User managed servers
It is possible for users with rack-mountable servers to have those servers physically hosted in an AITS machine room, which has proper physical security, environmental control and monitoring, and redundant protected power.
Please note, however, that in general there is no physical access to those hosts. Instead, remote KVM (console) services are available, as well as a way to remotely turn power on and off for a given host. In very exceptional cases (for example, equipment is defective and needs to be replaced), brief supervised access to the room can be arranged.
It is also worth noting that user-managed means just that: managed by you, the user. AITS will not supply any significant assistance or consulting after the system is physically installed.
In order to be hosted in an AITS machine room, a user-managed server must meet certain requirements:
- must be rack-mountable in a standard rack that is 19-inches (482.6 mm) wide and 30-inches (762 mm) deep; if your server exceeds 30 inches in length, you will be required to purchase an extra-deep rack to house your system
- must come with rails (those need to be purchased directly from the equipment manufacturer)
- must be capable of accepting IEC C14 to IEC C13 power cables rated at 200-240 VAC for loads up to 10 Amperes
- must have a redundant power supply (containing 2 power supply units inside it)
- must have an out-of-band management system; iLO (HP), Remote Supervisor Adapter (IBM), or DRAC (Dell)
If at all possible, please check your proposed server with us before creating the purchase order. It's a lot less expensive than having to make a change after the equipment has arrived.
Physical access is in general not available. You are expected to manage your machine(s) remotely by using a network-enabled KVM (which we supply) or your server's remote management interface (LOM, iLO), which you can use to load virtual media, and to power your system on and off.
In very exceptional cases (for example, equipment is defective and needs to be replaced), brief supervised access to the room can be arranged. Since visitors must be accompanied at all times, visits of consultants or technicians who need to work on the equipment must be coordinated in advance with AITS.
Whom to contact
To request that a server be hosted in an AITS machine room, for more information, or for pre-purchase assistance in configuring your system, please open a ticket with the Service Desk; it's helpful to mention in your message that your request should be brought to the "attention of ENCS SAG" (the System Administration Group).
Most modern computer systems have a LOM (Light-Out Management) port. If your system has this, we've networked it as "SYSTEMNAME.ulom.private" -- for example, if the hostname is "foobar.encs.concordia.ca", the LOM's name will be "foobar.ulom.private".
LOMs in "ulom.private" can be reached by ssh from the host "login.encs"; they are in private network space, which is reachable only from certain hosts. It is possible to allow access from workstations within the ENCS networks; to enable such access, the professor owning the equipment should open a service ticket to request access to "SYSTEMNAME.ulom.private" from "name of the workstation to be allowed".
Some older LOMs cannot use modern encryption algorithms. If your attempt to reach your LOM fails for this reason (use "ssh -v" to see what the problem is), you can use a workaround and specify an older encryption algorithm, for example:
ssh -v -o HostKeyAlgorithms=ssh-rsa SYSTEMNAME.ulom.private
You can also edit your .ssh/config file to specify the workaround so that you won't have to type it in every time, for example:
- Academic Information Technology Services (AITS)
- Approved calculators
- GCS Capstone Meeting and Study Rooms
- Card access
- Course support
- Data Storage
- Electronic Assignment Submission
- High-Performance Computing (HPC) Facility: Speed
- IT Policies
- Online Request Forms
- Plotting & Capstone
- User managed servers
- User managed desktops or laptops
- Wired network requests
- Service Centre