* About: Server Virtualization

Service overview | Who can use it | How to request & access | Cost | Availability | FAQs | Best practices & policies | Training & documentation | Support

Service overview

IT Services provides a service for virtualizing Linux and Windows servers for McGill academic, administrative, and qualifying research units.

This service provides virtual servers (the ability to run multiple heterogeneous OS and applications that are completely isolated from one another on the same physical Intel base server) using VMware vSphere technology at the core of the server service and enterprise SAN (Storage Area Network) storage for all data.

All virtual servers operate within physical server clusters, with redundant network connections and using SAN (Storage Area Network) storage located in a secure data centre which provides hardware redundancy to minimize unscheduled downtime.

A virtual machine (VM) can be created from a finite choice of current Windows operating system (OS) or Red Hat Linux.

Service Inclusion

36-month VM lease that includes:

Service Exclusions

Who can use it

McGill faculty, staff, researchers and research units can make a request through their departmental system administrator or Local Area Network (LAN) administrator.

If the server administrator is not a McGill employee, their sponsor (a McGill department/unit director or manager) will need to request a resource account, which can then be granted access to the server. Note that the resource account will not require a mailbox, as it is only used for authentication purposes.

How to request & access the service

Please fill out the request form New custom virtual machine.

For help connecting to a Virtual Machine (VM), please contact your IT System Administrator. If you do not have one, please contact the IT Service Desk.



If you are accessing the server from outside the McGill network, you will need to first establish a VPN connection

For IT Services staff only

Submit the appropriate request form for your needs:


Refer to Rates and prices for data products and services.


The service is available 24 X 7, except during planned maintenance or outages, which will be posted on the IT Services website.

Contact your IT System Administrator for your VM availability.

Frequently asked questions

None available at this time.

Best practices & policies

For IT Services staff only:

A virtual machine snapshot allows you to save a virtual machine’s state (power) and data (disk, memory) at a specific point in time, so that you can revert the VMware Virtual Machine to that exact state at a future time, if needed.

Members of McGill IT Services who have access to a Virtual Machine, through vSphere, are able to manage snapshots themselves. See Virtual machine snapshot.

See Best practices for using snapshots in the vSphere environment

Training & documentation

 See Best practices section, above.


For general support contact your IT System Administrator; if you don't have one contact the IT Service Desk.