Virtualization is the next era of computing which leverages computing resources and personnel and access to data services. A Virtual Network is an interconnected group of networks which appears as one network to the user protected by one firewall. Notable characteristics of this service are:
- Geographic independence – All of a faculty or department offices anywhere on campus are on one network behind one firewall.
- Improved network security architecture – A virtual firewall context can be used simplifying administration, maintenance, and security policies.
- Integration with other virtual services – A UBC IT virtual server can be positioned on the department network within the department security domain.
- Identity based wireless and VPN networking – Users can be connected and placed within the faculty or department security domain.
- Ability to multicast – Can be provisioned across all the campus networks.
Starting late 2007, UBC IT has completed the initial procurement of equipment and proof of concept for Virtual Networks. Progress has been made and this optional service is now available to all departments and faculties at the UBC Point Grey campus and will be available to UBCO and the Teaching Hospital locations by March 2010. To find out more about this new hosting solution, please visit the Virtual Server Service section.
In conjunction with Virtual Networks, UBC IT is architecting a new infrastructure to host Virtual Server Services. Virtualization is rapidly shifting from an emerging technology to a solution capable of hosting mission-critical applications, providing levels of redundancy and recovery that were once impossible or cost prohibitive with other industry standard platforms. The Virtual Server Services Project will address hardware and physical data centre space limitations, support a diverse systems environment, allow the best utilization of staff resources, consolidate infrastructure to better utilize server resources, and introduce new Disaster Recovery (DR) capabilities. The infrastructure for the Virtual Server Services is complete and progress is underway to consolidate servers and migrate services to the new architecture.