Virtual Machine Hosting

Planning and Information (PLN)  provide the capability for hosting Virtual Machines within its Virtual Hosting Infrastructure. This is a very cost effective way of obtaining a dedicated Windows or Linux server; for environmental reasons and space constraints, we do not offer a hosting service for physical servers.

Various configurations of server can be provided, with disk space optimised to actual requirements rather than being determined by physical disk sizes. Single processor servers can be readily upgraded to dual processor; similarly the memory and disk space allocated can be expanded on demand.

Two environments are available: a production environment and a test/development environment.

Production Environment

The virtual machine is specified as a High Availability server which has the following characteristics:

  • the entire encapsulated server environment is hosted on one of the SANs and replicated in real-time to the second SAN
  • in the event of failure of the physical server on which the virtual machine is running, the virtual machine will automatically be restarted on an alternative physical host without subsequent loss of performance
  • in the event of loss of an entire server room, the virtual machine will be manually restarted on a physical host in the alternative server room albeit with some subsequent degradation in performance
  • Backups are undertaken on a daily basis

Test / Development Environment

This is a lower cost alternative for virtual servers which are not critical to day-to-day operations and which has the following characteristics:

  • in the event of failure of the physical server on which the virtual machine is running, subsequent availability of the virtual machine will be dependant on the return to operation of its physical host
  • in the event of loss of a significant portion of the production environment, the physical machine resources used to sustain the virtual test environment will be redeployed to support the production environment; the test environment will remain unavailable until such time as the full production environment has been restored
    • Backups are taken on a weekly basis

      Server Configuration and Costs

      For simplicity, three generic server models have been identified, the costs for which are once-off for a 4-year period and inclusive of operating system, monitoring and backup agent licenses:

       Server Type

       Processor & Memory Configuration

       Production Environment

       Test/Development

       Small

       Single processor, upto 512mb memory

       £2,000

       £1,500

       Medium

       Dual processor, upto 3gb memory

       £2,600

       £1,800

       Large

       Dual processor, upto 6gb memory

       £4,500

       £2,900

      Disk space is provisioned in units of 1 gbyte and charged as shown on the Disk Storage Provision page.

      Note: As disk storage is not replicated for virtual machines in the Test & Development environment disk costs for these servers are 50% of that shown.

      Please contact the Operations Supervisor for further information.

      Caveats

      The provision of a virtual machine at the above costs is based on the agreement that processor utilization must not consistently and repeatable average above 10% for any 4 hour period. In the event of these parameters being exceeded we reserve the right to revise the costs.



    • Page last modified 16 September 2011.

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