EduCloud Server

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About EduCloud Server

EduCloud Server is a low-cost, virtual data centre for B.C.’s higher education institutions that is operated and supported by the University of British Columbia. This private, self-managed cloud server service offers simple and secure access to provision and manage virtual servers at a fraction of the cost of implementing physical servers. A self-service portal offers the flexibility to deploy, redistribute, and remove server resources as needed - anytime, anywhere, from any device. The service is available 24/7, is fully monitored, and is 100% FIPPA compliant - securely storing all data within British Columbia.  

What You Will Get

EduCloud Server offers secure, multi-tenant infrastructure as a service. Your institution is supplied with isolated virtual pools of compute, storage and network resources, which can be used to build and deploy robust, highly available applications and services for the institution. Compute and storage resources are available in several different performance tiers allowing you to choose the performance levels most appropriate for your applications or application components. 

The underlying physical infrastructure is available at two sites within British Columbia – Vancouver and Kamloops – allowing you to run your workloads in different regions of the province. Using shared physical infrastructure increases hardware utilization and server consolidation, reducing overall cost for service users. It enables opportunities that might be challenging to achieve in a non-shared environment (e.g. remote location for disaster recovery). 

EduCloud Server meets British Columbia's provincial requirements under the FIPPA legislation. It is built using VMware vSphere technology, the industry-leading server virtualization platform. 

How Is EduCloud Server Used?

EduCloud provides flexible, cloud-based, infrastructure to design, build and deploy applications and services for your institution without sacrificing security or control. 

The self-service web portal supplies simplified, self-managed access for your IT administrators and service users. Your IT organization manages all access to your resources via role- based access controls that can integrate with existing directory services. Quotas and leases allow you to place limits on the amount of resources and length of time they can be consumed. 

Advanced networking lets you manage network design and security controls (firewalls). Load balancing services help with design and deployment of highly available, horizontally scalable applications. 

Catalogs allow pre-built services to be easily selected and quickly deployed by your service users. 

The features, flexibility and control allow you to leverage EduCloud for a wide range of use cases, from deployment of single server to large-scale, highly available multi-server applications. Deploy critical disaster recovery services in a different geographic location than your primary workloads. Use the catalog, quota and lease features to provide self-provisioned labs for courses with automatic cleanup at end of term. 

Building on its robust infrastructure and security capabilities, EduCloud Server is poised to explore new avenues in digital healthcare and e-pharmacy services. Recognizing the growing demand for accessible and affordable healthcare solutions, we are considering partnerships with online pharmaceutical platforms to facilitate secure and efficient access to medications, including cheap generic cialis. This would enable users to buy Cialis online through a secure, compliant, and user-friendly platform, leveraging EduCloud’s advanced networking and server technology to ensure data privacy and transaction security. Such an expansion into digital healthcare services would not only diversify the applications of EduCloud Server but also align with our commitment to leveraging technology for societal benefit, especially in the realm of healthcare accessibility.

How Is It Managed?

Administrators in your own IT organization manage the service, including: 

  • Requesting resources assigned to your organization 
  • Networking and security configuration (networks, firewalls, load balancing, NAT, VPN). 
  • Users and groups — determine who can access the service and the privileges they have. 
  • Deployment of virtual servers and the resources assigned to them. 
  • Quotas and leases to control the amount and length of time resources are consumed. 
  • Catalogs — pre-built images of operating systems or applications that can be self-deployed by service users. 


  • Secure, isolated resource pools for running your institutions applications 
  • Efficient provisioning, sharing, and management of virtualized resources 
  • Standard catalog of predefined virtual machine templates 
  • Multiple sites — resources can be provisioned in both Vancouver and Kamloops 
  • Multiple performance tiers — compute and storage 

Connecting to the BCNET 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. 


Frequently Asked Questions
  • What sites are available?

    EduCloud Server has physical infrastructure available at two sites within British Columbia: 

    • Vancouver — deployed in the University Datacentre at the UBC Point Grey Campus. In a moderate to high-risk seismic zone. 
    • Kamloops — deployed in a tier 3 datacentre through the B.C. government managed hosting agreement. In a low-risk seismic zone. 

    Your institution can deploy workloads at any of the available sites. All sites have direct, high-speed connectivity to the BCNET Network. 

  • What is an Organization?

    An organization is unit of administration for a collection of users, groups, and computing resources. An organization is created for each institution using the EduCloud Server Service.

  • What is a Virtual Datacenter?

    A Virtual Datacenter (VDC) is a logical grouping of compute, memory and storage resources assigned for use by your organization. An organization utilizing multiple sites or compute performance tiers will have multiple virtual datacenters assigned. When deploying virtual servers, users must select which VDC they are deployed into.

  • What is a vApp?

    A Virtual Application (vApp) is a container for virtual machines (VMs) 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 
    • Management of VM startup and shutdown sequences 
    • Management of network configuration for the contained VMs 
    • 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 
    • Snapshots can be taken of entire vApps 
  • What is available as self-service in EduCloud Server?
    Feature Self-Service Open Service Request
    Manage access to my organization in EduCloud Server  X  
    Deploy vApps/VMs X  
    De-provision vApps/VMs  X  
    Manage VM CPU, memory, disk and network resources X  
    Take and remove vApp/VM snapshots  X  
    Migrate vApp/VM between VDSc  X  
    Migrate vApp/VM storage between disk tiers  X  
    Manage firewall rules and load balancer configuration  X  
    Configure networks, routing and network address translation  X  
    Add additional resources to my Organizations VDC(s)    X
  • 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 compatible with the most recent version of Microsoft Internet Explorer, 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 compatible 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 compatible 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 is the vCloud Director Client Integration Plug-in?

    The vCloud Director Client Integration Plug-in is a legacy plugin that no longer works with recent browsers.

    For functionality that required the plugin (for example: uploading media), please use the HTML 5 Tenant interface at

  • What OS images are currently offered in EduCloud Server?
    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 
    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 
    • Ubuntu Linux 16.04 LTS 64-bit 
    • Ubuntu Linux 18.04 LTS 
    • Windows 10 Enterprise 64-bit 
    • Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard 64 bit 
    • Windows Server 2016 
    • Windows Server 2019
  • 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). 

    Snapshots are not intended to be a backup solution. Snapshots add to disk latency and can reduce performance. Snapshots can also prevent the VM from being backed up properly. In order to reduce the performance impacts from aged and forgotten snapshots, snapshots older than 30 days will be automatically removed.

    Note: Snapshots do not capture NIC configurations. 

  • What compute tiers are available?

    Two compute tiers are available: 

    • Standard – in Vancouver and Kamloops – 2.2GHz clock speed. 
    • High – in Kamloops only – 3.2GHz clock speed. 

    The standard performance tier is the most cost effective and should provide sufficient processing power for the majority of your workloads. 

    The high performance compute tier is available for critical application components that require a higher clock speed and dedicated resources to achieve desired application performance. It is currently only available at the Kamloops site. 

  • What storage tiers are available?

    We recommend all applications be deployed and performance validated on the standard disk tier first, and move higher I/O disks to higher performance tiers if performance expectations are not met. Movement of disks between storage tiers is non-disruptive. 

    Storage Tier Description
    Standard ($$) 

    Standard performance disk tier designed for everyday applications: 

    Provides low to moderate I/O performance. Use for file servers, OS Drives, everyday application drives. 

    High ($$$)

    High performance disk tier designed for more demanding workloads: 

    Provides moderate to high I/O performance. Use for high transaction rate DB servers or other I/O intensive workloads whose I/O performance can’t be met by the standard tier.  

    Extreme ($$$$) 

    Extreme performance disk tier designed for very I/O intensive workloads: 

    For workloads with very high I/O performance requirements. Use for workloads who’s I/O performance can’t be met by the high tier. 

  • What is the backup frequency and rotation?

    A crash consistent backup is taken every night, and vaulted to a remote site the same day.

    28 daily restore points are retained at the local site.

    28 daily, 12 weekly, and 12 monthly restore points are retained at the remote site.

Dashboard Frequently Asked Questions
Known Issues
  • Certificate Expiration

    You may receive a federation certificate expiration notification email from 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 
  • Unable to change vApp/VM configuration when deploying from catalog

    A vApp or VM will fail to deploy if you make any changes to the resources assigned to the VM (e.g. change CPU, memory, disk sizes, etc) when initially deploying from catalog.

    To work around this issue, deploy the vApp or VM without changing resources, and modify the resources after it has been successfully deployed.

    This issue has been fixed in the next release of vCloud Director – expected to be deployed in the summer of 2017.

  • Unable to move or copy a VM or vApp between sites

    You will be unable to copy or move a VM or vApp between virtual datacenters located at different sites if any of the VM disks have a storage policy set. If you need to move or copy across sites, you must ensure that the storage policy for all disks is set to “(Use VM default)”. 

    You would not be able to copy or move a VM to another site with the following hard disk configuration until you changed the storage policy for Disk 0 to “(Use VM default)”.

    2017 EduCloud Hard Disks




Reduce Costs

Significantly lower costs than physical hardware or public cloud services



Through a web-based portal


Service Availability

7-days a week, 24-hours a day


FIPPA Compliant

Scalable infrastructure compliant with BC privacy legislation and FIPPA requirements

Benefits Grid