The Data Centre team can provide additional data storage and hosting services for servers, websites, databases and files. These services are typically commissioned to support specialised work.

Researchers and research groups planning to carry out research supported by High Performance Computing (HPC) should contact the HPC Service Support team.

Information on hosting and support options for staff and students

Databases

Databases are traditionally used for administrative purposes but are now being used to manage large data sets derived from experimental procedures or calculated from theoretical models in the academic sphere. We can offer advice on design but we do not provide design resources. We can also provide hosting, typically based on Oracle RDBMS, Microsoft SQL Server or MYSQL. Databases might exist on database farms centrally managed by us or be set up as dedicated standalone database machines. You can opt to manage your own system, however, we do offer professional database management of both Oracle and Microsoft SQL systems.

To discuss database hosting options, contact the Data Centre team via the ICT Service Desk.

File storage

All members of Imperial are provided with a quota of secure file space, both for College email and personal Home directories (H: drive) stored on College's secure central network. We can provide additional data storage to Windows and Linux servers on request. Find out more about individual quotas, departmental and research space additional storage options and costs: File storage.

To discuss additional storage options and costs, contact the Data Centre team via the ICT Service Desk.

Servers

We can provision space on dedicated virtual or physical servers, most commonly required for research purposes. We can also offer management of servers, although you may wish to manage yourself. Numerous memory, processor and storage options are available.

Virtual servers

We encourage use of virtualisation wherever possible to reduce the environmental impact and cost of computing, with virtual servers making up the majority of our server estate. Running within the Imperial College London Private cloud and typically based on Microsoft Windows or Oracle Enterprise Linux, virtual servers provide a secure environment to host specialised applications and multi-user software. Virtual servers can be set-up quickly and pre-paid for up to a year in advance. The operating systems running our virtual servers are automatically patched and updated.

Virtual servers hosted on College's private cloud can only be access from inside the College network or by using a Virtual Private Network connection.  Access to Windows machines should also be limited to College End User Connector Licence is purchased from Microsoft.

Once set up, the server owner has full administrator access and is free to install and configure licensed software, within the bounds of College policy and the law. The configuration, installation and maintenance of application software on the server is the owner's responsibility.

Virtual servers could be used to:

  • host evaluating Windows or Linux software for use by teams;
  • host small multi-user applications to aid research;
  • provide a Linux shall environment for Windows users.

Virtual servers cannot be used:

  • as processor, memory or disk I/O intensive applications and data crunching (consider High Performance Computing instead);
  • for storage as a file server or media library (consider our File storage options instead);
  • to host externally-facing services or websites (consider Website hosting options instead).
Requesting the service

To request a virtual server to be set up, complete the Request a virtual server form after reading the full Terms and Conditions

Physical servers

Virtual servers are suitable in most cases, however, there are situations where virtual hosting is not appropriate. If you require set up of a physical server, complete the New Hosted Server Space request form in ASK ICT. To discuss server hosting options, contact the Data Centre team via the ICT Service Desk.

Find out more about sustainable and green IT at: Projects and Initiatives.

Websites

We host many websites in College's central web hosting facility and can also provide shared or dedicated websites based on Apache or Microsoft technologies. Our webhosting service offer high-availability hosting free of charge, providing:

  • a fast network connection to the internet;
  • Microsoft IIS technology on Windows;
  • Apache on Linux;
  • Oracle Portal Content Management System (CMS) on Sun Solaris;
  • full content control by website owners;
  • separate production and development environments to give a complete platform for creating and maintaining webpages;
  • full file security and backup;
  • operation by our specialist staff, including security and some measure of out-of-hours supervision.

The content management system (CMS) used by the College, Site Manager, is available for College-branded websites: Site Manager CMS.

To discuss webhosting options, contact the Data Centre team via the ICT Service Desk.