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Virtual Server Hosting

Overview

CTS maintains virtual machine (VM) hosting clusters designed to reliably host shared servers used by academic classes, research groups, and professional staff. This hosting option is essentially an on-campus cloud resource for Engineers.

There are a few compelling reasons to use a virtual server, in addition to or in place of traditional workstations:

  • A single place to install and update all of your research group's software
  • Access to faster computational resources than most workstations
  • Ability to quickly provision a VM instead of purchasing and deploying new hardware
  • Ability to connect from Windows, MacOS, Linux, or mobile devices

Research VMs

Research groups may request that a VM be provisioned. A standard configuration consists of:

  • CPU: 8 vCPUs (may show up as 4 CPUs with hyper-threading)
  • RAM: 64GB
    • dynamically allocated to increase hosting density
    • minimum 2GB, expands up to 64GB as needed
  • Disk: 1TB of local drive space
  • GPU: None
  • OS: Windows Server or Linux
  • Cost: $500/year
  • Backups: nightly, with a 20 day retention period

Installing software

Research groups are granted full administrative access (either to group admins or the entire group, as decided by the group PI) to their VM, and do not need permission to install or configure necessary software packages.

Storing data

While each VM is given 1TB of disk space, this space is intended for software installation and local scratch space. For a variety of reasons, we encourage groups to store their files on the COE Research File server.

We're exploring GPU options based on need, and hope to have a solution for that shortly.

Cluster Hardware

Main 005 VCluster 01

  • 4x Intel S2600KPR Blades
    • 2x Xeon E5-2699 v4 CPUs (44 cores @ 2.2GHz)
    • 256GB RAM
    • 8TB SAN with dual 10GBps uplinks