Tech insights and news. Best served hot.

2016

July
21

Improved Efficiency, Comfort, and Control

As an IT professional, you are probably optimizing things constantly. So are we! We have released several enhancements that will help you to streamline your workflow:

Use "cloud-config" for your initial VM setup

If setting up new cloud servers is a repetitive task, why not automate it? All of the operating systems that we currently offer have the cloud-init package built-in. By providing so-called "User Data" you can now pass your own settings to cloud-init: your tailor-made cloud-config. The possibilities are endless – we know of people who do not even need to manually SSH into their new servers anymore.

You can give it a try by using the "timezone" or "fqdn" (Fully Qualified Domain Name) parameter to configure your new server right from the launch screen. For more complex operations, the "runcmd" statement will take your commands and run them on first boot. This is an advanced feature: check out the examples and proceed with caution.

Rename your servers to accurately reflect their purpose

While you are optimizing your setup, the number of machines or even the software you are running might change: Once you realize that your DB replica is mainly used to generate reports, you will probably rename the machine with Linux's on-board tools. For a consistent experience you can now adjust server names in our cloud control panel as well.

If you are working on multiple projects or for several different customers, using descriptive server names can support you in keeping track of your assets. Moreover, it will help you to avoid confusion further down the road.

Change PTR records for a coherent appearance

You can now use our cloud control panel to set and update the PTR records of your servers' IP addresses. If you specify the FQDN of your server using cloud-config (as described above), we will automatically set the PTR records of your IPs accordingly. Of course, you can change those entries at any time, should you ever need to. Keep in mind that caching DNS servers might reflect changes with some delay.

For some applications, especially email, it is vital to have matching "forward" and "reverse" DNS entries ("Forward-confirmed reverse DNS"): When setting a new PTR record for a specific IP address, make sure to have an according A/AAAA record pointing back to the same IP. Furthermore, your services should identify themselves using that same string.

 

Who says that small improvements can not have a huge impact? With the latest additions, you can manage your cloud with a smile on your face.

Keep on optimizing!
Your cloudscale.ch team

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