News from the Machine Room – April 2021

Date: 17.05.2021

gridscale News from the Machine Room

Greetings from the gridscale Machine Room! In this post we’re diving a bit deeper into everything that’s been going on with the product and platform during the previous month.

CPU and RAM Hot-plugging Removal

We’re ready to announce that we’re looking to remove CPU and RAM hot-plugging within the next 4-8 weeks.

On the current gridscale platform, CPU and RAM resources can be added to a server while it is still running. We call this hot-plugging. The major benefit is flexibility, eliminating downtime in case you need to add more resources. But this technology is achieved by a major architecture decision regarding the way instances are configured. In order to be able to add further CPU cores while running each core needs to be in its own virtual socket. Same goes for the main memory: In order to “just plug in another few gigabytes of memory”, the memory is broken down into chunks of 1 GB slots.

Keep in mind that the power of your application may not scale linearly with the amount of RAM. For example, a server with 8 GB RAM may not be exactly twice as powerful as a 4GB server, which is also the case for CPUs. Modern software often scales horizontally instead of vertically and some do not support multithreading. Furthermore, adding resources to a running server takes place on a best-effort basis, which isn’t the most reliable way to run cloud infrastructure.

We’ve measured that multi-core performance could be increased by up to 20% if we moved from a one-core per socket to a multi-virtual-core setup. This setup means that hot-plugging will have to be removed from the platform.

If you have any concerns, feel free to contact us at support@gridscale.io.

Product Term Change: “Availability Zones” to “Affinity Zones”

Availability Zones allow you to configure hardware-based separation. If hardware resources allow it, we will not place servers in different availability zones for the same hardware. The  term “availability” is often used quite loosely in this context – it sometimes refers to data center separation, sometimes not. Hence, in order to increase accuracy we will be renaming this to “Affinity Zones”.

Upgrade to Partner Panel 

As a public user, you now have the possibility to access additional management tools for your cloud infrastructure by upgrading to our Partner Panel. We take care of all the steps for you, making the upgrade process quick and easy.

Using a clear and unified management interface, each account is treated as a separate organizational unit in the Partner Panel. That means each account has their own individual Object Storage as opposed to the Public Panel where all users and projects have access to the same Object Storage.

As a Partner, you can assign user rights for individual accounts. You also have access to simplified cost overviews with additional insights into total costs and revenue breakdowns based on individual accounts.

In addition to the standard Partner Panel, the white label offering allows you to customize the user interface and cloud infrastructure for your organization – an ideal offering for cloud resellers.

More information can be found on our reseller web page.

Partner and Public Panels

The login areas across both Partner and Tenant have a more unified look.

We’ve clarified as to why Tenant owners couldn’t be changed within the Partner Panel when only one user is related to a Tenant. For feature flags with interdependencies, it was possible to disable a feature which was required by another feature, such as IPs and Load Balancers. Now, a warning message is displayed when disabling certain feature flags.

In addition to this, the Load Balancer interface now has an “empty state information” for new accounts or those without a Load Balancer. This means that features that are not yet in use will have a short description and showcase how you can get started with setting it up. More “empty state information” will follow in the future.

ISO Images

We’ve added pfSense 2.5.1 and FreeBSD 13 to the list of images offered.

Templates

As part of this month’s round of template updates, we’ve overhauled the CentOS 8, Ubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu 20.04.2, and created a new Fedora 33 template. Ubuntu 21.04 is shortly on its way to be added to our list of templates.

API

We’ve updated our API Documentation with examples for the Marketplace Application section. Within the same documentation, you have access to the Contract Management API Documentation as well.

Software Ecosystem

gridscale’s in-house tools and libraries, intended to optimize and simplify workflows, underwent several updates.

We’ve released an update to the command line interface for the gridscale API, gscloud, to  v0.10.0. New features include subcommands allowing you to view a quick account summary including API tokens as well as all available Managed Kubernetes (GSK) and PostgreSQL releases. This release fixes the gscloud build on OpenBSD, and the gscloud package for FreeBSD also supports this latest version.

Our Go-based API client, gsclient-go, has been updated to v3.6.2. The client facilitates an application to interact with the gridscale Cloud Platform and allows you to create and manage resources. This release features fixes to service templates within PaaS update requests, and corrects an issue associated with losses during concurrent protocol requests.

gridscale’s Terraform Provider has also been updated to v1.9.1, supporting the latest gsclient-go package. New features include the addition of GSK and PostgreSQL resources. We’ve updated the Terraform user documentation as well.

If you’re interested in reading the previous post in this series, click here.

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Alan James

Alan James | Team Product
Alan draws from a strong background in Product Management, Strategy, Operations and techno-functional FinTech consulting. While pursuing his Bachelor's in Computer Engineering from one of India’s leading technical universities, Alan was the lead for Google Developers Group.

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