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Hosting Departmental Servers and Specialized Applications

Information Technology Standards
Hosting Departmental Servers
Version 2.0 December 2012
Owner: Chris Ward

Section 1. Overview

1.1 Purpose, Scope, and Objectives
Information Technology offers secure and reliable hosting services for servers and specialized applications. This standard describes the services IT provides and identifies the related procedures and responsibilities of departments and individuals taking advantage of this support.

1.2 Assumptions and Constraints
Information Technology operates and maintains servers and applications used by a majority of faculty, staff, and students in support of the educational mission of the College. These servers are maintained in a secure, environmentally-controlled machine room and comply with all applicable security standards including:

  • the protection of all equipment by a backup power generator and specialized fire suppression systems
  • the maintenance of extensive backups and archives to recover from data loss due to accident or disaster
  • the creation of nightly incremental and weekly full backups to tape of all systems (the full backup tapes are rotated to an off-site, secure location weekly)
  • the protection of institutional and research-related data

If these standard services do not meet the needs of departments or projects, Information Technology will consult on the implementation of servers or applications that meet more specialized requirements using these guidelines:

  • IT will not host servers or applications that duplicate enterprise systems already in place at W&M.
  • The current hardware environment supported by Information Technology will be a determining factor when servers or specialized applications are purchased.
  • IT will typically expect support be purchased from the software vendor because we do not have sufficient staff to develop and maintain expertise for specialized applications.

1.3 Evolution of Standard
The growth in the number of specialized applications and servers required by departments is increasing dramatically. It is important that the College of William and Mary establish a fair and sustainable standard to ensure that the needs of departments and programs can be met in the future. This policy is a key component of planning for that future need. Additionally, the IT hosting option ensures that the operation of department-specific servers and applications are compliant with federal and state security guidelines and standards.

Section 2. Description

2.1 General Principles
Information Technology will consult with departments and individuals to assist in determining the best hosting solution for projects and applications. Information Technology provides two levels of service.

Level One
Level One service is available to all departments and is provided by IT at no charge. This service includes a default amount of secure shared server storage space and web server space that may accommodate specialized applications.   Storage greater than the default is available a $3/GB per year.  Level One service includes individual shared server space (including personal web space), departmental shared space, and departmental and organizational space on the W&M web server.

Level Two
Level Two service is the hosting of specialized applications on virtual servers configured specifically for the application. In this instance, the program or department will be charged for the server and storage needed by Information Technology.  The default storage for a virtual server is 20 GB.  Extra storage can be purchased for $3/GB per year.   The department or individual will purchase the application and support for that application. Information Technology will install and configure the server, and assist the software support group with the installation and configuration of the software. Information Technology will assist in the configuration and installation of client software (where applicable), and provide desktop support within our expertise or facilitate technical support from the vendor.  Information Technology will house the server in the secure, environmentally controlled machine room, provide backups, operating system updates and facilitate repairs with the vendor.  The charge by Information Technology for a virtual server will be $850 per year.

 2.2 Procedures

Requests for Extra Storage or Virtual Server
Contact the Technology Support Center at 221-HELP or support@wm.edu, or your IT Academic Support to request storage beyond the Level One allocation.

Section 3. References

Related IT Standard: Centrally Provided Digital Storage Space
Information Technology consults with departments and individuals to assist in determining the best storage solution for projects and applications. Information Technology provides enterprise storage using three levels of service.

Section 4. Definitions

Hosting: IT will assume general responsibility for the management of servers, installation of server software, security updates and other engineering tasks.

Department: In general, departments are defined as either administrative or academic units. While Schools at W&M (e.g., Education, Arts and Sciences) are comprised of individual departments. IT will work with representatives of Arts and Sciences, Education, Law, and Business to understand the organizational structure when determining quotas.