Terms of Service


This document represents the Terms of Service among participating units in the NUworkspace desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) environment. The goal of these Terms of Services is to establish a more structured relationship among the participants for use and management of the service.


In addition to End Users, participants in NUworkspace align to one of two roles: Unit Service Provider and Platform Service Provider. SACA acts as the Platform Service Provider for NUWorkspaces; School and Unit participants act as the Unit Service Providers.

The two roles are jointly accountable for:

  • Ensuring the NUworkspace is deployed and maintained in accordance with anticipated future directions for Northwestern.
  • Implementing controls to ensure compliance with all University IT-related security policies and applicable regulations.
  • Ensuring transparency of planning, implementation, and maintenance of the infrastructure and virtual datacenter use for decision-making.

Platform Service Provider Responsibilities

The Platform Service Provider is responsible for implementing and maintaining NUworkspace infrastructure, including both hardware and software. The resulting infrastructure has expected availability of 99.99% uptime, in accordance with the provider’s terms.

Specific responsibilities for the Platform Service Provider include:

  • Setting up and configuring virtual desktops for End Users, including handoff of Active Directory administration and associated access privileges.
  • Monitoring the infrastructure and underlying systems for availability and performance.
  • Ensuring the infrastructure is resilient in the event of server or component failure.

Unit Service Provider Responsibilities

Specific responsibilities for the Unit Service Provider include:

  • Determining who can access the NUWorkspaces environment.
  • Ensuring that all needed software is available.
  • Participating with other Tenants to ensure that virtual desktops are configured and working properly.
  • Providing local IT support for connecting to NUworkspace.

Hosted Data

No data should be stored with the Platform Service Provider. Northwestern file sharing services should be employed to access, use, and save files within the virtual desktop session. Unit Service Providers are responsible for ensuring their End Users have appropriate facilities for managing data access, retrieval, storage, and security. NUworkspace may be used in accordance with the data classifications in the Northwestern University Data Access Policy. All data saved to a virtual desktop is deleted at the end of the session.

Acceptable Use

Unit Service Providers and End Users agree to comply with applicable University policies on the use of information technology resources, security policies, and applicable regulations.

End Users agree to work with applicable technology groups, including NUIT, to find the best fit for their work. For example, if an End User’s work would be better suited for other NU research computing services (e.g. Quest or SSCC), they would work with appropriate groups to move their work to those resources.


All transmissions are SSL-encrypted. Unit Service Providers are responsible for the security of data stored on and transmitted to/from their End Users, and business practices required of regulatory compliance and research projects, where applicable.


Unit Service Providers commit to a one (1) year term from the date of access to NUworkspaces. The term will automatically renew each year after the initial term unless they choose to opt-out.

Hosting Fees/Payment

Unit Service Providers will pay annually:

  • The base cost will be 1/units of the total subscription.
  • Software maintenance will be 1/units of the total cost of software maintenance.
  • Each unit will be responsible for the full cost of any new software that they may need to be added to NUworkspace.
  • Units will be responsible for any costs associated with adding more resources to the NUworkspaces. For example, if more desktops were needed to accommodate a class for a defined period of time, the unit would pay in full for those desktops for that time period in addition to the base commitment.
  • A Unit may trial/explore the service by paying for a select number (1-5) of desktops for their first year.
  • Individuals may purchase a standalone desktop configuration (non-persistent).

Unit Service Providers are notified on or around June 1st each yearof the pending annual renewal. Should a Tenant decide not to renew their tenancy, they have until July 1st to respond in writing. No response by the Unit Service Provider automatically renews tenancy for another year.

  • Unit Service Providers will contribute all base fees to an escrow account
  • As needed, unites contribute additional fees to the escrow account (e.g. if services are expanded)

Termination of Services

The Unit Service Providers may jointly terminate this agreement if a more comprehensive technology environment and governance structure is available and it is agreed to move to that structure.

If performance fails to meet partner expectations, the Platform Service Provider and Unit Service Providers will meet to review the situation and may terminate the agreement based on available remediation options.

Prior investments made by Unit Service Providers will not be refunded.

No provision exists for the transfer of remaining investments to another school or unit. 

Notifications to End Users



Please contact the IT Support Center at 847-491-4357 (1-HELP) or [email protected] with any questions about NUworkspace.