For those of you who have already signed up for a Trial or Paid GoGrid account, WELCOME! For those who have not, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? As many of you have already started using GoGrid for a variety of purposes, I felt that it might make some sense to provide some more information and clarification about your new service.
As always, please feel free to contact us should we need to clarify anything, to simply suggest some new or improved feature or to just RAVE about GoGrid in general.
For starters, I definitely recommend reading through the FAQ section of the GoGrid site as there are some answers to your questions there. You can get information on:
- How to access and update your account
- Change your billing information
- Learn about the fundamentals of administering your account and servers
- …And much more!
However, if you are like me, frequently you pass over all of the “Welcome” emails that you receive when you sign up for things. So, for those of you who have GoGrid accounts, here is a refresher; for those of you who do not, here is what you are missing.
What is the fastest way to get up and running?
While we don’t always recommend diving in head first, you are welcome to do so. It is actually extremely easy! Here are 5 fast steps to set up a simple account consisting of :
- 1 Load Balancer
- 2 Web/Application Servers
- 1 Database Server
All within 10 minutes! Ready? Hold on to your hats!
- Review your External IP addresses in the Network Widget. This way you know what IP addresses you have allocated to your account and which ones you can use.
Create 2 Web/Application Servers using the green ADD button
Be sure to use the Public IP addresses for this so that you can connect to these servers once they are active.
- Create a Database Server using the same process as in #2
Fill in the server information:
- Create a Load Balancer.
Be sure you have the IP addresses of the two Web/Application servers that you want to balance (e.g., the ones you just set up).
- Access your servers. Use either RDC (Remote Desktop Connection – for Windows) or SSH (Secure Shell – for Linux). Once you have access, set up FTP or install the applications you desire to get yourself going. That’s it!
If you have questions about this, that is completely understandable. Just comment on this article or contact GoGrid Support. What are listed below are some helpful tips on understanding the GoGrid environment.
How many IP addresses do you get?
With your new GoGrid account, you are immediately provisioned 16 static IP addresses as well as both private and public VLAN support. Should you need more than 16 IP external addresses, you need to fill out a “Justification Form” which is handily included within the GoGrid UI.
If you would like to set up a Private Network, you have a block of 256 IP addresses that can be used. Using a Private Network is recommended for ensuring that certain servers, like a Database, are not accessible to the Public Network or only by pre-defined Application or Web Servers.
Also included within the Network Widget are Gateway and Net Mask of the subnets which are used to configure your public and private NICs (Network Interfaces). This widget will soon also include information about which IPs are in use and which are available.
Viewing Server Information
Currently the RAM amount is not displayed within the GoGrid interface after a server is created. We understand that this could be confusing, so we will be adding this data field to the display in an upcoming release shortly. In the meantime, we recommend that you simply put the RAM configuration that you chose in the name field (e.g., “My Win2003 Server – 1 GB RAM”). The External IP address is displayed under the Server Name:
The colored dot in the top right corner illustrates the server state. Green means the the server is currently on. Yellow means that the server is changing states (from start to stop or visa versa). Red indicates that the server is in a stopped state. When a server is created, it will come up in a Stopped (Red) state. You will need to start it in order to access it.
When a server is newly created within GoGrid, a unique Administrator or Root password is created automatically and stored within the GoGrid web interface. To access the password list, simply right click on a server and choose “passwords” from the menu (or single-click on a server and select “passwords” from the left-hand menu).
When the passwords menu item is selected, the Passwords section of the Support tab is automatically opened, listing all of your servers and the Administrator/Root users and associated passwords. Your passwords are never transmitted insecurely via email, but rather contained within this secured sections of the site (all of https://my.gogrid.com is secured with 128-bit encryption via SSL). This section of the site can be used as a notepad to store other users and their passwords by simply clicking on the “Add a Password” menu item on the left. If you modify a password on an actual server, it is recommended that you update the password on this list since it is NOT updated automatically. Also, changing a password here does NOT update the password on your server.
Network Interfaces for your Servers
Each Application/Web or Database Server that you create within GoGrid comes with 3 network interfaces (NICs). Two NICs are automatically physically attached to the public-facing network and the third NIC is connected to a private switch fabric. These two networks are completely separate and supported by different switching and routing infrastructures.
It is very important that all GoGrid users understand the configuration and setup of these three NICs. For simplicity, the table below outlines how they are configured, named and their use;
|Physical VLAN||Configuration||Interface Name (Windows)||Interface Name (Linux)|
|Public_1||Public||DHCP||Local Area Connection 1||eth0|
|Public_2||Public||Static||Local Area Connection 3||eth2|
|Private||Private||Static||Local Area Connection 2||eth1|
So that you can access your GoGrid server when it is first added, the Public_1 NIC is configured with DHCP and the MAC address of that NIC is automatically associated with the IP that you chose when you initially configured your server. That means that if you try to “renew” your IP address on that NIC, you will always get the same IP address; it is bound to the MAC address. Note that if you disable or shut down the Public_1 NIC, you run the risk of not being able to access your GoGrid server.
You do also have the option of binding or assigning other IP addresses (public or private) to the Public_2 or Private interfaces at your convenience should you want to create a private network, for example.
Creating and Editing Load Balancers
Load Balancers can easily be created on-the-fly and are extremely easy to configure. Once created, the virtual IP address of the Load Balancer is displayed next to the icon. Currently, the GoGrid web interface limits the possible actions for Load Balancer to Create and Delete only, which means that if you need to make changes (add/remove IP addresses) you will need to delete the existing Load Balancer and create a new one with the correct or updated information.
Any additional questions?
Please feel free to post a comment to this article with any questions or comments that you may have. We understand that while extremely easy to use, GoGrid takes some getting used to. With each new software iteration, new or enhanced functionality will be added so if you add a feature request, most likely it is already on our road map. Any new or improved features will be highlighted within this blog.
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