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Queen's University
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Information Technology Services
Information Technology Services

Virtual Machine Hosting and Management

This is a service that provides the flexibility for a department or faculty to host their own applications on a shared infrastructure. ITServices host the server hardware, network and operating system so that you can focus on the application(s). There are many advantages to using ITServices hosting infrastructure:

  • Simple billing
  • No more worrying about hardware refresh periods
  • Highly redundant infrastructure ensure maximum uptime
  • Better application security due to strongly enforced security practices
  • Ability to easily grow virtual machines as demand increases, in many cases without even rebooting system
  • Able to perform well for both large and small workloads
  • Backup included as part of base service

Getting Started

Who Can Have It?

  • Any faculty or department is entitled to this service.

Are There Any Costs?

  • This is a service ITServices charges for based on resource allocation. Fees are described here.

How Do I Get It?

  • Assemble your system requirements:
    • Number of virtual machines
    • Number of CPU cores
    • Amount of RAM (GB)
    • Amount of disk space (GB) and class of disk
  • Then simply submit the Virtual Machine Request form. This form will collect basic information. Depending on the complexity of the request a follow up email or phone call may be made for clarification.

How Do I Discontinue It?

What if I Leave Queen's?

  • Please see the Service Termination Dates page for details on when service will be discontinued following departure from Queen's.

Additional Resource

  • Request additional account storage by completing the Virtual Machine Request form. Resources can be added without a reboot, while reducing resources will typically require a reboot.

Additional Information

Backup/Restore

  • Backup is built into the service.
  • All virtual machines will automatically be backed up with 14 days of changes saved. Described here.

Availability

  • The targeted availability of this service is twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week (24x7). With the exception of mandatory operating system patches which often result in a system reboot.
  • Users of the service should expect occasional but infrequent service interruptions or slowdowns, both planned and unplanned.
  • Where it is necessary to schedule system maintenance that necessitates a service outage, ITServices will do this outside of regular business hours whenever possible.
  • Please check the ITServices Notification page for information about unplanned service outages. 
  • Standard Hours of Operation

Service Options

Base Level Service

  • High end X86 based server hardware
  • Highly available VMWare clustering with available secondary and tertiary machines in the event of hardware failure
  • Automatically tiered storage reducing likelihood read/write heavy applications being IO constrained
  • Automated workload shifting software to help ensure busier virtual machines do not have a negative impact on other VMs hosted on same system
  • Providing segregated network virtual networks protected by firewalls. Each customer will have their own subnet which is segregated from other customers
  • Threshold based monitoring able to report on high CPU load, IO and memory usage to operations team
  • Virtual machines hosted behind shared firewall infrastructure on independent network
  • Backup and restore client files to/from the server (14 daily versions stored)

Option 1 - Non-Managed Virtual Machine

  • All features in Base Level Service
  • Hosting virtual machine on operating system provided by customer
  • All system management provided by customer

Option 2 - Managed Operating System Virtual Machine

  • All features in Base Level Service
  • Choice of Windows Server 2012 or Redhat Linux. Licensing is included in service fees
  • System security hardening
  • Install, configure, and maintain the host and virtual server operating system, with patches and virus detection
  • Administer user accounts on the virtual server
  • Provide basic level system administration assistance
  • Connection to Active Directory for centralized authentication

Service Level Objective

Please see the links below for Service Level Objectives:

Governing IT Policies

Users of this service are governed by the following policies, failure to comply may result, at a minimum, with suspension of service:

Help & Support

contact the IT Support Centre by calling 613.533.6666 during regular business hours or by filling out the online help form.