Server Hosting

Server Hosting Options

There are several methods available on campus to host your servers. Please read the options and restrictions below and engrit-help [at] illinois [dot] edu (let us know) which hosting options you are interested in or if you need more information to make a decision. We are happy to explain the options in more detail.

Rent-A-VM Service from Engineering IT

Virtual servers are often cheaper than equivalent physical servers, and they are easier to upgrade. In addition, you don’t have to worry about power or space!

  • Cost: (As of 10/6/2016. Please see Service Fees for current rates)
    • VM itself: $22.50/quarter per unit. A unit is 1core/2G RAM, multiple units can be combined into one VM. 
    • Storage: $20/quarter per 1T. Available in 1T increments.
    • Thus a VM with 2 cores/4G RAM and 1T of storage for a year is $260.
  • Available to: Faculty, Units, RSOs, Research Groups, Staff in the College of Engineering
  • OS Installation/ System Administration: By default, all administration of the system is the responsibility of the client. Engineering IT offers a separate server management service to provide administration.
  • Administrative access: VMware vCenter client or web interface
  • Data allowed: Most types of sensitive data are allowed with appropriate controls applied. Not authorized for HIPAA data.

To obtain: Email engrit-help [at] illinois [dot] edu and we will contact you for more information.

Virtual Hosting from Technology Services

Need very fine grained control over the resources provided to your VM? Then Technology Services may be the right answer. Otherwise, we recommend Engineering IT’s Rent-A-VM Service (see above).

  • Cost: (As of 9/2016. See https://techservices.illinois.edu/services/virtual-hosting/details for current rates)
    • VM itself: 1vCPU = $3.08 / month, 1 GB of RAM = $1.17 / GB / Month
    • Storage: 1GB of Fast Storage = $0.048 / GB / Month, 1 GB of Bulk Storage = $0.019 / GB / Month
    • Thus, a VM with 2 cores/4G RAM and 1T of bulk storage for a year is $358.
  • Available to: Faculty and staff on the Urbana campus
  • OS Installation/ System Administration: By default, all administration of the system is the responsibility of the client.
  • Administrative access: VMware vCenter client or web interface
  • Data Allowed: Most types of sensitive data are allowed with appropriate controls applied. Not authorized for HIPAA data.

To obtain: http://go.illinois.edu/vmrequest

Physical Server Rack Space from Data Center Shared Services

Put your physical server in a quality datacenter. This provides controlled physical access, protection against brief periods of power loss, appropriate environment (cooling, filtering, humidity levels).

  • Available to: Faculty, Units, RSOs, Research Groups, Staff
  • Cost: None for the space. (Subsidized by campus). The server hardware itself must be purchased by the client.
  • OS Installation/ System Administration: All administration of the system is the responsibility of the client. Engineering IT offers a separate server management service to provide administration.
  • Data Allowed: Most sensitive data is allowed with appropriate controls applied. Not authorized for HIPAA data.
  • Each system deployment in a DCSS facility is considered a project, and specific terms for that deployment will be discussed at the initial meeting.
  • All hardware must be compatible with the data center connections and racks. The physical setup of rack mounting, power, and networking are set up by DCSS per requirements set forth in the application.

To obtain: https://datacenter.illinois.edu/ (click on “Start Here” button)

Computer Science (CS) VM Farm

If you are an instructor in CS and want to provide VMs for your students, this is probably the correct choice.

  • Available to: CS class instructors
  • Cost: None (paid for by the CS Department)
  • Instructor provides specifications for an image which is used to create all student VMs.
  • Administration: Engineering IT can delete and recreate (original image) VMs as needed. The administration of each VM is up to the student/instructor.
  • Data Allowed: Student class work
  • Operating Systems Available: Windows or Linux

To obtain: Instructors email ews [at] illinois [dot] edu

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

The Urbana-Champaign campus has a contract with AWS. If your needs can be met by AWS plugins/tools (rather than a proper VM) or if you need elastic computing (paying for only exactly what you use, because you have very spikey or sparse or simply very short use patterns) this may be the right choice. For a standard, traditional VM, AWS will be more expensive than if the services outlined above were provided by either Engineering IT or Technology Services.

  • Available to: Faculty, Units, RSOs, Research Groups, Staff in Engineering
  • Operating Systems Available: Difficult to answer, because often the best use is not as a stand-alone VM, but Windows, Linux
  • Cost: Varies with campus contract. Data egress fee is waived and there is a discount from standard costs.
  • Data Allowed: Not HIPAA. FERPA allowed with proper access restrictions applied.
  • Amazon provides an  extensive suite of tools, and the most effective and efficient use of AWS is to use those tools, rather than set up VMs proper. For more information see their website

To obtain: aws.illinois.edu (Click "Request an AWS Account")

Get Help

Questions about this topic? Don't see what you're looking for?

Email engrit-help [at] illinois [dot] edu, call the Help Desk at 217-333-1313, or contact your primary IT support professional.