PSN Core Service Update

Another month another blog post about PSN. Unlike some parts of government, the message around PSN changes so often that it is making my head spin – so here we are, looking at what changes have been made since GDS and CCS last communicated would be happening with the Core Services.

As a point of note, everything I’m talking about is coming out of the PSN Helpdesk.  If you haven’t signed up to see what they post there then I would encourage you to do so – this is the single source of truth, not what you read elsewhere online (yes, even this blog can’t be trusted…).

Following my last blog where I said that Core Services would continue after March 2019, CCS released a nice summary of what would and wouldn’t be ending and turns out what I wrote last time was right… at least in part! There are some things staying after March, and others that are not…

So what is staying after March 2019?

  • DNS
  • Email Relay, including x.gsi email relay
  • Peer-to-Peer service, including TESTA-ng gateway

These are staying where they are as there is currently no commercial alternative. However, GDS and CCS are looking at replacing all of these in the coming months. As we have discussed before, DNS will be stood up with Nominet but is taking a while to sort out and there is are procurement going on for a ‘slimmed down’ version. This will support any PSN names that can be put on the internet, so for anything that can’t, just contact CCS and let them know in advance.

On the email side of things, we have a stay-of-execution for PSN mail relay which is good news for many of our customers. As I talked about before, GDS and CCS are looking at a new mail relay for email on PSN, however one thing that hasn’t changed is the push to get everyone off the GSI email domain. Whilst GDS can’t force anyone off it, they would appreciate it if you stopped using the domain. To help with the migration Vodafone have a service for ‘GSI email re-direct’ which should help you – you can find this on G-Cloud10 or RM1045 (or direct from Vodafone if you can’t use the frameworks).  There is also a lot of useful information here around migrating away from GCF mail relay, and moving mail to cloud etc. You will need a log in to the PSN helpdesk to read this though.

Whilst PSN Flattening has taken away most of the reason for the Peer-to-Peer gateways, access to N3, TESTA and PSN for Policing is still needed, so this service will continue until new gateways are set up. On the TESTA network gateway there is a bunch of guidance about an upcoming migration to a new gateway which is provided by DVLA (?!) – check this out here. You will also need a log in to the PSN helpdesk to read this.

Okay, so what isn’t being provided after March 2019?

  • Network connectivity
  • Internet connectivity/ gateways
  • Mail hygiene, mailboxes, managed firewalls
  • NTP services
  • Hosting
  • Remote access
  • Departmental WANs and gateways

If you are using UKCloud, some of these won’t be an issue for you – we take care of the network connectivity for you, we have an NTP service and you don’t need to worry about hosting or remote access. For other things such as internet gateways, departmental WANs and gateways, mail hygiene and managed firewalls you should look at procuring these services from other providers on the PSN, either from G-Cloud 10, RM1045 or directly from suppliers. Oh, and you have 7 weeks to do this – may the odds be ever in your favour.