Virtual Server Hosting

Service Description

For Faculty of Medicine clients who need a server on which to host a website or web application, Discovery Commons (DC) is now offering a virtual server hosting service / virtual colocation. Working in partnership with the University’s Information and Technology Services (ITS), we are now able to provide other Faculty clients with access to the same secure infrastructure on which we host the Faculty’s sites and systems.

Importantly, while the initial setup of the servers will be facilitated (at no cost) by Discovery Commons, the ongoing management of the servers is entirely the responsibility of the client, and the ongoing costs will be charged by ITS directly to the client, based on their virtual hosting service rates. To assist clients with the initial server setup, Discovery Commons will:

  • request the initial creation of the server by ITS based on the client’s specifications
  • place the server behind the Faculty's firewall, establishing rules & allocating a Faculty IP address
  • set up any required University DNS entries (i.e. a URL ending in “med.utoronto.ca”)
  • perform the initial operating system installation (Windows Server or Ubuntu Linux)
  • provide the client with RDP access to the server (which requires authentication via UTORvpn)
  • set up regularly-scheduled vulnerability scanning (if applicable) and uptime monitoring

After the initial setup, the client will take on full responsibility for the installation of applications, and for the ongoing configuration, maintenance, patching, and security of the server, working directly with ITS where necessary. For liability reasons, DC staff cannot participate in the operation, maintenance, or troubleshooting of servers or applications they are not familiar with. Therefore, virtual server clients are required (if they themselves do not have the required technical skills) to arrange for their own qualified system administration support. The specific tasks that will be the client's ongoing responsibility include (but are not limited to):

  • operating system updates and patches
  • installation and updates/patches of applications or application servers
  • database installation, configuration, and tuning
  • antivirus installation and maintenance, server hardening, performance tuning, log monitoring
  • registering and configuring external domain names
  • adding server resources (processors, RAM, hard disk) – coordinate with ITS
  • taking snapshots, or doing backups or restores – coordinate with ITS

The only exception is that Discovery Commons will provide firewall maintenance to virtual server clients (since they are using the Faculty’s firewall). Please note that we reserve the right, with reasonable notice, to isolate or block any server or site which is shown to have a serious unpatched vulnerability, or that poses a risk to other servers in the same environment. Also, please note that we can only offer virtual servers; for security and liability reasons we can no longer offer physical co-location of 3rd-party servers in our data centre.

System administrators are required to use UTORvpn to obtain a University IP address in order to access their servers hosted under this program.

Service Charges

Yes

Pricing

View the ITS server virtualization services page (under Links) for more information on pricing.

Service Availability

24 hours x 7 days per week including holidays

Supported Hours

Discovery Commons business hours

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