IT ServicesStaff

Specialist Services

Virtual Servers

IT Services provides dependable and resilient virtual servers for Schools and departments. Using industry-leading virtualisation software from VMware and high quality server and storage components we are able to offer reliable and highly-available virtualised servers that are centrally funded. 

Our data centres are mirrored synchronously – in real time – between two physical locations. The ability to move virtualised servers to other physical hosts at either site gives an expected availability in excess of 99.99% and offers a complete failover option to another site in the event of a disaster affecting one of the sites or during planned site downtime. 

All storage is deployed over redundant disk arrays in a RAID configuration which offers excellent protection against disk failures. We use a number of separate backup technologies to ensure we can recover virtual servers in the event of a disaster and implement Microsoft shadow copies on departmental virtual servers to allow server managers to recover individual files and folders. 

By default Windows virtual servers, the operating system will be administered and kept secure by IT Services. Nominated service contacts / server managers will be responsible for the administration and security of the application layer. 

Where applications that require supplier installation and support, remote access via the VPN service, can be given upon request. 

IT Services can also provide virtual servers running the CentOS Linux distribution. 

Microsoft SQL Server can be provided, but before requesting a virtual server you should contact to discuss requirements.

It is not possible to support hardware dongles or similar physical devices as this will prevent the virtual server from migrating between Data Centres during monthly maintenance or in a disaster scenario. 

IT Services recommend a default configuration of processor cores; storage and memory for virtual servers that allows us to make optimal use of our resources and minimising our environmental impact.  

The default configuration for a virtual server is 2 processor cores, 2GB of memory and 100GB storage.   

For Windows this is divided over 2 drives C: System (60GB) and F: Application install (40GB).   

For Linux / System and home directories (40GB) /DATA Application install (60GB).    

This is monitored at the virtualisation layer and can be increased in response to demand or to meet supplier support contract requirements. 

To request a Virtual Server, Please email 

vSphere Client

If you wish to manage/review your virtual server within vSphere, you must now use a web-browser rather than the deprecated desktop client. You can access the Web Client here: - we recommend the HTML 5 version being actively developed by VMware.  You must login with your ‘username-admin’ account.


When logged in to the client

Locate and press the ‘VMs and Templates’ button on the upper left. After clicking you will see a folder named for your school / department and beneath that the servers you manage.

You can now do the following:

  • Check out how your VM is performing with CPU and memory.
  • Attach to the server console session.
  • Check out recent tasks, events and alarms.
  • Shutdown, Restart and pause the VM.
  • Snapshot your VM.

To access the console session for your virtual server, click ‘Launch Web Console’.



Snapshots are retained for and automatically deleted (merged) after 15 days.

Follow this link for more information about snapshots.

Server Management

Server Management is a service that provides the management and support of the server operating system, its security and virtual hardware associated with it.

Service Overview

What's Included?

  • Virtual Servers with the latest Windows O/S
  • Service Monitoring
  • Operating System updates
  • Secure, reliable, backed up data.
  • Configuration Management.
  • Security scanning.
  • Problem resolution.

IT Services can assist with third party supplier liasions where appropriate.

What kind of IT services can be hosted?

We currently host the following:

  • Finance Systems
  • Databases
  • Web Servers
  • Hotel Management systems
  • Document Management Systems
  • Application Servers
  • Collaboration Services
  • Sports Booking Services
  • Software License Servers

But we are by no means limited to these areas. For more information please read our frequently asked questions below or please contact us with your requirements and we will discuss your options.

For whom do you currently manage servers?

We currently manage servers for both external organisations such as Sport Park tenants and the Innovation Centre as well as internal departments such as Finance, Facilities Management, the Engineering Subject Centre, IMAGO etc. and also research groups such as the Applied Vision Research Centre.

Where are they hosted?

The virtual servers are hosted in our Data Centres here on campus, which are fully air conditioned, alarmed and have power management systems in place to ensure servers are fully protected.

How much does it cost?

Please see the Service Catalogue. For further details

Can I have physical access to my hosted server / servers?

As these servers are Managed by IT Services, access to the physical servers is restricted.

What networking will be provided?

Services which qualify to go onto the Joint Academic Network (JANET) will do, otherwise alternative networking solutions will be investigated, for more information on JANET read the JANET Acceptable Use Policy.

What server resources will be provided by default?

The default server resources will have 2 processor cores and 2GB of RAM and a total of 100GB of hard disk space divided across 2 drives.  If a vendor application requires more, then a link to the vendor’s website or document will be required.