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ITSS Server Services

Why Choose ITSS To Administer Your Server?

ITSS offers professional server administration services. If you have an application that you need to run on a server, consider asking ITSS to manage the server for you. We can do as much or as little as you like. Reasons for using ITSS to do your server management are:

Professional Staff

ITSS server administrators are professionally trained to manage servers. Since they do this routinely for many servers, they keep their expertise sharp. Our professionals' time can save you time and headaches.

Recommended Equipment

ITSS server administrators can advise you about the best server solution for your application. There are multiple approaches to consider:

Regular Maintenance

ITSS staff use regular processes to keep servers patched and up-to-date. Servers must be monitored and patched regularly in order to prevent them from developing security holes, providing slow response, or failing to provide services.

Security

Servers that store private data that is protected under FERPA, HIPAA, or any of the other state and federal statutes require the highest security. This may include protecting it with a firewall or scanning with specialized software. All other servers are scanned regularly for vulnerabilities, and any high vulnerabilities are patched quickly. Security requirements for servers are becoming increasingly strict. If you plan to administer your own server, you must have the necessary technical expertise to keep it secure. Again, ITSS can do this for you.

Here are two important policies with which you must comply if you administer a server:

Housing in the ITSS Data Center or Server Rooms

ITSS will house servers in our data center or in one of our server rooms on campus. ITSS rooms are air conditioned, fitted with backup power systems, and equipped with a variety of alarms and sensors to ensure the safety of your server. It is possible to do most system administration over the network without physical access to the server. Due to audit requirements, we do not provide unsupervised access to our data center and server rooms, but if you must have physical access, we will provide a staff member to accompany you.

Please check with us before purchasing if you want to house it with us. In general, we require rack-mount servers for housing in our data center or server rooms.

We provide server housing at no charge in order to encourage server security.

Storage and Backups

ITSS maintains a state-of-the-art storage area network (SAN), which can be connected to many types of servers to provide data storage. This device provides many levels of redundancy to protect your data in case of a hardware failure. We will be happy to talk with you about connecting your server to our SAN. We do, however, require that ITSS administer the server in order for it to use the SAN.

ITSS maintains a state-of-the-art backup system that can back up your data nightly. Data from servers stored in one area are backed up to a device across the campus to ensure security of the data in case of a disaster. We will be happy to talk with you about providing backup services for your server.

Green Solutions

As we all work to conserve resources and provide green solutions, ITSS has moved many of our servers to virtual machines in order to reduce the number of physical servers that are needed. Each physical server generates heat, uses power, and uses space. Using a virtual server can enhance our carbon footprint. Please talk with us about virtual server options.

Logging

The UM Administrative Procedure, "Enhanced Security for Computers and Other Electronic Devices" includes requirements for server logging for servers storing private data or other sensitive data. ITSS is working on putting in place logging systems that meet these requirements, and we intend to offer this service to other units on campus. Please talk with us if you have a server that requires this level of logging.

Costs

ITSS System and Server Rates offer a variety of options. Costs rise as ITSS does more work for you, but your time is valuable also. If you would like a customized cost estimate for your server needs, please contact the ITSS Help Desk (helpdesk@d.umn.edu or 8847).