The University of Texas at Austin

Virtual Servers


This document defines policies for the UT Virtual Machine Gateway (UT-VMG) service from ITS and is supplemental to the UT-VMG SLA.

Notes on Provisioning

  • Virtual Machines (VMs) using global, ITS provided, blueprints have the minimum requirements of the underlying VM template. Windows Guests: 1GB RAM, 50 GB Storage Linux Guests: 1GB RAM, 50 GB Storage. Customers can provide their own templates with custom requirements.
  • Due to algorithms for CPU scheduling in the VMware vSphere infrastructure, VMs with over-provisioned vCPUs may experience poor performance and have a negative impact on the UT-VMG service. Approval is required for VMs with 4 or greater vCPUs. UT-VMG administrators will work with Customers to optimize VM configuration, including vCPU provisioning.
  • VMs that require non-standard OS/RAM/Swap configurations may run into resource contention issues. UT-VMG administrators will work with customers to determine optimal settings.
  • The recommended and default configuration places the first disk on Tier 1 (higher performance) storage.
  • Swap files should be on disks hosted on Tier 1 storage.
  • UT-VMG can only provision VMs on VLANs that are present in UDC-C. UT-VMG administrators will work with Customers to review requests for unique VLAN requirements.
  • UT-VMG DNS records for UT-VMG Virtual Machines may require approval of ITS Networking and or the domain’s responsible departmental networking technical support coordinator (TSC).
  • UT-VMG is subject to all maximums and limitations of the physical hardware and vSphere infrastructure.
  • Access to the VM console is not available in the service’s web interface (in the current revision). Customers are granted console access via vCenter. See the Service Help/Wiki page.
  • When provisioning a VM via the web interface (in the current revision) the Daily Cost range of prices shown in the UT-VMG GUI are not based on the parameters you have set in the current VM configuration, rather it’s based on all minimums to all maximums. Your VM cost will be somewhere within this range. Please see the VM cost estimator to determine an accurate price.
  • VM requirements that limit the ability of the VM to migrate between ESXi hosts (e.g. physical licensing keys, shared SCSI bus adapter, etc…) are not permitted in the service.

Data Protection

New Data Protection for UT-VMG

  • All virtual disks on UT-VMG VMs are backed up by default.
  • Backups occur 3 times per day and are retained 30 days.
  • Requests for restoration can be made through a Footprints ticket which can be submitted via the ITS Help and Service Desk. However a self-service restore feature is available for VMs in UT-VMG. See the Service Help/Wiki page. Restore requests for VMs in the classic environment must go through the ITS Help and Service Desk even after opting into the new data protection.
  • VM owners may change their backup preference after a VM has been provisioned by submitting a ticket with the ITS Help and Service Desk.

Legacy Data Protection for UT-V

  • Legacy UT-V VMs may opt-in to the New Data Protection for UT-VMG method described below by submitting a ticket with the ITS Help and Service Desk.
  • Legacy UT-V VMs continue with legacy backup process which includes the following characteristics:
    • OS drive backup
    • Weekly full backup
    • Data stored on non-OS drives cannot be recovered by UT-V administrators.
  • UT-V OS drive backups do not provide versioning.
  • Requests for OS drive restoration must be made through a Footprints ticket which can be submitted via the ITS Helpdesk.
  • OS drive restorations provide image level recovery.
  • After an OS drive restoration, original OS drives are deleted after 7 days.

Intended Use

  • UT-VMG does not provide VM-specific OS or system-level administration.
  • UT-VMG is not designed to provide disaster recovery capabilities.
  • UT-VMG does not integrate with any non-ITS owned hardware.

Customer Responsibilities

  • Customers must provide the media and license keys for any applications. With ITS provided templates, Windows guests must use the campus Key Management Service (KMS).
  • Customers are responsible for the security, maintenance, and updating of their Guest OS software. e.g. connecting to campus or internet patch repositories.
  • Customers must install and keep current the VM Hardware and Tools for their VMs and templates.
  • UT-VMG Customers are encouraged to create VM snapshots prior to performing high-risk maintenance on their VMs.

We Can Help

Get help from an expert:

* ITS Help and Service Desk

* Call us at 512-475-9400

* Submit a help request online

We also have a walk-in service in the first floor lobby of the Flawn Academic Center (FAC). Stop by and let us help you!