS IT DEEMS APPROPRIATE TO REMEDY AND AVOID SUCH EVENTS, UIS CANNOT GUARANTEE THAT SUCH EVENTS WILL NOT OCCUR. ACCORDINGLY, UIS DISCLAIMS ANY AND ALL LIABILITY RESULTING FROM OR RELATED TO SUCH EVENTS.
6.9. Exceptional Maintenance and Unplanned Disruptions¶
It may happen that despite best efforts, it becomes necessary to reduce or withdraw service at short notice and/or outside the planned maintenance time slot. This may happen e.g. for environmental reasons, such as air conditioning or power failure, where a rapid response to a security situation is required or in an emergency where immediate shutdown is required to save equipment or data. It is hoped that these situations will arise rarely, and obviously in such cases service will be restored as rapidly as possible.
While UIS will make reasonable efforts to ensure that Service changes do not affect customers, UIS cannot assume responsibility and shall not be liable for any impacts on Service Availability due to:
(i) any requests for non-standard environment or Customer machine access;
(ii) any downtime caused by Customer actions that affect Service Availability.
UIS reserves the right to change this SLA at any time, with notice posted to an official UIS communications channel.
6.11. SLA Violations¶
All SLA claims should be communicated to the RIS RCSIS service desk by email to customer support within seven (7) days of the incident. The notice must include all relevant information, including service name, full description of the incident, and any logs (if applicable). SLA claims will only be processed where made against loss of service on the physical infrastructure providing RCSIS service; virtual infrastructure operated by RCSIS customers which fails due to misconfiguration or other failures, or failures of external services, will not be subject to SLA claims.
6.12. Support Policy¶
Primary incident-reporting is done via our Customer Ticketing System. Through this system you have access to all tickets on your account, both open and completed, both current information and historical. We prioritize tickets by severity, so for example issues where a service is completely unavailable will be processed before tickets where a service is slow, and those before general questions about our service or general advice covering functionality offered by the RCSIS Service.
Internally, our support team consists of Tiers, in which some groups respond more swiftly and handle more common questions and problems, and other groups handle issues which take more time or effort or expertise to solve.
The goal of the Support Team is to provide specific support around the features and functionality of the UIS RCSIS. While our support staff may offer help where they can in order to alleviate client issues, we do not guarantee support for issues relating to connecting client systems owned by the Customer or in the operation of infrastructure deployed on RCSIS by customers. We will, however, do our best to help any Customer with their issues to the best of our abilities.
6.12.1. Response Time to Issues for UIS RCSIS¶
In the event of service issues, the Customer may report problems to the RIS Service desk . The RIS Service desk will respond with an ownership for the reported issue and commence investigation within one working day. Note that these guidelines specify the time at which investigation of the problem will begin, not the length of time within which such a problem will be resolved. Support will be limited to provisioning of virtual infrastructure on top of the RCSIS platform, and will not extend to configuration of services to userbases that may be served by RCSIS customers.