What is new with General Purpose Cloud Servers


This article describes some of the major features and benefits of General Purpose Cloud Servers.

Disk Structure

General Purpose Servers use faster solid state drives (SSD) and separate the system disk from the data disk, with both disks equally RAID 10 protected. With your operating system on a separate disk from your data, you can more easily create an image of the system disk because it is a fixed size and doesn't scale up as other resources increase. For more information on data disk imaging limitations, see Images Capture System Disk Only (below) or for the full procedure,see Creating an Image of Your General Purpose Cloud Server with the Control Panel. You can back up the data on your data disk or disks by leveraging either Rackspace Cloud Backup or Rackspace Cloud Block Storage (an option that can also be used to increase the storage capacity of your server, if needed). For a comparison of the two data disk backup options, see Best Practices for Backing Up Your Data: Cloud Block Storage versus Cloud Backup.

Faster Server Provisioning

Dedicated 10-gigabit Ethernet (10 GigE) for networking on the host computer, SSDs, and no requirement to format the entire disk (system disk only) when building your servers will make the time to provision noticeably quicker.

Higher Memory Availability

General Purpose Servers are available with RAM selection of up to 120 GB per server (up from 30 GB in the Standard server class).

Compute

General Purpose Servers provide more processing power: up to 32 vCPUs or virtual cores (compared to a maximum 8 vCPUs on the largest-size server in the Standard server class). For information, see Two server types: General Purpose and I/O-optimized servers.

Faster Networking

General Purpose Servers provide more network bandwidth: 40 gigabit Ethernet (40 GigE) to each host server (the physical server where your General Purpose server exists). Each host server gets 20 GigE for management and Cloud Block Storage, and 20 GigE for the server's public network, ServiceNet, and network traffic. This bandwidth dramatically improves the interoperability of General Purpose servers with complementary services such as Cloud Block Storage over the Standard server class.

Higher Maximum IOPS

Separating the operating system from the data provides higher maximum input/output operations per second (IOPS). For example, the 1 GB General Purpose server with 20 GB of system disk and no data disk can process about 20k IOPS. The 120 GB General Purpose server with a 40 GB system disk and 1200 (or 4x300) GB data disks can perform about 80k IOPS. Compare this with the General Purpose server class for Cloud Servers, which can only process approximately 2k IOPS.

Two sever types: General Purpose and I/O-optimized servers

General Purpose servers are best suited for applications that can benefit from bursting, including web servers, batch processing, network appliances, smaller databases, and most general-purpose computing workloads. General Purpose servers use shared CPU and networking resources.

I/O optimized servers are assigned dedicated CPU and networking resources and have a higher maximum IOPS than General Purpose servers. As a result, they are better suited for applications where consistently high performance is more valuable than the ability to take advantage of variable resources for bursting. 

What Is Different with General Purpose Servers?

Changes have been implemented with General Purpose servers to align with industry standards, improve server imaging and consistently allocate adequate SSD resources for each server. The following paragraphs oultine these differences and how you can benefit from them.

No Resizing

One of the biggest differences between the Standard servers and General Purpose servers is that they cannot dynamically resize. With the rest of the OpenStack community, Rackspace is reducing support for this feature because it does not align with the industry-standard method of scaling. Rather than resize one server for vertical scaling, we instead recommend employing horizontal scaling, adding or removing the number of servers managed by a load balancer, to manage your available resources to suit your needs. For information on changing your General Purpose Server's size, see Changing the Size of Your General Purpose Cloud Server.

Images Capture System Disk Only

Images or snapshots of your system capture your operating system's configuration (your system disk). This makes the imaging process run more quickly and reliably without placing undue strain on your server. To retain the information stored on your data disk, you can use Cloud Block Storage or Rackspace Cloud Backup to save only the files and directories that you need. For a comparison of the two options, see Best Practices for Backing Up Your Data: Cloud Block Storage versus Cloud Backup.

Preparing the Data Disk For Use

As a result of having a separate System Disk and Data Disk with General Purpose Servers, you will need to prepare your data disk by formatting and mount it to your server in order to be able to use it. Please follow the instructions in these articles to prepare your data disk for use:

Windows

Preparing Data Disks on Windows General Purpose Cloud Servers

Linux

Preparing Data Disks on Linux General Purpose Cloud Servers

No 512 MB RAM Servers

The 512 MB RAM cloud server is not available for General Purpose Cloud Servers. As a server that uses shared CPU and networking resources, maintaining the 512 MB size would place too much stress on the host because of the bursting capabilities, and potentially negatively impact other servers on the host computer.



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