University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut

Virtual Server Hosting

1. General Overview

InCHIP Advanced Storage Solutions (InCHIP IT) provides Server Hosting Services. This Service Level Agreement is specific to the Virtual Server Hosting Services. Unlike “colocation” or other physical server hosting services, virtual server hosting is a service where a virtual server is leased and the customer is not required to make an initial investment in buying server and storage hardware.

This is a Service Level Agreement (SLA) between Virtual Server Hosting (VI) customers and InCHIP Advanced Storage Solutions (InCHIP IT). The scope of this document includes:

  • Services provided by InCHIP IT to Virtual Server Hosting customers.
  • Levels of response time, availability and support associated with these services.
  • Responsibilities of the InCHIP IT service provider and the customer.
  • Processes for requesting services and getting help.

2. Service Description

2.1 Service Scope

Technologies supporting virtual servers (guests) include physical server compute and memory resource on a server cluster and virtual server operating system disk space on redundant SAN infrastructure. The Virtual Server Hosting platform resides in the InCHIP IT server room. Included in the VI serves are the provisioning of the new server, operational support, consultation on sizing and appropriate use, performance monitoring, network firewalls and redundant network connectivity. Optional services include: systems administration of the hosted VM, backups and load balancing.

2.2 InCHIP IT Server Room

Our server room provides a safe and secure location for servers. This includes the basic infrastructure of cabinets, cables and uninterrupted power supply (UPS). In addition to this, our server room has N+1 redundant HVAC to provide year round cooling to protect equipment from environmental hazards of dust, temperature and humidity. Physical security includes door locks, ID cards, and alarms. Fire suppression equipment will help protect critical equipment from damage. In the event of a campus or Data Center power outage a natural gas generator will provide ongoing power. Enhanced cabinet power distribution provides redundant circuits and there is remote monitoring of the power distribution.

2.3 Operational Support

Operations provides 24×7 support for the server environment. There may be occasional graveyard shifts that do not have someone present, but in these circumstances there is a hotline to reach someone who can dispatch on call personnel. Operations support provides for environmental monitoring, physical security, HVAC and electrical (including UPS and generator) support and coordination with Physical Plant, and can provide hardware and network provisioning technician.

2.4 Hypervisor Support

Support of the virtual platform is provided by in-house senior engineering support personnel in regards to resource monitoring, VM guest provisioning and access assistance, identification of performance bottlenecks, coordination/communication of platform related items, virtual platform architecture and security compliance of the Virtual Server hosting platform.

2.5 Optional: Systems Administration (Managed Services)

Systems Administrators within InCHIP IT complete the installation and setup of the virtual server. “Managed Services” includes all services performed by a staff of senior level server administrators who are responsible for operating-system installation, patching and upgrades, operating-system troubleshooting, performance tuning, hardware management for physical servers; account management; and security administration. In addition, these administrators serve as a single point of contact on behalf of the client, interfacing with other InCHIP IT units including Information Security,  and Server Room Operations.

 

3 Roles and Responsibilities

3.1 Parties

The following Service Provider(s) and Divisional Liaisons whom represent the primary stakeholders are associated with this SLA:

Title / Role
Stakeholder
Contact Information
CASS IT Director
Sr. Systems Engineer
Christopher Tarricone
chris@uconn.edu
Phone: 860.486.0997
Cell: 860.450.6506
Windows & Application Management
Josh Hardin
Josh.Hardin@uconn.edu
Phone: 860.486.0997
Cell: 860.617.3924
VM Provisioning & Backup Support
Christopher Tarricone
chris@uconn.edu
Phone: 860.486.0997
Cell: 860.450.6506

4. Service and Charges

4.1 Customer Requirements

Customer responsibilities and/or requirements in support of this agreement include:

  • Advanced scheduling of all service related requests and other special services with the service provider.
  • Approval for recharges (if appropriate) for all service-related charges prior to service provision.
  • Regarding “Managed Services”: Customer must adhere to a predefined maintenance schedule for OS maintenance.
  • Regarding “Managed Services”: Minimum of 48 hour notice required for non-scheduled maintenance unless a critical emergency (high impact to customers) this will be done outside of the normal Mon-Fri 9AM-4PM business hours.
  • If the system is compromised via the application layer, InCHIP IT may be required to disconnect the server from the network. With support from the VM administrator and the security team it is the application owner’s responsibility to address both the compromised system as well as the associated service outage.
  • Availability of customer representative(s) when resolving a service related incident or request. Availability of the customer representative will need to support the Service Level for the application. See Service Level support hours in 5.1 below.
  • Complying with campus and UConn security policies, available at http://security.uconn.edu/. Additional security requirements may be included on individual Service Catalog pages.
    Snapshots will be provided by request. There is a limit of 2 at a time. Snapshots will be kept for 48 hours.
  • Clones will be provided by request. Disk space required for clones will be added to the customer’s data center billing charges.

4.1.1 Charges (if applicable)

Customer billing for services will occur  semi-annually or annually unless prior agreement.

4.1.2 Assumptions

  • Campus wide services are clearly documented in the service catalog.
  • Regarding “Managed Services”: Major upgrades will be treated as a project outside the scope of this agreement.
  • Funding for major updates will be negotiated on a service-by-service basis and subject to the managed services agreements.
  • Changes to services will be communicated and documented to InCHIP IT via IT Request or to the service team.

4.2 Service Provider Responsibilities and Requirements

Core Technologies Data Center Operations responsibilities and requirements in support of this Agreement include:

4.2.1 Physical Hardware of the Virtual Server Platform – System and Storage Administration

  • Engineering assistance ensuring right-size and right-performing machines.
  • Consistent resource monitoring and subsequent tuning and advisement as it pertains to virtual guest performance.
  • Provisioning assistance in regards to access and integration into the campus network topology.
  • Identification of performance bottlenecks on the hypervisor and storage layers.
  • Architectural on all layers.
  • Ensuring compliance to UConn policy and associated security requirements.
  • Apply patches and upgrades as recommended for the virtual environment.
  • Perform system tuning as needed to the physical server environment.
  • Manage permissions and security groups.
  • Coordinate with vendors for any licensing, maintenance and support requests.
  • Capacity planning for physical resources (physical servers, disk storage).

4.2.2 Optional Virtual Server System Administration (provided by InCHIP IT)

  • At the VM guest level, review logs and performance, system status, resource usage and events that may result in security issues and identify any required performance tuning.
  • Maintain base OS and network security. This includes OS patching, firewall settings and associated infrastructure components of the virtual hosts. If a secured base system is compromised via the application layer, the System Admin has the right to disconnect the machine from the network.
  • Systems staff will perform system tuning on a regular basis and / or as request by the service representative.
  • Provide support for simple data management tasks i.e. allocating new file systems, assigning permissions, managing groups and expanding or deleting an existing file system.
  • Here applicable Systems staff will coordinate with system vendor maintenance support personnel for routine performance tuning and problem determination and resolution.
  • Systems staff will support service meetings to review current status and future planning.

4.2.3 Problem Determination

  • The VM OS System Administrator is the primary troubleshooter for any issues within the guest virtual machine. This can be handled by InCHIP IT optional SysAdmin services or self-managed by the client.
  • The OS SysAdmin will escalate to the hypervisor SysAdmin for additional support if the issue is possibly related to physical hardware resources.
  • Application Administrators / Clients can have read-only access to hypervisor management for out-of-band console to the VM OS and performance charts to assist with managing the virtual machine and troubleshooting.
  • The primary troubleshooter with assistance from the hypervisor SysAdmin will determine if problem is hardware, software or storage by reviewing the event logs.
  • If and when resource contention occurs, due to a server host failure or over-allocation, production systems will have priority in resource allocation over test and development systems. The VM farm has been designed to avoid resource contention, however the potential exists.

4.2.4 Optional Backups/Storage of backups

Please see separate SLA and other service documents as it pertains to InCHIP IT backup services.

  • For clients who request this service, servers are backed up to disk on a regular schedule. Backups are stored securely on-site and off-site. There are two backup systems: DPM and Veeam; the back-up schedules and retentions are the same. There are several plans for server backups is to take full backups every week, and incremental backups every night or weekly and monthly options. In general, the incremental backups are kept on-site, on disk, for one month. Full backups are retained as follows: weekly backups are kept for one year, monthly backups are kept for one quarter, and yearly backups are kept for three years. File recovery is included as part of the backup service.

4.2.5 Optional: IP Load Balancing

Please see separate SLA and other service documents as it pertains to InCHIP IT load balancing service.

  • InCHIP IT provides IP Load Balancing Services on specific server room segments. IP Load Balancing allows for the creation of a Virtual IP (VIP) on a load balancing high-availability (HA) cluster, which can forward traffic to multiple other IP addresses. Distributing a system’s workload via load balancing aids in optimizing resources, and may improve response times and availability to applications.

5. Hours of Coverage, Support, Response Times and Escalation

5.1 Hours of System Administration Support

  • The physical hardware layer of the virtual hosting service is under 24×7 support by the virtual hosting System Administrator.
  • Optional Core Technologies SysAdmin coverage levels are Mon-Fri 8AM-5PM or 24×7.
  • Optional Core Technologies SysAdmin support hours vary for each VM server and are based on the customer’s requirements.

5.2 Service Requests

  • New Virtual Server Hosting requests are to be submitted via the Virtual Server Hosting request process. This process and form can be found on the Managed Servers page here.
  • Change requests for an existing virtual server such as a change in resources (RAM, CPU, storage) or optional services (Core Technologies SysAdmin, Core Technologies backups, etc) can be requested through a similar change form [TBA].
  • In support of services outlined in this Agreement, the Service Provider will respond to service related incidents submitted by the customer through the InCHIP IT ticketing system.

5.3 Incident Management

5.3.1 Normal Incident Processing

Service Providers supporting this service will prioritize incoming service incidents as normal priority unless the service incident fits one or more of the criteria listed in the Major Incident handling section of this document.

When a support ticket is opened for a client via the web interface:

  • The InCHIP IT Support Center will respond to the customer and process all new support tickets within 8 business hours.
  • Low priority incidents will be resolved within 30 days with a status every 5 days.
  • Medium priority incidents will be resolved within 5 days with a daily status.
  • High priority incidents will be resolved within 1 ½ days with a status every 6 hours.
  • Urgent priority incidents will be resolved within 8 business hours with a status every 2 hours.

5.3.2 Major Incident Handling

Service Providers supporting this service will prioritize incoming incident requests as “high” priority if it meets any one of the following criteria:

  • Significant number of people affected.
    • Organizational structure is a multiplier for number of people affected.
  • Percentage of total tasks that can no longer be performed by individuals.
  • Academic and Administrative Calendar deadlines.
  • Significant impact on the delivery of instruction.
  • Significant or lasting impact on student academic performance.
  • Significant risk to law, rule, or policy compliance.

5.3.2.1 Major Incident Response Times

Service Provider
Service Hours &
Conditions
Backup Contacted under what conditions
Escalation Rules
Response Time From Notification
Core Technologies
24 x 7
VM environment or VM guest (server) performance degradation
Follow On-Call contact list for off hours and normal senior mgmt escalation
≤ 2 Hours
Support Center
Mon-Fri 8-5
Excluding holidays
Off hours and holidays are covered by the data center operators
Follow On-Call contact list for off hours and normal senior mgmt escalation
1-2 Business Days