IT ServicesStaff

Specialist Services

Managed CentOS Server Service (MCSS)

In 2019, IT Services developed and launched the Managed CentOS Server Service (MCSS).

This takes many of the well-known and understood concepts from the sister Windows service (MWSS) and applies them to managed virtual servers running the CentOS Linux distribution.

The principal concepts are:

  • access and elevated privilege management
  • system monitoring
  • standard configuration & configuration management
  • standard security settings
  • simple, standardised package installation
  • automated package updates ("patching")
  • advice, guidance and answering questions such as "how do I...?"

Access and elevated privilege management is managed via groups in the University's Active Directory.

System monitoring covers basics such as uptime, disk usage, CPU and memory utilisation with additional service monitoring when specific services such as webservers are installed. This allows IT Services staff to offer advice, guidance and alerting to server or application managers where necessary and appropriate.

Configuration of some essential applications is centrally managed. Local changes to certain as-deployed files will be overwritten periodically to ensure the virtual servers remain in a standardised, manageable state.

Features such as webservers (Apache httpd with PHP), MariaDB database server and others may be requested by server contacts/managers. These will be installed centrally and will carry standardised configuration files; documentation for these will be provided on installation. IT Services will not provide ongoing support for these packages/installed services beyond their initial installation and configuration, it will be expected that server managers will have a level of administrative experience of these packages in order that they are managed correctly.

Available package updates will be applied on a monthly basis (as with the MWSS); critical security updates will be pushed when relevant and necessary.

3rd party suppliers or vendors can have accounts created for remote access via the University VPN Service. Contact the IT Service Desk for more information.