KML_FLASHEMBED_PROCESS_SCRIPT_CALLS
 

GoGrid FAQs – Part 1

March 28th, 2008 by - 10,904 views

It is pretty obvious that the interest is high with GoGrid. And to that end, you have plenty of questions. We have been listening and hope that this first set of answers will help you in choosing GoGrid as your next hosting solution.

General

Question: Do I have full root access to each machine I’m running?

Answer:
Yes. All Linux machines have “root” access. All Windows machines have “administrator” access.

Question: Do I have to add new machines manually?

Answer:
Yes. Currently all new machines must be added via the GoGrid web interface.

Question: Can I set up a rule to have my GoGrid server scale automatically with demand?

Answer:
Not currently. However this is a feature that is on the product roadmap.

Question: Am I charged when my GoGrid server is in a stopped state and if so, how much?

Answer:
Servers in a “stopped” or “shut down” state will still count against your server RAM hour allotment and will still incur charges. This is because a stopped server still occupies RAM on our grid as well as “reserves” the resources for your server should you need to restart it quickly. At this time the only way to stop being billed for a server is to “Delete” the server, and in this case your server will be deleted forever and any data will not be recoverable. We are working on developing a solution so that stopped servers do not incur charges since we understand this is not an optimal solution for some of our customers.

Server Images

Question: Will you support Windows Server 2008?

Answer:
Yes, we will support Windows Server 2008 in the July time-frame.

Question: Can I use my own server image?

Answer:
Not initially. However this functionality will be supported in the future. And, as you have root and administrator access to your servers, you can customize your instances as you see fit (with the exception of modifying the kernel on Linux instances).

Question: Will GoGrid offer a scalable environment to support Facebook applications?

Answer:
GoGrid currently offers scalable servers for Facebook and other applications. Simply create new servers and load balance as needed. There will be a Facebook-ready server template (Facebook accelerators) added shortly.

Question: If I do set up an environment and I add another server, I would like to be able to clone my existing server as a new server. Is this possible?

Answer:
While server cloning is not available in the beta launch, it will be available soon as this is a popular request. Other customers of GoGrid have had success using some OpenSource tools to clone their servers across multiple instances.

Question: I want Windows, but I have no interest in IIS or MS SQL. I suppose I could get either server type and just turn off the services I don’t need, and install what I want (PostgreSQL, Java, etc.).

Answer:
Yes, you have full Administrator access to your Windows server which means that you can enable or disable the services that you want, as well as install other Third Party applications.

Technical Specifications

Question: Can I have more than just 1GB of RAM per server?

Answer:
GoGrid servers can be added with 512MB, 1GB, or 2GB of RAM today. We plan on increasing the maximum deployable amount of RAM to 4GB and 8GB very shortly.

Question: What load balancer do you use?

Answer:
F5 Networks LTM (http://www.f5.com/products/big-ip/). Our load balancers are configured in active-standby clustered pairs to prevent outages caused by hardware failures. These load balancers are included with each GoGrid account free of charge.

Question. Can I modify the type of load balancing or the persistence of my F5 load balancer?

Answer:
Yes. We give you the option to choose one of the following two load balancing types: “round robin” or “least connection,” and also provide the following persistence options: “SSL sticky” or “source address.”

Question: How much CPU do I get with every server?

Answer:
GoGrid is built upon a Grid of servers (nodes), managed by a hardware virtualization layer (Xen-based hypervisor) which allows several guest operating systems (virtual servers) to be executed on the same computer hardware at the same time. Our nodes are custom built multi-processor, Intel-based computers. In order for GoGrid to guarantee a minimum CPU to a virtual server, we will always maintain a ratio of 1 Xeon core (equivalent to a P4 2.0 chip) to 4 GB of RAM across our entire grid.

The maximum CPU utilization per virtual server is equivalent to the amount of cores assigned to that virtual server, per the below table.

The Xen CPU scheduler allows us to control CPU priorities per virtual server so that adjacent virtual servers cannot “steal” your CPU resources. The table below illustrates the current breakdown in CPU allocations and burst-ability by server-RAM configuration:

Server RAM Core Guaranteed (P4 2.0 GHz equivalent) Core Burst
512 MB 1/8 1
1 GB 1/4 1
2 GB 1/2 1

Note: you will soon be able to add 4GB & 8GB virtual servers.

Question: Can my GoGrid server support more than 1 Xeon processor if I’m running Windows OS?

Answer:
Not at this time. When we implement the 4GB and 8GB server options, that server will be guaranteed 1 full core and 2 full cores on both Windows and Linux respectively.

Question: Is my RAM dedicated to my server?

Answer:
Yes. The Xen hypervisor guarantees that the RAM is allocated to only your server.

Question: How much Storage can I have?

Answer:
In GoGrid, server storage is tied to the amount of RAM in your server.

Server RAM Storage
512 MB 30 GB
1 GB 60 GB
2 GB 125 GB

Question: Can I add additional Storage?

Answer:
You cannot add additional storage to a server at this time.

Question: Why am I seeing a load above 1.0 when I do ‘top’ on my Linux server? This is happening even when my server is completely idle.

Answer:
The Xen hypervisor will report the load baseline as the number of cores assigned to your GoGrid server. This means that if your system has 1 core assigned to it, ‘top’ will report a baseline load of 1.0. To ascertain your actual load, subtract the number of cores assigned to your server from the load reported by ‘top’, in order to get the actual load of your server.

Question: What happens if there is a failure of a physical server node?

Answer:
The GoGrid resource scheduler ensures that your GoGrid servers are spread across as many different physical nodes as possible. This is to minimize the impact of an unlikely hardware failure to as few GoGrid servers as possible. Please also note that GoGrid hardware nodes are enterprise-grade machines with dual-power supplies connected to two different UPS systems, and RAID protected storage volumes. All nodes are proactively monitored by the GoGrid Network Operations Center (NOC).

More FAQs are in the works. Keep your questions coming!

The following two tabs change content below.

Michael Sheehan

Michael Sheehan, formerly the Technology Evangelist for GoGrid, is a recognized technology, social media, and cloud computing pundit and blogger who writes regularly about technology news and trends.

6 Responses to “GoGrid FAQs – Part 1”

  1. Adam says:

    You mentioned that you will be offering 4GB and 8GB instances shortly. Will the storage space available to those instances increase as well? If so, any idea (ballpark) how much?

    Thanks!

  2. Michael Sheehan says:

    @Adam,

    Yes, when the new RAM configurations (4GB and 8GB) are rolled out, they are tied to larger hard drive allocations (250 GB and 500 GB respectively). We don’t have a release date on those but it will be fairly soon. Just check back on the blog regularly (or subscribe to the RSS feed).
    Thanks,
    Michael

  3. Adam says:

    Great, I’m glad to see you’ll be offering the larger hard drive space.

    One of my main concerns is the permanence of the data we store. With actual servers, we use raid drives or backup the data to a separate server to reduce the chance of data loss.

    Because these are instances instead of individual servers, I can’t shake the feeling (perhaps wrong) that there is a higher chance of data loss.

    Is backing up data to a separate instance reasonable protection? Do you offer some form of permanent/protected backup space connected to the grid? Can you perhaps explain in more detail how we’re protected from failure?

    Thanks!

  4. Michael Sheehan says:

    @Adam,

    We share your concern about data permanence and persistence. First, since GoGrid is built on a grid of servers (nodes) and each node is built using RAID protected storage volumes, should a node disk experience an issue, standard RAID practices apply. This means that is it pretty difficult to lose your data. However, we do recommend that you back up your data regularly using whatever process you choose.

    Also, when you deploy a new GoGrid server, it is typically created within different nodes within the grid, so, yes you could use a new GoGrid server instance for backup.

    Future releases of GoGrid will include other methods for storing your data so we recommend that you check back frequently.

    But bottom line, it is recommended with this and any other hosting solution that you employ some sort of manual or automated backup.

    -Michael

  5. Adam says:

    I’ve gotten conflicting reports on whether the public beta is covered by the 10,000% percent SLA or not.

    Can you clarify this?

    Thanks!

  6. Michael Sheehan says:

    @Adam,

    While you are correct about beta products not typically being covered by SLA’s, we do tend to honor it. Frequently these are decided on a case by case basis.

    -Michael

Leave a reply