Server Platform Provision

Service Description

The service provides server infrastructure and operating system platforms (Windows server or CentOS Linux) for provision of services to the University.

Features

  • Resilient, centrally-managed server hosting (physical and virtual)
  • The systems providing this service are hosted in multiple data centres split between the main University campus and an offsite location

Users

University IT staff

Service Hours

24 x 7 x 365

System maintenance will usually be scheduled for the normal maintenance period, which is Tuesdays 06:00-09:00. In general, routine maintenance will not impact service delivery as virtual servers will be migrated off the host to be maintained.

Installation of operating system patches will (in general) be done automatically out of peak hours. This may entail a short outage for system restart. If a higher level of service is required this can be masked by higher level HA systems (load-balancing etc).

Operational requirements may occasionally require complete shutdown of all or part of the University’s data centre estate. This will have a direct impact on availability of physical servers. Any such outages will be advertised at least two weeks ahead and negotiated to minimise disruption to customers.

Level of Service

The data centres hosting the servers are designed to be resilient against single electrical circuit failure, single cooling unit failure and are protected against short external mains failure with uninterruptible power supplies.

The virtual server service is designed to be resilient in the face of hardware failure. Virtual servers are migrated between physical hosts transparently to allow for maintenance without service disruption.

In general production servers will be backed up for DR purposes. Test servers will not be backed up unless specifically requested.

Physical servers will (unless explicitly agreed) be configured so that operation will not be impacted by failure of a single disk or power supply. Packages will be supplied so that hardware can be automatically monitored for failure and staff alerted to schedule replacement or repair.

Support and Documentation

Contact point for support is the IT Service Desk (0191 208 5999 or it.servicedesk@ncl.ac.uk).

For virtual servers, training in use of the Vsphere console will be given.

Request Process

IT staff can submit service requests through the web forms at https://crypt.ncl.ac.uk/helpdesk/servers.

User Responsibility

Maintenance of the operating system and applications installed on the operating system is the responsibility of the service user unless otherwise agreed.

Costs

Costs associated with provision of these services should be discussed with the IT Service at the planning stages of projects dependent on this service.