Data Centre Hosting

UCD IT Services provide a Data Centre hosting service to the University and UCD Research communities.

UCD Data Centre Terms and Conditions (11 June 2018)

For more information or if you have any questions not answered please contact us.

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There are two interconnected data centres on the UCD campus, each capable of operating independently from each other, providing the basis for delivering robust and resilient on-premise services.

 

Equipment is directly connected to the fastest network infrastructure, and access is restricted to authorised personnel only. Each data centre uses UPS units to provide power protection in the event of short power losses and fluctuations in power quality, and standby diesel generators with automatic transfer in the event of longer network power failures.

 

Close controlled and redundant cooling is provided, this ensures that equipment runs in the optimum conditions, extending equipment and component life. This provides the most cost-effective method for on-premise hosting, allowing for efficiencies of scale when it comes to infrastructure deployment and electrical power consumption.

UCD’s primary data centre, the Daedalus Data Centre was opened in October 2006 as a state-of-the-art high-density hosting facility which provides efficient power, cooling and environmental management for both the University and Research Communities IT needs.

 

The facility uses the APC ‘hot-aisle containment systems’, provides UPS protection, backup diesel generator power, and utilises a chilled water system with ‘free’ cooling to optimise the cooling with respect to the atmospheric temperature.

  • Physical Space
    • 160m2 floor space supporting 51 IT racks
  • Power
    • 4x 80kW UPS units
    • Dual power feeds to all racks, through dual redundant UPS units
    • Optimised power distribution using highly efficient transformer and UPS units
    • 800kVA Standby Generator capable of delivering 640kW, with automatic transfer switching, and 36hours runtime autonomy
  • Cooling
    • 11x 40kW AC units, in a redundant configuration
    • 3x 205kW Chiller units
    • 1x 160kW Dry (Free) Cooling
  • Connectivity
    • Full gigabit Ethernet connectivity to each server
    • 10G connectivity to the core backbone network, and directly onto the Internet / external networks
  • IT Rack Density
    • Supports up to 25kW per rack
  • Physical Security
    • Physical on-site security
    • CCTV monitoring on perimeter and all internal sensitive areas.
    • Proximity cards on all internal doors with bio metric control into technically sensitive areas.
    • All access is electronically logged
    • Intrusion detection system on doors and break glass detection on windows
  • Environment & Fire Protection
    • Temp maintained at 21'c +/-3'c
    • Redundant cooling systems
    • FM200 gas suppression, with analogue addressable system to provide exact location
    • Self-Service remote-control power management and out-of-band console access is provided
  • Remote Access (Lights out Management)
    • Self-Service remote-control power management and out-of-band console access is provided

UCD’s secondary data centre, the Computer Centre Data Centre was opened in 1999 as a low-density hosting facility which provides efficient power, cooling and environmental management for both the University and Research Communities IT needs.

The facility uses traditional cold aisle / hot aisle separation, provides UPS protection, backup diesel generator power, and utilises a direct expansion cooling to optimise the cooling with respect to the atmospheric temperature.

  • Physical Space
    • 160m2 floor space supporting 37 IT racks
  • Power
    • 1x 160kW UPS units
    • Dual power feeds to all racks, through dual redundant circuits.
    • Optimised power distribution using highly efficient transformer and UPS unit
    • 200kVA Standby Generator capable of delivering 160kW, with automatic transfer switching, and 36hours runtime autonomy
  • Cooling
    • 4x 32kW AC units, in a redundant configuration
  • Connectivity
    • Full gigabit Ethernet connectivity to each server
    • 10G connectivity to the core backbone network, and directly onto the Internet / external networks
  • IT Rack Density
    • Supports up to 5kW per rack
  • Physical Security
    • Physical on-site security
    • CCTV monitoring on perimeter and all internal sensitive areas.
    • Access is electronically logged
    • Intrusion detection system on all doors
  • Environment & Fire Protection
    • Temp maintained at 21'c +/-3'c
    • Redundant cooling systems
    • FM200 gas suppression
    • Self-Service remote-control power management and out-of-band console access is provided
  • Remote Access (Lights out Management)
    • Self-Service remote-control power management and out-of-band console access is provided

 Are there restrictions on what type of hardware I can install?

The Data Centre is for the hosting of servers for UCD Reseachers. Equipment must be standard 19" rack mount with front-to-back cooling.

The use of shelves, side-to-side cooling and non-rack mounted equipment is not supported.


Considerations Before You Buy Your Server

Power and cooling requirements for a server incur a significant cost over the lifetime of a server.  Size your server correctly for its needs. Big servers running at low utilization are generally more inefficient than small servers running at higher utilization. Older equipment provides less compute power per electrical power consumed.

Data

  • How are you going to rebuild your system and data in the event of data lost or corruption?
  • Do you want backup in the same location as the data?

Hardware

  • How are you going to keep your system available in the event of individual hardware or software failures? Are you using hardware RAID controllers, redundant power supplies?
  • Are you happy with the level of hardware support and warranty?
  • How are you going to know if you’ve a hardware failure? (do you have monitoring in place)

Software

  • Which Operating System and Applications are you installing, do you have support?
  • Design your system to minimise your requirement for physical access to the Data Centre. Enable SSH and Remote Desktop, and ensure you’re using the offered KVM service.
  • The KVM service provides out-of-band / remote console access and power control.

Lights Out Management

  • Design your system to minimise your requirement for physical access to the Data Centre. Enable SSH and Remote Desktop, and ensure you’re using the offered KVM service.
  • The KVM service provides out-of-band / remote console access and power control.

What power connections are provided?

3 pin plugs are not supported, only standard IEC outlets (C14 and C16) are provided.

Dual redundant power supply units should be used on all installed equipment.

Servers should be configured so that they auto start after power cycle (via BIOS configuration setting)


Is there a Charge for this Service?

Service is free for UCD Researchers.


Delivery of Equipment

All equipment coming into the Research IT Data Centre must have an accepted request form. This details where the equipment will be located, what power, network and console services will be provided.

Delivery of equipment to the Data Centre must be prearranged and agreed with IT Services.

You, or an agreed representative, must be present for the delivery of equipment.

Equipment may be stored in the data centre only agreed by IT Services for a maximum of two (2) days.

Once unboxed, equipment should be moved into the Research IT Data Centre and racked in the space assigned by IT Services. All rubbish/packaging must be removed from the room. Bins are provided in the plant area behind the Engineering block.


Installation of Equipment

IT Services will assist with the installation as access to the back of the cabs is restricted.

You will then be able to configure and install required components to make your system operational.

 

Do I need to register my equipment for use on the UCD Network?

  1. It is the responsibility of the owner to ensure that equipment is registered for use in the IT Data Centre networks. You can register your equipment through the IT Services Network Registration Form (https://netreg.ucd.ie/forms/server-netreg.php)
  2. Public network interfaces should be set to DHCP enabled

Equipment which has been previously registered and used in another location within UCD will require re-registered in preparation for relocation to the IT Data Centre.

Complete the location details as follows:

Host Name : ‘Your Preferred Server DNS Name’

Site: BF: Belfield

Building: daed: Daedalus

Room No. : DATA CENTRE

Area Type: Private


Can I get a private network?

  1. Please specify if you require private / management networks to be created. Examples include HPC clustering, heartbeats, Lights-Out-Management.
  2. You need to provide your own monitoring solution of your individual equipment.

If you’re require a small number of private interfaces, these will be setup on existing access layer switches.

If you require many ports, these will be provided through a dedicated switch, and should be discussed with IT Services in advance as there will be a charge.


Are there any precautions I need to be aware of in relation to the data centre?

The facility is a 24x7 live production environment, with 230 and 415volt single and 3 phase electrical systems active.

Authorised personnel and equipment only.

Continuous CCTV recording is active, and an automated gaseous fire suppression gas system is armed.

 

Is the equipment in the Data Centre Insured?

Only equipment owned by UCD will be covered for insurance purposes, companies outside of UCD will have to provide their own equipment insurance.

 

Is my hardware in the Data Centre monitored?

No. You need to provide your own monitoring solution of your individual equipment.

 

Security & Open Ports

Hosting your server in the IT Services Data Centre means that your server has a network interface on the shared public UCD Research IT VLAN. This makes your server automatically accessible from both inside and outside of UCD on most ports.

It is the responsibility of the equipment administrator to secure their equipment, and all running services.

All equipment registered for use in the Research IT Data Centre will be accessible externally on ports 22, 80 and 443. This is not removable, and you are required to secure these services if you use them or disable services on these ports if you do not require them.

Other access which you might require should be notified to UCD IT Services at the detailed requirements gathering stage.

 

How to check if a port is open?

  1. Check if you can access the port internally in UCD i.e. from a wired UCD IP Address
  2. If you can't access it internally then unless you have explicitly configured your machine not to accept connections form UCD IP Addresses, you won't be able to access it externally
  3. Check your machine configuration and ensure the service and / or port you are trying to access is running / open on the server
  4. If you can access the port internally, check if this port is open externally by using one of the many online tools designed to do this. Alternatively, try accessing the port from at home or get a friend at a non-UCD location to try

 

How to request a port to be opened

Complete the Network Change Request Form https://www.ucd.ie/itservices/networkchangerequest/

Top Security Tips

Remember you are responsible for everything your server does, or is used to do, both on the UCD network and externally

  • Keep Software Up to Date Disable Unnecessary Services – if you're not using it, switch it off
  • Disable remote login as root, admin etc
  • Disable the guest account – you should know who is on your system at all times. Guest accounts, anonymous logins and shared accounts are all a bad idea
  • Ensure that your system (hardware and software) is adequately patched and patching schedule implemented
  • Use Iptables & TCP Wrapper
  • Disable IPV6 – IPV6 is not available on the UCD LAN. Disable it
  • You should install Anti-Virus software appropriate to your OS with auto updating enabled

Every server OS has security options and tools associated with them. Some come as default, others are available freely. Use them to make your server as secure as possible.

See http://www.ucd.ie/itservices/itsupport/itsecurity

 

What if I need physical access?

You can gain physical access to your equipment by appointment only.

Access is limited to 9.30pm – 5.00pm Monday – Fridays and is booked by appointment only. It is not possible to grant on-the-spot or immediate access to the data centre.

You will require photographic ID and you will be required to be registered as a physical administrator for the system to which you request access.

External contractors may only have access to the equipment when accompanied by a registered physical administrator.

 

What do I do if I have a hardware problem?

UCD IT Services does not maintain customer hardware. If you have a problem with your hardware you should log a call with your maintainer directly.

Once you have arranged time with your maintainer log an Access Request with IT Services to ensure access.

System owner or physical administrator must accompany the engineer(s) for the duration of their visit.

 

How do I register physical administrators for my equipment?

The initial hosting request form allows you to register physical administrators for the equipment to be hosted.

Subsequent requests to add or remove physical administrators must come from an existing physical administrator or PI.

 

How can I remotely access my equipment?

You should ensure that you have in-band remote control/session capability to your equipment, as physical access to the room will be limited. SSH and RDP are popular choices and should be your default option.

You should use the KVM service, which provides out-of-band console and power control access, when your system has crashed/routine SSH/RDP access is not working.

 

How is the facility impacted by maintenance?

Preventive maintenance on Plant and Facility Infrastructure equipment is carried out across the facility on a routine basis, notice of this work is posted under Service Announcements.

Routine maintenance to the Network and Core IT Infrastructure is carried out each Tuesday 17:00 - 19:00, notice of this work is posted under Service Announcements

Whilst every effort will be made to give users advance notice of any outages, unforeseen impacts can occur and UCD IT Services will get the facility up and running as soon as is practical and safe.

 

How efficient are the data centres?

The Daedalus Data Centre utilises Hot-Aisle Containment System (HACS) is advancement on traditional cold aisle / hot aisle separation technique that is used in traditional data centres. Hot Aisle Containment System uses containment of the hot exhaust air from the IT load to ensure complete separation of the supply and return air paths.

This coupling of cooling allows for returning the hottest possible air to the in-row air cooling units, which increases their efficiency and the capacity of the overall system. It also allows for the cold aisle supply temperature to be increased which further reduces the cooling demand.

The return water that has been heated by the AC units to absorb the load is passed through a Free Cooler which dissipates as much heat energy as possible naturally before the water is passed onto the chiller Units, further chilled as required, and then pumped back around in a loop circuit to the facility again.

The HACS system together with free cooling means the system is optimised for the efficient use of energy and is as Green as possible.

The PUE (Power usage effectiveness) and DCiE (Data Centre infrastructure Efficiency) of the facility are constantly monitored and managed to ensure maximum efficiency is being achieved.

Annualised PUE for Daedalus Data Centre is approx. 1.50

 

The KVM service is a web interface for console and power management of your equipment.

It provides remote BIOS / bare metal level access to you equipment, allowing console access, power control, and virtual media support.

Please Note that shutting down the browser window doesn’t log you out of your server. Ensure you password protect your console connections and logout at the end of every session.

 

How to Use

Logon to https://KVMVM.ucd.ie

Help is available from the top right-hand corner of the screen

Enter your supplied Username and Password (normally your UCD Connect credentials)

This authenticates you to the KVM interface, it does not authenticate/sign you on to your servers

Select a Device

Under groups you’ll be presented with Group Page that lists the servers/devices that you have access to

Select a target device by clicking on the ‘Device Name’, this will then display the Device Page along with options to control it

The two main options are “HTML5 KVM Session” and “Wall Outlet Power”

 

HTML5 KVM Session Control

When you select the HTML5 KVM Session option it takes just a few seconds (up to 15s) to open a new window with the standard GUI interface to your server, allowing you to do whatever you normally do when you are physically at the server

The menu at the bottom of the window, allows you to map a virtual media (allowing your server to remotely access an ISO/IMG file running from your workstation)

 

Wall Outlet Power Control

There is an option to control the supply outlet power to your equipment,

Simply tick the option beside each supply outlet you which to control and select either On, Off, or Cycle (can take up to 15s)

Remember if you have external devices, such as Tape Libraries or Storage Shelves, these devices should generally be restarted before you restore power to the hosting server.

 

I can’t access the KVM service

If you are unable to access the KVM service (https://kvmvm.ucd.ie) directly, it is most likely to be due to network restrictions.

The KVM service is only available from any UCD network, if you wish to access the service from outside of UCD then you’ll need to use the VPN service.

 

What if I need physical access?

You can gain physical access to your equipment by appointment only.

This is scheduled access during normal business hours by prior appointment and pre-booked through ithelpdesk@ucd.ie, at least one working day in advance

You will require photographic ID and you will required to be registered as a physical administrator for the system to which you request access. External contractors may only have access to the equipment when accompanied by a registered physical administrator

It is not possible to grant on-the-spot or immediate access to the data centre so an appointment is necessary

Register your computer for the wired network


To connect a laptop or desktop to the UCD wired network, you must first register it with us.  
https://www.ucd.ie/itservices/ourservices/getconnected/registeryourdeviceonthenetwork

Virtual Private Network (VPN) Service


The University VPN provides University staff with a secure way to connect their work devices to the University network in order to access University systems when off campus.
https://www.ucd.ie/itservices/vpn/

 

Network Change Request

Exceptional access to servers which are not available using the University VPN and require core network changes can be requested here.

https://www.ucd.ie/itservices/networkchangerequest/


SSL Certificates


A private key and valid SSL certificate should be installed on your web servers for it to properly support HTTPS.
https://www.ucd.ie/itservices/ourservices/researchit/complementaryservices/sslcertificates/

NTP Service


The NTP protocol enables your operating system to automatically set the correct time of day, accurate to within a few milliseconds.
https://www.ucd.ie/itservices/ourservices/researchit/complementaryservices/ntpservers/#d.en.345733

Cloud Servers and Storage


provides customers with the facility to purchase cloud servers and storage which are hosted in Belfield. Using the GÉANT Framework it has also become easier to procure Public cloud servers and storage (e.g Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure)
https://www.ucd.ie/itservices/ourservices/researchit/cloudserversandstorage/

Compute Clusters


UCD Research IT provide a wide range of services to the UCD Research community in relation to the provisioning and use of High Performance Computing Clusters. The HPC environment is ideal for researchers who need access to substantial computing resources, allowing them to greatly reduce the time required to perform large scale calculations.
https://www.ucd.ie/itservices/ourservices/researchit/computeclusters/

IT Security Training


Practical IT security awareness training for staff and technical training for system administrators.

https://www.ucd.ie/itservices/ourservices/security/training/