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Unix Virtual Server Service

CIT offers a dedicated virtual server in the Unix environment running the Solaris operating system on the DCSS VMWare cluster environment.

What is server virtualization?

With virtual servers, the customer receives an economical service similar to having a dedicated physical server, even though multiple “virtual systems” are running on the same server. Virtualization offers faster and more flexible provisioning with decreased downtime, at a lower cost.

The Solaris Virtual Server or VM is similar to the Windows Virtual Server and runs on the same type of hardware. It provides a VMware environment for applications that require the Solaris operating system but have low memory and CPU requirements. The standard Solaris VM comes with a minimum of one virtual CPU and two GBs of memory that can be expanded.

An additional virtualization solution is the Solaris Logical Domain (LDOM) environment, running on UltraSPARC-T-Series Oracle servers. The LDOM allows several applications to run in a separate OS environment on the same hardware. This service is useful for environments that require a SPARC CPU, but do not need the full power of a multi-core T-Series Oracle server, and is an effective way to limit the software license requirements for software provided on a per core basis. A maximum of 3 LDOMS can be built on one T-Series server. A standard LDOM comes with a minimum of 8 virtual CPUs and four GBs of memory. The allocated resources can be expanded as long as additional resources are available. 

The benefits

Virtualization results in a lower cost solution over standard dedicated physical servers. Along with the cost savings, opting for virtualization brings you additional operational benefits, such as:

  • Complies with the NIH Greening Initiative: Virtualization decreases the number of administered physical servers and so reduces the need for floor space as well as overall power and cooling requirements.
  • Faster and More Flexible Provisioning: Virtualization expedites most steps of the server provisioning process. The flexibility makes implementing additional servers easier. Ease and speed of implementation of additional “virtual” servers provides customers the flexibility to request additional test or development servers to validate system changes.
  • Decreased Downtime: Virtualization allows servers to remain accessible during host server maintenance or failure.
  • Higher Capacity Utilization: Virtualization provides customers the ability to easily increase capacity. Shared CPU and memory resources can be increased or decreased among virtual machines to allow for peak or sudden workloads.

Just as we do for your physical servers, we provide a high quality production environment for you under our Virtual Server service:

  • Secure and Robust Systems: Virtualization maximizes uptime of business critical systems and offers effective business continuity.
  • CIT’s standard Unix hosting service: Customers using virtualization receive the same premium service that CIT offers its customers with physical servers.


The CIT hosting staff provides the same operating system support, patching, security, backup and monitoring as it does for the dedicated hardware solution. CIT provides support for virtual servers that must reside behind application firewalls or load balancers as a separate offering.

For pricing information regarding these services, please check the CIT Rates page.

More information

If you are interested in the Virtual Server service, please contact the NIH IT Service Desk by phone at 301-496-HELP (301-496-4357), 866-319-4357 (toll free), or 301-496-8294 (TTY).

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This page last reviewed: September 07, 2012