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RAM Scaling and More Now Available on GoGrid!

October 12th, 2010 by - 8,647 views

One of the most powerful aspects of Cloud Computing is the ability to scale your infrastructure. But did you know that there are two components to scalability, horizontal and vertical. GoGrid has been offering easy horizontal scaling since we launched.

So what is scaling and how are you able to do this with GoGrid. Let’s break it down with a quick, high-level definition and then show you how you can do it on GoGrid

What is Scaling?

Horizontal scaling simply means the ability to expand your infrastructure out, for example, adding additional servers to your infrastructure. You can currently do this using the GoGrid web portal or API or even using one of the solutions offered by our partners in the GoGrid Exchange. Similarly, if you use our MyGSI feature to create a Golden Master of your server, you can quickly scale out vertically with cloned instances of that MyGSI. Conversely, you can also scale your infrastructure back by removing servers from the mix.

Vertical scaling means that you can add additional resources to your individual infrastructure components, for example, adding addition RAM or cores to a server.

How To Scale Your RAM on GoGrid

So, how do you scale your infrastructure on GoGrid? As I mentioned, you’ve always been able to horizontally scale your infrastructure and now we are pleased to announce the availability that you can vertically scale using our new RAM Scaling feature. GoGrid customers can now scale the RAM up or down on GoGrid Cloud Servers within their existing and new infrastructure in the GoGrid cloud.

At GoGrid, it is our goal to live up to the phrase “Complex Infrastructure Made Easy™“, so we have designed our RAM Scaling feature to be as easy to use as possible.

For starters, the RAM Scaling feature is backwards compatible, meaning that you will have the ability to scale your GoGrid Cloud Server RAM on your existing infrastructure. You can increase as well as decrease the amount of RAM allocated to a particular Cloud Server Instance. An important point to note prior to diving into the details is that there is a “minimum” threshold amount that is set to the original amount of RAM you selected when you first created your Cloud Server. However, you have the ability to scale the RAM up to a larger amount (if available) and then back down to that original level.

Below is an example of how the RAM scaling works. In this case, I started with a server that had 512 MBs of RAM (the original configuration). I then scaled it up to 4 GBs and then back down to 2 GBs of RAM. Note that throughout the process, I always have the ability to scale back to the original RAM allocation.

GG3_RUD_orig_svr

Once the Cloud Server is available, you can see its original configuration by holding your mouse over the server.

GG3_RUD_server_info_2_orig

You can also see the server creation history in the Job History tab:

GG3_RUD_job_history

Let’s take a look at the process involved in upgrading the server to have 4 GBs of RAM. First, you click on the Cloud Server you would like to upgrade and you will not a new icon in the task menu:

GG3_RUD_upgrade_icon

Simply click on the “Upgrade” icon and you will be presented with your RAM scaling choices. As mentioned above, your minimum RAM options is the amount of RAM the server was originally spun up with. Your maximum  RAM option is the maximum available for your OS. In this case, my server has a 32-bit OS and was originally created with 512 MB of RAM:

GG3_RUD_upgrade_available

Select the new amount of RAM you want allocated to that particular server and click “Submit”. Within 5 minutes or less, your server will have the new allocation in effect. In some cases, the RAM scaling process may take as long as 30 minutes. Below is the updated server:

GG3_RUD_changed_2

If your server is powered up with you click “Submit”, it will be gracefully shut down and then restarted, so please be sure that you have already shut down any running processes on your server directly. If the server is powered down, it will remain shut down after upgrading. You can always view the status within the Job History tab:

GG3_RUD_upgraded_jobs

Conversely, if you want to scale your Cloud Server’s RAM down, you would go through the same process of selecting the server, clicking the “Upgrade” icon and choosing a lesser value of RAM. You can scale it back down to the original creation allocation (in the example above, that would be 512 MB).

You can also perform RAM scaling within the List view by selecting the server you want and clicking the “Upgrade RAM” link at the top of the list:

GG3_RUD_list_view_2

Hopefully you can see what a powerful feature this is for your GoGrid cloud. It enables you, on demand, to instantly add RAM to your RAM-hungry environments. But it also gives you a way to “upgrade” your existing infrastructure.

Some things to note:

  • The Scalability is ONLY for RAM. It does NOT affect your Hard Disk size nor your CPU/Core allotments
  • You CANNOT scale below the original amount that your server was configured
  • The functionality is FULLY SUPPORTED via the GoGrid API
  • Be sure to power your server down or prepare your server for a graceful shutdown by stopping or ending any running applications or processes.

Other Changes in this Release

In addition to the important RAM scaling feature, we also released the following enhancements:

  • Edit Server Description via API – using a simple API call, you can now fully edit the description of your GoGrid Cloud Server. See the API documentation on how to do this.
  • Change Cloud Server Classification via API – you can now change the server classification via the GoGrid API. Options are: Web/App Server or Database Server. This will affect where your Cloud Server appears in both the Grid and List views. See the API documentation on how to do this.
  • More Details about Cloud Servers – you can, in addition to RAM, IP address, and OS, now see the number of Cores and Disk Space of your servers. This is true on the Grid view and List views:
    GG3_more_details
    GG3_additional_info
  • Minor Redesign to the Tool Bar in the List view

We believe that with this release, GoGrid continues to show leadership within the Cloud Infrastructure Hosting space. If you have suggestions or other features that you would like to see implemented, please leave a comment to this post.

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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.

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