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System Administration – Linux & Unix

Request a virtual server for your department, or get help with the virtual servers you have.

Questions about the pros and cons of server virtualization, or about moving a physical server to a virtual server, or about virtual servers (VM) in general? Want to know how to lease a Red Hat Enterprise Linux VM, or want to have OIT handle the system administration of your new or existing department virtual servers? Call OIT

Benefits of Server Virtualization

  • Administrative access to the virtual server
  • Increased reliability
  • High availability options
  • Flexibility to grow resources – memory, disk space or CPUs – often on-the-fly without any downtime
  • Snapshots

Benefits of Moving a Physical Server to a VM

  • Provides the benefits of virtualization as mentioned above, without the overhead of maintaining a physical server or a datacenter – including conditioned power, air, etc. – to store the server
  • High availability options without purchasing additional servers

To speak with someone about options for moving a physical server to a VM, contact the OIT HelpDesk online or by phone at 865-974-9900, and ask for a VMware administrator.

Benefits of Leasing a VM

  • Provides all the advantages listed above for Server Virtualization
  • Very flexible web-based configuration of your server specifications
  • Pay only for what you want – add more anytime
  • Operating systems pre-installed (optional)
  • No long-term contract required
  • Can be paired with an SLA (Service Level Agreement)

To request a virtual server (VM) for your department, use the VM Request Form. The website provides a built-in calculator so you can compare the costs for various configurations prior to submitting the request.

Service Level Agreement

  • OIT provides the system administration of your department virtual server(s)
  • No need for your department to maintain in-house IT system administration and datacenter support staff
  • Multiple tiers of service from which to choose
  • Server monitoring
  • Off-hours and emergency administration support (optional)
  • Backup and recovery support (optional)
  • Database support (optional)
  • 30-day contract termination
  • Additional services may also be requested

If you are interested in establishing an agreement with OIT to manage your servers, contact the OIT HelpDesk online or by phone at 865-974-9900 and ask to speak with a Service Level Manager about establishing a server support agreement.


Knoxville Area, including UT Knoxville, UT System, Institute of Public Service, and Institute of Agriculture

Faculty, Staff, Students, Departments, and official campus organizations

This service is available 24/7, except during scheduled and emergency maintenance. All efforts are made to perform maintenance on Wednesday night from 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM, and on Sunday from 12:00 AM to 12:00 PM.

Unix timeshare accounts are free to faculty, staff, departments, and students. Virtual web sites with vanity domain names are currently free to departments.

DNS entries are free; however, requests for and domain names are subject to the cost of the DNS name registrar (GoDaddy, Network Solutions, for instance). OIT does not charge any additional fees for obtaining other domain names. The requester is responsible for providing a charge account.

SSL certificates are billed to the departmental account for the exact amount of the price designated by the certificate provider. The prices vary based on the certificate provider, type of SSL certificate, and number of years. OIT does not charge any additional fees for obtaining SSL certificates for departments. For SSL Certificates from our InCommon Certificate Authority, the standard price for any type of certificate is:

  • One (1) year: $30
  • Two (2) years: $50

Server administration contracts are billed at a rate of $2500 per year per server. The annual charge is billed at the beginning of each fiscal year and is prorated if acquired during the fiscal year.

  • Level 1: The server, rack of servers, or VM is housed in a secured OIT facility which is environmentally controlled with appropriate cabling for network and storage access, and conditioned power. Escorted access is provided for access to physical servers, as is remote KVM access. System monitoring, database administration, and data backup are NOT provided. Level 1 hosting is managed entirely by the customer and as such, may include any software that the customer can support. Users experiencing problems can contact the Help Desk for service and the ticket will be routed to the appropriate customer contact.
  • Level 2: Includes all Level 1 hosting services, plus system administration of supported operating systems, including operating system upgrades and operating system patches, as well as backup and recovery services. Such systems are typically made available for use 24×7. The customer is responsible for verifying that backups are complete and acceptable. System Administration Services are available during normal university business hours (8:00 AM – 5:00 PM) with scheduled periodic maintenance. Database provisioning and application administration are NOT included in Level 2 hosting.
  • Level 3: Includes all of Level 2 hosting services, plus database and a pre-defined level of application administration.
  • Level 4: Includes all Level 3 hosting services, plus off-hour emergency support. Hosted services in Level 4 are typically hosted on the OIT Flexpod hardware providing 24×7 datacenter redundancy and full system failover.

Service levels beyond Level 1 must be negotiated with the OIT Associate CIO for Service Level Management.

Virtual Server Hosting is available on either a Tier I cluster or a Tier II cluster with the following charges:

  • Tier I yearly costs:
    Storage @ $0.96/GB
    Memory @ $20.16/GB
    CPU @ $40.32/vCPU
  • Tier II yearly costs:
    Storage @ $0.48/GB
    Memory @ $10.08/GB
    CPU @ $20.16/vCPU
  • Pricing Updated: July 2017

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