The Office of Information Technology (OIT) virtual machine (VM) service provides hosted virtual servers in NC State data centers to campus units for an annual fee. The OIT VM service provides a stable and highly available hosting service to reduce the need for the purchase and maintenance of physical server hardware for individual services. Platform Compute Services (PCS) in OIT Shared Services monitors, manages and maintains the infrastructure supporting the VM service. The OIT VM service historically provides 99.98% system availability – excluding scheduled maintenance.
What is Virtualization, and why use it?
Virtualization is the process of abstracting the operating system software from the physical machine on which it runs. This enables us to run multiple servers on a single physical host, sharing the resources more efficiently to reduce the power and cooling costs associated with a traditional data center.
Virtualization also empowers customers to scale their operations with ease. Adding a new test environment or expanding the production service to new servers is considerably faster when compared to traditional hardware deployments.
All customers who utilize our infrastructure are given a Service Level Agreement (SLA) and the opportunity to access our Deployment cluster, which gives them more control to customize the virtual hardware configuration of their machines and test application functionality before it is deployed into the Production Cluster.
Physical to Virtual Conversion Service
If you have an existing physical server that you’d like to turn into a hosted Virtual Machine, the Platform Compute Services team can help. Our team will need temporary administrator access to your server and the ability to install a single application on it. We will then schedule the time for the server to be converted into a virtual machine.
Conversion can take from one to eight hours, depending on the size of disks in your server. Once the conversion is complete, we will make some minor changes to your server (removing any server-specific software tools and installing our hypervisor tools) and ask you to test the virtual machine’s applications. Once all has been reviewed and deemed functional, we can coordinate a time to power off your old server and power on the virtual replacement.
In addition to the enterprise level offering, the Virtual Computing Lab provides self-service on-demand windows and linux based desktops that are preloaded with select applications for student, staff and faculty to use 24×7.