Managed Services

ITS has teams of professional, experienced systems engineers who provide support for servers on Windows, Linux/Unix, and VMware platforms. These servers host a diverse set of enterprise applications including Academic Information Systems, Data Warehouse, Financial Information Systems, IDM, Staff Human Resources, Student Health Services and University Relations.

Supported Operating Systems

The following operating systems are supported:

  • Linux/Unix: The Unix team supports Red Hat Linux, FreeBSD and Solaris. (The Data Center will end support for Solaris in FY2018.) The Unix team also provides support for customers using the on-premise cloud-computing service, Nebula.
  • Windows: The Windows team supports Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2012.
  • VMware: The Virtual Hosting team supports clusters of ESX servers and shared storage.

Roles and Responsibilities

Responsibilities of the systems teams:

  • Develop hardware requirements and specifications: consult with clients and/or application vendors in developing hardware and software requirements and specifications for new servers and systems; coordinate information exchange with hardware and operating system vendors

  • Hardware purchase and delivery: generate vendor quotes, coordinate purchases, and receive equipment delivered to the Data Center

  • Provisioning: coordinate IP and hostname allocation and the implementation of the firewall rules needed for systems management

    • Physical hosting: coordinate the installation, racking, and cabling of hardware hosted in the Data Center

    • Virtual hosting: provision and ensure access to the Vsphere client to provision virtual machines

    • Cloud hosting: provision and ensure access to cloud services, including servers and storage

  • Operating-system installation and configuration

    • Provide build, configuration, patch, and management infrastructure for supported platforms

    • For each host, configure the operating system in compliance with the standards required by UCOP, UCSC, and ITS policy

    • Set user and file permissions, manage operating-system accounts and groups

    • Work with application and database administrators to install software packages and make kernel-parameter changes as needed (packages are installed from supported package repositories only)

    • Grant privileges to the application and database administrators to install, start, stop and configure their software as needed

    • Track and manage OS-level SSL-certificate expiry

  • Management of OS and hardware: manage the operating system by installing OS patches; manage group and user-account information; coordinate hardware and OS support through the life cycle of the server

  • System monitoring: monitor server availability and track the utilization of server resources

  • For servers enrolled in the Data Center Backup service: install backup client software, work with the backup administrator to resolve issues with unsuccessful backups, perform restores as needed

  • Troubleshooting: provide 24/7 or 9/5 on-call support, as specified for each supported server or device; diagnose and correct hardware and operating-system problems; provide support to application and database administrators when they are troubleshooting applications/services

  • Serve as liaison with other ITS teams: The systems engineers serve as the customer's liaison with other ITS teams, including Information Security, Networking, and Operations

Responsibilities of the customer:

  • Develop hardware requirements and specifications in consultation with the systems engineers: consult with clients and/or application vendors in developing hardware and software requirements and specifications for new servers and systems

  • For physical hosting, provide a FOAPAL for hardware acquisition and ongoing operating-system licensing and support

  • The central virtual hosting service includes the ongoing licensing and support for the Red Hat Linux and Windows operating systems; for departmental virtual hosting, the client is responsible for guest-level OS licensing

  • The cloud hosting service includes the ongoing licensing and support for Joyent SmartDataCenter

  • Install, configure, maintain, uninstall, and troubleshoot applications or databases

  • Provide contact and escalation information, and keep that information current

  • Specify the operational support level for the server (24x7 or Monday-Friday, 8am - 5pm)

  • For services where pre-scheduled maintenance windows have been defined, prepare applications and clients for outages as needed

  • For services where pre-scheduled maintenance windows have not been defined, review and confirm proposed maintenance activities (if no response is received, system-maintenance scheduling requests will be considered approved)

  • Coordinate and communicate with end users, as needed, about application-level impacts of outages or scheduled maintenance

  • Alert systems engineers of emergencies, high-utilization periods, or ongoing issues that may require support or modification of maintenance schedule

  • Manage the application and supporting software to standards that comply with the standards required by UCOP, UCSC, and ITS policy

  • Maintain application-level software-licensing compliance and support

  • Track and manage application-level SSL-certificate expiry

  • Make requests and report issues to the systems engineers using the IT Request system; for urgent issues, follow up the ITR ticket with a phone call to the on-call or to a DCO manager

  • For physical servers located outside of the ITS Data Center, provide systems engineers with physical access

  • Protect sensitive data with appropriate encryption and access controls

  • Provide account management for application- or database-level accounts

  • Monitor application availability

  • Prepare application data for backups, as needed

  • Identify, document, and communicate application- or database-level configuration requirements, such as firewall ports, kernel parameters, required packages

    • for DNS, the server administrator will request and manage the server's "A" record
    • for Windows systems, request firewall-rule changes from the Windows team
    • for Unix systems, request firewall-rule changes from the Security team
  • Forecast application resource needs


This is a 24x7 service supported by the DCO systems teams. Escalation is provided through Data Center Operations and each team's on-call rotation.

For planned maintenance, the DCO systems teams follow the ITS Change Management Process, and planned changes are posted on the ITS Maintenance Calendar.

Data Security

The UCSC Data Center is appropriate for confidential and most types of restricted data (as defined here).


Managed Services are available to all UCSC academic and administrative departments.


For fiscal year 2016-17, the Managed Services rate is $51/hour.

The number of support hours is estimated by combining known fixed costs with projections for those services that vary with actual demand. Managed services can vary from month to month, but the support hours are calculated by averaging annual support and normalizing support over a three- or four-year period. This is to enable consistent budgeting and to avoid spikes when major system enhancements or replacements take place.

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Note: This service is also offered by Academic Divisional Computing and can be found here.