Virtual Servers

Virtual Servers provide redundant and highly available compute and memory resources for MSU services in an efficient and cost effective way. Virtualized servers can be managed by MSU IT or self managed by MSU units.

The technology also provides increased energy savings and offers the opportunity for IT service continuity. This added redundancy secures data so that services can be maintained in the event of a crisis or disaster.

Virtualization provides greater stability, greater reliability, and decreased downtime. This service supports almost all major university functions, including classroom support, research, administrative, and internal functions.

There are 46+ hosts split into two data center sites with three clusters at each site optimized for CPU utilization and contention. Each cluster would have an identically configured equivalent cluster located in the alternate data center.

VM Hosts are connected to storage via 10 gigabit to NFS volumes and 16 gigabit fiber channel to LUNs on the Enterprise Storage arrays. Data is deduplicated on disk where possible and relevant. VM Hosts are also 10 gigabit connected to redundant and separate IP network switches as close to storage as possible for minimal latency. The hypervisor software is VMWare ESXi 5.5+, and some OS licensing costs are built into the instance price.


  • Blade Chassis + Blade Servers: 46 blade servers, 23 in each data center, with two 12-core CPUs, 320GB of memory, and redundant connectivity to storage and network
  • VMWare ESXi: Licenses and support to run the clusters and orchestrate highly-available functionality
  • Windows Data Center License: Microsoft data center license to allow for unlimited Microsoft Windows virtual servers
  • Red Hat data center license: RHEL site license to allow for unlimited Red Hat Enterprise Linux virtual servers

Self-Managed Virtual Servers:

  • Virtual host CPU: $3.50/CPU/month
  • Virtual host memory (RAM): $1.25/GB/month
  • Virtual storage: $.20/GB/month

Managed Virtual Servers: Submit the virtual server request form for consultation.

This service is supported 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year with regularly scheduled maintenance periods.

No more than 15 minutes of unplanned downtime per month, or an uptime percentage of about 99.97%.

Service requests are acknowledged within 48 hours. When a request is made, an expected fulfillment date is provided and sent to the individual requesting the service.

Secure access to the data center area is allocated through an MSU swipe card.

Another major feature of virtual servers is the ability to move a virtual server’s presence from one physical server to another without any downtime. In the event of an impending hardware issue of a physical server, all virtual servers can be migrated quickly without needing to reboot or reinstall hardware.

Service Request types:

  • Create or clone instance
  • Modify instance by adding or removing resources
  • Delete instance