While our comprehensive support agreements cover most expenses relating to the build and operational support of your system, there are some charges that might be required to fully protect and manage your IT resources.
- Cloud Accounts
If we build a solution in Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform, we will create a dedicated account where all associated costs within that account are charged against your PTA. This account is for the exclusive use of TCG-managed resources. We'll happily create a second account for non-TCG purposes and integrate that with Stanford's infrastructure.
- Backup & Data Protection
Our comprehensive support agreements include management of backups to protect your data. TCG staff will install and configure enterprise backup software to store copies of your files in the cloud, monitor the daily or weekly progress of backups and troubleshoot any issues that might come up. We will also perform test restores and complete restores as needed.
Cloud backup is a cost-effective way to ensure the continuity of your operations should a regional disaster strike or an accidental deletion interrupt your work.
Backup Software Licenses
TCG uses enterprise-grade backup software that has been approved by Stanford Information Security Office to protect all risk classifications. Depending on your particular system, the software might be configured to encrypt data before it leaves your server and might be stored on encrypted cloud storage volumes. It will always be transmitted over an encrypted network connection, however.
As part of this process, your PTA will be charged a modest recurring monthly charge for the backup software.
Cloud deployments will utilize cloud native backup solutions and may not necessitate a separate backup license.
Cloud Backup Storage and Restores
In addition to the software licenses to perform backups, our clients’ PTA will be charged each month for the associated cloud storage costs. This variable charge corresponds with the volume of data that’s stored in the cloud.
We select the best cloud vendor and storage tiers based on factors like the expected frequency of performing restores, the speed at which we might need to restore data, the overall volume of data and other client-centric considerations. Every storage provider that TCG uses has already been approved for all risk classifications.
Depending on the volume of data and timing of restores, there will likely be a charge from your cloud provider for data transfer, expedited retrieval, I/O operations and possibly other activities.
- Third-Party Support Agreements
Red Hat Agreements
In order to use Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), a support agreement must be purchased to provide access to patches and software updates. TCG will help with the procurement of the agreement and apply the annual licenses, but any expenses are the responsibility of our clients. We recommend deploying CentOS as a free and open-sourced version of RHEL.
Extended-Support OS Agreements
Operating systems that age into a limited, near-end-of-life or extended-support phase may require a for-fee subscription to receive software patches. The expenses relating to this subscription is the responsibility of our clients.
If the extended-support agreement is determined to be too limited to secure your particular solution, or fails to include the necessary remediation against vulnerabilities in applications or the operating system, TCG will insist on upgrading or rebuilding your server to bring the system into compliance as a condition of continued support.
Other System Support Agreements
Clients are responsible for purchasing and managing necessary support contracts with vendors. TCG does not manage or pay for support agreements with hardware vendors like Dell, or support agreements from cloud vendors like Amazon Web Services, either.
- Uncommon Extra Charges
TCG is committed to billing transparency and accuracy. At the earlier stages of your engagement with TCG, we will discuss whether your service requires either an additional complex charge or whether you should expect a time and materials charge in addition to the flat monthly recurring charge. Many systems support agreements do not require either.
While most of TCG’s services are included in our comprehensive support agreements, there may be rare cases where we must apply a supplemental charge to support complex systems. We apply this charge to recover extra, ongoing administration overhead. An example of complex systems might be a server arranged as a failover cluster, or a system that requires additional management of attached fibre channel storage.
Research Time & Materials Supplementary Charge
There may be occasions when a given project requires deeper research or a process of discovery, the deployment of a proof of concept or an initial beta system for demonstration and trial use. For these, an hourly time-and-materials charge will be discussed to recover work outside of our comprehensive support agreements. Typically, this will be billed at the higher standard University IT rate for “Design & Development” work. Billing at the less expensive “Service Deployment & Administration” would be at the discretion of TCG where appropriate.
Full-Sponsored SUNet IDs
If your collaborators need to log into systems securely and you wish to provide them with a Stanford email address, we recommend a full-sponsored SUNet ID. Our clients are responsible for this modest monthly recurring charge.
Privileged Administrative Workstations (PAWs)
As part of Stanford's Minimum Security requirements, all high risk systems must be administered using a PAW. TCG's technologists have been provisioned a PAW, and regularly use this special laptop to undertake our administrative activities.
If our clients wish to perform administrator activities on their high-risk servers (usually defined as a root or elevated privilege actions), they must procure their own Privileged Administrative Workstations for their constituents. This can be requested using ServiceNow.