Quick Start

Available to: Students, Faculty, Researchers, Staff, Departments; Anyone with a supported institutional (non-personal) need; Students require faculty sponsorship

Cost: See detailed costs, below.

An optimized hosting platform is utilized to provide highly available and redundant virtual servers, matched to your needs. The service, built on current best practices, is deployed in secure, professionally managed, and environmentally controlled data centers. There are three standard tiers as well as a custom option. Enhanced security features are optionally available for organizations who work with sensitive or protected information.

Available To

  • Students, Faculty, Researchers, Staff, Departments (Students require faculty sponsorship)
  • Any supported institutional, non-personal need


Centrally provisioned virtual servers offer flexibility, convenience, rapid deployment, economy, and high reliability and availability. They support sustainability initiatives by optimizing resource utilization and reducing energy consumption.

Key Features

Virtual servers are available under the following 32- and 64-bit operating systems:

  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Red Hat Linux
  • Other Linux options, including BU Linux
  • Other operating systems, upon review

Several support tiers are offered; additional features are offered in the higher tiers as described below.

Bronze tier:

  • Fault tolerant hardware: This allows your virtual machine to dynamically recover from hardware failure within a single data center. A brief outage occurs while your virtual machine is rebooted on alternate hardware.
  • Installation services: This covers installation of a standard operating system supported by IS&T. Operating system licensing is a client responsibility.
  • Managed backup: Virtual Machine backup to disk is included in all offerings.

Silver tier includes bronze tier features plus the following:

  • Patch management: Application of monthly operating system patches to maintain current vendor supported levels. This includes hot fixes, service packs, and security updates.
  • System monitoring: Basic availability monitoring and email/text/phone notification services are available. This includes the monitoring of key performance metrics, availability, and alerting.

Gold tier includes Silver tier features plus the following:

  • Application or Database backup: Custom, agent-based backup services for databases and other applications are available.

Premium Secure features can be added to the silver or gold tier:

  • Premium Secure adds security features required to allow the system to collect, process and store data classified as Restricted Use and thus protected by law and subject to the security requirements laid out in the BU Data Protection StandardsRestricted Use data includes such sensitive types of information as financial credit card data, medical information, certain kinds of research data, and information protected by Federal classification.
  • This allows groups who work with very sensitive data to take advantage of the cost savings, performance improvement, and greater reliability offered by the BU virtual environment while meeting the required level of security.

What to Expect

This service will normally be available 24 by 7 except for standard change windows, as described in IS&T’s standard policies, procedures, and schedules for making changes.


IS&T requires vendor certification that the application is supported in a virtual environment.


Costs depend upon the particular configuration and support tier selected. Standard configurations along with various systems management options are priced on an annual basis, below. Pricing for custom configurations will be provided after consultation with IS&T.

Virtual Server Support Packages Bronze Silver Gold Premium Secure
Fault tolerant hardware X X X Support for Restricted Use Data (Financial, PCI, HIPAA, ITAR) is available at Silver and Gold levels. This premium includes special security and monitoring services designed to support the regulatory requirements of HIPAA, PCI, Mass General Law, Export Controls, etc.
Base OS installation services X X X
IS&T VM-level managed backup (OS/data) X X X
Support services M – F 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM X X X
OS patch management X X
Base system monitoring (ping, CPU, disk) X X
Support services  24 X 7 X
Application or database consistent backup X
Memory CPUs Storage
Small 2 GB 1 64 GB* $100/yr $200/yr $325/yr +$60/yr
Medium 3 GB 1 64 GB* $300/yr $400/yr $725/yr +$150/yr
Large 4 GB 2 64 GB* $600/yr $675/yr $1,300/yr +$300/yr
Custom 5+ GB 3 – 8 Custom Contact IS&T for information on custom pricing.
*Additional storage available at $1.00/GB/yr. Contact IS&T for more information.

Getting Started