South East Grid for Learning by sofiaie

VIEWS: 25 PAGES: 12

									               Kent Community Network
         Service Level Agreement, January 2007

The service level agreement (SLA) between KCN and schools for the supply of
broadband connectivity and services. The SLA will develop as requirements
from schools, government and Kent are incorporated; suggestions are welcome.

Aim
To work in partnership with schools, Kent-wide initiatives and DfES to develop
broadband Internet and WAN services for schools and the wider community.

Objectives
Develop the effective application of broadband in education through partnership with
schools, innovative solutions and information exchange.
Ensure that a range of advanced, appropriate and affordable broadband solutions is
available to schools of all sizes, locations and interests.
Ensure effective procurement of contractors for the delivery of managed broadband
services and closely manage the contracts and service delivery.
Work with other Kent and KCC groups including Higher and Further education to
aggregate broadband requirements, share costs and exchange good practice.
Liaise with DfES, Becta and other agencies to ensure Kent schools‟ requirements are
understood at national level and that schools benefit fully from grant funding.

Contents
    Benefits of KCN membership
    Organisation
              Government objectives, Regional Broadband Consortia
              Procurement, contract management
            Partnership with schools
            Schools’ responsibilities
    The range of KCN broadband services
            Full DfES specification broadband
            ADSL broadband services
Kent Community Network                                        A Kent Project Managed by EIS




The benefits of KCN membership


Access to Government Funding: The DfES Strategic Technologies funding is
accessed via membership of the Regional Broadband Consortium, the South-East
Grid for Learning (SEGfL). Broadband funding is not available to individual schools.

Access to Kent Funding: Kent is making a huge investment in the KCN fibre
backbone and school connections, considerably above DfES requirements, to bring
full broadband to all areas, whether rural, urban or coastal.

National Education Network (NEN): “Every student in any school should be able to
collaborate with any other student across the UK bypassing the vagaries of the
Internet.” This flexibility is enabled by the KCN direct connection to the NEN.

Single Charge: The KCN charge covers both Internet access and connectivity,
replacing separate charges for ISP and line. The single charge includes installation,
network configuration, filtering and Help Desk.

Best Value for Money: To drive down costs and reduce procurement overheads,
SEGfL has procured broadband connectivity for schools in the SE region in
accordance with DfES rules and European Union procurement law.

24 x 365 Service: Schools now require Internet access at almost any time of day and
evening including weekends and holiday periods. The KCN service is “always-on”.

Quality of Service: Streaming video and video conferencing will play an important
part in future learning strategies. The KCN network has been designed with Quality
of Service (QoS) in mind, although further development on both school LANs and on
the KCN will be required for its full implementation.

Educational Applications: Schools require a range of Internet applications such as
web sites and filtering. These are complex areas, for instance filtering requires an
understanding of education policy, law, filtering technology and public perception.

Strong Contract Management: EIS monitors service delivery and drives problem
resolution on behalf of schools. EIS also makes high-level representations to the
contractors if the SLA is not met through regular management meetings.

Difficult Locations: In some parts of Kent the installation and operating charges for
broadband are very much larger than the average. For a KCC school, the contribution
for a particular service does not depend on location or actual cost of provision.

Technical Support: Broadband delivery is complex, involving the distant Web site,
Internet, WAN and the school LAN. The EIS Help Desk, with dedicated broadband
staff, works to resolve issues across several networks and suppliers.

Government Policy: Kent represents schools‟ views on ICT and broadband to DfES.
Particular aspects currently include ensuring the cost to schools is sustainable and
ensuring that educational objectives drive best value judgements.




Service Level Agreement                          2                        v10 January 2007
Kent Community Network                                        A Kent Project Managed by EIS




Government Objectives:
By 2006, the government required all primary, special, middle and secondary schools,
and PRUs to have broadband Internet connections. Government requirements for the
broadband connectivity can be summarised:
       Primary schools must have at least 2 Mbps symmetric bandwidth.
       Secondary schools must have at least 8 Mbps symmetric bandwidth.
       The bandwidth must be symmetric, ie should be the same speed each way.
       As an interim measure, low quality services such as ADSL and satellite are
        accepted for some small schools, where appropriate to educational need.
        Schools must plan to move to „Full Broadband‟ as soon as possible.
     Streaming video and video conferencing should be possible through the
        provision of low-latency bandwidth across all sections of the network.
     Schools must have a connection to the National Education Network to enable
        communication with a better quality of service than the Internet provides.
     All networks, LAN and WAN, must follow industry standards as defined by
        the DfES / Becta Functional Specification for Connectivity:
        http://industry.becta.org.uk/display.cfm?resID=25235
Kent also has wider plans for networking which include the whole community,
particularly remote areas where broadband services are poor.

South East Grid for Learning and KCN
In 1999, the government set up the ten regional broadband consortia (RBC) to
develop broadband strategy for schools. Kent with 10 other LAs formed the South
East Grid for Learning, the RBC for South East England. SEGfL is the route to DfES
funding and enables major procurement, legal and development costs to be shared.
The South East Grid for Learning (SEGfL) now comprises 17 LAs including
Hampshire, Medway and Surrey. Bracknell Forest is the lead authority and Kent is on
the Steering Group. Greg Hill is the SEGfL Director.
KCN is owned by KCC and is a physically separate network to other LEAs. KCN is
connected to other LAs across the UK through the National Education Network.

Procurement
In 2004, SEGfL researched schools‟ broadband requirements and advertised in the
Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) on behalf of SE LEAs. This Europe-
wide competition resulted in Framework Agreements with five contractors, selected
from 120 applications, the procurement taking about a year.
In 2004, Kent selected Unisys as the prime contractor for the new KCN, using the
SEGfL Framework Agreements. Unisys is responsible for all aspects of the delivery
of the service and for services provided by their sub-contractors: BT (connectivity and
hub hosting), WebSense (filtering), Cisco (active elements) and Dell (servers).
KCN also has contracts with RM for the ADSL service, with UKERNA for Internet
and National Education Network connectivity, with Kentish MAN for connections in
Kent and with EIS and the University of Kent for WAN Centre hosting.




Service Level Agreement                         3                         v10 January 2007
Kent Community Network                                        A Kent Project Managed by EIS




Contract Management
EIS has the overall responsibility for the management of the KCN and contracts with
prime contractors. EIS will:
    ♦    Manage contracts with Unisys, RM, UKERNA, Kentish MAN, UKC and
         EIS.
    ♦    Monitor service delivery and pro-actively pursue continuous service
         improvement planning (CSIP).
    ♦    Plan for the future requirements of schools, look for aggregation
         opportunities to share costs and improve value for money.
    ♦    Ensure schools developing educational requirements are met.


Partnership with Schools
The requirement for high service availability and security is similar to business, but
schools are additionally very heavy network users and require more frequent changes
in configuration and facilities. Network access from locations beyond the school and
internal threats can challenge security arrangements.
On the other hand, few schools can afford business rates for broadband and Internet
services. To achieve economies of scale and Best Value, KCN works in partnership
with schools and the wider KCC. KCN also collaborates with higher and further
education in Kent to spread costs and share facilities.
The partnership with schools is working well and enables better value to be obtained
than a purely commercial relationship. Schools working together can achieve far
more than individually, particularly where schools share their expertise.
DfES and KCC cover full broadband installation costs for schools, representing an
investment exceeding £10,000 per school, and sometimes very much more.
Partnership includes:
     Economies of scale mean that the cost of higher-quality Internet services is
      well below the commercial rate for a single school.
     Installation costs are met from KCC and DfES funding.
     Schools in difficult locations are protected from excess costs.
     Schools can share Internet access with other local schools, where locations are
      suitable, to form a broadband cluster. This can bring broadband to small
      schools earlier and reduce costs to all parties.
     EIS Help Desk is available for broadband queries from KCN customers.
     KCN creates the strategy for broadband through liaison with schools.
      Documents are published on www.kent.gov.uk/eis (broadband link).
     KCN communications by letter, email, list-server, fax and SMS
     Schools agree a common KCN security policy, helping to protect all schools.




Service Level Agreement                          4                        v10 January 2007
Kent Community Network                                       A Kent Project Managed by EIS




The School’s Responsibility to KCN
The following requirements and recommendations are important technical, design and
management aspects of an effective WAN service. Exceptions are possible, providing
security can be maintained, and the school is prepared to accept any costs which the
general school community would not accept as a reasonable shared cost.
     With the considerable installation costs covered by KCC and DfES, schools
      are expected to sign up for the duration of the contract, to August 2009.
     Schools must use KCN bandwidth reasonably, in order to maximise the
      service to the school and to make the best use of public finance. Continuous
      downloading of large files is not fair use.
     Before connecting to the new KCN WAN, school networks must comply with
      the security audit.
     The school LAN must comply with the KCN IP schema, a copy of which has
      been provided to schools, or agree an exception. This generally comprises
      1024 IPs with particular IP addresses for servers and shared services.
     Space is required in a suitable environment for the Unisys switch, BT‟s NTU
      and filtering server, with reliable power outlets for each.
     Secondary schools bear the responsibility to ensure that the Websense filtering
      service is configured according to school policy.
     The configuration of the LAN network is the school‟s responsibility, but co-
      operation in LAN-WAN issues with EIS will greatly improve the service to
      the school and is an essential aspect of the KCN partnership.
     Assistance with visiting EIS, Unisys or BT engineers is requested and will
      greatly reduce the time required to resolve a fault. Occasionally access outside
      core hours will help engineers fix a fault more quickly.
     To help us resolve issues, schools should provide KCN with contact names,
      generally a senior manager, the ICT coordinator and the network manager.
     Schools should keep up to date with KCN developments published on the
      KCN broadband site www.kent.gov.uk/eis (broadband pages) and on
      www.clusterweb.org.uk?broadband.


Continuous Service Improvement
KCN has financial penalties in the contract with Unisys, which can and are used when
the service is not up to the SLA. Industry best practice suggests, however, that where
a service is working well, the focus should be on improvement rather than on
penalties.

Accordingly KCN and Unisys operate a Continuous Service Improvement
Programme (CSIP), whereby Unisys will report on a service deficiency in detail and
agree improvements with Kent to prevent its recurrence. The cost of this work to
Unisys is probably higher than a penalty and the customer gains an improved service.




Service Level Agreement                         5                        v10 January 2007
Kent Community Network                                       A Kent Project Managed by EIS




The Range of KCN Broadband Services
KCN offers secondary, middle, special and primary schools a range of broadband
services from ADSL to “Full DfES specification broadband” all of which are
compliant with government requirements. KCN has contracts with Unisys which runs
to August 2009 and with RM for ADSL which runs annually.

KCN School Connection Types Include:
   ADSL generally at 2 Mbps, supplied by RM. Although ADSL is provided for
     the smallest schools, ADSL is no longer suitable for any school that is using
     ICT well. The specification is given later.
     Learning Stream: 2 Mbps symmetric connectivity to the new KCN2 backbone.
      The KCN service provides dual LAN interfaces for separate curriculum and
      administration use, or a single interface used for a combined network. KCN is
      moving schools away from this service to a fibre-optic service where possible.
     Optical fibre connectivity to one of 37 KCN2 hubs using BT LAN Extension
      Services circuits (LES or WES). A Cisco switch is provided in the school.
      Primary schools generally have 2 Mbps bandwidth supplied over the 10 Mbps
      fibre and secondary schools the full 10 Mbps. Higher bandwidth up to 100
      Mbps can be supplied.
     A broadband cluster: whereby a group of schools shares a single
      high-bandwidth fibre feed through the use of wireless or other links.


Full Broadband: KCN2 Backbone
     Local hubs connect the school to the dual WAN centres in Maidstone and
      Canterbury at a design contention ratio below 3:1. The traffic on these links is
      monitored and is maintained at below 66% of link capacity. This headroom
      backbone bandwidth ensures that the operational contention ratio is near 1:1.
     The KCN2 „backbone‟ comprises five resilient rings, which eliminate any
      single points of failure. Each of the 16 backbone hubs has at least 200 Mbps
      capacity, more than the entire first schools broadband network.
     The KCN2 places all hubs in BT exchanges for security and reliable power
      including UPS. Engineers have 24x7 access for overnight fault resolution.
     Cisco Content Engines at backbone hubs provide a faster response for
      streamed video and commonly used Web objects through caching.
     Resilient Internet access is provided from the Maidstone and Canterbury
      WAN centres via 2 Gbps circuits on the Kentish MAN to the universities
      SuperJANET network.
     The two 2.5 Gbps SuperJANET links provide a direct connectivity with
      National Education Network, as required by DfES.




Service Level Agreement                         6                        v10 January 2007
Kent Community Network                                       A Kent Project Managed by EIS




KCN2 Internet Services:
     The KCN service delivery is managed by Unisys from the customer premises
      equipment to the termination of the Internet feed at the KCN WAN Centre.
     Primary and Special schools are provided with 40 EasyMail Plus accounts.
     KCN provides SMTP email relay with anti-virus and anti-spam.
     Filtering is provided by WebSense. Secondary schools have a school-based
      server. Primary schools use a server located at a backbone hub.
     A virtual Web server is provided for each school with 100 Mbyte space and
      capability for ASP, installed on the KCN DMZ.
     Should a school require a Web server with a more sophisticated range of
      facilities, KCN will work with the school to recommend suitable provision.
     Primary and Special schools have free EISite websites, which school staff can
      maintain without software expertise.
     On request a school can be provided with a virtual private network (VPN)
      connection to access their LAN from an external Internet connection.
     KCN provides a DNS service and hosts MX records.
     Through the National Education Network connection, Kent schools have free
      access to British Pathé and other nationally agreed content providers.
     A multipoint conferencing unit is provided at the core to enable multi-way
      video conferences and connections between IP and ISDN videoconferencing.

Not included in the base price:
     Currently secondary schools manage their own mail servers. KCN does not
      currently provide an e-mail hosting service but does provides SMTP relay.
     E-mail filtering for unsuitable content, other than anti-spam or anti-virus, is
      not provided for secondary schools.
     KCN does not support school-based email servers as part of this SLA,
      although KCN will offer advice where time permits.
     KCN cannot support school-based Web servers as standard.
     LAN virus scanning is the responsibility of the school. Kent schools have
      access to a centrally negotiated anti-virus product at reduced cost.
     The school is responsible for the LAN up to the WAN interface. KCN, where
      time permits, will discuss LAN/WAN issues such as DNS.




Service Level Agreement                         7                        v10 January 2007
Kent Community Network                                        A Kent Project Managed by EIS




Discretionary Services
In the spirit of partnership, KCN will endeavour to meet school‟s individual
requirements within reason, although charges may apply in some cases. For instance,
firewall changes for a new online software package would not incur a charge if many
schools would benefit from its use.
These requirements must:
    comply with the requirements of the Kent Schools Security Policy
    not place an unreasonable load on the overall system
    be of reasonable cost (ie other schools would consider reasonable) or be paid
       for by the school as an additional charge.

Internet Connection Speed
Fast, reliable and responsive Internet access is essential for schools. However, parts
of the path between school workstation and distant Internet server are not under KCN
control or can be affected by school usage.
     The link between the school and the KCN hub is a dedicated line where the
      whole bandwidth is available for that school. The bandwidth available can be
      increased without installing a new fibre.
     In „broadband clusters‟ two or more schools share this bandwidth but each
      school receives at least the DfES required bandwidth. .
     Schools can access the KCN Orion system to monitor their usage statistics.
      Usage of any IP link should be kept below 66% to ensure the highest quality
      of service, particularly for time-critical data such as video conferencing.
     The KCN backbone links are monitored and average usage of 66% or below
      will be maintained. The design contention ratio is below 3:1, but management
      ensures „headroom‟ bandwidth, effectively a contention ratio of 1:1.
     The Internet links are monitored and will be upgraded when average usage
      reaches 66% on a regular basis. Current peak usage of the Internet feed is
      below 20% of feed capacity of 2 x 2.5 Gbps (December 2006).
     Heavily contended services such as ADSL cannot guarantee bandwidth
      delivered as generally 20 establishments share the advertised bandwidth.
      Schools using ADSL will experience periods of slow Internet access
      particularly during the day when local business is using the same bandwidth.

Bandwidth delivered
Bandwidth is the most expensive element in KCN and schools need to take
responsibility for its reasonable and appropriate use. This will ensure they get the
fastest Internet response and the best value for their school contribution. The KCN
connection is priced on the basis that bandwidth usage is „typical‟ - mostly Web
access with large file download such as software updates generally outside peak
hours. In a typical secondary school, peaks of 10 Mbps are expected on a 10 Mbps
connection, but average usage within core hours will be below 30%. Avoiding a
„saturated‟ line will ensure that users experience a fast Internet response.



Service Level Agreement                         8                         v10 January 2007
Kent Community Network                                           A Kent Project Managed by EIS




Very high usage of streamed video or Internet radio, or downloading many large files
in teaching time such that the contracted bandwidth is „saturated‟ on a frequent basis
has two effects. The latency (delay) inevitably rises, degrading the school‟s service.
The school will also consume more bandwidth than is reasonable for the financial
contribution and a bandwidth upgrade will need to be obtained.
Schools can monitor their bandwidth usage through the Orion system web interface.

Network Availability
The KCN2 service is “always on”. It is available 365 days/year, 24 hours per day.
The overall contracted service availability is 99.9% during working hours/days, below
which penalties can be invoked between Kent and the supplier. All service
disruptions are taken very seriously and are escalated within Unisys and within EIS as
the managing agent.
Wherever possible planned network maintenance will be performed outside core
service hours and schools will be informed in advance if this carries the possibility of
a service disruption. A weekly maintenance window is scheduled on Tuesdays from
07:00am to 09:00am, during which service is usually maintained, but is not
guaranteed. Maintenance always starts at 07:00am, and very rarely lasts past 08:00 as
the last hour is for roll-back should an upgrade fail.

Service Hours and Call-out times
KCN service is designed around schools requirements to use WAN and Internet
services at any time of the day or evening, both weekdays and weekends during the
whole year. Network and Internet services are therefore supplied and monitored
24 x 7, 365 days per year.
Within this continuous service, core service hours are weekdays, 08:00 to 18:00.
(09:00 to 18:00 Tuesdays), excluding bank holidays.
The KCN Helpdesk is available currently 08:30 to 17:00, working days. We have had
no requests for these hours to be extended.
Unisys engineer call out is 08:00 to 18:00 normal working days with a 5-hour
response time within core service hours. (Calls logged after 2.00pm may be attended
the next morning). Please note that this is not a guaranteed fix time. Also note that an
engineer could be dispatched to either end of a communications link and activity may
not be visible to the school.
The availability of school staff is vital to ensure speedy fault resolution and is
assumed to be the same as KCN core service hours.
Unisys acknowledges receipt of a change request within an hour. Generally we
expect a pre-defined change, such as DNS, within 3 days, including Internet
propagation. However change requests requiring a security assessment or design
work can take longer. Schools should give as much notice of changes as possible.




Service Level Agreement                           9                          v10 January 2007
Kent Community Network                                           A Kent Project Managed by EIS




KCN Filtering
KCN “Full Broadband” filtering is provided by Websense. Default filtering levels are
provided but secondary schools have the ability – and responsibility – to manage the
level of filtering applied to individual users or groups. Primary schools generally
have a single level of filtering, although greater control can be provided on request.
For Email, Ironport appliances apply anti-spam and anti-virus protection.
Websense uses several strategies to protect pupils, including:
    ♦    Comprehensive URL lists to ban access to a wide range of sites in many
         languages. Schools can select from 90 categories of site content. Lists are
         updated automatically by the Websense team on a daily basis.
    ♦    Filtering by keyword in the web page.
    ♦    Schools may add sites to either a local deny or a local accept list to override
         the default URL filtering.
    ♦    Comprehensive reporting available to schools, for instance to provide a report
         on an individual pupil to be sent to parents.
    ♦    Force “safe search=on” for search engines such as Google and Yahoo.
    ♦    Schools may import pre-defined groups of users from the school network
         directory service and set filtering for these groups.
Websense is a sophisticated application and gained Becta filtering product
accreditation in January 2007, which includes the following requirements:
   ♦    The provider must offer support for all aspects of the service provided.
   ♦    The product must block 100 per cent of illegal material identified by the
        Internet Watch Foundation (IWF).
   ♦    The product must be capable of blocking 90 per cent of inappropriate content
        in each of the following categories:
              Pornographic, adult, tasteless or offensive material
              Violence (including weapons and bombs)
              Racist, extremist and hate material
              Illegal drug taking and promotion
              Criminal skills, proxy avoidance and software piracy
   ♦    The product must enable users to customise the product restrictions.

Where schools have a KCN ADSL connection, the filtering is provided by Research
Machines SafetyNet. This filtering is relatively straightforward and offers a single,
highly effective level of filtering appropriate to primary schools.
Websense overview:
www.eiskent.co.uk >> broadband >>Secondary and Middle Schools
More information can be obtained from Websense:
www.websense.com/global/en/ResourceCenter/IndustrySolutions/Education/
The Websense documentation provided by KCN is available for download from:
www.eiskent.co.uk >> broadband >>Technical Information




Service Level Agreement                           10                         v10 January 2007
Kent Community Network                                       A Kent Project Managed by EIS




Broadband Help Desk:
The broadband EIS Help Desk provides KCN schools with technical support through
a dedicated team of staff.
     Please use the EIS Help Desk broadband number: 01 622 206040.
     Phone between 8.30 and 5.00pm, all weekdays except bank holidays.
     E-mail eis.support@kent.gov.uk (response is in working hours)
     Fax may be sent at any time 01622 673441 (response in working hours)
     KCN operational documents are available on the EIS Web site:
      www.kent.gov.uk/eis (Broadband link), including this SLA, copies of letters,
      comparisons of broadband strategies and FAQs.
     Broadband announcements and consultations are published on ClusterWeb:
      www.clusterweb.org.uk?broadband
     EIS HelpDesk arranges school visit by EIS‟s and contractors‟ engineers.
      HelpDesk will keep schools informed of fault resolution progress.
     EIS will fax schools in the event of a major network problem. Schools are
      advised to put in place a procedure to ensure a KCN fax is communicated
      immediately to the appropriate staff.

Where Internet access appears slow, schools are advised first to check their broadband
usage through the Orion system before contacting HelpDesk. A heavily loaded link
will respond slowly.




Service Level Agreement                        11                        v10 January 2007
Kent Community Network                                          A Kent Project Managed by EIS




KCN ADSL Broadband Service
ADSL services are designed around the copper telephone cables connected to homes
and businesses. ADSL is intended for low-cost, non-critical use. ADSL services are
quite different from the “Full DfES Broadband” in that the service provider (BT)
provides no service guarantees – an inevitable consequence of low price.
A number of firms re-sell BT ADSL but few add any educational value. To ensure
best value, DfES will only allow subsidy of ADSL services purchased via a LEA
contract. In Kent the only approved and subsidised ADSL service is that from RM.

The KCN ADSL service is an enhanced RM service:

Kent Community Network enhanced ADSL:
KCN has worked with RM to develop the SEGfL ADSL service. Once broadband is
available, schools quickly develop their Internet use and require more features.
    ♦    Always-on connection, 24 hours per day, 365 days a year
    ♦    Flat rate charge – including Cisco router, installation and integration with
         your network by EIS engineer, where appropriate.
    ♦    RM SafetyNet Plus filtering with additional control. Demonstration of
         Internet access and filtering to school staff
    ♦    KCN Broadband Help Desk direct phone 01622 206040.
    ♦    40 EasyMail addresses for all teaching and office staff and for every class.
    ♦    EISite – enables schools to produce their own professional Web site without
         technical expertise or having to learn new software.
    ♦    A National Education Network connection for fast access to educational
         materials bypassing the variable speed Internet, as required by the DfES.
    ♦    Shared download bandwidth of up to 2 Mbps, guaranteed minimum speed
         103 Kbps, based on the BT Business ADSL service.
    ♦    Upload speed of up to 256 Kbps.
    ♦    Lower bandwidths for schools distant from the exchange, at reduced cost.
    ♦    Contention ratio of 20:1, ie the bandwidth is shared across 20 establishments.
    ♦    Central firewall to protect the school from the Internet.
    ♦    50 Mbyte Web space (normally 20 Mbyte)




Service Level Agreement                          12                         v10 January 2007

								
To top