Traditional Physical Hosting

The ITS Data Center is divided into a Tier 1 (not backed up by a generator) and a Tier 2 (backed up by a generator) facility. It provides cabinets, cables, power distribution, seismic protection, UPS, firewall and VPN, redundant HVAC, physical security, and fire suppression.

Because the ITS Data Center has limited data center capacity, all requests for physical hosting go through a review and approval process to provide the customer with the most energy-efficient options for hosting.

Alternatives to traditional hosting:


ITS provides two options for physical hosting in the ITS Data Center:

Self-managed: The customer is responsible for ordering and receiving the equipment. The Data Center team will work with the customer to determine the plan for installation of the equipment. The customer is responsible for all aspects of administering the server, operating system, and application. Rack space, network ports, and environmental monitoring are provided. Firewall and VPN services are also available upon request.

Managed Services: A team of system engineers works with the client to manage their hosting requirements.  More information

ITS can also assist with requests for hosting at the SDSC Data Center.

The ITS Data Center is a restricted area requiring a much greater level of access control than normal non-public University spaces. Access is granted to individuals who have a legitimate business need to be in the data center.

In general:

  • Do sign in and sign out using the logbook by the main entrance to the Data Center.
  • Do conduct your work in observance with all applicable (i.e., bargaining unit, campus, state, and federal) policies related to safety.
  • Do not let anyone else into the Data Center.
  • Do not bring food or drink into the Data Center.
  • Do not prop open the Data Center doors.
  • Do not touch any equipment that is not within your direct responsibility.

 Data Center Access Policy

Features and Benefits

Features and benefits of physical hosting in the ITS Data Center:

  • Conditioned Power — Power systems in the Data Center are designed to run uninterrupted, even in the unlikely event of a total power outage. Servers connected to UPS1 are fed with conditioned Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) power that will provide a smooth transition to power provided by an on-site natural gas generator. In the event of an extended power outage, the generator can run indefinitely. The generator is regularly tested to ensure that it will continue to function at the time of an emergency. Servers connected to UPS2 are fed with conditioned Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) power that is not backed by the on-site generator, but which provides enough power to span many (but not all) power outages.
  • Physical Security — The Data Center is physically isolated from everyone except technicians with approved access. Public access is strictly forbidden. Servers are configured to fit in 19-inch cabinets. Cabinet space is assigned by the number of Rack Units (RU) required by each server. The data center is designed to function on a 24 hour, 7 day a week, 365 days per year.
  • Precision Environment — All air is circulated and filtered to remove dust and contaminants. The Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system is N+1 redundant to ensure continuous operation should one module be out of operation as a result of equipment failure or scheduled preventive maintenance. An advanced FM200 fire-suppression system is in place to prevent any fires from spreading in the unlikely event that one could start. All cables to servers and routing equipment are securely tied down to cable racks suspended above the cabinets and cable conveyances contained within each cabinet.
  • 24x7 Operations Support — Operators provides 24x7 support for the server environment. (There may be occasional graveyard shifts that do not have someone present, but in these circumstances there is a hotline to reach someone who can dispatch on-call personnel.) Operations Support provides for environmental monitoring, physical security, HVAC and electrical (including UPS and generator) support and coordination with Physical Plant, and can provide hardware and network provisioning technician services.
  • Information Security — Applications in the Data Center have the option of being hosted behind a firewall with custom rules. The hosted hardware will be provisioned on a network segment behind the firewall that enables appropriate protection and access. VPN services are provided for secure remote access to servers and services behind the Data Center firewall.
  • Data Center Network — The data center network provides high-availability network connectivity to hosted servers.  Physical servers are provided with standard 1 Gbps service, with 10 Gbps service available.  Custom options for higher performance are available when required. More information about Data Center Networks

Roles and Responsibilities

Responsibilities of the Data Center:

  • Receive equipment delivered to the Data Center

  • Coordinate the installation, racking, and cabling of hardware

  • Label all equipment and network cables

  • Monitor the Data Center systems (power, cooling, fire detection and suppression, physical security) and respond to emergencies

  • Provide Operations support (generally 24x7)

  • Provide Infrastructure Security through firewalls, VPNs, and regular network scanning

  • Provide networking at 1Gbps standard, with 10Gbps available in some cases; higher-speed networking may be available to some research customers through the Science DMZ

  • Provide physical access to the Data Center for the server administrator responsible for the equipment, following the ITS Data Center Access Policies and Procedures (

  • Track the physical assets located in the Data Center

  • Process equipment disposals on request through the ITR system; post EIMR forms to the ITR ticket when disposing of inventorial equipment

  • Escort the equipment owner into the Data Center, as needed, for the physical inventory of capital equipment

  • In the event of a campus-wide emergency, the Data Center assumes the following priorities:

    • protecting life safety

    • securing critical infrastructure

    • resuming the business, teaching, and research mission of the University

Responsibilities of the customer:

  • If needed, have a plan for the continuity of their service in the event of an emergency

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

  • Manage the hardware to standards that comply with the standards required by UCOP, UCSC, and ITS policy; these requirements are summarized here:

Physical servers may be managed by the customer, or management may be contracted to the Data Center systems teams.

In either case, the responsibilities of the administrator of a server hosted in the Data Center are:


This is a 24x7 service supported by the Data Center Operations team with Information Technology Services. 

For planned maintenance, the Data Center follows the ITS Change Management process and planned change 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).


UCSC faculty and staff are eligible for this service.


Hosting in the ITS Data Center is provided without charges to clients.  ITS covers the costs relating to physical hosting in order to encourage members of the UCSC community to use the central computing facilities and to take advantage of the secure and power-protected environment.

Request This Service

Get Help:

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