1-844-GET MSCS (438-6727)


WHAT IS A CLONED VM SERVER?

  • A cloned VM is an exact point-in-time copy of a specified VM.

    When a clone is taking place the both the source and destination VM will remain offline. Both the source and destination will automatically be started upon completion of the job. Once a clone has been created, the network configuration must be completed by the client using the virtual console.

    Clones are completely independent from their source VM. They can safely be modified or deleted without worry of affecting the original server.

IF AN IP ADDRESS IS ASSIGNED IN THE CONTROL PANEL, DOES IT ASSIGN IT IN MY VM?

  • At this time, we don't have any integration with configuration inside client VMs. The IP address assignment is for tracking what IP addresses are used and available. This will allow clients to pick which IP a new VM will be deployed with.

    With the addition of the private IP allocations in the control panel, clients can now also have VMs directly deployed with a private IP address. Private IP addresses are not routable and will only function on VMs in the same client account.

SUPPORT

  • At MySecureCloudServer we strive to offer the highest levels of support on all of our services. You can submit a ticket through our Support Center regarding any question or issue regarding our services rendered. All support requests will be processed in one business day. We also offer Emergency Support where a Senior Technician is paged and you will be given a response within 2 hours.

WHERE IS YOUR DATA CENTER LOCATED?

  • Our facility is located in St. Louis, MO. It is a Tier-1 SAS 70 Type II Certified Facility with UPS, redundant power feeds, stand-by generators and dry pipe fire suppression systems.

RESIZING/EXPANDING ROOT PARTION (Linux)

  • Let's assume the disk is /dev/sda and you want to extend the root partition by 25GB
    1. CREATE A NEW PARTITION OF APPROPRIATE SIZE USING FDISK

      CODE: FDISK /DEV/SDAN (CREATE NEW PARTITION, SELECT START AND END CYLINDERS, ALL FREE SPACE IS SELECTED BY DEFAULT)
      W (SAVE PARTITION TABLE AND EXIT)
      AT THIS POINT YOU MAY BE TOLD THAT A REBOOT IS NECESSARY, YOU SHOULD PROBABLY REBOOT. TYPE FDISK -L AGAIN TO CHECK THE NEW PARTITION, I'LL ASSUME /DEV/SDA3 WAS CREATED ~25G IN SIZE
    2. CREATE AN EXT3 FILESYSTEM IN THE PARTITION (THIS STEP IS OPTIONAL, JUST A QUICK TEST THAT ALL IS WELL)

      CODE:
      MKFS.EXT3 /DEV/SDA3
    3. INITIALISE THE PARTITION FOR USE AS A PHYSICAL VOLUME IN LVM AND ADD IT TO VOLGROUP00

      CODE:
      PVCREATE /DEV/SDA3
      VGEXTEND VOLGROUP00 /DEV/SDA3
    4. EXTEND LOGVOL00 (USE 'DF /' TO CHECK THAT / IS MOUNTED ON LOGVOL00) AS REQUIRED (BY 25G HERE)
      CODE:
      LVEXTEND -L +25G /DEV/VOLGROUP00/LOGVOL00
      IF YOU RECEIVE ERRORS ABOUT NOT ENOUGH PHYSICAL EXTENTS, THEN REDUCE THE SIZE OF THE EXTENSION A LITTLE UNTIL IT FITS.
    5. FINALLY, RESIZE THE FILESYSTEM (THIS PART NORMALLY WOULD REQUIRE UNMOUNTING /, BUT FOR EXT3 AND 2.6 KERNELS IT WORKS WHILE THE PARTITION IS MOUNTED)

      CODE:
      RESIZE2FS /DEV/VOLGROUP00/LOGVOL00
      TYPE 'DF -H /', TO CHECK IT WORKED, THERE SHOULD BE AN EXTRA 25G AVAILABLE

STORAGE-ONLY BILLING

  • At MSCS, your cloud servers are automatically converted to storage-only billing while they are powered off. This will be reflected even if you manually shutdown your server outside the client control panel. When a powered-off MSCS Cloud Server is turned on, all data will persist and it will be restored with the identical reservations and network configuration as was before shutdown.

WHAT TYPE OF STORAGE DO YOU USE?

  • We exclusively use Dell SAN storage for all VM data. All VM storage is 100% persistent and located on our SANs for maximum availability. Our production storage is built using 15K RPM SAS2 drives configured in RAID 10 and our backup storage consists of 7.2K RPM Near-line SAS drives also configured in RAID 10.

VIRTUAL CONSOLE ACCESS

  • MSCS provides virtual console access to all hosted virtual machines. To connect to the virtual console a locally installed version of vSphere client is required. You can download this client free of charge at the following location:  http://mysecurecloudserver.net/VMware-viclient123.exe

  • Virtual Console Access is the same as having a dedicated IPKVM (Keyboard Video Mouse over the Internet) on the virtual server, only it's much more responsive and includes a ton of great tools. We provide this access to our environment through VMware Virtual Infrastructure (VI) client. The VI client is available for download at no charge from inside the MSCS control panel.

    All of a client's virtual servers with MSCS are linked to the same virtual console user, so there is no need to manage separate credentials for each virtual machine. Our control panel supports sub-user management and the access control at a VM level. Each sub-user is given their own virtual console user ID and will only have access to their assigned VMs.

    The virtual console is a great tool for OS re-installs, preconfigured uploaded VMs, kernel / system upgrades, offline software installs and much more. It's the next best thing to being in front of your server, many will argue that it's actually better.

    One big feature the virtual console provides, is the ability to remotely mount a local CDROM or ISO. For example, the latest CentOS net-install ISO can be mounted and quickly deployed. This works with any ISO but we recommend a good net connection for those larger disks.

    The VI client not only provides virtual console access but it also gives a window into VM performance. This gives the ability to better monitor and manage hosted VMs., Virtual Server Performance Monitoring and more!

WHAT IS PRIVATE IP ALLOCATION?

  • A private IP allocation is a group of IP addresses that are not publicly routable. This allows clients to deploy servers that are entirely off the public internet. They can communicate with other VMs in the same account that also have private IP addresses assigned to them.

    Clients may opt to install and configure a Firewall/NAT device (VM) that may take further advantage of these IP allocations.

    There is no charge for traffic passed on a private IP subnet.

WHERE CAN I FIND MY VM USER / ACCESS DETAILS?

  • Once an MSCS Cloud Server has been completely setup, a message is sent to the email address associated with the account. This email will contain the default username/password as well as the details required to access the server.

    You can also find default username/password in the MSCS control panel. The VM properties also include the assigned IP addresses.

WHAT IS PRODUCTION/BACK UP STORAGE AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

  • Production storage is suitable for high-performance, IO intensive applications. This can be anything from a web/database server to MS SQL or Exchange.

    Backup storage is a secondary storage device attached to a VM on hardware entirely independent of its production storage. This space is ideal for backups, archives and other low IO applications.

    The main difference between Production and Backup storage is the physical spindle performance. Production storage is comprised of 15K RPM Enterprise-class SAS drives while Backup storage is built using 7.2K RPM Backup-grade SATA drives.

    Clients are responsible for making backups of their Production data for protection in the event of a catastrophic storage failure.

WHAT MAY HAVE STALLED MY NEW VM ORDER?

  • We have a complicated automated security screen process. This may flag your account or a specific order for additional review.

    New clients may be subject to account verification before the order is released.

    New account verifications:
    Account verification procedures might require you to send a signed service order document by fax and typically involve a phone call from our account support team.

    Existing accounts:
    Verification procedures may involve IP address justification or investigation of suspicious activity.

    If you have concerns regarding an account or order status, please feel free to open a support ticket. A member of our support team will be happy to help you.

WHEN WILL MY NEW VM BE READY?

  • The deployment time of newly ordered VMs will vary slightly depending on the OS you have requested. Each VM is deployed from template in our provisioning system and automatically configured to client requirements on demand. This adds a small delay for the deployment / customization to take place

    New Windows VMs should be online in less than 30 minutes.

    New Linux VMs should be online in less than 20 minutes.

    New clients may be subject to account verification before the order is released.

WHERE IS THE ADDITIONAL STORAGE (DISC SPACE) I ORDERED?

  • Each VM Server comes with the OS installed on a 25GB partition. If a VM is ordered or reconfigured with additional capacity it is not automatically usable. The space is immediately accessible to the VM but requires further user configuration. In Windows this can be accomplished through the Disk Manager and in Linux using fdisk/mkfs.

    It is fairly easy to grow an existing partition but extremely difficult to shrink one.

WHY ARE USABLE IPS LESS THAN MY IP ALLOCATION SIZE?

  • MSCS implements networking in an extremely secure manner. Each client is allocated a dedicated virtual network (VLAN). This prevents client's VMs from intercepting unauthorized network communications.

    This security enhanced deployment requires all client IP addresses to be independently allocated. Each IP allocation requires 3 addresses for the network infrastructure. On a 4 IP allocation this leaves only a single address usable for a VM. The same rule applies to larger IP allocations, for example, a 16 IP allocation would yield 13 client usable addresses.

WHY IS MY COPY OF WINDOWS NOT ACTIVATED?

  • After a VM is deployed it goes through the process of re-arming itself. This brings the system back to a clean state. Part of this process forces Windows to be activated again. Client VMs have valid license data installed and will automatically activate within 3 days after deployment.

    Please contact us if you have an MSCS Windows server order that is over three days old and still requires activation.

WHY IS MY ETH0 DEVICE MISSING AFTER CLONING MY LINUX VM?

  • When you clone a VMware virtual machine, the new virtual machine's network interface gets a new MAC address. But many Linux distributions, cache the old MAC address in a configuration file.

    In some Linux distributions, the file is /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules (Ubuntu), /etc/udev/rules.d/z25_persistent-net.rules (Debian). After cloning, it will contain a reference to the old network interface as eth0:

    The easiest way to fix this problem is to simply delete the file. Linux will regenerate it properly the next time it boots up.

    #bash: rm /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules

    After deleting the file, you need to reboot. After rebooting, ifconfig should show eth0 and everything should just work.

    If you're feeling less adventurous, you can rename the file to *.old so that you can restore it if something doesn't work

    #bash: mv /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules.old

    You can also edit the file to remove the old reference to eth0, and rename the new eth1 reference to eth0. The relevant filename is slightly different in other Linux distributions.

HOW TO SET UP A NEW DISK IN LINUX (ADDITIONAL STORAGE)

  • Step #1 : Partition the new disk using fdisk command
    ===============================
    Following command will list all detected hard disks:
    # fdisk -l | grep '^Disk'
    Output:

    Disk /dev/sda: 25.0 GB, 25000193024 bytes
    Disk /dev/sdb: 150.0 GB, 151000193024 bytes

    A device name refers to the entire hard disk.
    Your primary AirVM storage will always show up as /dev/sda

    To partition the disk - /dev/sdb, enter:
    # fdisk /dev/sdb

    The basic fdisk commands you need are:

    * m - print help
    * p - print the partition table
    * n - create a new partition
    * d - delete a partition
    * q - quit without saving changes
    * w - write the new partition table and exit

    You will need to create (n) a new partition and write (w) the changes.
    Please note the partition number(s) you have chosen.

    Step#2 : Format the new partition(s) using mkfs.ext3 command
    ===============================
    To format Linux partitions using ext3 on the new disk:
    # mkfs.ext3 /dev/sdb1
    Repeat the above step for each partition created (using it's new corresponding partition #, IE /dev/sdb1, /dev/sdb2)

    Step#3 : Mount the new disk using mount command
    ===============================
    First create a mount point /backup1 and use mount command to mount /dev/sdb1, enter:
    # mkdir /backup1
    # mount /dev/sdb1 /backup1
    # df -H

    Step#4 : Update /etc/fstab file (Automatic Mount on boot)
    ===============================
    Open /etc/fstab file, enter:
    # vi /etc/fstab
    Append as follows:

    /dev/sdb1 /backup1 ext3 defaults 1 2
    Save and close the file.

HOW DO I UPDATE MY NETWORK SETTINGS IN WINDOWS 2003/2008?

  • The following must be performed as Administrator.

    Windows Server 2003
    ====================================
    Start Menu --> Control Panel --> Network Connections --> Right-click network adapter and choose properties --> TCP/IP Properties

    From the this window you may configure the primary network settings.
    Click the Advanced button to update additional IP addresses.


    Windows Server 2008
    ====================================
    Start Menu --> Control Panel --> Network and Sharing Center --> Manage Network Connections --> Right-click network adapter and choose properties --> TCP/IPv4 Properties

    From the this window you may configure the primary network settings.
    Click the Advanced button to update additional IP addresses.

HOW CAN I DOWNLOAD MY VM?

  • MSCS offers the service of exporting any of your VMs hosted with us. The exported VM will be privately made available to you for 7 days. This ensures the best possible data consistency. The VM will be powered off during the export process.

    We currently do not offer this service on more than a per incident basis. Each request is subject to a $50 service charge. This charge covers up to 150GB with each subsequent 50GB billed at $5/50GB.

SUPPORTED OPERATING SYSTEMS

  • Below is MSCS's list of commonly supported Operating Systems and their supported versions. We typically deploy the latest stable release / service pack unless otherwise requested.
      • CentOS - 5.x
      • Ubuntu - 11.x
      • Debian - 6.x
      • FreeBSD - 8.x
      • ArchLinux - 2011
      • Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition
      • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition
      • Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition
    • We are able to accommodate many other operating systems on a case-by-case basis. And of course you can always upload a pre-configured VM to have whatever operating system you have locally.
      Click here for a full list of supported guest operating systems.

WHAT DOES THE "PRE-CONFIGURED OS TYPE" MEAN?

  • A preconfigured VM can either be a VM you have already configured outside our environment or a VMware virtual appliance.

    We fully support client uploaded VMs as long as they conform to our requirements. Upon placing an order with us, be sure to let us know your intent and a private FTP account will be given provided to facilitate the upload. You may also provide us with the direct download link of any VMware virtual appliance.

    This service is free of charge for all new subscriptions.

    Things to keep in mind before uploading your VM:

    1. Pre-configured VMs will only be activated if the resources they consume do not exceed the purchased subscription.
    2. Network configuration must be completed by the client via the virtual console.
    3. Be sure that the CPU quantity matches that of the selected plan or your system may not boot.
    4. Desired OS performance may not be achieved if the memory is reduced.
    5. The guest OS should be in the supported OS list or we cannot guarantee your VM availability.

ARE VMs HARDWARE DEPENDENT?

  • Virtual machines are completely independent from their underlying physical hardware. For example, you can configure a virtual machine with virtual components (e.g. CPU, network card, SCSI controller) that are completely different from the physical components that are present on the underlying hardware. Virtual machines on the same physical server can even run different kinds of operating systems (Windows, Linux, etc.).

    When coupled with the properties of encapsulation and compatibility, hardware independence gives you the freedom to move a virtual machine from one type of x86 computer to another without making any changes to the device drivers, operating system, or applications. Hardware independence also means that you can run a heterogeneous mixture of operating systems and applications on a single physical computer.

ARE VMs ISOLATED FROM EACH OTHER?

  • While virtual machines can share the physical resources of a single computer, they remain completely isolated from each other as if they were separate physical machines. If, for example, there are four virtual machines on a single physical server and one of the virtual machines crashes, the other three virtual machines remain available.

    Isolation is an important reason why the availability and security of applications running in a virtual environment is far superior to applications running in a traditional, non-virtualized system.

    Each client is allocated a dedicated VLAN (Virtual LAN). Then ensures all traffic between client VMs (within the same account) is completely secure. This also prevents other cloud servers from being able to intercept unauthorized traffic.

COMPATIBLE OPERATING SYSTEMS

  • Just like a physical computer, a virtual machine hosts its own guest operating system and applications, and has all the components found in a physical computer (motherboard, VGA card, network card controller, etc.). As a result, virtual machines are completely compatible with all standard x86 or x64 operating systems, applications and device drivers, so you can use a virtual machine to run all the same software that you would run on a physical x86 or x64 computer.

HOW DOES VIRTUALIZATION WORK?

  • The virtualization platform is built on a business-ready architecture. We use software to transform or "virtualize" the hardware resources of an x86-based computer—including the CPU, RAM, hard disk and network controller—to create a fully functional virtual machine that can run its own operating system and applications just like a "real" computer. Each virtual machine contains a complete system, eliminating potential conflicts.

    VMware virtualization works by inserting a thin layer of software directly on the computer hardware. This contains a virtual machine monitor or "hypervisor" that allocates hardware resources dynamically and transparently. Multiple operating systems run concurrently on a single physical computer and share hardware resources with each other. By encapsulating an entire machine, including CPU, memory, operating system, and network devices, a virtual machine is completely compatible with all standard x86 operating systems, applications, and device drivers. You can safely run several operating systems and applications at the same time on a single computer, with each having access to the resources it needs when it needs them.

WHAT IS A VIRTUAL MACHINE (VM)?

  • A VM - or Virtual Machine - is a tightly isolated software container that can run its own operating systems and applications as if it were a physical computer. A virtual machine behaves exactly like a physical computer and contains its own virtual (i.e.; software-based) CPU, RAM hard disk and network interface card (NIC).

    An operating system can't tell the difference between a virtual machine and a physical machine, nor can applications or other computers on a network. Even the virtual machine thinks it is a "real" computer. Nevertheless, a virtual machine is composed entirely of software and contains no hardware components whatsoever. As a result, virtual machines offer a number of distinct advantages over physical hardware.

WHAT IS VIRTUALIZATION?

  • Virtualization lets you run multiple virtual machines on a single physical machine, sharing the resources of that single computer across multiple environments.

    Virtualization is a proven software technology that is rapidly transforming the IT landscape and fundamentally changing the way that people compute. Today's powerful x86 computer hardware was designed to run a single operating system and a single application. This leaves most machines vastly under-utilized. The technology is production-proven and used by 100% of the Fortune 100 companies.