Virtual Server Hosting

The ITS Data Center offers virtual servers that provide enterprise-grade high availability. Virtual servers managed by Core Technologies are offered with Windows, Redhat Linux, or FreeBSD. Virtual servers managed by outside (of Core Technologies) IT staff can run any operating system that can run on VMware ESXi (Intel processor OS). Virtual servers can be provided without the customer purchasing hardware or operating system (OS) software. The ITS virtual server farm is located in the UCSC ITS Data Center.


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

Self-managed: The customer is responsible for ordering, receiving and installing 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.

Features and Benefits

Features and benefits of virtual server hosting in the ITS Data Center:

  • Operations Monitoring - Data center operators monitor server availability 24x7
  • Backups – Optional service. Daily incremental back-ups and weekly full backups are completed by the Operations staff.
  • Firewall Protection - Most virtual servers in the ITS Data Center are behind a redundant pair of firewalls. Firewalls limit access between computer networks based on security policies to protect sensitive data on servers and systems. Any network segment that is available inside of the ITS Data Center can be configured inside of the virtual infrastructure. 
  • Systems Administration - Optional service. OS Layer administration, patch installation and upgrade maintenance by Core Tech System Administrator staff.
  • Load Balancing - Optional service. Distributes workload across two or more servers by optimizing resources, output and response times.
  • Operating System Licensing - The Virtual Hosting Service provides operating-system licenses for Windows Server and Red Hat Linux.


This is a 24x7 service supported by the Data Center VM Hosting team. Escalation is provided through Data Center Operations.

Data Security

UCSC policies and procedures related to protecting personal and confidential information are strictly adhered to for all servers in the ITS Data Center. Restricted and sensitive data includes:

  • Personal Identity Information (PII)
  • Electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI & HIPAA)
  • Student Records Protected by FERPA (The Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974)
  • Credit Card Data

General virtual hosting service is cleared for running virtual servers with PII and FERPA. HIPAA in-scope systems may be hosted after configuring some specific architecture and passing audit. The ITS Data Center is not cleared for PCI-DSS scope systems.

Please see the following websites for detailed information on the protection of restricted and sensitive data:

All virtual servers are required to meet UCSC's Minimum Network Connectivity Requirements


Acceptable Use Policy
UCSC Password Strength & Security Standards
Minimum Network Connectivity Requirements
Electronic Communications Policy (ECP)
Virtual Server Hosting SLA


UCSC faculty and staff are eligible for this service.


For fiscal year 2014-15, the charge for each virtual machine (VM) is calculated as follows:

  • Storage: $3.50 per GB per year.
  • Basic computational resources: $660 per VM per year, for a host with 1 virtual CPU or 1 GB of memory.
  • Incremental computational resources: $72 per VM per year, for each additional CPU or GB of memory.

The VM Cost Calculator can be used to model costs for storage and computational resources. 

Request this Service

Virtual Servers should be configured with the smallest amount of resources needed to run the peak load. If you have a need for a virtual machine over 4 CPU, 16G of memory, high disk IOPS or over 2TB of disk space please ask for assistance to make sure your workload fits our shared hosting environment. To request a virtual server, submit a Virtual Server Request Form.

Get Help:

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