This page contains frequently asked questions about the CITES-hosted VMware services available to campus IT pros.
VMware is a server virtualization system (developed by the VMware corporation) that allows many different servers to be hosted on a single physical machine. Each system administrator has unique control over their individual VMware server instances, and can install and remove applications and reboot their own server at will, without affecting other users' servers on the same physical system. In addition, if the physical system experiences a hardware problem, the servers can be automatically transferred to a new physical system in real time.
The VMware team at CITES is developing a VMware infrastructure to host virtual machines for campus customers. CITES plans to make this service available during the summer of 2009.
You will be provided with a fixed memory size, disk resources, and a CPU reservation based on the anticipated needs of your application.
All VMs have CPU and memory resource reservations; this ensures that the quality of service can be guaranteed for your application.
VMware Dynamic Resource Scheduler (DRS) is used to balance the load across the VMware cluster.
VMware HA is used to automatically restart virtual machines in the event of an unplanned hardware failure.
VMotion and Storage VMotion allow VMware administrators to migrate running virtual machines to different physical server and storage, respectively, with very little impact on the hosted application. These features greatly reduce application down time for during hardware and software maintenance windows.
All VMs are hosted on SAN storage with redundant controllers and paths.
Multiple physical network ports are used to provide access to the production networks.
All hardware is hosted in the DCL data center and is configured with redundant power and cooling.
You will be charged according to the resources reserved for your virtual machine. If your virtual machine's resource use consistently exceeds your reservation, you will also be charged for the overage.
A small virtual server (50 GB of drive space, 1 CPU, 1 GB RAM) costs $254.00 per year. This standard server configuration can be upgraded with additional services, such as increased drive space, CPU capacity, RAM, server backups, and server administration. The fees for each of these upgrades are explained in the CITES-Hosted VMware Server Costs page and the online order form.
Expect a cost of less than $400 per virtual machine per year for a typical server workload.
IT professionals employed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Server administrators, system administrators, quality assurance testers, and technical support staff are among the IT professionals most likely to need VMware systems.
You may work with your department's system administrator if you have one, or you may utilize one of the CITES groups that provides system administration services for campus units. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to be matched with an appropriate CITES support service.
Sun 6140 with 15K FC disk in RAID 5 or higher.
Tier II drive space is available for use by systems with unique storage needs, and will cost at least $1.52/GB. Contact email@example.com to discuss your custom storage needs.
NexSAN SATAbeast with 7200 rpm SATA disks and dual controllers or higher.
Tier III drive space is available for use by systems with unique storage needs, and will cost at least $0.44/GB. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your custom storage needs.
To speed provisioning, your virtual machine will be issued a pre-registered host name in the virtual.illinois.edu domain. On request, your domain administrators will be granted permission to create DNS aliases (CNAMEs) that point to your virtual machine's hostname.
If you choose, you can use CITES Enterprise Backup to back up your virtual server.
To estimate how much it will cost to back up your particular server: Multiply the gigabytes of data you want to back up by the number of backups you wish to retain (up to 3). Enter that number into the Backup Cost Estimator.
Backing up servers with frequent or large file changes will cost more than servers with infrequent or small file changes.
For an outer-boundary estimate, if you used 20 GB of space on a virtual server, changed every file every day, and kept 3 sets of backups, it would cost less than $60 a year for backup service.
There are three primary options available.
- P2V: You can convert an existing physical server to a new virtual server with CITES' assistance.
- CITES-hosted, self-managed: You can create a new virtual server on CITES-hosted equipment, and manage all system administration, patching, and security yourself.
- CITES-hosted, CITES-managed: You can have CITES provide both the virtual machine and all system administration, patching, and security responsibilities.
After your OS is installed, use the remote access method of your choice (SSH, RDP) to connect to your server. Minimize the use of the service console in vCenter to occasions where your VM can not be accessed over the network.
For most purposes, you can control your virtual machine using a remote access protocol such as SSH or RDP. When installing your virtual machine for the first time, or if an error causes your virtual machine to be inaccessible, you can use the VI client or the web interface to connect to vCenter.
See Configuring and Using a VMware Server for more information.
Yes. Additional capacity is available for redundancy and peak usage. As long as resources are available, your virtual machine may exceed its reservation, but the resources are not guaranteed. If your SLA mandates that peak resources be available, you may increase the size of your reservation, but you will be charged for your increased reservation.
As long as the average monthly consumption remains below the resource reservation, you will not be charged additional fees. This allows you to handle short-term spikes in processor or storage load without invoking extra expenses.
If your server's average monthly consumption consistently exceeds the reservation, you will be asked to purchase additional resources.
The base server's price assumes low virtual CPU utilization -- 10-20% of a physical core. If an application requires the reservation of an additional virtual CPU to function properly, it is probably using the entirety of a core (or about 8-10 times the standard allotment). Therefore, we charge for the 100% use of that core.