EduCloud

EduCloud is a low-cost, virtual data centre for higher education institutions

EduCloud Server is a self-managed, private higher education cloud server service that provides simple and secure virtual data centre access to provision, manage and utilize servers at a fraction of the cost of implementing physical servers.

The self-service portal offers users the flexibility to deploy, redistribute, and remove server resources as needed anytime, anywhere, from any device. The fully monitored architecture ensures a stable and robust service that securely stores and backs up data within British Columbia.

EduCloud Server is operated and supported by the University of British Columbia, ensuring service flexibility and 24/7 availability, designed to meet the needs of higher education and remain 100% FIPPA compliant.

 

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Overview

What is EduCloud?

EduCloud Server is a software solution that enables higher education IT organizations to build secure, multi-tenant private clouds by pooling infrastructure resources into virtual datacentres. These virtual data centres can be offered to your users/customers through web-based portals and programmatic interfaces as fully automated, catalogue-based services.

EduCloud meets all British Columbia's provincial requirements under the FIPPA legislation. It is built on the technology of VMware vSphere, the industry-leading server virtualization platform. By building secure and cost-effective private clouds utilizing EduCloud's VMware technology, your internal IT organizations can simplify the delivery of services for the businesses they support, driving innovation and agility, while increasing IT efficiency and enhancing security.

EduCloud provides your users/customers with the ability to leverage existing investments and the flexibility to extend capacity between clouds.

 

How does it work?

Deliver Infrastructure as a Service

EduCloud Server Service delivers resources to internal users as virtual datacentres. By pooling storage and networking capacity into virtual datacentres, EduCloud can help you manage resources more efficiently with complete abstraction between consumption and delivery of services.

EduCloud can deliver isolated virtual datacentres that draw resources from a common physical infrastructure. By pooling these physical resources on the back end, hardware utilization and consolidation increases. Similarly, underlying infrastructure can be pooled into tiers and offered to end users at distinct service levels and prices.

 

Consume Infrastructure as a Service

EduCloud Server changes the way that your end users consume IT services. The EduCloud self-service web portal enables simplified, self-managed access allowing users to manage their own virtual datacentres. IT organizations are able to maintain control with permissions, quotas and leases governed by role-based access controls that use the existing AD and LDAP directory services.

 

How is it used?

EduCloud offers the benefits of cloud computing without sacrificing security or control. In addition, through increased consolidation, costs are reduced, along with task automation and simplified administration.

EduCloud Server integrates with existing VMware vSphere deployments and supports existing and future applications by providing flexible standard storage and networking interfaces, such as connectivity and broadcasting between existing virtual machines housed in the traditional grid environment and new virtual machines hosted on EduCloud.

Benefits
  • Self-management through a web-based portal
  • Service availability 7-days a week, 24-hours a day
  • Scalable infrastructure compliant with BC privacy legislation and FIPPA requirements
  • Secure multi-tenancy for applications
  • Efficient provisioning, sharing, and management of virtualized resources
  • Standard catalog of predefined virtual machine templates with usage metering
Service Fees
Description Price Unit
Basic fee (includes licensing and support) $70.00 per VM/year
CPU $9.00 per GHz/year
Memory $10.00 per GB/year
Disk high performance with local and remote back-up $0.40 per GB/year
Disk standard performance with local and remote back-up $0.15 per GB/year
Disk standard performance with local back-up only $0.12 per GB/year
Virtual load balancer Included in basic fee  
Eligible Members

This service is available to all members. 

Connecting to the BCNET Advanced Network is preferred for the use of EduCloud, but not required. EduCloud is available over the public Internet; however, BCNET cannot guarantee the quality of service when accessing EduCloud services over the public Internet.

BCNET members

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is available as self-service in EduCloud Server?
Feature Self-Service Open Service Request
Increasing VM CPU, memory, and/or disk resources X  
Deploying additional virtual machines/vApps X  
Delegate access to my organization in EduCloud X  
Take and remove virtual machine/vApp snapshots X  
De-provision virtual machine/vApp X  
Migrate vApps between vDCs X  
Migrate virtual machine/vApp between disk tiers X  
Change firewall rules and load balancers X  
Add additional resources to my Org vDC   X

 

What is a vApp?

A vApp is a container for virtual machines that offers resource controls and management for the virtual machines that are inside. Think of a vApp as a portable, self-contained box that holds multiple virtual machines that make up a multi-tiered application (like a web server, database, and security server), including all custom network configurations.

It offers the following features:

  • A container for multiple virtual machines
  • Resource controls for the VMs inside the container Network configurations contained inside
  • Portability of the vApp such that everything can be contained and transferred to another virtual infrastructure
  • Entire vApps can be powered on, powered off, suspended, or shutdown
  • Entire vApps can be cloned
What is an OrgVDC?

OrgVDC is short for Organization Virtual Datacenter. Each BCNET Member will be provided an organization virtual data centre to manage. An organization VDC is a logical grouping of resources from one or more provider VDCs that an organization is allowed to access.

Depending on back-end (provider VDC) configuration and needs of the organization, one or more sets of resources backed by different provider VDCs might be present. This enables different performance, SLA or cost options to be available to users when deploying a workload.

What is a ProviderVDC?

ProviderVDC is short for Provider Virtual Datacenter. A provider VDC is a logical grouping of compute and storage resources. The provider VDC groups together a set of vSphere hosts and a set of one or more associated datastores (storage).

The logical grouping is then made available for consumption by organization virtual datacenters. Provider VDCs can leverage the Storage Profiles feature of vSphere to provide multiple classes of storage to differing organizations.

What browsers does EduCloud Server support?

The EduCloud Server Web Console is compatible with recent versions of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Internet Explorer.

Note: The EduCloud Server Web Console is compatible only with 32-bit browsers. When a browser is listed as supported on a 64-bit platform, use of a 32-bit browser on the 64-bit platform is implied.

 

Browsers Supported on Microsoft Windows Platforms

On Windows Platforms, the EduCloud Server Web Console is comptaible with the most recent version of Microsoft Internet Exxplorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and their immediate predecessor versions.

Note: The EduCloud Server Web Console is not compatible with the Microsoft Edge browser.

 

Browsers Supported on Linux Platforms

On these Linux platforms, the EduCloud Server Web Console is comptaible with the most recent version of Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, and with their immediate predecessor versions.

  • CentOS 7.x
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.x
  • Ubuntu 14.x Browsers

 

Supported on Mac OS X Platforms

On Mac OS X, the EduCloud Server Web Console is comptaible with the most recent version of Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, and with their immediate predecessor versions.

 

Supported Versions of Adobe Flash Player

The EduCloud Server Web Console requires Adobe Flash Player version 11.2 or later. Only the 32-bit version is supported.

 

Supported Versions of Java

EduCloud Server clients must have JRE 1.6.0 update 10 or later installed and enabled. Only the 32-bit version is supported.

What OS images are currently offered in EduCloud Server?
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 64-bit
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 64-bit
  • Ubuntu Linux 12.04 LTS 64-bit
  • Ubuntu Linux 14.04 LTS 64-bit
  • Ubuntu Linux 16.04 LTS 64-bit
  • Windows 7 Enterprise 64-bit
  • Windows 8.1 Enterprise 64-bit
  • Windows 10 Enterprise 64-bit
  • Windows 2008 R2 Standard
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard
What are known issues with EduCloud Server?

You may receive a federation certificate expiration notification email from vcdbcnet@it.ubc.ca such as this:

"The federation certificate expiration is MM/DD/YYYY HH:MM:SS AM/PM. An expired certificate may disable federation with the identity provider setup with your organization. The certificate can be regenerated from the Federation Settings page."

  • Option 1: This email can be ignored as it only applies to SAML authentication
  • Option 2: The certificate can be regenerated (via Administration -> Federation -> Regenerate), but it will expire within 1 year and send another warning shortly before it expires

 

Browser Plugin Compatibility

Please ensure the appropriate plugin is installed for the browser you wish to use with EduCloud Server:

Browser Plugin
Windows (Google Chrome) http://vsphereclient.vmware.com/vsphereclient/3/6/3/5/3/4/1/VMware-Clien...
Windows (Other Browers) http://vsphereclient.vmware.com/vsphereclient/3/8/6/3/8/4/6/VMware-Clien...
Macintosh (Google Chrome) http://vsphereclient.vmware.com/vsphereclient/3/6/3/5/3/4/1/VMware-Clien...
Macintosh (Other Browers) http://vsphereclient.vmware.com/vsphereclient/3/8/6/3/8/4/6/VMware-Clien...
Linux http://vsphereclient.vmware.com/vsphereclient/3/8/6/3/8/4/6/VMware-Clien...

 

How is licensing handled in EduCloud Server?

Each BCNET Member is responsible for licensing their own operating system and applications for each virtual machine. All infrastructure components are already licensed and included with your VM basic fee.

What are snapshots and how do I use them?

Snapshots allow you to preserve the state of the virtual machine so you can return to the same state repeatedly. The most common use for snapshots is to preserve system state before making major changes or applying operating system patches. Please note that snapshots are not backup systems – they only contain deltas of changes between the time the snapshot was taken and current state.

You can take a snapshot of a virtual machine either on a virtual machine level or a vApp level. Please note that you can only take one snapshot at a time – subsequent snapshots replace previous snapshots of the VM or whole vApp. vApp snapshot will take a snapshot of each VM contained within it, thus replacing any individual VM snapshots taken previously.

After you take the snapshot, you can revert a virtual machine to the most recent snapshot or remove the snapshot. Remove the snapshots as soon as possible, especially on high-transaction virtual machines (e.g. email or database servers).

Note: Snapshots do not capture NIC configurations.

What are the different storage profiles?

EduCloud Server offers four different storage profiles based on performance, backup and cost. The separation of storage allows you to choose the best combination of resources for your requirements. For example, you may choose a less expensive disk for your development and verification data, and a higher performance, more expensive disk for your production data.

Performance Tier

High Performance Storage

High performance is our highest performing tier designated for more demanding virtual machine workloads. Use cases:

  • Moderate to High I/O performance
  • Database servers I/O demanding applications

 

Standard Performance

Storage Standard performance is our middle of the road disk tier to be used for everyday applications. Use cases:

  • Low to Moderate I/O performance
  • File Servers
Backup Rotation
Backup Type Local Snapshots Retained Remote Snapshots Retained

Local Backup

Crash consistent snapshot is taken every night

6 Daily

1 Weekly

0

Local and Remote Backup

Crash consistent snapshot is taken every night and vaulted over to a remote location the same day

6 Daily

1 Weekly

24 Daily

12 Weekly

 

 

How to purchase

For more information about purchasing, please contact Client Services.


Support & Service Requests

We provide 24/7 expert support to ensure uninterrupted, problem-free service. Complete the web form using the link below.

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