How to gridscale

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How to gridscale

from gridscale Team gridscale
tutorial - How to gridscale

What’s gridscale?

gridscale is the world’s easiest IAAS-solution. IaaS stands for “Infrastructure as a Service”. With gridscale you are not renting a simple server, you are renting an entire data-center-infrastructure. You can create, connect and manage multiple servers, storages or VLANs.  With only a few simple clicks, gridscale servers are ready in seconds.

This article shows you how to create servers and work with gridscale.

Index

Register at gridscale

Registration at gridscale is very easy. All you need is a valid e-mail address and to choose a password.

register at gridscale

You can now use gridscale, but you will only be able to unlock all the features if you have deposited a payment and confirmed your e-mail address.

Select Paymentmethode for gridscale

Now your Panel should look like this:

GUI first view at gridscale

The interface is divided into five modules. On the left is the main menu. This is where you manage features like the S3-compatible Object Storage, your IPs or the Loadbalancer (LBaaS), and where you see your current consumption. All servers, storage, and VLANs are listed in the drag and drop dashboard. There are two forms of representation. You can determine the size of the tiles in the upper right corner. The account menu is listed on the top right, directly above the tile view. This is where you can view and manage all settings regarding your account, such as payments, personal data or your sub-accounts. The chat is at the bottom right, where you can contact our support team free-of-charge and obligation-free.

Creating a Server

To create a server, click Add Server. In the panel that opens, you can specify any name for your server. Then you determine how many cores and how much RAM your server needs. The gridscale servers can also be reached via the panel using a VNC console without public Internet access. If you want to run the server publicly you can request an IPv4 address and an IPv6 address in the next step (paid only). You can now add storage to the server. This is, however, also possible retroactively. Set how many GB of storage you need with the slider, similar to the way you selected for cores and RAM. You can also choose between three different IO classes. In expert mode, you currently have the choice between two different availability zones. In the last step, you can choose from one of many templates. If you select a template, the operating system is preinstalled on the first start of the server. You can define root or administrator password as well as the hostname in the selection dialog. If you want to install the operating system yourself, leave the storage empty. You can insert an ISO in the next step. Save your server when you are done.

Creating Server at gridscale

Starting a Server

After you have created your first server, it is now displayed in the Server area in the panel. The corresponding storage is found under Storage. Hover over the server or the storage to display lines that indicate which units are connected to the respective server. Now click on the name to get into the server interface. Here you can start the server, insert an ISO image, edit RAM and the number of cores, and separate volumes from the server. After you start the server, another icon appears. Click on this icon to open the console. You can now interact directly with the server, not only via SSH or RDP, but, e.g. also at the BIOS level. This allows you to install any operating system as long as you insert the appropriate ISO. Since drivers are often missing in self-installed Windows operating systems, an ISO with the corresponding drivers is available for you. You can find them under the ISOs provided by gridscale.

Panel with Server at gridscale
Running Server at gridscale

Add additional Storage to a Server

There are two ways to add more storage to the server. Increase the already-attached storage during operation or create another storage and connect it to the server. To increase storage during operation, click on the names of the corresponding storages and adjust the size using the slider. Attention! It is also possible to reduce storage, but this is not recommended since data loss is possible. Take a snapshot before you shrink Storage! Adding a data carrier is not yet possible during operation. So you will first have to shut down the VM once, then you can create another storage by clicking on “Add Storage”. You can pre-install a template if needed. BootDevice is always the volume that was first connected to the server. If you want to switch back and forth, you can either adjust the boot loader as required or remove the unnecessary volume and add it as a second. If you click on your server, you will be shown which disk is booted when you start the server. Tip: If an ISO is inserted, it is always booted first.

add ISO at gridscale

Deleting Storages and Servers

Deleting the server and storage is just as easy as creating. Once the server is down, you can drag the corresponding tiles onto the recycle bin. This will appear on the tile to add when you hold down a tile. Attention! If you delete a server, it has no influence on your data, but when you delete a storage, all data will be deleted irretrievably! If your server is assigned to Storages, ISOs or IPs during deletion, they are released again – they are not automatically deleted.

Deleting a Storage

Creating Snapshots

A snapshot is an exact copy of the state of your data carrier, not a copy. It is a small file that basically only records the changes to the volume since the snapshot was created. If this is restored at any time, all changes made will be undone. If you want to make a backup, you should convert the snapshot into a template, because it is only now freed from the data carrier. You can then export the template to your S3, for example. To create a snapshot, simply open the storage interface of the disk and click “Create Snapshot”.

Create a Snapshot at gridscale

The snapshots can be restored at any time or converted into a template. The template can then be used for additional servers. Caution: If a snapshot is restored, the current state of the data is lost. So make a previous snapshot or make sure that no important data is lost. In addition, storage can not be deleted as long as there are still snapshots for this storage.

Convert Snapshots in to templates

As mentioned in the last chapter, you can create templates for new servers from each snapshot. Please note that the template is one-to-one copies of the servers so that passwords, hostnames, and manually set IP addresses are imitated by the new system. You can create a template by clicking on the CD icon in the overview of your snapshots. Because several GBs are copied, this may take some time.

Manage IPs

As already mentioned at the beginning, the IP manager is located in the menu on the left side. This is divided into IPv4 addresses and IPv6 addresses. IP addresses that are in use can not be deleted. To delete them, you must first release them. If you do not want to delete an IP address but assign it to another server or a load balancer, it must also be released. It is then available again in the drop-down menu for selecting the public IP addresses.

IP Manager bei gridscale

Creating and managing of Networks

In addition to the public network, which is attached to a DHCP server, you can also create additional private networks. For more security on your network, for example, you can create a server that is connected to the public network and to a private network. All other servers then will be connected to the private network. The first server acts as a gateway. Like almost everything at gridscale, you assign your servers via drag ‘n’ drop to the individual networks. A new network can be easily created by clicking on “New Network”. Please note that the private networks are simple layer 2 networks. Gridscale has neither influence nor insight on Traffic & Co and IP addresses must be created and assigned by hand or by a separate DHCP server.

Load balancer as a Service (LBaaS)

Like the IP Manager, the interface for the load-balancer is in the left menu. The facility is very simple. The Loadbalancer is currently still in the beta phase and will be provided free of charge. A “load-balancer”, as the name suggests, is nothing more than a switch. The request arrives at a central location and then forwards to a server assigned to it. If multiple servers are available (with the same content), the requests are distributed evenly so that the load is balanced on all servers. Using the interface, a Layer 4 or Layer 7 load balancer with an optional, free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate can be created with just a few clicks. “Let’s Encrypt” is a recognized exhibition site for SSL certificates, which are accepted by most browsers. The prerequisite for an SSL certificate is a top-level domain or a sub-domain. During the creation of the load balancer, you are asked to set a name first. Then set the target server IP address. It does not matter if the servers behind the IPs is a gridscale server, or not. In expert mode, you can specify not only the target IP, but also the port and the weighting. Please ensure that Let’s Encrypt certificates are currently only available on port 443.

S3-compatible Object Storage

You can also find the administration area of the S3-compatible storage in the left menu. In the interface, you simply define access data, so-called access keys. These consist of a key (corresponds to the user name) and a secret (the password). In connection with the respective domain, which is displayed at the top of the interface, it is possible to log on with any standard S3 tool. Each user automatically has admin rights. The global user is defined by the UUID of the gridscale user. It is also possible to release other gridscale accounts, folders or buckets. More about this later. Of course, you can also manage your storage via the interface, but for large files or a large number of files, I recommend you use a tool. S3 builds on so-called buckets, in the buckets are then stored folders and files again. The idea is to create a bucket for each project or use case, e.g. “Images” or “Project XY”. In the bucket, you can upload any data and folders as with a data carrier or web space. After uploading you can easily share the files. There are four levels of sharing permissions. Secret and Key, I have already presented, I also already indicated that you can give other gridscale users the data. These releases can be applied to individual files or folders, but also to entire buckets. The users can then use the corresponding link and their own key to view the data. The third variant is the pre-authenticated link. A link is created with a key that is entitled to read the file, the folder, or the bucket. The authorization can be revoked at any time. The fourth variant is recommended for images which are to be linked to websites. You can make individual files, folders or buckets publicly available. S3 links are logical. They always follow the same scheme:

https://[Server]/[Bucket]/[Folder]/File?[AWSAccessKeyId]&[ExpireDate]&[Signature] . If you share a folder or a file public, the link ends after Folder or File.

Summary

gridscale attaches great importance to making everything as simple as possible. Many features, which are normally reserved for professionals, are quite simple which gridscale. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. Once you are logged into the panel, you will find our chat at the bottom right. Our experts will gladly explain to you our system step by step and also answer any questions you may have regarding your setup.

What’s gridscale? gridscale is the world’s easiest IAAS-solution. IaaS stands for “Infrastructure as a Service”. With gridscale you are not renting a simple server, you are renting an entire data-center-infrastructure. You can create, connect and manage multiple servers, storages or VLANs.  With only a few simple clicks, gridscale servers are ready in seconds. This article […]

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