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2.6 Virtual Machine Policies

Policies related to all Virtual Machine users

  • Requests for Virtual Machines must be made by the PI on the sponsored research project. 
  • PIs requesting VMs will need to sign a Faculty Resource User Agreement (FRUA)   prior to provisioning nodes. This agreement outlines the terms of support. If there are any questions or concerns with any of the terms of this agreement, please contact CHPC to discuss.
  • In addition to the FRUA mentioned above, PI's may be asked to sign an additional agreement for specific project(s), detailing  the unique requirements and/or specialized system support needed for the VMs provisioned for the project. This is particularly important in the Protected Environment. 

Protected Environment (PE) VM Farm Policies

  • Only CHPC Staff system administrators will have root to VMs in the protected environment. 
  • Only sponsored research projects with HIPAA/PHI or other specific data restrictions will be provisioned in the PE


Virtual Machine Backup Policy

This policy describes the CHPC provided backup of Virtual Machines (VMs) on the VM farms in both the general (Sawmill and Sawmill2) and protected (Prismatic and Prismatic2) environments.

Please note that the following applies only to CHPC administered VM.  If you have a self-administered VM on the CHPC VM farms which you want to have backed up, please contact CHPC via to have a discussion on available options.

  1. The backup schedule is a monthly full backup with incremental backups on M-F.
  2. The backups from the previous month are retained until we have the next full backup along with two weeks of incremental backups.
  3. The backup is of all user available spaces with the exceptions of /tmp and /scratch. The backup also excludes certain system locations that do not need to be backed up.  This translates to the backup of all data from the ‘/’ directory level with the following exceptions:
    1. /var/lib/bareos
    2. /var/lib/bareos/storage
    3. /dev
    4. /sys
    5. /proc
    6. /tmp
    7. /var/tmp
    8. /.journal
    9. /.fsck
    10. /uufs/*/common/*
    11. /scratch
  4. Note that the backups are only of the data stored in the local storage of the VM. We will not back up any data stored on other file systems which are mounted on the VM. If you would like data in this location to be backed up, see the options offered at
  5. If the VM has a database installed by CHPC, CHPC will do a dump of the data to a flat file on the local storage of the VM, which in turn will be included in the backup. Note that the frequency as well as the retention policies of this flat files are dependent on the amount of space required for the flat file as well as the amount of local storage available on the VM. The default policy is a daily dump to a flat file and a retention of a week, space permitting. For very large databases, the flat files can be stored on group/project space purchased by the VM owner, instead of local to the VM. CHPC will work with the owner of the VM containing databases on determining a backup strategy.
  6. The cost of the VM backup as described in this document is included in the price of the VM, unless otherwise noted.
Last Updated: 2/10/22