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We strongly recommend the use of virtualisation. It saves on the proliferation of hardware, so is environmentally friendly. You could have a number of virtual hosts running on your own desktop without any significant performance cost. Each could be running services that traditionally would have been run on dedicated physical hardware. If you or your institute do not have the option to pay for dedicated hardware, running a virtual service on your own DICE desktop can be a way to get something going anyway.
We currently only support VirtualBox on DICE for staff and research postgraduates wishing to run their own virtual hosts on their DICE desktop. Some teaching courses also use a shared VirtualBox image for students to use on DICE desktops in the student labs, in particular where the requirements of the course are not easy to deploy natively on DICE desktops.
For those with laptops we provide Virtual DICE, a DICE environment in a virtual machine.
We use KVM for running our own virtual services, but that is not yet available as an end-user option.
IS provide a charged virtual hosting service as a managed platform for hosting Windows, Linux and Unix services on a highly resilient virtualisation platform based on VMware.