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UT Enterprise Bulk Storage (UTEBS)

Last Updated: December 4, 2015 @ 3:54 pm
Next Review Date: 01/01/2016
Service Manager: David Pavkovic
Governance Group: IT Architecture & Infrastructure
Document Status: Published

Key Metrics

  • Availability: 99%
  • Routine work request acknowledgment response time: 2 business days
  • Review and response of Active requests: 7 business days


This document defines the service level agreement (SLA) and standard operational procedures (SOP) for the UT Enterprise Bulk Storage from ITS as well as the rights and responsibilities of any University unit that obtains this service from ITS (Customer).

Service description

UT Enterprise Bulk Storage is a cost-effective, reliable, self-managed, iSCSI-based, storage solution. The UT Enterprise Bulk Storage arrays are housed in the University Data Centers (UDC) and are accessible via 10Gb network interfaces within the University Data Centers. UT Enterprise Bulk Storage is provisioned in 512GB units, with a starting minimum of 1024GB (1TB).

It is required that customer servers are located within UDC-C to connect to UT Enterprise Bulk Storage.

Billing and Accounting

UT Enterprise Bulk Storage will provide accounting information to the Central Business Office for the following billable events:

  • New Bulk Storage capacity provisioned: New storage provisions will be pro-rated for the remainder of the Fiscal Year.
  • Annual Bulk Storage Billing: At the beginning of each Fiscal Year, fees will be calculated for Customers of UT Enterprise Bulk Storage based on current capacity provisioned.

Termination of Service

Termination of service requires 30 days advance notice to UT Enterprise Bulk Storage administrators via a Footprints service request ticket. This can be submitted via the ITS HelpDesk. Customers are responsible for the storage cost from the time of request to the date of deletion.

Standard Maintenance of Service

Availability of UT Enterprise Bulk Storage is subject to any published Networking and UDC maintenance events. There are four types of maintenance events:

  • Full maintenance events require downtime for ALL components of UT Enterprise Bulk Storage. Two Full Outage maintenance events occur upon the completion of Finals in December and June. Full maintenance events occur on Sundays from 12 noon – 6pm, and can be extended if service is not completed.
  • Partial maintenance events require downtime for SOME components of UT Enterprise Bulk Storage. Four Partial maintenance events will occur in February, June, August, and October. Each Partial maintenance event will take place Sundays from 12 noon – 6pm.
  • Non-impactful maintenance is performed routinely with no anticipated outage to the service. They will be scheduled according to the existing ITS service maintenance guidelines.
  • Emergency maintenance events are scheduled as required due to security patches or unexpected failure of service components. They can require Partial or Full outage of UT Enterprise Bulk Storage. Emergency maintenance events are announced through the ITS Alerts page:

All scheduled maintenance events will be published in the ITS maintenance events calendar: Customer technical point of contacts will be notified via email 5 days prior to any Full or Partial maintenance events.

Data Protection

UT Enterprise Bulk Storage provides the following options for Data Protection:
Single Copy Option:

  • No backup service/redundant copy is provided natively.
  • Customer is responsible for data backup and any costs associated with data backups.
  • Customer data will be unavailable during all published Full, Partial or Emergency maintenance events.

Mirrored Copy Option:

  • This option doubles the cost per GB.
  • Mirrored Copy operations are not customizable or manageable by the Customer.
  • Each iSCSI LUN is transparently mirrored to a secondary physical location.
  • Versioning, recovery, and other procedures associated with traditional data backup are not included with the Mirrored Copy Option.
  • Data replication is automated via the storage hardware.
  • Data will be available during Partial maintenance events. Data will be unavailable during Full and/or Emergency maintenance events.

Data Security

Customers of UT Enterprise Bulk Storage are subject to the following guidelines for data security:

  • Periodic usage review with the Information Security Office to ensure that usage meets the Information Resources Use and Security Policy.
  • Non-CAT 1 data does not require storage-to-server encryption. Verification of the non-CAT1 classification is required from senior management of the unit, such as Dean or Chair from of an academic unit, or Director level or above from administrative unit, and has to be to reviewed and filed with ISO prior to provisioning of the service.
  • Any data with unknown security categorization requires encryption. In this event, Customer is responsible to provide acceptable storage-to-server encryption of all volumes provisioned through UT Enterprise Bulk Storage. Encryption options require approval from ISO.

Exemptions: customers may apply for an exemption to storage-to-server encryption requirements based on three possible scenarios:

  • Servers that are housed in the ITS-Operated University Data Center (this is the preferred configuration).
  • Large groups of servers in secure/controlled environments that are on a network that is an “extension” of the University Data Center. This will require additional networking extensions and equipment operated by the University Data Center.
  • Customer servers that are on a dedicated network subnet with dedicated networking switches and ports. The management (including access control) of the switch(es) will be shared by the Customer and ITS Networking staff and will require special change management logging for the Information Security Office to review.

All costs associated with these options are the sole responsibility of the Customer and are not part of UT Enterprise Bulk Storage. Prior arrangement with necessary parties (ISO, ITS/Networking, ITS/UDC) will have to be made before storage can be provisioned.

Intended Use

UT Enterprise Bulk Storage is intended to serve departments, colleges, and research units. Establishing the initial setup for UT Enterprise Bulk Storage to Customer servers requires technical knowledge of block-based storage connectivity and configuration. UT Enterprise Bulk Storage is not intended to provide direct access to storage transport protocols (CIFs, SAMBA, AFP, etc.). UT Enterprise Bulk Storage does not provide access to the ITS-operated FC fabric.

UT Enterprise Bulk Storage is a shared environment. The service hardware is capable of high throughput and performance, but there may be use cases that fall outside of the capabilities of the underlying storage array. Therefore all use of UT Enterprise Bulk Storage is subject to suitability review by the service administrators. Useage that has a negative impact on the overall performance or availability of UT Enterprise Bulk Storage is subject to termination by the service administrators.

Allowed Computing Environments

Operating Systems that include or offer a native or third party iSCSI initiator to connect to UT Enterprise Bulk Storage are required. For more information, please refer to section “Data Security”.

Preferred Configuration:

  • It is preferred that servers mounting UT Enterprise Bulk Storage are located in the University Data Center.

Alternative Configuration:

  • Servers can mount UT Enterprise Bulk Storage from departments on campus (See “exemptions” within “Data Security” section.) In this configuration, UT Enterprise Bulk Storage performance is dependent on Customer server capabilities, available bandwidth between Customer site and UDC, and performance capabilities of departmental network components. ITS support for the Alternative Configuration is limited to verification of storage availability within the UDC and presentation of storage to the campus network.

Technical support

Initial provisioning and presentation of UT Enterprise Bulk Storage is included in the unit cost. Requests for additional support can be directed to the Bulk Storage administrators via the ITS Help Desk.

Customer Responsibilities

  • Customers must be aware of and adhere to the University's Acceptable Use Policy.
  • Customers must be aware of and adhere to the University’s Data Classification Standard.
  • Customers must manage storage obtained through UT Enterprise Bulk Storage. This includes attaching the iSCSI blocks to a server,building and managing any services that utilize the storage, managing permissions, establishing quotas and configuring encryption of data and providing technical support for local users.
  • Customers must manage access client protocols, such as CIFS, NFS, and AFP.
  • A Technical Support Contact (TSC) is required for each Customer of Bulk Storage. Technical Support Contact information must be verified at the start of each Fiscal Year or when service level changes.

Cost of Service

Cost information for this service can be found on the Bulk Storage web site.

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