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  1. #1
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    Softlayers so called & useless cloud computing

    I have been preaching softlayer to everyone since we joined them since their launch almost. Their dedicated servers might be a bit pricy but quality is great, good network n support.
    So few months back we decided to switch to Cloud Servers so we can add extra resources as we need.

    So initially we ordered basic cloud instance to do some testing and then converted it to production.
    So primary drive during testing was 25GB basic one.
    Once we decided to go to production with it we want to get 2-3 500gb's obviously. They told us primary drive space cannot be changed!!!
    what kind of cloud computing is this???
    We took separate drives but obviously 25gb on primary was always going to be an issue cuz thats not even enough for OS itself.
    Now couple of months down the line we are sitting with 2KB! on OS drive because some windows update ran over night.
    Now we are basically screwed and according to Mr.Softlayer there is no way to upgrade primary drive.
    According to them we should take out new cloud instance with bigger primary drives and do the whole setup and migration all over.
    What kind of cloud computing is this???
    I am no expert but the idea of cloud computing is to increase diskspace, cpu, ram and bandwidth as one needs.

    This is definitely not cloud setup, looks bs to me.

    Regards

  2. #2
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    This is probably not a SoftLayer or Cloud issue.

    I think part of your problem is your choice of OS. Think of what you need to do when changing the primary drive in any Windows PC.

    Creating a new instance will cause no greater hardship, just reinstall everything and copy the data over. Hey, that's Windows.

  3. #3
    I'm not familiar with Windows myself, but is the problem here that NTFS (or whatever filesystem Windows uses these days) can't be resized like ext2/3 can?
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  4. #4
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    Let us look at the problem... You are wanting to change the Primary Disk Drive Space which is on Windows. Softlayer says they could not do it.

    This is what I call miscommunication. It's not that Softlayer cannot upgrade the Disk Drive Space for you. They could but you would not like the result. The problem here is with Windows. When it comes to Windows OS, they are rather picky on the Disk Size, Hardware and etc. One change and it will send you to re-detect everything. They need to remake the file system and etc. That's kinda a bad thing about Windows unlike Linux where you could easily change things and they would still be able to run smoothly.

    Getting your stuff re-installed and creating a new instance is a lot easier and faster than trying to let you go with the option that you want which is to change the Disk Space. The problem here is not with Softlayer but Windows. Perhaps they did not communicate it to you correctly or they did not explain this to you but they are just trying to protect you from doing something crazy and them getting blamed for it.
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  5. #5
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    yep lesson learned.... Time to move on and come up with more long term solution.
    SL could use some advice and recommendations when people are ordering.

  6. #6
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    Let's not go off the deep end, the problem cannot be an inability to communicate on SoftLayer's part nor does it have anything to do with NTFS.

    SoftLayer's cloud computing system allows two choices for the primary drive when setting up an instance - 25GB or 100GB. This "drive" relates to the boot partition in other lingo. It appears that this cannot be changed after the instance is created. This should never be a cause for alarm because "everyone knows" that nothing should go on that drive other than OS files and it will remain relatively static. Well, everyone but Microsoft anyway. Windows was probably the reason that the 100GB choice is there.

    Though Windows XXXX Server can be installed on a 25GB partition it is only going to live happily there for any length of time if "everything" else is put on other drives / partitions. Windows likes to default everything to the primary drive so this is not a trivial task.

    While it may be possible to use the 25GB primary drive for Windows it is probably not a good idea and the sys-admin could be considered wrong for even allowing testing to be done that way. If the 100GB choice were made and application files and data were relegated to other partitions, as they should be, this question would not even be up for discussion.

    Experience with SoftLayer's cloud computing shows it to be very flexible and the same can be said of many others. Experience with any cloud system is the key, they all have their gems and their caveats. This is not your grandfather's server - or Oldsmobile.

  7. #7
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    I don't know how the sl cloud functions with windows but why couldn't you get a second 500gb mounted then move your inetpub or whatever files over instead of keeping them on the os drive?

  8. #8
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    The amount of mis-information about Windows in this thread is alarming. I have no problem resizing the primary C drive (either up or down) on a Windows 2003 or 2008 instance. The only thing it will do is a check disk on the first bootup... no hardware detection, GUID changes, or anything else. Sounds like a not-so-flexible cloud, good luck with it.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by FastServ View Post
    The amount of mis-information about Windows in this thread is alarming. I have no problem resizing the primary C drive (either up or down) on a Windows 2003 or 2008 instance. The only thing it will do is a check disk on the first bootup... no hardware detection, GUID changes, or anything else. Sounds like a not-so-flexible cloud, good luck with it.
    Are you saying you can resize the primary drive on a SoftLayer cloud instance? Not saying anything cannot be done, I have just not found the way. Enlighten us please.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by quantumphysics View Post
    I don't know how the sl cloud functions with windows but why couldn't you get a second 500gb mounted then move your inetpub or whatever files over instead of keeping them on the os drive?
    Yes, you can and you should.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by FastServ View Post
    The amount of mis-information about Windows in this thread is alarming. I have no problem resizing the primary C drive (either up or down) on a Windows 2003 or 2008 instance. The only thing it will do is a check disk on the first bootup... no hardware detection, GUID changes, or anything else. Sounds like a not-so-flexible cloud, good luck with it.
    I've done resizes so many times, I cannot even recall. You can do this in computer/server management on Windows 2003+.

    Surprised to see Windows being pelted and then NTFS

    However, it hasn't done a disk check even once after a reboot. Hmm, must see this.

    ...

    I don't know what platform SL is using for their cloud computing service (Xen/VMware/etc) but that is certainly an inflexible solution. Should be able to scale as and when required; atleast until 2 TB on primary disk after which you have MBR vs GPT problems booting Windows.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by InfiniteTech View Post
    I've done resizes so many times, I cannot even recall. You can do this in computer/server management on Windows 2003+.

    Surprised to see Windows being pelted and then NTFS

    However, it hasn't done a disk check even once after a reboot. Hmm, must see this.

    ...

    I don't know what platform SL is using for their cloud computing service (Xen/VMware/etc) but that is certainly an inflexible solution. Should be able to scale as and when required; atleast until 2 TB on primary disk after which you have MBR vs GPT problems booting Windows.
    Again, I don't believe you are speaking of doing this resizing on the primary drive of a SoftLayer cloud computing instance.

    The resizing of the primary drive in Win XXXX server is limited to the size of the underlying physical drive unless there is some magic I have not found. In a SoftLayer instance there are two choices for this drive size 25GB or 100GB. Resizing from within Windows may still work but what is the point.

    Certainly Windows can be used on their system and no one is dissing Microsoft or Windows in general, just trying to point out how a given system can be used - in this case SoftLayer's cloud computing.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by srfreeman View Post
    Are you saying you can resize the primary drive on a SoftLayer cloud instance? Not saying anything cannot be done, I have just not found the way. Enlighten us please.
    I should have stated that more like:

    Are you saying you can resize the primary drive on a SoftLayer cloud instance to larger than 100GB? Not saying anything cannot be done, I have just not found the way. Enlighten us please.

  14. #14
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    Oops... sorry... my bad, I was not really thinking of Windows XXXX Server. I was thinking more of XP and such coz I was working with a company who had those on their network today and it was such a headache for me to get stuff done.

    Sorry... After 2003, resizing is possible. My mistake. Misinformation given by my last post here.
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  15. #15
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    I guess it should be said that it is possible to boot windows from other than the primary drive and it may be possible to change the drive lettering on the SoftLayer system.

    There may be any number of other ways to work with this system. I am just noting the experience I have had with the SoftLayer system.

    I have found SoftLayer's system to be flexible and the ability to attach a 100TB network drive to my home PC has been quite a conversation piece. They seem to have the capacity and power to fill most needs.

    I have worked with Microsoft systems for as long as Microsoft has existed and I have worked with Linux systems for as long as Linux has existed (I am not old enough to say that about Unix.) I am really quite OS agnostic, if I inadvertently gore anyone's Ox, I am sorry.

  16. #16
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    We have increased windows primary drive size on Xen/XenServer/Vmware platform several times. If the cloud has flexibility to increase underlying physical drive size then there shouldn't be any issue with resizing windows primary drive.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ovais View Post
    We have increased windows primary drive size on Xen/XenServer/Vmware platform several times. If the cloud has flexibility to increase underlying physical drive size then there shouldn't be any issue with resizing windows primary drive.
    Exactly.

    I would double check with Softlayer but that is a limitation of their cloud infrastructure not Windows if they maintain that they can't do it.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by aodat2 View Post
    Let us look at the problem... You are wanting to change the Primary Disk Drive Space which is on Windows. Softlayer says they could not do it.

    This is what I call miscommunication. It's not that Softlayer cannot upgrade the Disk Drive Space for you. They could but you would not like the result. The problem here is with Windows. When it comes to Windows OS, they are rather picky on the Disk Size, Hardware and etc. One change and it will send you to re-detect everything. They need to remake the file system and etc. That's kinda a bad thing about Windows unlike Linux where you could easily change things and they would still be able to run smoothly.

    Getting your stuff re-installed and creating a new instance is a lot easier and faster than trying to let you go with the option that you want which is to change the Disk Space. The problem here is not with Softlayer but Windows. Perhaps they did not communicate it to you correctly or they did not explain this to you but they are just trying to protect you from doing something crazy and them getting blamed for it.
    No offense meant but you are not a Windows person are you? Your statement is incorrect. A disk change doesn't have it re detect hardware. You are thinking from 2000-2001. Windows has built in mechanisms to expand drive size just the disk has to be setup the right way first.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ovais View Post
    We have increased windows primary drive size on Xen/XenServer/Vmware platform several times. If the cloud has flexibility to increase underlying physical drive size then there shouldn't be any issue with resizing windows primary drive.
    Quote Originally Posted by Coolraul View Post
    Exactly.

    I would double check with Softlayer but that is a limitation of their cloud infrastructure not Windows if they maintain that they can't do it.
    ovais & Coolraul;

    You may want to read the rest of the thread, this has been previously addressed.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by srfreeman View Post
    ovais & Coolraul;

    You may want to read the rest of the thread, this has been previously addressed.
    Read it. You covered your support for Softlayer's cloud service well.

    I was simply addressing that it is a problem if you cannot resize OS partition on a cloud instance period. If you can't do this on a given OS I suggest that you not offer it as a cloud offering.

    It is another reason why I don't like the marketing fluff given to cloud nowadays.

    If you can't size up and down or each resource (ram, disk, cpu, network speed, transfer) and can't tolerate failure of a single component (disk / host subsystem) then I don't personally believe it is a true cloud.

    Sounds like a vps then.

  21. #21
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    Coolraul;

    Thank you for your your opinion on the definition of cloud computing, seems that many have their own opinions these days (belly button analogy coming up...) however just because a system does not conform your or my opinion it is not inherently wrong or bad.

    Opinions do nothing to help anyone work with a given system. Different systems have different requirements, noting the requirements and discussing the best ways to work with them would seem to be better than saying a system is bad or useless when it clearly is not.

    Yes, in my opinion this thread is titled very badly but that is only my opinion. There are probably many more ways to work with the SoftLayer cloud computing system than I have noted, are there any more experiences / ideas out there?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coolraul View Post
    It is another reason why I don't like the marketing fluff given to cloud nowadays.
    The term has lost all meaning.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by srfreeman View Post
    Coolraul;

    Thank you for your your opinion on the definition of cloud computing, seems that many have their own opinions these days (belly button analogy coming up...) however just because a system does not conform your or my opinion it is not inherently wrong or bad.

    Opinions do nothing to help anyone work with a given system. Different systems have different requirements, noting the requirements and discussing the best ways to work with them would seem to be better than saying a system is bad or useless when it clearly is not.

    Yes, in my opinion this thread is titled very badly but that is only my opinion. There are probably many more ways to work with the SoftLayer cloud computing system than I have noted, are there any more experiences / ideas out there?
    I completely understand and respect where you are coming from but I just think if you cannot do a basic thing like scale up, there is a problem there.

    I know it is the OS partition but still...

    Just curious, in your definition of cloud computing does it not include scaling and some level of failover / high availability?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coolraul View Post
    I completely understand and respect where you are coming from but I just think if you cannot do a basic thing like scale up, there is a problem there.

    I know it is the OS partition but still...
    Exactly the issue I was trying to raise. I am no Cloud computing expert perhaps but know enough to come to the same conclusion but this is something that lacks in Softlayer setup itself.

    I had my doubts which were confirmed very late during the process but we shouold've taken the bigger primary drive from day 1.

  25. #25
    You should be able (imho) to scale any element of your resources on a cloud machine - otherwise the 'cloudyness' comes into question I think...
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by boskone View Post
    otherwise the 'cloudyness' comes into question I think...
    lol... yes cloudyness has been clouded..

  27. #27
    lol, foggy even, though we prefer mist here in Ireland
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coolraul View Post
    I completely understand and respect where you are coming from but I just think if you cannot do a basic thing like scale up, there is a problem there.

    I know it is the OS partition but still...

    Just curious, in your definition of cloud computing does it not include scaling and some level of failover / high availability?
    I tend to ascribe to the notion that if it is available to you and you can only work with it as a remote user - it is in the cloud.

    I have spent many years putting clouds on flow charts, it is not a foreign term but I have lost no sleep attempting to define it.

    "Cloud Computing" is simply the label SoftLayer has chosen for the service being discussed here. What else are they to call it? A rose by any other name...

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coolraul View Post
    I know it is the OS partition but still...
    From Windows 2003, you can easily extend and shrink the OS partition. No problems.

    I'm not sure about the 100 MB boot partition on Win 2008 R2 though.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by InfiniteTech View Post
    From Windows 2003, you can easily extend and shrink the OS partition. No problems.

    I'm not sure about the 100 MB boot partition on Win 2008 R2 though.
    No issues with 2008 R2 -- just be careful when using 3rd party resizers -- you'll have to reinstall the bootloader. Avoidable by using built-in tools. No 100Mb boot partition on our installs -- just an optional partition for system restore.
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by FastServ View Post
    No issues with 2008 R2 -- just be careful when using 3rd party resizers -- you'll have to reinstall the bootloader. Avoidable by using built-in tools. No 100Mb boot partition on our installs -- just an optional partition for system restore.
    I understand the "MB" may be a typo but remember, we are talking about a system that restricts you to a 100"GB" primary drive (really a choice between 25GB or 100GB).

    This should cause no conceptual problem for those that are used to *NIX systems or Windows systems that use external storage. For those who use just one large drive for everything this may be hard to understand but terms like scalability and high availability will also have very limited definitions to these sys-admins as well.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by under_gravity View Post
    Exactly the issue I was trying to raise. I am no Cloud computing expert perhaps but know enough to come to the same conclusion but this is something that lacks in Softlayer setup itself.

    I had my doubts which were confirmed very late during the process but we shouold've taken the bigger primary drive from day 1.
    Over the years system idiosyncrasies have always been described as features by some and bugs or failings by others. In reality it is as it is, how to work with the system is the only question.

    As with many, I have shied away from things that I later found to be excellent after finding the prescribed way to work with them. These days I tend to have a more open mind, the designers of new systems have a way of using them in mind that will certainly work and are sometimes revolutionary. Designers, historically have not been great about explaining their vision and marketing often gets this job - leaving us lowly users with the job of continuously testing to see if the new idea will in fact make our life better or easier. It is simply our lot in life.

    Yes, choosing the 100GB primary drive may have provided a different outcome to your testing and choice to go live but in the end it was only a test and it provided an outcome. The outcome of any test just provides the map to the next step - the journey is never over - that is what draws a lot of us to this line of work.

    The outcome of the test here does not prove that the system tested is useless and attempting to say that someone has mis-labeled something is not anything that will drive the development of your application forward - though it has provided for a somewhat interesting discussion.

  33. #33
    If you really thought cloud computing was a good option in the first place then there's the root of your problems. Fix that and everything else will fall into place.

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