Generic SLA for TACC-hosted VMs Purchased Through the Service Center

Key Metrics

  • Availability: 99.9%
  • Routine work request acknowledgment response time: 1 business days
  • Review and response of Active requests: 3 business days

Description and Cost of Service

A standard TACC-VM service unit includes:

  • 1 virtual CPU
  • 1 GB of RAM

The University of Texas has established cost recovery rates for computation per TACC-VM service unit.

This cost is multiplied by the number of standard service units required to satisfy a user's requirement. For example, a higher education user requiring 1 virtual CPU and 8 GB of RAM would be charged 8*(service unit rate) since the VM is using four times the RAM of the service unit.

Additionally, each VM is provisioned with 100 GB of disk. Users requiring more storage are charged for that storage (in addition to charges to any charges based on a computational requirement) according to cost recovery rates for storage established by the University of Texas.


This document defines the Service Level Agreement (SLA) for the TACC Virtual Machine (TACC-VM) service as well as the rights and responsibilities of any user that obtains this service from TACC.

Service Description

TACC-VMs provide cost-effective, reliable, self-provisioned virtual machines (VM) based on the VMware products and in support of open science. VMs purchased through TACC are provisioned based on CPU cores, gigabytes of memory, and storage. Users requesting VMs must first have an approved user account created through the TACC User Portal ( Single use two-factor authentication is in place for all privilege escalation at TACC and is required to gain root access.

Service Commitment

TACC will put forth its best effort to make TACC VMs available with a Monthly Uptime Percentage (defined below) of at least 99.9%.


"Monthly Uptime Percentage" is calculated by subtracting from 100% the percentage of minutes during the month in which a user's virtual machine had no external connectivity. Monthly Uptime Percentage measurements exclude downtime resulting directly or indirectly from any planned service outage (see below) or as a result of actions taken by the user.

Rates and Billing

The University of Texas has established cost recovery rates per TACC-VM service unit, which are set under the TACC Service Center and are not negotiable.

The current rate is anticipated to remain until February 29th, 2020. However, the rate is reviewed biennially and is therefore subject to change. Users are billed through the TACC Service Center.

TACC-VM charges are billed annually.

Standard Maintenance of Service

Availability of TACC-VMs is subject to published TACC Networking and Data Center maintenance events; TACC-VM users will receive at least 10 business days notice via email prior to a planned maintenance event. Emergency maintenance events are scheduled as required due to necessary security patches or unexpected failure of service components.

Data Security

Users are prohibited from uploading protected data to TACC-VMs (TACC does provide for the processing of protected data on other systems). Protected data includes, but is not limited to, Personally Identifiable Information (PII), data identified for protection by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), and Export Administration Regulations (EAR).

Users of TACC-VMs are subject to periodic usage review and necessary scans to ensure that usage meets the Information Resources Use and Security Policy.

Intended Use

TACC-VMs are intended to provide infrastructure for virtual machine (VM) service to faculty, staff, and researchers in departments, colleges, and research units and other entities that support the needs of open science. TACC-VM is a shared environment and is subject to a suitability review by the TACC-VM administrators. Usage that demonstrates a negative impact on the overall performance or availability of service for other TACC-VM users is subject to quality of service controls, including temporary suspension, to restore TACC-VM service availability.

Technical support

Support for the TACC-VM infrastructure, including maintenance for server hardware and virtual infrastructure software, is provided by TACC-VM administrators. Support requests related to the TACC-VMs can be created via the TACC User Portal. Support for the VM operating system instance and applications within each virtual machine will be provided by the user.