EI will monitor and alert their on-call staff for any issues related to the platforms providing the service. This includes back-end storage, virtualization hypervisor hardware, and disaster recovery services.  Additionally, EI will monitor availability of a co-managed server as it relates to the ability to maintain OS security patching on the system. EI does NOT monitor or alert on co-managed servers in any way that will be escalated to end customers. For more information on available monitoring services that may be able to help, please see the Support Articles for the System Monitoring and Alerting section of the ITS Service Catalog.

EI does not monitor or alert for this condition. If a customer notes that a disk is full, or is getting close to full, they should open a Help Desk ticket to request additional disk space for the system in question. If a full disk impacts the capability of EI to perform normal security and OS patching operations, the issue may be resolved, at the discretion of EI, by either growing the disk and completing the patching, or working with the customer to resolve the item.

EI monitors and alerts within the team for many aspects of the platforms that provide this service, including metrics for availability, performance and throughput, capacity, and other benchmarks that could have an impact on the delivery of the service. EI does not share these platform level alerts outside of the operations team. However, when platform impacting issues arise, information detailing the issue is will be shared via the Help Desk outage page from detection until issue resolution. Customers are asked to monitor that page during outages rather than contacting EI-SAS staff directly so that they can devote their efforts to issue resolution.

EI does not monitor or alert for a co-managed server, outside of availability for OS Patching services. Therefore, no alert information for an individual server is currently available to be shared with the customer.

Yes, this service is now available. Documentation for that can be found here. Customers who have questions can reach out to EI-SAS for additional information.

Generally speaking, the following actions require opening a Help Desk request, or further discussion with EI-SAS:

(See https://its.uiowa.edu/support/article/120631 for more information on how to request)

  • Hardware (or virtual hardware) console access, unless granted in vCenter
  • Access to modify hardware (disk, memory, CPU, network connectivity, subnet changes)
  • Creation, deletion, and rollback of virtualization snapshots
  • Rollback to disk image snapshots
  • Inventory changes and updates
  • Host firewall modifications
  • Management via Puppet
  • Changing root or admin passwords
  • Uninstalling agents or other management tools

We rely on the customer to know their application and make this distinction.  If the customer feels there is an issue that is impacted by something at the platform level, they must open a Help Desk ticket and engage with EI-SAS operations staff to investigate it and work towards resolution. Customers are encouraged to pay attention to Help Desk Alert notices and maintenance pages to ensure they are aware of any maintenance or other changes that may affect the service or a platform.

All application support for co-managed systems is to be done by the customer. Customers who need to escalate to EI-SAS for additional support or troubleshooting must open a Help Desk ticket detailing their issue. The Help Desk ticketing system provides EI-SAS with valuable metrics including how often certain issues are happening, how much time is being taken to respond to tickets, and how long problem resolutions are taking. These metrics will help us improve our services over time. Because direct e-mail, phone calls, or instant messages bypass the mechanisms that collect and report these valuable metrics, e-mailing or directly contacting EI-SAS staff regarding a system issue without first opening a support ticket is not supported and may result in further delays to issue resolution.

EI-SAS does not offer support for an individual server on a 24x7 basis. Support requests related to a co-managed system are limited to business hours. If you have servers that need application 24x7 support coverage, you should consider the Core Application Service, which is designed to provide this level of coverage.

First and foremost, customers with this concern are should request a "testing" server for your application to test out upgrades prior to production deployment. EI-SAS is happy to modify patch windows such that testing servers get patched early in the rotation, giving time to verify that upgrades have not caused any issues with the software prior to deployment to production.  In the case where an OS patch has caused an issue with an application, customers should open a ticket with the Help Desk detailing the issue. This will be escalated to EI-SAS who will investigate and work to resolve the issue. In the event that there is an emergency situation, the ticket should be marked critical, and the Help Desk can be instructed to page the on-call staff for Technology Platform Services for expedited attention to the issue. Please note that EI will not indefinitely delay installation of an OS patch due to application incompatibility. Customers are expected to find workarounds or fixes for their application to allow patching to resume.

Examples might include Java or Apache on Linux, or specific OS-provided optional components or software for Windows.

In most cases, we can accommodate these requests.  We would ask that you reach out to its-coman-support@iowa.uiowa.edu to discuss your request further.

On Windows, these rules are managed using Active Directory GPOs. On Linux, these rules are managed using Puppet.  In both cases, we are looking into ways to make this feature available to customers to manage on their own, but this is not available today.  As such, requests for modifications to host firewall rules can be made via a Help Desk ticket, and the request will be resolved by an EI-SAS staff member.

As a reminder, rules modifications for Datacenter Firewalls operated by ISPO can be made by customers, using this form.

If ISPO identifies a security concern of a nature that EI-SAS can resolve, we will do so.  However, since EI-SAS does not have administration responsibility for applications, it is possible that resolution may warrant ISPO working first directly with the customer, and potentially calling in EI-SAS systems administrators to help resolve the issue for a fee.  In either case, we will cooperate to the fullest extent with ISPO staff to ensure the security of the system.

Yes, co-managed customers can make use of the load balancing service. However, EI-SAS staff do not manage load balancing configurations for customers unless that arrangement exists already. Co-managed customers who wish to use load balancing with their co-managed systems must work with EI-SAS. There is no fee to use the load balancer, but there is a fee for EI-SAS staff time to implement and manage the configuration.

The Backup and Disaster Recovery implementation consists of several systems that work together to provide effective protection against unforeseen issues with systems. They are briefly detailed below.  Additional detail is available the article detailing Backup and Restore information.

Disk snapshots – The storage system used with our virtualized co-managed service provides a full snapshot of the entire disk image every twelve hours.  Restores of this level of DR will restore the entire disk, not just a file. The cost of this feature is included in the service.

File level backups – Upon request, systems can take advantage of file level backups, where individual files on a drive are backed up to tape. In this case, restores can restore one or more individual files, rather than an entire disk. It is important to note that this feature is not enabled by default, and must be requested either at the time of request for the server, or it can be requested at a later time via a help desk ticket. There are limitations with this feature such that data is not retained longer than 60 days, and file level restores beyond this timeline are not possible.

Process – Customers who need a restore of any of the DR services should open a help desk ticket indicating their need, and it will be routed to the EI-SAS team for assistance.

Our response goal is to have an initial response to issues received during business hours within 60 minutes. Users who need services during non-business hours are encouraged to proactively open a support ticket whenever possible. In emergency situations, the Help Desk can be notified to page the on-call operations staff.

Due to the complexities of managing a clustered system architecture, HA architectures require the 24x7 systems administration services provided by Core Application Services (EI-CAS). As such, there is currently not an offering for co-managed systems that require a clustered architecture.

Co-managed customers are able to use Puppet with co-managed systems, but customers will need to work with EI to create a framework. Additionally, customers are responsible for writing and maintaining their own Puppet code for any pieces of their system that EI-SAS does not manage as part of the co-managed service.

No, all hardware for the co-managed service must be from a manufacturer that is supported by EI. We currently support only HPE hardware, and will work with customers to specify and quote hardware that meets their needs.  From there, EI will take care of the ordering, installation, and initial setup of the hardware, and then grant access to the customer to install their applications. As part of this process, we require that all hardware be covered by a manufacturer's warranty, as well as licensure for iLO/OneView connectivity that we use to monitor and manage the hardware itself.

If this does not fit your needs, you may be more interested in the Customer-Managed hosting service instead.

The hardware is wholly owned by the customer for the life of the device. Costs for the hardware are charged up-front to a customer-provided MFK at the time of purchase.

No, all hardware must be covered by a manufacturer's warranty. Typically, a 3-year warranty will be provided as part of the hardware quote, and this warranty can be renewed one time for extended coverage if needed.

The customer has full rights to determine what happens to the hardware after it is decommissioned. EI can assist with sending hardware to UI Surplus if it will no longer be used, or we can coordinate the return of the hardware directly to the customer after it has been removed from our datacenters.

There is no additional charge for this. It is covered as part of the base charge for the service.

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Last updated: 
November 4, 2023