Each user/organization receives a Linux VPS or "virtual private server".
This is a linux container that offers the user their own linux operating system where they have root access to install whatever software they want. Some of the available containers already have Apache, MySQL, PHP, etc installed. Some have nothing installed. Here is the current list of containers available:
- Centos-6.4 x86_64
- Centos-6.4 x86_64 (with complete LAMP stack: Apache 2.2.15, PHP 5.3.3, MySQL 5.1.69 and various PHP modules (gz, gd, xml, mbstring, pdo, apc, pear, soap))
- Debian-7.0 x86_64
- Fedora-18 x86_64
- Ubuntu 13.04 x86_64
Upon request IT can install some older versions of the above operating systems if need be.
Users have to install and maintain their own software, patches, etc. IT takes a snapshot of the disk nightly and can recover a machine to its previous day's state (or to an earlier nightly snapshot if we have it available). In addition, the user can initiate a backup of the machine at a particular state and recover that backup themselves. Data that would not be stable for a snapshot (ie; MySQL INNODB files) should be exported to a format that can be re-imported if necessary. Dumping the MySQL database of the server daily (or more frequently) is recommended.
The user will have access to a control panel where they can initiate backups (they can have 3 stored), recover to barebones system, or recover to a backup snapshot. They can set the root password of the machine and can reboot it. The control panel also shows the user the current CPU, Memory and Disk utilization.
We imagine this environment for faculty projects, clubs, personal sites, etc. College business should not be conducted on a Linux VPS. Every machine has a hostname of the form "v102.web.amherst.edu", though IT will add aliases outside of the Amherst top-level domain for user machines (ie; bobryan.web.amherst.edu or frisbee.club.amherst.edu). IT will provide support for issues with the machine itself, but does have capacity for support on installing particular applications and configurations.