Virtual Machine Service Description
This document will describe the terms and conditions of the virtual class room environment offered by the CLAS Linux Group. What is a virtual environment? It is software that allows one computer to run several different operating systems at once. The CLAS Linux Group has purchased two multicore servers and VMware ESX software for running these virtual environments.
What kinds of applications are targeted for this new environment? Faculty interested in augmenting their course/instructional work with computer based instruction but don’t have a budget to purchase a standalone server. Current uses of this environment are:
- CS database courses and CS web programming using PHP, MySQL, Postgres, ModPython, Tomcat
- Web mining/indexing software
- Visual Studio/SQL server previously
- The operating systems supported by the CLAS Linux Group are Fedora/CentOS Linux (x86 or x86_64).
- Only virtual machines managed by the CLAS Linux Group will be supported. No self-managed user virtual machines.
- Hosts will be proactively patched by the CLAS Linux Group (off hour reboots).
- Users will not have direct physical access to the OS or hardware or console. RDP or SSH access will be allowed.
- Certain graphics, processor, memory or disk intensive applications are not appropriate for the virtual environment. Using the environment for long running numerical analysis software or video processing/editing would be examples of software not suited for this environment.
- The public facing network port is shared between all of the virtual machines.
- The class room virtual environment is purchased with student computer fee money. Therefore, all uses of this environment are to be for class room use only.
- Requests for the CLAS Linux Group to host a server on the class room environment will be granted by the CLAS Linux Group Director in coordination with the DEO’s.
- The virtual machines will have by default 1 processor and 1GB of RAM with a 20GB virtual disk. Deviations will be approved by the CLAS Linux Group Director as need and as hardware resources allow.
- Faculty must request the OS and applications to be housed in the virtual environment on a semester basis. Typical turn around time will be two weeks for setup/installation pending other work. Early August and early December are the times to discuss with the CLAS Linux Group your planned usage. Earlier is desired.
- The class room virtual environment will not be used to house departmental server applications.
- Backups of the virtual machines will be handled on a case by case basis.
- Virtual machines not actively used in a class for more than a year will be removed. The user will be responsible for keeping any backups of which the CLAS Linux Group can be contracted for.
- If there is resource contention, it will be handled and prioritized by the CLAS Linux Group Director with input from the DEO’s.
- Faculty are responsible for fully testing the software in the environment before it is used in class.