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Linux Hosting Service

The Linux Hosting service provides a stable, long life, Linux platform for you to host content or run applications on. We take care of the operating system and backups, freeing you to manage your application and content. We provide anything from a single server hosting public accessible web content all the way through to multiple servers running complimentary services hosting Reserved data encrypted at rest with access control via Single Sign-on.

The service is available to all University staff and research postgraduates.

 

Technical summary

The operating system is CentOS to which can be added any combination of additional software including, but not limited to, Apache, Tomcat, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, PHP, Ruby, GitLab, R Shiny Server (etc).

HTTPS is available by default and integration with Single Sign On can be provided on request.

Servers are currently provisioned with CentOS 7 which is supported until 2024.

All servers are virtual, hosted on a multinode VMware infrastructure which spans two Enterprise class data centres to provide resiliency and minimise downtime of services due by essential infrastructure maintenance.

Servers can be provisioned with either public or private IP addresses depending on whether they need to be accessible from anywhere in the world, or just from the campus network.

We are able to provide servers in development and production environments. The main difference being that production servers have the ability to migrate across data centres, whereas development servers are restriced to their local cluster. In the rare event of having a problem that would affect the hosting environment, our priority would be to restore production servers ahead of any hosts in the development environment.

 

Costs

The provision of the server (CPU, memory, 10GB disk space), backup and support is free at point of use.

Disk space can be expanded up to 100GB (at any time) free of charge. More than 100GB of disk space is chargable, the exact cost depends upon the intended use. For example, a database will require higher performing and replicated storage where as a simple file store or web server could utilize a cheaper tier of storage.

Customers will need to purchase any applicable licensing, support or maintenance for their applications.

 

Support

Support for the service is available during standard support hours via IT Services Helpdesk

We are unable to provide support for customer applications or coding problems. However, we would welcome the opportunity to work with you to deliver a design to suit your needs if we can.

 

Lifecycle support

We mirror the published CentOS supported life cycle and will provide server support for its lifetime.

CentOS release Official End of support Last provisioned image We need you off this host by*
6 November 2020 November 2018 June 2020
7 June 2024 June 2022 December 2023
8** July 2029** July 2027** January 2029**

*Whilst there is time left on the supported life span, you will need to have had serious thinks about moving off this version.

**CentOS8 is not yet available. These are provisional support dates.

 

Unsuitable use cases and other things to note


Compute heavy applications:

This service is not suited to processor intensive operations including

  • ongoing scientific calculation
  • modelling and simulations
  • map-reduce
  • machine learning (TensorFlow, Spark, etc)

Content management systems:

We are unable to provide servers that will run Content Management Systems (e.g. WordPress, Drupal or Joomla). They require frequent security updates that fall outside the mechanisms we use to secure these servers. If the systems (SiteBuilder or Warwick Blogs) already available to members of the University of Warwick are not suitable, there are numerous external providers that may be the better choice for this use case.

Docker and containers:

Currently we do not support running Docker containers. We do not yet have a way to audit or update the images used to provide Docker services and therefore we do not offer this as an option. We are working on delivering a service capable of running images but as yet there is no date for when this will be available.

Root user access:
Please note that root access is not provided.