Digital Application Platform

UKCloud’s Digital Application Platform is built using the most popular, open source Platform as a Service (PaaS) technology, providing an isolated scalable application compute platform designed specifically to facilitate and accelerate the end-to-end development, deployment and operation of digital applications.

G-Cloud Service ID number: 1956 8367 8211 264 (Assured) 8114 3431 3902 196 (Elevated)  

OVERVIEW

UKCloud’s Digital Application Platform is powered by Cloud Foundry – the most popular, open-source PaaS technology – to provide a flexible, scalable digital development platform for developers who just want to publish their code without worrying about the underlying infrastructure. Unlike traditional managed PaaS offerings, it provides a full suite of modern, cloud native development toolkits to accelerate end-to-end development, deployment and operation of digital applications.

The Digital Application Platform maximises development time-to-value and provides the highest levels of data security, using UKCloud’s established IaaS and Cloud Storage technologies deployed as a secure, UK-sovereign cloud platform that has been extensively independently validated.

FEATURES/BENEFITS

Feature Benefit
Based on open source Cloud Foundry 2.x Reduce upskill costs by utilising familiar development languages
Supports popular development frameworks; Java, Spring, Ruby, Sinatra, Node.js Focus on development, testing and scaling of applications
Support for open source data-services; MySQL, Postgres, MongoDB, RabbitMQ Faster time to value. One-click code push to Platform
Extensible integration for both UKCloud and external data services Health management reduces monitoring cost whilst raising overall availability
Free HTTP Routing, Traffic and load balancing Repeatable environments and deployments, mitigating misconfiguration or dependency issues
Assured; UK hosted by SC and NPPV cleared personnel Have confidence in who has access to your data
Compatible with a majority of Heroku Buildpacks Reduced complexity of managing infrastructure and supporting services
Built in application health management Underpins deployment and availability of existing open source software
Easily, instantly and elastically scale to thousands of users Remove final bottleneck of Agile code development and deployment
Interoperable with other CloudFoundry providers allow re-use of deployments Cost reduction for managed infrastructure provisioning

SERVICE LEVEL INFORMATION

We understand that UK public sector organisations need a dependable service that demonstrates value to stakeholders, which is why UKCloud offers one of the best SLAs on G-Cloud.

What’s more, we back our SLA with Service Credits. If we fall short of our agreement, we’ll compensate you with Service Credits so that you can be confident we have a financial incentive to deliver on our promises.

The table below outlines the SLA and Service Credit details. For more information, see the terms and conditions.

Service level agreement 99.50%
Portal level agreement 99.90%
Availability calculation Availability is calculated based on the number of hours in the billing month (for example, 744 hours for months with 31 days), excluding any planned and emergency maintenance.
Measurement of SLA Unavailability applies when the Cloud Foundry environment becomes unresponsive owing to a fault in the UKCloud-controlled Cloud Foundry infrastructure and services which lies with:

  • UKCloud-controlled components such as the virtual infrastructure, storage, power, and physical firewalls and routers
  • UKCloud-maintained Cloud Foundry services (router service, DEAs, Health Manager)
Key exclusions The following are examples of what is not covered by the SLA:

  • Faults within your control, that is, any code owned and controlled by you
  • Faults within external connectivity providers (for example internet, PSN, JANET or N3) and components co-located at UKCloud
Service Credit 3% of monthly spend for affected Cloud Foundry platform. 1% of monthly spend per 1% below service level target or part thereof for the UKCloud API and Portal.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

The UKCloud Digital Application Platform:

  • Is based on open-source Cloud Foundry 2.x
  • Includes free HTTP routing, traffic and load balancing
  • Supports many popular development frameworks and languages:
    • Java
    • Spring
    • Ruby
    • Sinatra
    • Node.js
  • Provides popular open-source data service packages deployable within the Cloud Foundry platform, all supported by the global Cloud Foundry community, including:
    • MySQL, the open-source relational database
    • Postgres, relational database based on PostgreSQL
    • MongoDB, the scalable, open, document-based database
    • RabbitMQ, for reliable, scalable, and portable messaging for applications
  • Is extensible to support external data services hosted on UKCloud IaaS (for example Microsoft SQL, Oracle), along with additional UKCloud services such as Hadoop in the Cloud

UKCloud uses VMware vSphere as the hypervisor for the underlying IaaS service and open-source Cloud Foundry as the application platform.

SERVICE OPTIONS

  • Digital Application Platform – Public: based upon deployed digital applications coupled with underlying application compute instances required to support the varied workloads placed upon each application. Customers specify their solution based on the size of the platform required (RAM). Customers may choose to use a specialist partner for a variety of enablement services; or to use software services which might require licenses or support subscriptions.
  • Digital Application Platform – Private: designed to provide the additional assurance of a totally isolated application platform, as the platform isn’t shared with other customers. Customers specify their solution based on the size of the platform required (RAM). Customers may choose to use a specialist partner for a variety of enablement services; or to use software services which might require licenses or support subscriptions.

Additional Service Options

Global Load Balancing

    • Enables customers to direct internet traffic across multiple end-points (which can be across different sites or different platforms)
    • UKCloud subcontracts this service to Neustar, global leaders in network and security services
    • Requires a 12-month minimum term commitment

Application-tuned DDoS protection

  • A domain-based service that can be finely tuned to the profile of specific applications and workloads
  • Complements UKCloud’s platform-level DDoS protection
  • UKCloud subcontracts this service to Neustar, global leaders in network and security services
  • Requires a 12-month minimum term commitment

FAQs

SERVICE

Q     What is UKCloud Digital Application Platform?

UKCloud’s secure Digital Application Platform (formally Cloud Foundry) service is built using the most popular open source PaaS technology to deliver a flexible, scalable application compute platform. Unlike traditional managed PaaS offerings, it provides a modern application platform that accelerates end-to-end development, deployment and operation of digital applications, while raising overall application reliability and availability.

Q     Why deliver Digital Application Platform as a cloud service?

Although Digital Application Platform is a simple, benefits-rich service to consume, it is a complex platform of inter-dependent servers and services, whose deployment, configuration and maintenance requires time and expertise.

By offering Digital Application Platform as a service, we take on all that complexity so that customers can immediately realise the value of Digital Application Platform by simply consuming it.

Q     What options do I have for Digital Application Platform?

There are two options:

  • Public. A shared, multi-tenant environment that maximises development time-to-value and provides the highest levels of commercial flexibility.
  • Private. A single-tenant platform designed for customers who require data isolation beyond our Assured Public Digital Application Platform service.

Q     How is Digital Application Platform billed?

  • Public. This is a true cloud service, billed by the hour based on the application RAM consumed, with no upfront costs, minimum commitment or early-exit fees.
  • Private. As the platform isn’t shared with other customers, this service is billed by the month with a three-month minimum commitment, which reflects the fixed cost of providing the isolated single-tenant infrastructure.

Q     Does UKCloud offer a free trial?

Yes, we can configure a free 30-day trial of the Public Digital Application Platform.

Trials can be arranged via your approved partner or by contacting UKCloud directly.

Q     Is there a free tier to your service?

Yes, we offer a free version of our Public service with no time limit. The free service provides an initial 512MB of application memory per organisation. Any additional memory consumption is charged according to the Public Digital Application Platform pricing guide.

Q     Where is the service hosted?

The service is delivered by UKCloud, a UK company, from two tier 3 UK data centres separated by more than 100km, which are securely connected by high-bandwidth, low-latency dedicated connectivity.

Q     Does my data leave the UK?

As the service is delivered from UK data centres by a UK company, your data doesn’t leave the UK when at rest.

Q     How is Digital Application Platform supported?

UKCloud manages and supports the Digital Application Platform using our dedicated support team based in the UK. Support is available via helpdesk ticket or phone.

Q     What constitutes the UKCloud Digital Application Platform?

We monitor, maintain and support our controlled Digital Application Platform infrastructure and services, including:

  • UKCloud-controlled components, such as the virtual infrastructure, storage, power and physical firewalls and routers
  • UKCloud-maintained Digital Application Platform services (router service, DEAs, health manager and cloud controller)

Q     Can I use Digital Application Platform in the UKCloud Elevated (previously IL3) domain?

Owing to the enhanced data isolation levels required, only Private Digital Application Platform is currently available in the Elevated domain.

Both our Public and Private Digital Application Platform services are available in our Assured (previously IL2) domain.

Q     Is the service Pan Government Accredited?

UKCloud’s existing PGA continues to apply to the infrastructure underpinning our services. But since the move to the Government Security Classification Policy (GSCP), we can no longer seek PGA for newer services, such as Digital Application Platform.

We are now required to self-assert our services, with customers taking responsibility for assessing and selecting the most appropriate cloud services to meet their individual security requirements.

We provide confidence that our Digital Application Platform service still meets the highest level of information assurance, which is why we continue to have our platform independently tested and validated, and have the findings made available to customers and partners. This enables SIROs to make an informed decision about any service they choose to consume.

Q     Can I use Digital Application Platform over closed networks such as PSN and N3?

This service is accredited for use over PSN. Connectivity to the N3 network will be considered when an appropriate sponsor submits a requirement.

Q     What Digital Application Platform distributions does UKCloud support?

Our service supports the open-source version of Digital Application Platform, giving customers total freedom from the potential vendor lock-in of a proprietary commercial version of Digital Application Platform

Q     How do you ensure my data stays secure in a multi-tenant environment?

Digital Application Platform is built around the concept of being able to deliver rapidly deployable and scalable digital applications in a secure and reliable fashion, while harnessing the efficiencies of a multi-tenant environment. Although each application you publish resides in its own secure isolated container, these containers still reside on and are accessed via multi-tenant services.

DAP

Figure 1: Assured Public Digital Application Platform

Customers who require total data and service isolation should consider our Private Digital Application Platform service, which offers the highest levels of data isolation but less commercial flexibility.

Q     Will UKCloud manage rolling-point Digital Application Platform releases?

Digital Application Platform is an ever-evolving ecosystem of software and services. Patches and updates can be applied to the platform continuously and seamlessly with minimal or no interruption to the service consumed by a customer.

Any updates which may affect platform availability will be performed in line with our planned maintenance policy.

Q     Does UKCloud offer any scheduled automated backups for Digital Application Platform?

As standard, localised component failures are tolerated within the infrastructure through elimination of single points of failure (including physical server failure or disk failure).

Although Digital Application Platform is designed to deploy and manage stateless apps (applications that can be killed and re-instantiated without risk of data loss), customers should ensure they maintain a master copy or backup copy of any persistent or dynamic data hosted on this service (such as MySQL DB) by using, for example, our Cloud Storage.

Q     What languages and frameworks are compatible with UKCloud’s Digital Application Platform?

The service supports many popular development frameworks and languages such as:

  • Java
  • Spring
  • Ruby
  • Sinatra
  • js

Other languages and runtimes, (for example PHP, and Python) can be supported through the use of community or customer/partner-developed custom build packs.

Q     Does UKCloud support any Digital Application Platform data services?

Our Digital Application Platform service provides popular open source data service packages deployable within the platform, all supported by the global Digital Application Platform community, including:

  • MySQL, an open source relational database
  • Postgres, a relational database based on PostgreSQL
  • MongoDB, a scalable, open, document-based database
  • RabbitMQ, for reliable, scalable and portable messaging for applications

Note that these services are offered ‘as is’ with no management, support or availability commitment from UKCloud. We strongly suggest customers ensure they maintain a master copy or backup copy of any persistent or dynamic data hosted on this service (such as MySQL DB) by using, for example, a data service provided by a managed service provider on our Compute as a Service.

External data sources such as Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server can be consumed via user-provided services.

Q     How scalable is UKCloud’s Digital Application Platform?

As a true cloud platform our Digital Application Platform provides full elasticity and scalability. However, in order to protect the integrity of the platform and manage customer spend, soft limits on the number and size of application instances will be in place. These limits may be exceeded on request.