McMaster University

McMaster University

Servers and Support

Virtual Machine (VM)

A virtual machine behaves exactly as a physical computer and contains it's own virtual CPU, memory, hard disk, and network card. This allows CSU to run 10 to 12 virtual servers, each offering different OS and applications, on a single physical server.

CSU Virtualization Options
Dedicated VM Hosting

Dedicated VM : A dedicated VM is a server which runs its own OS. This could be a Windows or Linux server with full administrator privileges. A single VM could host multiple applications or databases for a group or department.

Shared VM Hosting

Application: A single application that runs concurrently with other groups' applications using the same OS, storage, databases, and other resources. Each group maintains access to their application only.

Web Site : A simple static web site or wiki, with no database or dynamic elements.

Information on service costs can be found on the CSU rates page.

Dedicated VM Support

Level 1 - Included with Dedicated VM
  • 100GB of SCSI disk space
  • Microsoft Server or Red Hat Linux
  • 5 Week backup rotation
  • Climate Controlled, Secure Environment
  • Firewall
  • Emergency Power
  • McMaster Network Connection
  • Anti-Virus Software with managed updates
Level 2 - 20 Support Hours
  • 100GB of SCSI disk space
  • Microsoft Server or Red Hat Linux
  • 5 Week backup rotation
  • Climate Controlled, Secure Environment
  • Firewall
  • Emergency Power
  • McMaster Network Connection
  • Anti-Virus Software with managed updates
  • Operating System updates (patches)
  • File restores
  • Server Monitoring (Email or Pager notification)
Level 3 - 50 Support Hours
  • 100GB of SCSI disk space
  • Microsoft Server or Red Hat Linux
  • 5 Week backup rotation
  • Climate Controlled, Secure Environment
  • Firewall
  • Emergency Power
  • McMaster Network Connection
  • Anti-Virus Software with managed updates
  • Operating System updates (patches)
  • File restores
  • Server Monitoring (Email or Pager notification)
  • Application Installation and updates (patches)
  • User Management
  • Log Monitoring
 

Data Server Policy

1. Background

Computer Services Unit (CSU) Data Centres house server and network hardware to support FHS mission critical systems, RAAC (Research, Academic, Administrative and Clinical) applications and university client hardware.

The Data Centres offer a robust and reliable infrastructure to provide continuous application availability and business continuity. The facilities are secure and environmentally controlled with high bandwidth connectivity and uninterruptible, redundant power.

2. Objective

The objective of this policy is to control the use of and access to CSU Data Centres. This policy covers the requirements for systems to be approved for housing in the Data Centre and the requirements for access to it. The policy also addresses escort requirements for those not otherwise authorized access to the Data Centre.

3. Restrictions of the Data Centre

CSU Data Centres will accommodate only a limited amount of equipment. Space will be granted first to those servers and other networked equipment associated with the Faculty of Health Sciences.

Space will be filled on a first-come first-serve basis by client equipment, with the understanding that no commitment is implied to accommodate the expansion of that equipment. There will be a charge to host and maintain that equipment. The charge will be based on an agreement with the owner of the equipment about the level of responsibility assumed by CSU for that equipment, e.g., backups, monitoring, etc.

Connectivity will be provided through the McMaster network only. All equimpent in CSU Data Centres must adhere to the university's code of conduct. This includes:

  • Data deemed unacceptable for use as outlined in the Code of Conduct for Computer & Network Users.
  • Data covered by FIPPA, MFIPPA, PHIPA, or other privacy statuates. Please consult the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario website for more information.
  • Patient identifiable information (personal health, patient records, etc.)
  • Research data that can be used to specifically identify patients
4. Request for housing other networked equipment

All requests to place equipment in the CSU Data Centre must be made to CSU in writing and should include the following:

  • The name(s) of all members requiring access to the Data Centre and their Departmental (and if appropriate Research Group) affiliation(s).
  • An inventory of all equipment that will be placed in the Data Centre (Note: each piece of equipment must be tagged with a contact name and phone number)
  • Identification of the ownership of the equipment to be placed in Data Centre (i.e. Research Group, Department/Centre, PI Laboratory, etc...)
  • The name and location of a primary and secondary contact that has responsibility for each unit's equipment in the CSU Data Centre.

All equipment must be rack-mountable. Unused equipment, boxes, monitors, and so forth will not be permitted in the Data Centre. Systems not in compliance with Data Centre policies will be disconnected.

5. Physical Access Policy

Unescorted access to the Data Centre will be granted to members of CSU who require routine physical access to equipment in order to perform their primary job functions and who are on the access list.

  • The access list for authorized, unescorted persons will be maintained by the CSU Infrastructure group. Those on the access list are responsible for ensuring that persons they escort in the Data Centre follow all appropriate protocols.
  • Exceptions for access can be made, when warranted, but only when authorized, in consultation with the Director, IT, Faculty of Health Sciences.
  • The Data Centre door must remain closed and locked at all times.
  • Only those individuals with access rights will be authorized a key and/or swipe card to the door.
  • All requests for unescorted access rights must be made in writing in advance to the CSU Infrastructure group.
  • A/C unit controls must not be adjusted or changed. Any problems should be reported to CSU Staff immediately.
6. Policy Review

This policy will be reviewed annually or as required. This policy was last reviewed: March 2016.

Server Support SLA

1) Service Description

Server support and hosting services include but are not limited to:

  • Complete Server Provisioning
  • Application hosting, configuration, & support
  • Server housing
  • Database support & provisioning
  • New hardware/software sales, setup and installation
  • Maintenance contracts for servers & databases
  • Data storage, backup, and redundancy
2) Basic Level of Service

Basic server service provides for:

  • Environmentally controlled facilities (i.e. air conditioned, two stage fire alarm, etc.)
  • Secure, monitored environment
  • Emergency power
  • Mission critical backups
  • Notifications of scheduled maintenance hours
3) Service Hours

Under normal circumstances, server support is available between 8:30-4:30 Monday through Friday, excluding all holidays and university closures.

4) Maintenance

Infrastructure maintenance hours will be 7:00AM - 4:00PM on the second or third Sunday of the month. Server availability may be limited during these periods. In cases where normal operations are not restored after this period, please contact CSU. Notice will be sent out as early as possible, at least 5 business days before any server maintenance window. In emergency situations, best efforts will be made to send out notice as soon as possible.

5) Incident Handling
a) Incident Reporting

Issues can be reported via telephone to 27287 (ATCSU) for all server support issues. Additional information is available on our web site at: http://www.csu.mcmaster.ca. Alternatively, email a request with a description of the problem to csuhelp@mcmaster.ca.

b) Incident Response

All reported incidents are logged, and tracked for resolution. Incidents are assigned a service call number and are addressed according to purchased support packages. Please see current rates for support package details. In most cases, CSU will respond to incidents within the same business day. Resolution of the incident will be dependant on the severity of the incident. CSU will provide an action plan and timeline for resolving major issues on the next business day following the initial call.

6) Security Vulnerability Detection

The CSU will conduct regular security scans to identify potential or current vulnerabilities. Once identified, the CSU will inform the client as soon as possible. The client must take all steps to address the issue, according to the client responsibilities as listed below.

7) Client Responsibilities

All clients using resources on the McMaster University campus network are expected to adhere to all McMaster University policies and procedures. Please refer to the guidelines in the Code of Conduct for Computer & Network Users available at: http://www.mcmaster.ca/uts/policy/netcond.htm.

It is the responsibility of the client to ensure the latest OS and application security updates are installed. A client may install these on their own, or contract the CSU to perform the updates at standard CSU service rates. Updates should be applied frequently and within a reasonable timeframe after they are available. CSU reserves the right to shut down or isolate any server that is found to be out of date, vulnerable or compromised. CSU is not responsible for any application failure, downtime or issues resulting from these mandatory updates.

General information is also available above.

8) SLA Review

This document will be reviewed annually or as required. This policy was last reviewed: March 2016.

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