Virtual Machine Hosting Service

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Service Notice

May 2017

This service is no longer available. Please contact IT User Support Department Head Andrew Wiedlea for information about a new VM service that will be launched in 2017.


Get the server out from under your desk, or free up space in your small data closet or lab!  Get better power availability and reliable, professionally managed hardware, without sacrificing your ability to fully control the machine from the OS up.

The virtual hosting service provides IT customers with a virtual server that integrates compute, storage and network connectivity resources in a bundled alternative to standalone physical server hardware.

This service is available to any Lab employee, for Lab business.  There is no charge for the service.

VM Hosting Offering

The virtual machine hosting package includes the following:

  • Virtual server built on managed physical hardware with dual power supplies and connections to a centralized UPS, housed within a secure environmentally controlled datacenter
  • Either of these standard configurations:
    • Linux
      • CentOS 5/6 (we can arrange to host other distros as well)
      • 1 virtual CPU
      • 1 GB RAM
      • 16 GB disk (boot partition)
        • for storage requests above 50GB please create a help request for consultation)
    • Windows
      • Win 2008r2
      • 1 virtual CPU
      • 2 GB RAM
      • 40 GB disk (boot partition)
        • for storage requests above 50GB please create a help request for consultation)
  • Customer-specified hostname (and other configs/params set to customer specification in the Virtual Hosting Request form).
  • Remote administrative access
  • Automated monitoring of system resources and security
  • Monthly DR snapshot of VM (note that this is not a substitute for regularly scheduled backups! see below for more information)
  • Network-based firewall (can be configured to customer's specific requirements)

The virtual machine hosting package does not include the following:

  • Data backups
  • Application development
  • Database administration
  • Administrative tasks on the VM itself (beyond those run from the host system as part of operation support to the infrastructure that hosts all VMs - see Terms of Service, below)

Getting Started

Request a VM by going directly to the Virtual Hosting Request form.  For consultation and/or help making a VM request, create a help request at

Terms of Service

As a customer of the IT VM hosting service, you will have the following responsibilities:

  • Apply CPP mandated security patches and fixes
  • Run an approved, up-to-date VMware Tools package (if you are the admin of your VM)
  • Arrange for all non-infrastructure support needed:
  • Adhere to server administration best practices outlined in the RPM
  • Maintain up-to-date primary administrative contact information
  • Notify IT VM Support in a timely manner if:
    • your VM's workload/usage is expected to undergo significant changes including:
      • Substantial increase in transaction volume or number of users
      • Substantial increase in network or storage bandwidth usage
      • Change to hosting applications/requirements
      • Change to importance/sensitivity of data being stored

IT will provide the following services supporting VM instances:

  • Infrastructure support, including the following:
    • Hardware, Host OS and hypervisor installation and maintenance to ensure optimal availability and performance
    • Fault isolation and infrastructure-level troubleshooting during regular Lab business hours (9am to 5pm, Monday thru Friday)
    • Best-effort support for unplanned outages occurring outside of regular Lab business hours
    • Automated 24x7 monitoring, selective customer alerts/notifications on:
      • System availability and performance metrics
      • Storage resource utilization per customer specified thresholds
      • Intrusion detection activity
    • VM reboots in limited situations based on customer request
    • Scheduled maintenance within a standing window on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month
    • Notification and execution of emergency maintenance activities outside of standing maintenance window
    • Notification and/or reboot based on customer request when maintenance activity has been completed
    • Selective firewall configuration exceptions based on customer requirements within the Virtual Hosting Request form
    • Operation/Maintenance of network firewall
    • Operation/Maintenance of intrusion detection systems with up to date signatures as available on the virtualized platform
    • Monthly DR snapshot of VM
  • Initial Consultation for capacity/migration planning

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There is no charge for this service.