Rackspace Cloud Glossary


 

ABNF

(Augmented Backus-Naur Form) A plain-text (non-XML) representation, similar to a traditional Backus-Naur Form (BNF) grammar, that is used as a bidirectional communications protocol.

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absolute limit

A fixed threshold that controls the total number of specific objects that the user can possess simultaneously.

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account

The portion of the Rackspace Cloud system designated for your use. The Rackspace Cloud system is designed to be used by many different customers, and your user account is your portion of it.

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agent

For Cloud Monitoring, a monitoring daemon that resides on the server and acts as a single small service that runs checks and gathers metrics such as load average and network usage. It pushes metrics to the rest of Cloud Monitoring for analysis, trigger alerts, and archiving. The metrics can be used with other Cloud Monitoring features such as alarms.

For Cloud Backup, an executable that sits on your cloud server that knows how to perform backups and restores. Agent installation currently supports Windows and Unix or Linux platforms.

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agent token

An authentication token used to identify the agent when it communicates with Cloud Monitoring.

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alarm

A set of rules that determines when a notification is triggered. Multiple alarms can be created for the different check types associated with an entity.

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API

(Application Programming Interface) A set of routines, protocols, and tools used by programmers to create software applications.

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API key

A unique alphanumeric identifier associated with an account. When paired with a username, and API key can be used as an authentication credential to generate an authentication token that is recognized by the services in a service catalog.

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audit log

A report containing all the errors and events that have occurred within a user's scaling group and are listed on a user's cloud feed.

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authentication

The process of identifying yourself to the Rackspace Cloud Identity service to receive connection parameters and an authentication token. The authentication token is valid for a limited length of time (usually 24 hours) and must be passed to a Rackspace Cloud service to perform all service operations.

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backup

A copy of computer data for a database instance that can be used to restore the original instance if necessary.

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bandwidth

The amount of available data used by communication resources such as the Internet. Bandwidth refers to the amount of data that is used to download things or the amount of data available to download. With PublicNet, standard bandwidth rates apply for outbound transfers, but there is no charge for inbound transfers. With ServiceNet, no charges apply for inbound or outbound bandwidth transfers over the Rackspace internal network.

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CDN-enabled container

A container that serves content through the Akamai content delivery network (CDN). When a container is CDN-enabled, any files in the container are publicly accessible and do not require an authentication token for read access. However, uploading content into a CDN-enabled container is a secure operation and requires a valid authentication token. Each published container has a unique URL that can be combined with its object name and openly distributed in web pages, emails, or other applications.

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check

The foundational building block of an entity monitoring system. The check specifies the parts or pieces of the entity to be monitored, the monitoring frequency, and the number of monitoring zones launching the check.

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check type

A check created to monitor a specific part or piece of an entity. The check type tells the monitoring system which method to use (for example, ping, HTTP, or SMTP) when investigating the monitored resource.

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Classless Inter-Domain Routing (CIDR)

A method for allocating IP addresses and routing IP packets. CIDR is used with Cloud Networks.

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claim

The process of a worker checking out a message to perform a task. Claiming a message prevents other workers from attempting to process the same messages. Claims are used with Cloud Queues.

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claim TTL

Defines how long a message will be in a claimed state. A message can be claimed by one worker at a time. Claim TTL is used with Cloud Queues.

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cluster

A group of servers (nodes). In Cloud Big Data, the servers are virtual.

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collector

An entity that collects data from a monitoring zone. The data is mapped directly to an individual machine or a virtual machine. Monitoring zones contain many collectors, all of which are within the IP address range listed in the response. There can also be unallocated IP addresses or unrelated machines within that IP address range. Collectors are also known as endpoints.

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Compute

An OpenStack service that provides server capacity in the cloud. Compute servers are available in different combinations of memory, disk space, and CPU, and can be provisioned in minutes. Interactions with Compute servers can occur programmatically via the OpenStack Compute API or the Dashboard.

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configuration group

A collection of key/value pairs, or parameters, that represent settings that can be applied to a datastore (the database running in an instance). The valid parameters are defined per datastore. Some parameters can be applied dynamically, while other parameters require a server restart to take effect. The configuration group can be applied to an instance at creation or applied to an existing instance to modify the behavior of the running datastore on the instance.

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configuration parameter

A key/value pair that represents settings that can be applied to a database instance.

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connection logging

A feature that allows logs to be delivered to a Cloud Files account every hour. For HTTP-based protocol traffic, these are Apache-style access logs. For all other traffic, this is connection and transfer logging. Connection logging is used with load balancers.

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consumer

A server that claims messages from a queue.

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container

A storage compartment that provides a way to organize data on a server. A container is similar to a folder in Windows or a directory in UNIX. Containers cannot be nested.

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content compression

Request and response body data may be encoded with gzip compression in order to accelerate interactive performance of API calls and responses. This is controlled using the Accept-Encoding header on the request from the client and indicated by the Content-Encoding header in the server response. By default, encoding is disabled.

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content delivery network (CDN)

A system of distributed servers (network) that delivers web pages and other web content to a user based on the geographic locations of the user, the origin of the web page, and a content delivery server.

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contract version

Defines the contract and build information for the API. The contract version denotes the data model and behavior that the API supports. The requested contract version is included in all request URLs, (for example, https://ord.autoscale.api.rackspacecloud.com/v1.0/1234). Different contract versions of the API might be available at any given time and are not guaranteed to be compatible with one another.

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cooldown

The length of time that a scaling group must wait after scaling before beginning to scale again.

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CPU alarm

An alarm that sends a notification when your average CPU usage exceeds the set criteria.

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CPU check

A check that monitors and displays your server's CPU usage. It also displays your server's historical usage.

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credential

Data that belongs to and identifies a specific user. Because credentials are assumed to be known by only one user, users who present valid credentials are assumed to have proven that they are who they say they are. Examples of credentials include a matching username and password, a matching username and API key, and a unique token.

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database

A MySQL database within a database instance.

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database instance

An isolated MySQL instance in a single-tenant environment on a shared physical host machine. Also referred to as an instance.

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Domain Name System (DNS)

A system by which Internet domain name-to-address and address-to-name resolutions are determined. All domains and their components, such as mail servers, use DNS to resolve to the appropriate locations. DNS servers are usually set up in a master-slave relationship so that the failure of the master server invokes the slave server. DNS servers can also be clustered or replicated so that changes made to one DNS server are automatically propagated to other active servers.

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domain

A domain is an entity/container of all DNS-related information containing one or more records.

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domain owner

Within Rackspace cloud DNS, the account that creates the domain is the domain owner.

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endpoint

An entry point to an API. The endpoint is defined as a set of base URLs. API operations are defined relative to these URLs. An API might offer several regional endpoints for a single API. Rackspace provides two authentication endpoints: one for US-based accounts and one for UK-based accounts.

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entity

In Rackspace Cloud Monitoring, a server-like object that is monitored. An entity is most commonly a web server, although it can also be any object, device, website, web page, or web service.

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error page

The html file that is shown to the end user when an error occurs in the service. Every virtual server is provided with the default error file. It is possible to submit a custom error page via the Load Balancers API.

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fault

An object that is returned when an error occurs. A fault object contains an HTTP error response code that denotes the type of error. In the body of the response, the system returns additional information about the fault.

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file system alarm

An alarm that sends a notification when the disk space in your specified directory exceeds the parameter that you set.

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file system check

A check that monitors and displays disk usage in a directory that you specify.

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flavor

An available hardware configuration for a database instance and server. Each flavor is a unique combination of disk, memory, vCPUs, and network bandwidth.

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floating IP address

A IP address (typically public) that can be dynamically assigned to an instance. This address enables network address translation (NAT) and allows an instance to be accessed from outside the Nova fixed network.

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glance

Project name for the OpenStack Image Service software, which is the main image repository of OpenStack. This repository is the place where you upload your images and the place from which the images are consumed by the rest of the OpenStack system.

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health monitor

A configurable feature of each load balancer. It is used to determine whether or not a back-end node is usable for processing a request.

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Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS)

Also known as the Apache Hadoop Distributed File System, the default file system used in Cloud Big Data.

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HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP)

The protocol that tells browsers where to find information.

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image

    1. A collection of files for a specific operating system used to create or rebuild a server. Rackspace provides prebuilt images. You can also create custom images from servers that you launch. Custom images can be used for data backups or as "gold" images for additional servers. In the Rackspace Cloud Images service, an image is represented by a JSON-encoded data structure (the image schema) and its raw binary data (the image file).
    2. Templates for creating new VMs. The project under OpenStack that stores the available images is called Glance.

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image member

A user who has been granted access to an image. Normally, if an image is not public, only the image owner can boot a server from the image.

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image tag

A string of characters used to identify a specific image or images.

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image task

A resource that enables you to perform asynchronous image-related operations such as importing or exporting images. The task resource might be polled to determine the status of the operation, and the resource is deleted at a set time identified by the expires-at parameter.

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instance

    1. A virtual machine that runs inside the cloud. Instances are used with Cloud Block Storage.
    2. A database instance is an isolated MySQL instance in a single-tenant environment on a shared physical host machine. Instances are used with Cloud Database.

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instance type

The compute, memory, and storage capacity of Cloud Server instances. The instance type defines the size (in terms of vCPUs, RAM, and so forth) of the virtual server that you will be launching.

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JSON

(Javascript Object Notation) An open standard format that uses human-readable text to transmit data objects consisting of key:value pairs. The following JSON example might be used to represent an object that describes a person: { "firstname": "John", "lastname": "Smith", "age": 25 }.

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JSON Pointer

A syntax for identifying a specific value within a JSON document. A restricted JSON Pointer is a Unicode string that contains a sequence of exactly one reference token, prefixed by a '/' (%x2F) character. Each reference token is a sequence of unreserved characters, percent-encoded characters, or both.

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key pairs

Simple SSH keys that credentials for accessing any running instances. Users create a key pair or use an existing key pair and associate that key pair when building a server. Using a key pair grants a user the ability to authenticate via key-based authentication instead of password-based authentication.

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Keystone

Project name for the identity service software, which offers an integrated identity management system for OpenStack. Initially using token-based authentication, but eventually supporting plug-in modules for identity storage (LDAP, DB, file, PAM, Active Directory, and so on) and protocols (SAML, OAUTH, OpenID, and so on), and necessary middleware to support integration with OpenStack core, affiliated, and compatible services.

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language-specific API

An API provides a layer of abstraction on top of the base REST API, enabling programmers to work with a container and object model instead of working directly with HTTP requests and responses. Language-specific APIs are available in several popular languages.

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limits

Calls to the Identity API are rate-limited at a default of 50 requests per second. Since tokens have an expiration time of 24 hours, you should never hit this limit. The limit is placed on either the request's IP address, the username, or the token in the X-Auth-Token header, depending on the data available in the call's request. If your request is rejected because you have exceeded your rate limit, you will receive a 413 overLimit error. While you can retry after a few seconds, we also recommend that you check your client code to verify that it is using the API in an efficient manner. A future release will provide the ability to view your limits so you can track API utilization before being rate-limited. The rate limit defaults are likely to change as we gauge realistic levels. If the default limits change, we'll update this document to reflect the current value.

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load average alarm

This alarm sends a notification when your system's load exceeds a number you specify for greater than X number of minutes. X is generally set for 5 minutes.

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load average check

This check monitors and displays your system's load average. This option is most often used with Linux machines.

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load balancer

A load balancer is a logical device which belongs to a cloud account. It is used to distribute workloads between multiple back-end systems or services, based on the criteria defined as part of its configuration.

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MapReduce

A framework for performing parallel calculations on the data in a distributed file system. MapReduce uses two components, map tasks and reduce tasks. Map tasks transform each input data element to an output data element. Reduce tasks aggregate values together by receiving an iterator of input values from an input list and combining the values together, returning a single output value. Reduce tasks are often used to produce summary data, turning a large volume of data into a smaller summary of itself. Map tasks run parallel with each other, as do reduce tasks. Used in Big Data.

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media type

An Internet media type is a standard identifier used on the Internet to indicate the type of data contained in a file. A media type is composed of a type, a subtype, and zero or more optional parameters. For example, an HTML file might be designated text/html; charset=UTF-8.

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memory alarm

This alarm notifies you when your server memory usage goes above the percentage you set in the criteria.

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memory check

This check monitors and displays your server's memory use (RAM). It also displays your server's historical usage.

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message

A task, a notification, or any meaningful data that a producer or publisher sends to the queue. A message exists until it is deleted by a recipient or automatically by the system based on a TTL (time-to-live) value.

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message TTL

Defines how long a message will be accessible.

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messaging pattern

Cloud Queues supports a variety of messaging patterns including the following: producer-consumer, publish-subscribe.

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metadata

Optional information that you can assign to Cloud Files accounts, containers, and objects through the use of a metadata header.

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middleware

Software that connects two otherwise separate applications. For example, there are a number of middleware products that link a database system to a web server.

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monitoring zone

A monitoring zone is the "launch point" of a check. When you create a check, you specify which monitoring zone(s) you want to launch the check from. This concept of a monitoring zone is similar to that of a datacenter, however in the monitoring system, you can think of it more as a geographical region.

You can launch checks for a particular entity from multiple monitoring zones. This allows you to observe the performance of an entity from different regions of the world. It is also a way to prevent false alarms. For example, if the check from one monitoring zone reports that an entity is down, a second or third monitoring zone might report that the entity is up and running. This gives you a better picture of an entity's overall health.

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MySQL

Database that stores the build-time and run-time state for a cloud infrastructure.

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network alarm

This alarm sends a notification when either of the network receive or the network transmit rate alarms are triggered.

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network check

This check monitors your network receiving and transmitting traffic. The unit of value for this alarm is megabits per second (Mbit/s). This check also displays your traffic usage. Unlike the other alarms in this list, you set the network check alarm variable upon network check creation.

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node

    1. A connection point in a network, either a redistribution point or an end point for data transmissions. In general, a node has programmed or engineered capability to recognize and process or forward transmissions to other nodes.
    2. A node is a back-end device providing a service on a specified IP and port.

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notification

An informational message sent to one or more addresses by the monitoring system when an alarm is triggered. A notification can be set up to alert a single individual or an entire team. Rackspace Cloud Monitoring currently supports webhooks and email for sending notifications.

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notification plan

A set of rules to be executed when an alarm is triggered. A plan contain multiple notifications for Critical, Warning, and OK states.

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Nova

The project name for the OpenStack Compute service that provisions and manages large networks of virtual machines, creating a redundant and scalable cloud computing platform.

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pagination

For API method calls, provides the ability to limit the size of the returned data in the response body as well as retrieve a specified subset of a large data set. Pagination has the following key concepts:

    • limit: The restriction on the maximum number of items of that type that can be returned. Services that use pagination have maximum limits and a default. If you exceed the maximum, the default is used.
    • marker: The ID of the last item in the previous list returned. If you specify a marker ID, the request returns the specified number of items starting with the ID after the ID that you specify for marker.
    • offset: A count of the number of objects from which the paginated list starts. For example, an offset of 50 specifies that the items that are returned should start with item number 51 in the collection. Offset applies to Cloud DNS and Cloud Load Balancers only.

    If the content returned by a call is paginated, the response includes a structured link with the basic structure {"href": "", "rel": "next"}. Any response that is truncated by pagination has a next link, which points to the next item in the collection. If no more items exist, no next link is returned.

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    period

    Specifies, in seconds, how often Cloud Monitoring collectors run a check.

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    private container

    A container that is only accessible by the account holder.

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    producer

    A server or application that sends messages to the queue.

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    producer - consumer

    A messaging pattern in which each worker application that reads the queue has to claim the message in order to prevent duplicate processing. After work is done, the worker is responsible for deleting the message. If the message is not deleted in a predefined time, it can be claimed by other workers.

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    pseudo directories

    A hierarchical structure within a single Cloud Files container created by adding forward slash characters (/) in the object name.

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    public container

    A CDN-enabled container that is publicly accessible.

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    PublicNet

    Provides access to the Internet, Rackspace services such as Cloud Monitoring, Managed Cloud Service Level, RackConnect, Cloud Backup, and certain operating system updates. When you list networks through Cloud Networks, PublicNet is labeled public.

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    publisher

    A server or application that posts messages to the queue with the intent to distribute information or updates to multiple subscribers.

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    publisher - subscriber

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    A messaging pattern in which all worker applications have access to all messages in the queue. Workers cannot delete or update messages.

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    queue

    The entity that holds messages. Ideally, a queue is created per work type. For example, if you want to compress files, you would create a queue dedicated to this job. Any application that reads from this queue would only compress files.

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    RabbitMQ

    A robust message broken software for applications. It is open source and based on open standard protocols.

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    rate limit

    Rate limits are specified in terms of both a human-readable wildcard URI and a machine-processable regular expression. The regular expression boundary matcher '^' takes effect after the root URI path. For example, the regular expression ^/v1.0/execute would match the bolded portion of the following URI: https://ord.autoscale.api.rackspacecloud.com /v1.0/execute. Rate limits are applied in order relative to the verb, going from least to most specific. For example, although the general threshold for operations to /v1/0/* is 1,000 per minute, you cannot POST to /v1.0/execute* more than 1 time per second, which is 60 times per minute. If you exceed the thresholds established for your account, a 413 (Rate Control) HTTP response is returned with a Retry-After header to notify the client when it can attempt to try again.

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    Role Based Access Control (RBAC)

    Restricts access to the capabilities of Rackspace Cloud services to authorized users only. RBAC enables Rackspace Cloud customers to specify which account users of their Cloud account have access to which Rackspace service capabilities, based on roles defined by Rackspace. The permissions to perform certain operations in a service – create, read, update, delete – are assigned to specific roles. The account owner assigns these roles, either multiproduct (global) or product-specific (for example, Auto Scale only) to account users.

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    record

    A DNS record that belongs to a particular domain and is used to specify information about the domain. There are several types of DNS records. Each record type contains particular information used to describe that record's purpose. Examples include mail exchange (MX) records, which specify the mail server for a particular domain, and name server (NS) records, which specify the authoritative name servers for a domain.

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    request and response type

    Rackspace Cloud APIs support JSON and, in some cases, XML data serialization formats. You specify the request format by using the Content-Type header. The request format is required for calls that have a request body. You can specify the response format in requests either by using the Accept header or by adding a .json or .xml extension to the request URI.

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    resource

    A template artifact that represents some component of your desired architecture (a cloud server, a group of scaled cloud servers, a load balancer, some configuration management system, and so forth).

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    REST

    (Representational State Transfer) A style of architecture for hypermedia systems that is used for the World Wide web.

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    RESTful

    A type of web service API that uses Representational State Transfer. REST is the architectural style for hypermedia systems used for the World Wide Web.

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    role

    A personality that a user assumes when performing a specific set of operations. A role includes a set of rights and privileges, and a user assuming a role inherits the rights and privileges associated with the role. A token that is issued to a user includes the list of roles that the user can assume. When a user calls a service, that service determines how to interpret the user's roles. A role that grants access to a list of operations or resources within one service might grant access to a completely different list when interpreted by a different service.

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    scaling

    The process of adjusting a server configuration in response to variations in workload.

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    scaling group

    Identifies servers and load balancers that are managed by a scaling policy.

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    scaling policy

    A policy that manages a scaling group.

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    schema

    The JSON-encoded data structures that represent domain objects. Some Rackspace APIs supply schema documents so that a client knows exactly what to expect in an API response.

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    SCP Server Proxy

    A secure copy (SCP) service that runs on a Hadoop cluster and distributes files across the cluster.

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    security group

    Security groups at this time exist mainly as tags for the servers and can be consumed through the metadata API by means of a simple cURL command. Security groups can be specified as part of the "personality" of an instance.

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    segmentation

    The process of segmenting a large file into a number of smaller files for uploading to Cloud Files. Cloud Files limits the size of a single uploaded object. By default this limit is 5 GB. However, the download size of a single object is virtually unlimited with the use of segmentation. Segments of the larger object are uploaded and a special manifest file is created that, when downloaded, sends all the segments concatenated as a single object. Segmentation also offers much greater upload speed with the possibility of parallel uploads of the segments.

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    server

    A computer that provides explicit services to the client software running on that system. A server is a virtual machine (VM) instance in the Cloud Servers environment. To create a server, you must specify a name, flavor reference, and image reference.

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    service

    Provides one or more endpoints through which users can access resources and perform operations. Examples of Rackspace services include:

    • Hybrid Cloud - Enterprise Cloud Services, Advisory Services, Professional Services, Migration Services, Security & Compliance, DevOps Automation, Managed Cloud Service Level
    • Dedicated - Critical Application Services, DBA Services, Managed Security
    • Email - Archiving, Migration

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    service catalog

    A list of services that are returned with your authentication token and an expiration date for that token. All services in the service catalog should recognize your token as valid until it expires.

    The catalog listing for each service provides at least one endpoint URL for that service. Other information, such as regions and versions and tenants, is provided if it is relevant to your access to this service.

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    ServiceNet

    Provides access to Rackspace services such as Cloud Files, Cloud Databases, and Cloud Backup, as well as to certain packages and patches through an internal only, multi-tenant network connection within each Rackspace data center. When you list networks through Cloud Networks, ServiceNet is labeled as private.

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    session persistence

    A feature of the load balancing service that attempts to force subsequent connections to a service to be redirected to the same node as long as it is online.

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    snapshot

    A point-in-time copy of the data contained in a volume.

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    stack

    A group of resources such as servers, load balancers, and databases combined to fulfill a useful purpose. Based on a template, the orchestration engine creates an instantiated set of resources (a stack) to run the application framework or component specified (in the template). A stack is a running instance of a template. The result of creating a stack is a deployment of the application framework or component.

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    subdomain

    Domains within a parent domain. Subdomains enable the ability to delegate domains. Subdomains can have subdomains; therefore, third-level, fourth-level, fifth-level, and deeper levels of nesting are possible. Subdomains cannot be registered.

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    subscriber

    An observer that watches messages like an RSS feed but does not claim any messages.

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    suppression

    Silences the notifications from an alarm or a set of alarms for a given amount of time. A single suppression can apply to any number of alarms. You can define the alarms to which it applies at any of several granularity levels by providing a list of Entity IDs, a list of Entity ID/Check ID pairs, a list of of entity IDs, a list of entity ID and check ID pairs, a list of entity ID and alarm ID pairs, or a list of notification plan IDs.

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    template

    A portable Cloud Orchestration file, written in a user-readable language, that describes how a set of resources should be assembled and what software should be installed in order to produce a working deployment. The template specifies what resources should be used, what attributes can be set, and other parameters that are critical to the successful, repeatable automation of a specific application deployment.

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    tenant

    A container used to group or isolate resources or identity objects. Depending on the service operator, a tenant could map to a customer, account, organization, or project.

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    TTL

    (Time To Live) A mechanism that limits the lifespan of data in a computer or network.

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    URI

    (Uniform Resource Identifier) A string of characters used to identify the name of a web resource. The URI syntax consists of a URI scheme name (such as http, ftp, or file) followed by a colon, and then by a scheme-specific part (which varies depending on the context).

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    user

    A digital representation of a person, system, or service that consumes cloud services. Users have credentials and might be assigned tokens. Based on these credentials and tokens, the authentication service validates that incoming requests are being made by the user who claims to be making the request, and that the user has the right to access the requested resources. Users might be directly assigned to a particular tenant and behave as if they are contained within that tenant.

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    UUID

    (Universally Unique Identifier) A 128-bit number that is used to uniquely identify an object on the Internet.

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    virtual IP address

    An Internet Protocol (IP) address configured on the load balancer for use by clients connecting to a service that is load balanced. Incoming connections are distributed to back-end nodes based on the configuration of the load balancer.

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    volume

      1. User-specified storage that contains the MySQL data directory. Volumes are automatically provisioned on shared Internet Small Computer System Interface (iSCSI) storage area networks (SAN) that provide for increased performance, scalability, availability, and manageability.
      2. A detachable block storage device, similar in concept to a USB hard drive, that can only be attached to one instance at a time.

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    volume type

    A type of block storage volume. There are two volume types: SATA for standard performance, and SSD for high performance.

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    webhook

    A URL that can activate a policy without authentication.

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    worker

    A client that claims messages from the queue and performs actions based on those messages.

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