From the KnowledgeBase

Title:
OIT Virtual and Server Hosting: Description of services offered
Description:
Departmental servers, either physical or virtual, can be hosted in the University’s main data center. This data center is secure, environmentally controlled, with state-of-the-art power and backup power generation systems. Departments may choose to have OIT administer the servers or can fully manage the servers themselves.

Virtual Hosting Service

The virtual service includes the coordination, setup, and system administration of a virtual server installed on the University’s VMWare ESX infrastructure. There is no annual cost to departments for running a virtual host on the ESX infrastructure. A virtual server (running either Windows or Linux) is provided with one 3GHz CPU, 2GB RAM and up to 100GB of disk space. More resources can be allocated, if required. Virtual servers save a department the costs associated with hardware and hardware maintenance. Using a virtual server also allows a department to repurpose floor space for other uses. Virtual servers, however, may not be suitable for applications that continuously require all server resources allocated, have high disk IO, or have high network bandwidth requirements. OIT is available to assist in determining whether a virtual server can meet a department’s needs.

A department can have OIT provide system administrator services or choose to have their local IT system administrator manage the virtual server. With either option it is the responsibility of the department applications support staff to properly configure and maintain applications to ensure the security and availability of the application and of data accessible through the application.

Should the department choose to have OIT manage their virtual server, the following list describes the roles and responsibilities:

The department is responsible for:

  • Any application maintenance, support and data security
  • TSM backup charges
  • Following the administrator/root guidelines found here if this level of access is required

OIT provides:

  • Set up and configuration of server operating system following security best practices
  • Regularly maintains and monitors server operating system to ensure availability and operating system level security
  • Ensures server availability 24x7 except during scheduled server outages for maintenance and scheduled network outages
  • Notifies department about network maintenance schedule
  • Provides after business hours monitoring and response for operating system level outages

When a new server is requested for the Virtual Hosting Service the expected turnaround time to get the operational server back to the customer for application setup is two weeks from the date that we have all of the necessary information needed to perform the setup. If installation or management of an application requires root / administrator access, OIT systems staff members work with the department to provide the appropriate level of access.

Current policy requires a service account, not a personal ID, as a more secure method for authentication to become root. See www.princeton.edu/itsecurity/policies for further information and oitforms.princeton.edu/HD/newadmacct to apply for an account. It is the responsibility of the department applications support staff to acquire the service account, and to properly install, configure and maintain the application(s) on the server.

A copy of the local administrator/root guidelines can be found here:

Please review them before submitting a request for a server. When a new virtual server is requested for the Full Hosting Service the expected turnaround time to get the operational server back to the customer for application setup is two weeks, provided we have all of the necessary information from the department. To request a new virtual server fill out the appropriate form:


Departmental Physical Server Hosting - OIT Managed

The OIT-managed service includes the coordination, setup, and system administration of a department’s physical server located in the University’s data center. There is no cost to departments for this hosting service.

The department is responsible for:

  • Any application maintenance, support and data security
  • Network connection/host charges, if applicable
  • TSM backup charges
  • Server hardware, including hardware and software maintenance from OIT approved vendor(s)
  • Special racks or special networking hardware for special security, if required
  • Following the administrator/root guidelines found if this level of access is required

OIT provides:

  • Standard rack space, power, UPS, and air-conditioned, secured environment
  • Initial hardware installation into standard rack
  • Standardized operating system installation for server(s) and system administration following security best practices
  • Regular maintenance and monitoring of server(s) to ensure availability and operating system level security
  • Server availability 24x7 except during scheduled server outages for maintenance and scheduled network outages
  • Notification to department about network maintenance schedule
  • After business hours monitoring and response for operating system level outages on production systems

With the "managed physical server hosting" service, OIT provides system administration services. If installation or management of an application requires root / administrator access, OIT systems staff members work with the department to provide the appropriate level of access. Current policy requires a service account, not a personal ID, to become root.

See www.princeton.edu/itsecurity/policies for further information and oitforms.princeton.edu/HD/newadmacct to apply for an account. It is the responsibility of the department applications support staff to acquire the service account, and to properly install, configure and maintain the application(s) on the server.

A copy of the local administrator/root guidelines can be found here:

Please review them before submitting a request for a server. When a new physical server is requested for the Full Hosting Service the expected turnaround time to get the operational server back to the customer for application setup is six weeks from the date the new hardware is ordered. To request a new physical server fill out the appropriate for:


Departmental Server Hosting - Department Managed

Departments can choose to administer their virtual servers on the OIT virtual server infrastructure or their physical servers housed in the University data center. There is no charge for a virtual server or for housing physical servers and storage systems in the University data center.

The department is responsible for:

  • All system and application installation, management and security
  • Network connection/host charges, if applicable
  • TSM backup charges
  • Specialized racks, wiring, or network hardware, if required

OIT provides:

  • Provides standard rack space, standard power, UPS, and air-conditioned, secured environment
  • Coordinates schedule for server installation with department
  • Notifies department about network maintenance schedule
  • Coordinates additional power installation, if required
  • Creation of a blank virtual machine, without operating system, for the department to set up and manage
  • Access to Windows client software to manage the virtual server

To request a blank virtual server fill out the following form:


Operating Systems/Platforms Supported

OIT systems administrators have expertise in the following server platforms and operating systems:

Operating Systems

Hardware Vendor

Server

Oracle Enterprise Linux 5 and 6 (Redhat)

Dell or virtual server

PowerEdge servers

Windows Server 2008 R2

Dell or virtual server

PowerEdge servers

Windows Server 2012

Dell or virtual server

PowerEdge servers


Network Connections and Maintenance

Servers (virtual or physical) can be attached to the appropriate department subnet or attached to a segregated subnet, if needed.

At various times, OIT is required to perform network maintenance for the core network infrastructure. These outages typically occur during the standard 5:00 a.m. - 7:00 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday or Saturday 6:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. morning outage times. Outages are announced with as much lead time as possible, but always with at least one week notice. In an emergency situation, the one week lead time may be impossible to achieve. (Such outages require OIT director-level approval.)


Data Center Access and Security

The University's main data center is locked at all times. Entry is limited to professional staff members who require regular access for University operations. Vendor entry requires escort by professional staff who are authorized to enter the University data centers.

All standard racks in the University’s main data center have keyed locks. Servers that require additional security features, such as specialized network hardware, can be accommodated.


Disaster Recovery

In the case of physical servers, it is the department's responsibility to make plans for disaster recovery/business continuity in the event of an outage at the University’s main data center. OIT is available to assist departments in their disaster recovery/business continuity planning efforts. Should the main data center experience an outage, production virtual servers are restored within 6 hours at a second data center location.


More Information

For further information or any questions, please contact Charles Kruger at 258-7181 or email ck@princeton.edu.

Last Updated:
September 6, 2013

Solution ID:
9656