RackConnect Power Users Guide

  • Last updated on: 2016-09-13
  • Authored by: Jonathan Hogue

Applies to: RackConnect v2.0

This document is meant to be used by RackConnect “power users.” Power users typically use the API to build new servers and must be able to create large numbers of servers quickly. For power users, the time it takes to create many servers is important, thus build times and build success rates are key success measurements.

How to increase build success rates

  1. Create servers in batches—A RackConnect configuration represents a deployment of the RackConnect solution. The configuration is composed of your Edge and Connected physical network devices, with one or more cloud accounts that you associate with the configuration. A single RackConnect configuration can support up to 200 cloud servers based on network device.

We recommend that you create no more than 20 Windows servers or 30 Linux servers at a time. It is best to create all 20 or 30 simultaneously, rather than issuing the API call to create one, waiting for a while, and then issuing the command for the next. If you need to build more than 20 or 30 servers, wait until the first batch is complete before starting the next batch. RackConnect has an API that you can use to determine when the last server is fully deployed. More information about how to determine the RackConnect automation status for cloud servers is available at Programmatically determine the RackConnect automation status of your cloud servers.

  1. Test the image—After the basic cloud server build has completed, RackConnect logs in to the newly created server and performs some configuration changes. For RackConnect v2.0 customers, the automation creates a RackConnect “user”, disables the public interface, reconfigures the private interface so that it can connect to your dedicated environment, and configures the software firewall according to your network policies. If you are not using a standard Rackspace image that has been verified to work with RackConnect, there are a number of configuration changes that could be made that might prevent RackConnect automation from running successfully. For example, images that have SSH disabled, have SSH configured for a non-standard port, or prevent root login via SSH fail to build correctly. For more information about image configuration, see RackConnect best practices.

  2. Allow Rackspace automation to complete—If you are running your own automation scripts after the cloud server build is complete, be sure to allow all Rackspace automation to complete before running your scripts. If your automation and Rackspace automation run at the same time, one or both might fail. For customers with a Managed Operations service level, there are two automation passes that Rackspace runs: one for RackConnect and one for the Managed Operations servers. If you are not a Managed Operations service level customer, you need to wait only for the RackConnect automation to complete before running your own. To programmatically determine when Rackspace automation is complete, see Programmatically determine the RackConnect automation status of your cloud servers

  3. Build cloud servers in the correct region—Ensure that you create your cloud servers in the same region as your RackConnect configuration. For example, if your dedicated environment is in the Rackspace DFW region, build any cloud servers you want to connect to RackConnect in the same region. Servers built in a different region will not be accessible from your dedicated environment.

How to decrease build times

Use manual disk mode. The Rackspace Cloud Servers API has an extension called diskConfig that enables you to control how the cloud server disk is partitioned when servers are created, rebuilt, or resized. There are two modes: manual and auto.

  • Auto: The server is built with a single partition the size of the target disk. The file system is automatically adjusted to fit the entire partition. AUTO is valid only for images and servers with a single partition that use the EXT3 file system. This is the default setting for applicable Rackspace base images.
  • Manual: The server is built using whatever partition scheme and file system is in the source image. If the target disk is larger, the remaining disk space is left unpartitioned. This enables images to have non-EXT3 file systems, multiple partitions, and so on, and enables you to manage the disk configuration.

Manual disk mode creates a 20 GB partition for the OS. Unless you need more than 20 GB of space, use manual mode because it decreases the server build time significantly. If necessary, you can extend the partition manually post-build.

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