Service Summary

The Colocated VMware Virtual Infrastructure was developed to provide a highly available, redundant, structured, and secure clustered virtual environment to host departmental virtual servers throughout Mason. This hosting solution eliminates the need for owning and managing physical servers and infrastructure assets. ITS' scalable, state of the art, secure, 24/7/365 data center hosts the virtual infrastructure.

Key Features

Virtual Machine (VM) Benefits

  • VM snapshots are available which provide less risk for upgrades and configuration changes.
  • Rapid VM deployment time.
  • VN Backup and Recovery. VM backups are replicated to the Science and Technology Campus Disaster Recovery site.
  • Detailed procedural information needed about the virtual machine is provided after the VM is built by COLO engineers.
  • Worry-free environment.

Security

  • Anti-Virus protection.
  • MESA Firewall Protection.
  • A base Windows Firewall Group Policy is applied to Windows Servers in order to maintain infrastructure services access: Active Directory (AD), Virtual Private Network (VPN), Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), Anti-Virus, Backups, etc.
  • Four Security IP Zones. Placement is determined by the IT Security Office.
  • Proactive system monitoring.

Support

  • Supported Client Types:
    • Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard 64 bit
    • Microsoft Windows Server 2016 Standard 64 bit
    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7/.6 32/64 bit, 2/4 sockets, self/standard/premium support
  • Physical to Virtual conversion is not supported.
  • All virtual server administration and application and database support are the responsibility of the departmental Technical Points of Contact (TPOC).

Infrastructure & Resources

  • The virtual data center consists of a powerful 3-server host redundant cluster.
  • The cluster resources provide computing resources, storage, and network connectivity.
  • All infrastructure is fully redundant.
  • Resource allocation: Storage, CPU, RAM, and NIC configuration.
  • All physical backend equipment is maintained by infrastructure system engineers.
  • Active Directory Service Accounts are available.
  • Windows Servers are joined to the MESA Domain.

Getting This Service

Please submit an ASRB request to start the process. For questions about the ASRB process, please see the ASRB web pages or email the ASRB at asrb@gmu.edu. For general questions about colocation and virtual servers, email sysop@gmu.edu.

Please see Additional Information for further details and requirements.

Availability

This service is available 24/7, excluding planned outages, normal maintenance windows, and unavoidable events. Maintenance windows are Sundays from 7 to 11 a.m. but may be extended to 2 p.m., if needed. If maintenance is required outside of these hours, it will be announced on the Alerts & Bulletins page.

Policy

All users of the George Mason University network must adhere to the following policies:

Additionally, all customers are required to follow ITS’ Data Center Process for Secure Areas, as well as any other formal or informal policy, procedure, standard, or agreement that may be required to utilize the facilities and services of the Aquia Data Center, such as Service Level Agreements (SLAs).

Additional Information

Prior to submitting an ASRB request in EasyVista and meeting with the Aquia Data Center team, please have the following information and be aware of Aquia Data Center requirements for colocated servers.

Requirements

  • VM specifications as determined during meetings with the ASRB team.
  • The IT Security Office will need to perform a risk assessment of the request prior to VM deployment.

Enterprise Infrastructure Services (EIS) engineers will provide the following:

  • All physical backend equipment is maintained by infrastructure system engineers.
  • Detailed procedural information needed about the virtual machine is provided after the VM is built by COLO engineers.

Linux

For Linux virtual machines (Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6/7 only)

For Linux VMs, EIS'  process is to create a VM with the specifications requested, mount the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6/7 ISO, and have the Administrator of the server complete the install.

The Red Hat licensing process

ITS has Red Hat License Server licenses for the University and can provide you a license key.

Next Steps

Details will be discussed and finalized during the meeting(s) between the ASRB, Enterprise Infrastructure Services team, and customers. If you have questions prior to submitting an ASRB request, please contact the Enterprise Infrastructure Services team at sysop@gmu.edu.

For more information about colocated physical servers, please see Colocation Service: ITS Aquia Data Center.