Cloud Servers: FAQs


- Getting Started -

I’m kind of new to this, will it be difficult?

Maybe. That mostly depends on your experience as a Systems Administrator for Linux and/or Windows Server. Our Linux Cloud Servers are full Linux distributions with root-level access. Our Windows Cloud Servers give you Administrator access, and are built with nothing but the default applications on install. Cloud Servers are geared towards customers who want to start from scratch and tune a system for their own purposes.

If, after wearing the Systems Administrator hat for a while, you feel that you are out of your league - don't despair! We also offer Cloud Servers with a Managed Operations. Read here for more information on Cloud Servers with Managed Operations.

Do you support Ruby/Python/(insert language or application here)?

All of our Cloud Servers can be configured as development stacks, database servers and web servers. Apache, Lighttpd and Mongrel, Visual Studio are all options.

What are the DNS servers for my Cloud Server?

dns1.stabletransit.com and dns2.stabletransit.com

What level of support comes with Cloud Servers?

We have two Service Levels: Managed Infrastructure and Managed Operations. At the Managed Infrastructure level, we support the Cloud Server hardware, datacenter environment, and Internet connectivity - but do not support the software installed on your server, including the operating system and its configuration. When you provision a Cloud Server, you will be given a server with unrestricted access. The Managed Infrastructure support team will not assist in the installation of software or troubleshooting any kind of issue related to the software installed. We have some articles in the Knowledge Center covering basic installation of common applications. We also have community forums where you can share tips and tricks with other customers.

If you would like to have a Managed Operations on your Cloud Servers, we offer that service. This operations level provides additional support on Cloud Servers, which includes monitoring, operating system and application infrastructure layer support, and technical guidance.

What can I do with a Cloud Server?

Anything you want to (within the law and our Acceptable Use Policy, of course)! The Rackspace Cloud Server solution is a fully unrestricted, root/Administrator level access, Linux or Windows environment. Any application or service that you can run from a traditional, physical, dedicated-unmanaged server can be run from your Cloud Server.

Can I reinstall a different distribution or start over?

Of course you can! Simply press the Rebuild button in the Control Panel and you will be able to select a new distribution. Be sure you have a backup of your data because this process will destroy any data that is on the server. The rebuild process does allow you to save you IP address.

What if I mess up my Cloud Server?

You can reboot your server. You can restore from a backup. You can delete you server and start over. You can boot into an emergency rescue mode and attempt fix the problem. There are many options for recovering from mistakes, but the easiest is to keep regular backups and to make a fresh backup before attempting any major configuration changes or before installing new software.

I want to install version x.y of software in Linux, but your system doesn't allow me to? How do I install it?

Chances are that the repository for your operating system's package manager has an older approved version. This is fairly common, and you will need to remove that installation and then compile the newer version yourself. Refer to the software vendor for instructions.

How many domains can I host?

This is a question familiar to those who use shared hosting. There is no limit, since you are in control of everything on your Cloud Server.

Will you help me install my software package?

It depends on your service level. For Managed Infrastructure Cloud accounts, you are responsible for installing and maintaining all software on your server. However, you can check out our help articles for tutorials and walk-throughs. Rackspace does provide support for specific software and server configurations on Cloud Servers with Managed Operations. For more information on supported systems and third party packages, see Cloud Servers wih Managed Operations - Spheres of Support.

Account Services

Can I read your SLA?

Sure, it's right here.

What do I enter into the Server Name field?

The information that you enter helps you identify this server in the API and Cloud Control Panel.

Initially Naming the Server

The name that you enter in the server name field when creating a server is used as the server’s host name. You can read more about server host names on Wikipedia.

Renaming the server

When you rename a server, the name that is displayed in the API and Cloud Control Panel is updated. However, the host name on the computer will not be updated.

Connecting to the server using the server name

To connect to the server from outside of the server’s local network, you need to configure an A record in DNS.

For example, if you name your server MyWebServer1.MyExampleDomain.com, you must add an A record for MyWebServer1.MyExampleDomain.com to your DNS zone (MyExampleDomain.com) that points to the public IP address of the server.

 

How do I contact Support?

Here at Rackspace, our goal is to make the Cloud easy for you to use. To make good on that promise, we have created many different avenues for you to get the support that you need in order to get the most out of the Cloud.

  • Knowledge Center - your first stop should be our Knowledge Center; the best source for articles, tutorials, and videos to help you get the precise answers that you are looking for.
  • In the Knowledge Center we have the Getting Started with Cloud Servers Guide which provides you with the most important information you will need while setting up a server.
  • Our Open Cloud Forum in the Rackspace Community is always open and able to get your quetions answered by a Racker.
  • Got a quick question that you can't find an answer for in the Knowledge Center? Jump into Chat and talk with our Fanatical Support Staff anytime 24 hrs a day.
  • Got a specialized Service Request or experiencing a problem with our service? Please Open a Ticket - From the Rackspace Cloud Control Panel, you will see the 'Support Tickets' section under the Support tab. Go here to open a ticket directly with our support teams in order to report a problem or make a service request.
  • Call us> 24x7x365 -toll-free at 877-934-0407 or, internationally at +1-210-581-0407.

API

Where are your APIs?

You can find the documentation for the API for Cloud Servers and our other products on our API documentation website.

Before you can start using our APIs, you will need your API Key. You can obtain your API key by following the instructions in our article, Viewing and Regenerating Your API Key.

FAQ

Do you offer discounts for Cloud Servers?

Yes. We offer different types of discounts based on usage. Please see the Cloud Servers discounts page for details.

Security

Can I run a firewall on my server?

Definitely and we encourage it! Each Linux server is capable of running the Linux-standard firewall called iptables- some even have it pre-configured! Other firewall systems have been tested on Cloud Servers as well. To see introductory steps for some of the common options, be sure to check out these articles:

Server Management

Do you host DNS?

Yes. Our Control Panel has a DNS menu for maintaining domain records for your Cloud Servers. Read this article for detailed information on using the Rackspace Cloud DNS Control Panel.

How do I get reverse DNS setup for my Cloud Server?

You can setup reverse DNS from your control panel. This article will show you how:DNS - Creating a Reverse DNS Record.

Is there a throughput limit on my server's network interface card?

The amount of network throughput varies based on the Cloud Server flavor.  For more details, see here.

How do I power my server back on after shutting it down?

Please see the following article: Shutting Down and Restarting a Cloud Server

Do you offer internal IPs?

Yes. Each server comes with an internal IP address that is used to communicate between servers. The traffic that flows over this interface (eth1) on your server is unmetered and is not billed. This network is also referred to as ServiceNet. ServiceNet is an internal only, multi-tenant network connection within each Rackspace datacenter. ServiceNet IPs are not accessible from the public Internet and are local per datacenter.

Which distributions do you offer?

The Features section of our product page has information regarding the Linux distributions and Windows operating systems that we have available.

Can I buy extra public IPs?

Yes.  For more informaton on the IP request process, see Requesting Additional IPv4 Addresses for Classic v1 and Nova Cloud Servers.

I would like to set up multiple servers from the same image. Can I do this?

As a Cloud Servers customer, you have access to create both on-demand images and scheduled images of your cloud server. All Cloud Server images will be stored in your Cloud Files account. This enables you to keep these images even after the Cloud Server they were created on is deleted. It also allows the flexibility to create an unlimited number of on-demand images of your Cloud Server. All Cloud Server images can be used to create new Cloud Servers or restore an existing Cloud Server. For details, see Creating an Image of Your Performance Flavor Server with the Control Panel.

For more information about creating a server from an image, see How to Create a Server from an Image.

Can I upgrade down the road?

Sure – With Performance Cloud Servers, you may change the size of your data storage space in one of two ways:

 

 

Do you offer on-demand images (snapshots) and scheduled images and what are the prices?

You can create an image of any General Purpose v1 Cloud Server, and you can use this image to restore a server or clone a new one. You can create an unlimited number of images on-demand, or you can schedule an automatic daily or weekly image.

Images will be compressed and stored on Rackspace Cloud Files at the current storage rates. Please also read this list of Snapshot Limitations.

If using a virtual cloud server, see Creating an Image of Your Performance Cloud Server with the Control Panel for more information on the image options associated with virtual cloud servers.

How many users go onto each machine?

The number of customers on a Cloud Server host machine depends on the size of the customers’ Cloud Servers, and the type of operating system.

I would like to use the GUI interface for my Cloud Server. Is this possible?

Yes it is! An article on how to install VNC and X-Windows is located here: VNC Install. Keep in mind that this will use up a large amount of bandwidth and will require that you have at least 512MB of RAM on your server.

How does the CPU scheduling work on standard next-generation servers?

Note: Performance Cloud Servers have specific virtual CPU allocations, as detailed on the Cloud Servers pricing page.  The following information on CPU scheduling applies only to next-generation standard (non-Performance) Cloud Servers.

For Windows images, each Cloud Server is assigned a number of virtual cores based on the size of the Cloud Server. The standard (non-Performance) 1 GB Cloud Server receives 1 virtual core, the standard 2 GB and 4 GB Cloud Servers receive 2 virtual cores, the standard 8 GB and 15.5 GB Cloud Servers receive 4 virtual cores, and the standard 30GB servers receive 8 virtual cores. Each of these cores is given equal weight when allocating CPU cycles.

For Linux distributions, each standard (non-Performance) Cloud Server is assigned four virtual cores and the CPU cycles allocated to these cores are weighted based on the size of the Cloud Server.

All standard Cloud Servers receive a guaranteed minimum amount of CPU cycles with the ability to burst when excess cycles are available.

Do you have a control panel?

Yes, we have The Rackspace Cloud Control Panel which is a web-based management interface for restarting your Cloud Server, starting support discussions, viewing stats, and scheduling snapshots. However, we do not offer a control panel like Plesk or cPanel. You’re free to install such packages for your own Cloud Server, or you may be interested in signing up for Cloud Monitoring, a service that provides many of the same functions as a Control Panel.

How long does a Cloud Server resize take?

The amount of time a resize takes varies by the size of the server and the time of day you are performing the resize. If you have a brand-new server with no additional data or software installed, then you might be looking at 10 minutes. However, if you have data installed on your server and have been installing software then it can take up to 30 minutes or more. Peak times for resize activity tend to be at the start and end of the business day. Expect a short period of downtime while your server is being resized.

Note also that resizing a server down can take longer than resizing up because the system needs to consolidate and copy data to a smaller disk container rather than expand the existing container.  Cleaning up unneeded files (like old logs and session files) can improve the speed of a resize operation. 

There are also different processes of resizes, as follows:

  • Online Resizes:  Allow for the original sized Cloud Server to be powered on during the "Prep-Resize" step, and only powers down during the second step of the resize process.
    This includes:  First Generation Resize Up and Resize Down, and Next Generation Resize Up.
  • Offline Resizes: Power down as the first "Prep-Resize" step.
    This includes:  Next Generation Resize Down.

NOTE: Resizing is not available with virtual cloud servers. For information on your available options, see Changing the Size of Your Performance Cloud Server.

Do you provide Console access?

Yes, via an Ajax web terminal accessible through the Control Panel, under the section 'Actions for this Server'. Note: Console access is via a secure HTTP connection which is different connection from the traditional way to connect via SSH for Linux or RDP for Windows. Console can be a useful troubleshooting tool if your server is unresponsive or you have locked yourself out.

Can I buy extra storage?

While the native storage allocation for a Cloud Server is based on the Cloud Server flavor that you select, you can also add extra storage at any time with our Cloud Block Storage service.

Can I reboot my machine?

Yes. All Cloud Servers can perform both soft (reset button) and hard (power cycle) reboots. These are performed instantly and handled via the Cloud Server Control Panel.

Will I be billed if my server is powered off?

Yes. You will be billed for the resources that are used on the host while your server is in the Active status. When your server is created, you are given a dedicated amount of RAM and hard drive space. As long as your server exists, no one else will be able to use those resources that have been allocated to you - this is why you are billed per hour even while powered off. If you would like to stop incurring charges for a given server, you must delete that server in the Control Panel.

If you want to stop paying for a server, but still need to retain the configurations from it, your best option is to create an image of the Cloud Server. Your system configurations on your system disk will be preserved in the image. The image will be saved in Cloud Files and accessible through the Saved Images tab in the Control Panel. There is a fee associated with Cloud Files storage but it is much less than the cost of an active server. You will also need to save the data from your data disk out to Cloud Block Storage or Rackspace Cloud Backup to have available on your next server. Then you will be free to delete the original server, safe in the knowledge that you can always provision a new server using the saved image of your old server and you saved data.  After restoring your server from the saved image, the primary difference will be that your new server has a different IP address from the old one. Putting the new server into production may require you to update any associated DNS records to reflect the new IP address.