AITS VM Capability Project

Business Need:

The existing Memorial Vcluster Server Hosting Service provides virtual servers to MUN confined to only one network security zone (the least secure zone).

As Memorials information management needs continue to grow C&C is receiving requests to host information systems in our data centre. These information systems in some cases may house sensitive and /or private information. If that is the case then these systems need to be housed in a security zone affording the service the appropriate level of security. In particular, there are many client business applications that will see the immediate benefit of this project work including multiple existing business applications for example:

1. Student Affairs systems Multiplan and Orbis.
2. Health and Safety systems multiple modules.
3. Blunden Center Clockwork system

This virtual server hosting service is required for all mapped Memorial network security zones as depicted in Figure 1.




The AITS VM (Administrative & IT Services VMware) Capability project addresses the need to be able to provide virtual servers in all existing Memorial security zones. The services of a consultant trained in the VMware virtual distributed switching field will be used to facilitate the C&C project team through the required VMware Vcluster configuration. The consultant will also document and train the project team on the use of the new technology.

Further it is envisioned that the Cisco Nexus 1000V technology would be utilized here since this virtual technology is designed to integrate with the current Cisco hardware switching technology that is in use at Memorial University today.

The Cisco Nexus 1000V aligns management of the operational environment for virtual machines and physical server connectivity in the data center, reducing the total cost of ownership (TCO) by providing operational consistency and visibility throughout the network. It offers flexible collaboration between the server, network, security, and storage teams, while supporting various organizational boundaries and individual team autonomy.


In seeking a solution, a tender was issued in the spring of 2014. This resulted in the procurement of the Softchoice solution. This solution will see the installation of vSphere technology into Memorial’s existing VMware infrastructure zones (i.e., MUNet and Banner DMZ).

VMware vSphere 5 is the industry’s first cloud operating system, transforming datacenters into dramatically simplified cloud infrastructure. This transformation enables the next generation of flexible, reliable IT services to be delivered both within internal clouds, as well as from external clouds. VMware vSphere delivers uncompromising control, with greater efficiency, while preserving customer choice.

Cisco Nexus 1000V Series Switches are virtual machine access switches that are an intel-ligent software switch implementation based on IEEE 802.1Q standard for VMware vSphere environments running the Cisco® NX-OS Software operating system. Operating inside the VMware ESX hypervisor, the Cisco Nexus 1000V Series supports Cisco VN-Link server virtualization technology to provide:

Policy-based virtual machine connectivity
Mobile virtual machine security and network policy
Non-disruptive operational model for server virtualization and networking teams

The following tasks will be completed as part of the project:

1. Install RAM in Ostria and Boreas
2. Upgrade Boreas from vSphere v3.5 to v5.x (if not already completed)
3. Connect Ostria & Boreas to 2a, 2b, 3a & 3b in figure above
4. Install and configure the Cisco Nexus 1000v
5. Provide operational knowledge transfer on the Nexus 1000v
6. Migrate VMs’ networking to Nexus 1000v
7. Build new test VMs in required zones (up to 5 VMs)
8. Test functionality of as built environment

Expected project completion is summer 2014.

For further information please contact:

Dave Starkes, Project Manager
Computing and Communications
Phone: (709) 864-4536

Don Bryant, Manager, Technical Support Group
Computing and Communications
Phone: (709) 864-7588

Date: April 28, 2014