HSCN QoS - change requests and end-to-end configuration

Summary

The processes to be followed by consumers of Transition Network (TN) and HSCN services, and national application providers to request a change to a QoS configuration.

QoS configuration change requests

This section details the processes to be followed by consumers of Transition Network (TN) and HSCN services, and national application providers, to request a change to a QoS configuration. The majority of requests for changes to QoS configurations will relate to a particular application, the source/destination IP addresses and/or the 'TCP/UDP Port Numbers' used to assign traffic to a specific QoS layer. The HSCN QoS policy document, supporting guidance and forms refer to these requests as 'QoS Application Change Requests'.

Such change requests may include:

  • adding new IP addresses and/or port numbers to a specific QoS Class of Service for a new or existing application/service
  • removing or making changes to existing IP addresses and/or port numbers for an application
  • re-assigning an application (IP address and/or port number) to a different Class of Service

QoS change request form and high-level process

To request a change to a QoS configuration, download the change request form.

On the form, provide as much detail as you can, including: full contact details; information about the application and the reason for the configuration change; and the QoS class, IP address, and port/protocol (if applicable).

Email the completed change request form to the NHS Digital National Service Desk (NSD)

The request will be added to the NHS Digital Service Management system and a ticket will be raised and issued to the HSCN team who will assess the request. You will receive tracking notification from the NSD.

The HSCN team may require further information from you. This will be requested by the NSD.

It may take up to 20 business days to assess your request, though most should be processed more quickly.

Once the HSCN team have processed your request you will receive a response from the NSD team.

Flowchart of the QOS change request process

Figure 4: Process flow diagram for HSCN QoS configuration change requests.

QoS application change requests

AF3

The AF3 Class of Service is reserved for national transactional applications. National applications are those that are centrally hosted and/or contracted by NHS Digital. The term transactional refers to the way in which the application operates, for example, transaction-orientated applications are typically used for data entry and retrieval transaction processing on a database management system or similar software application.

All QoS application change requests to the AF3 class of service must be submitted to NHS Digital. To do this use the QoS change request form, and complete sections 1 and 2.

National applications

National applications are those that are centrally hosted and/or contracted by NHS Digital. There are a number of national applications that make use of QoS classes other than AF3.

All QoS application change requests from national application providers, applicable to any class of service, must be submitted to NHS Digital. To do this use the QoS change request form, and complete sections 1 and 2.

EF and non-protected AF QoS classes

The Expedited Forwarding (EF) QoS class is reserved solely for real-time applications and services such as VoIP. The Assured Forwarding QoS classes other than AF3 are designed to be used for different types of applications; AF1 for bulk transfer; AF2 for local/community applications; AF4 for voice signalling purposes and media streaming applications, such as video conferencing.

All QoS application change requests applicable to these classes of service, from organisations that do not provide national applications, should be submitted to your network service provider.

For HSCN connected customers this will be your connectivity supplier (Consumer Network Service Provider or CN-SP). TN connected customers should contact the BT Helpdesk, on 0800 085 0503, and select the relevant option.

Other QoS change requests

To request a change to a QoS configuration that is not covered by the sections above please use the QoS Change Request Form and complete sections 1 and 3.

End-to-end QoS configuration

Following the approval of a QoS Application Change Request there are a number of important steps that the application provider and their customers must follow. This is to ensure that QoS markings are applied correctly to traffic originating at both the provider and customer end points. This will help ensure that data packets are marked correctly and the required minimum bandwidth for traffic in both directions is guaranteed in the event of network congestion.

National application providers and their customers

Following the approval, by NHS Digital, of a QoS application change request from a national application provider the following steps must be completed:

  1. The national application provider must submit a request to their CN-SP (or TN-SP) for the change to be applied to the customer premises equipment (CPE) at the site at which the application is hosted (data centre for example)
  2. The national application provider must inform all customers that the QoS configuration change has been actioned and provide details of that new configuration
  3. Customer organisations are responsible for submitting a QoS application change request to the network service provider for all sites at which users of the particular application are located. This is to ensure that the required QoS markings are applied to traffic from the end-user sites
  4. NHS Digital will maintain a 'master' list of national application QoS configurations and upon approval of a change request this list will be updated and shared with all network service providers via the National Service Desk. The master list must be used by network service providers to configure their systems to honour/preserve QoS markings applied to traffic that passes between provider networks.

Other application providers and their customers

This section applies to change requests to classes other than AF3 (EF and non-protected AF QoS classes) from application suppliers and organisations that provide 'local' or regional applications. For these changes, the requesting organisation must submit the QoS application change request directly to their network service provider. Once this has been approved by the network service provider, the requester organisation must:

  1. Inform all customer (end-user) organisations that the QoS configuration change has been actioned and provide details of that new configuration.
  2. Customer organisations are responsible for submitting a QoS application change request to the network service provider for all sites at which users of the particular application are located. This is to ensure that the required QoS markings are applied to traffic from the end-user sites.

Further information and HSCN QoS Policy

Further information is available on the HSCN Quality of Service overview webpage and in the HSCN QoS policy which sets out the QoS policy for the HSCN and the TN service, including a full glossary of terms used on this page.

Further information

  1. internal

    HSCN IP address management

    Find all information relating to IP address management under HSCN, including the HSCN IP addressing policy, IP addressing good practice guidelines, IPAM process and change request forms.

  2. internal

    Business Applications Guidance

    This document provides guidance on procuring standard business applications to replace N3 overlays and is aimed at health and social care organisations moving to HSCN from N3.

  3. internal

    HSCN connectivity options

    The Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) programme will provide new and significantly different network services to the N3 network it succeeds.