Server hosting

VMware service

IT Services can provide centrally hosted virtual servers, running on VMware, which are a more economic and environmentally friendly solution than a physical standalone server.

The VMware cluster uses enterprise grade hardware that is located in both IT Services data centres providing resilience against failure of a single server and failover capability in the event of the loss of a data centre. VMware servers are also backed up daily, which provides fast recovery in the event of data loss or corruption.

As there is no need for departments to procure additional hardware, servers can be commissioned and put into service quickly. It is also possible to provide test environments that are the same as the production environment.

The following levels of server specification are available:

Vmware Level RAM (GB) vCPUs Disk (GB) Total (GBP)
1 4 2 75 995
1a 4 2 100 1020
1b 4 2 250 1170
1c 4 4 100 1820
2 8 2 75 1115
2a 8 2 100 1140
2b 8 2 250 1290
2c 8 4 100 1940
3 16 2 100 1380
3a 16 2 250 1530
3b 16 2 500 1780
3c 16 4 100 2180

To discuss requirements and costs, which include any Microsoft OS licensing (with Red Hat OS and web server certificates at additional cost), please contact the IT Service Desk.

Full administrator privileges will be provided to the nominated administrator and VMware management tools are available which enable features such as remote power management of the virtual server.

Physical servers

Physical servers can only be hosted on agreement with IT Services and in line with the Data Centre Occupancy Policy. Due to the flexibility of VMware, this is rarely required and works out significantly more expensive.

If agreed, IT Services will get an estimate from one of its preferred suppliers to provide a server with the necessary specification. End users will not be able to install their own pre-purchased equipment.

The server(s) will be installed in one of the University's data centres.

End users are strongly advised to pay for hardware maintenance to cover the life of the project with the initial purchase of the server and/or to ensure they have funding to extend the hardware maintenance until the server is no longer required.

IT Services will not carry out repairs of the servers but will assist the end user in providing access to the supplier to carry out repairs when needed.

In addition to the physical server cost, other costs will need to be considered such as software licensing and backup.

Hosting guidance

By hosting servers in the IT Services datacenters the following conditions will need to be met. These are standard best practices that ensure the hosted systems are secure and correctly managed:

  • The server will include a virus scanner and automatic updating. It is a requirement that all servers managed by IT Servoces be patched to the same level as other IT Services equipment. There is no additional cost for these.
  • Servers must pass Vulnerability scan tests before going into service. This is to ensure there are no vulnerabilities in software components e.g. outdated versions of Java etc.
  • Where required IT Services can obtain and install security certificates to encrypt any web traffic.
  • Where an end user has engaged a third party to provide software, IT Services will prepare the server (standalone or VM) up to the point where the third party is ready to install their application. Maintenance of software not installed by IT Services is a matter for the end user and their supplier.
  • The VMs can be added to IT Services' Active Directory where appropriate and local administrator rights are provided.
  • IT Services can provide remote access to the servers if required for software configuration by third party companies. There is no additional cost for this provision.