Saturday, September 26, 2009

UK Government VPN

The UK Cabinet Office is building a Virtual Private Network called the "Public Sector Network" for national and local government agencies to use for voice and data. This is intended to save money and set technical and service standards. The network will be built from existing commercial infrastructure. There are a set of detailed planning and specification documents. The AGIMO strategy is for a less ambitious network for the Australian Government.
The Public Sector Network vision

1.1.1 The Public Sector Network (PSN) vision one of creating ‘the effect of a single network across UK government’, delivered through multiple service providers in order to ensure ongoing value and innovation.
1.1.2 In some respects, this is similar to the Internet model, whereby ‘service consumers’ experience flexibility and inter-working without much concern for underlying inter-network ‘plumbing’. However, the vision is also one of a ‘private network of networks’ for the public sector, addressing the various special security, resilience, service and availability needs of public sector organisations.

The PSN in practical terms

1.1.3 The PSN is a supply-side ‘network of networks’, making network-oriented services utilitylike for the public sector. Hence, it is essentially an inter-working and standards framework for the suppliers of network-oriented services to the public sector, governing both interconnection of supplier services and the relevant key service characteristics/attributes that ensure inter-working and end-to-end service assurance across supplier portfolios. As such, it includes:

  • an overarching PSN Operating Model and governance approach – including a Code of Interconnection (CoICo) and Code of Practice (CoP) for service providers, and a Code of Connection for service consumers;
  • new standards that ensure inter-working across network-oriented services and end-toend serviceability across suppliers;
  • a ‘marketplace’ for PSN Services, established through procurements; and
  • various core enabling infrastructure, including:
    • a Government Conveyance Network (GCN), this being the interconnect ‘glue’ between the individual service providers conforming to the CoICo;
    • central technical infrastructure providing for service inter-dependency analysis across suppliers, supporting end-to-end service management and assurance; and,
    • an appropriate commercial settlements regime for suppliers, underpinning endto- end service management and assurance where the chosen delivery model involves peered service providers.
1.1.4 To be clear, this standards framework will not replace current quality (ISO 9001), service (ISO 20001) and security (ISO 27001; Security Policy Framework) management standards, or Next Generation Network (NGN) standards; rather, it will compliment these by extending standards to various technical, commercial and service inter-working arrangements for government’s suppliers of network-oriented services. ...

From: GCN Service Description, Version1.1, PSN Core Infrastructure project team, UK Cabinet Office, 24 April 2009

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