Virtual Server Hosting Details

Discussion

The Virtual Server Hosting service offers “bare metal” virtual machines, provisioned with network and storage resources. Customers may install, configure and operate the server operating system and applications of an administrator’s choosing, to benefit local departmental needs. By deploying servers on the Virtual Server Hosting platform, administrators can quickly configure and deploy servers, without concern for the purchase, maintenance or replacement of the underlying hardware. As the service is hosted on OIT’s enterprise infrastructure in the Academic Data Center, customers enjoy the benefits of highly redundant, available systems which are normally unavailable to smaller departments.

This service helps increase server reliability, as well as achieve campus goals of efficiency in power and cooling. Old, unreliable equipment can be retired, while the server’s software and function is retained as a Virtual Server. Where the server was once running on inefficient equipment, it now runs atop a platform tuned for optimization of electrical and cooling resources. Virtual Servers automatically benefit from additional capabilities, such as migrating a running server between physical hosts for maintenance, and High Availability automated restart.

The service is hosted on an HP blade server chassis; each blade has four gigabit Ethernet network controllers, and the maximum possible RAM. Storage is provisioned via OIT’s enterprise storage from NetApp, using an IP-based SAN. In addition to the redundant and high availability features in the hardware components, the VMWare virtual environment allows for dynamic movement of virtual servers between hosts, as well as High Availability (automatic restart) for virtual servers.

The equipment is located the OIT Data Center, utilizing the same infrastructure as OIT’s other enterprise services: earthquake protection tables; redundant power sources; large-scale UPS; data center chilled water cooling; on-site emergency cooling; generator-backup power.