Hostwinds Webinars: Cloud Control

Cloud Control

Hot off the press, Hostwinds has an announcement for you. We have recently integrated webinars into our Knowledge Base, and, as of right this moment, into our blog!

Introducing…

Hostwinds Webinars!

The very first Hostwinds Webinar is a guided tour through the ubiquitous Cloud Portal.

This always-handy “Cloud Control Overview” guide is where we debuted the introductory webinar:

On one hand, it almost seems redundant to have a webinar, a Knowledge Base guide, and a blog piece summarizing the collection of features within the Cloud Portal. By the same token, however, a few points were brought up in the webinar that we think are worth taking a look at. This blog post is intended to highlight those pivotal topics.

Cloud Portal Buttons, Links, & Specifics

First thing’s first. If you have yet to visit the Hostwinds Cloud Portal, follow the steps below in order to enter the metaphorical doors of this cloud control panel.

STEP 1:

Visit www.Hostwinds.com and click the ‘Client Login’ link at the top of the page.

>> Enter the email address and password associated with your Hostwinds account to login.

STEP 2:

Click the ‘Cloud Control’ drop-down menu on the royal blue navigation bar.

>> Click ‘Cloud Portal.’

*Dramatic Pause*

YOU HAVE ENTERED THE CLOUD PORTAL.

Now that you have been granted elite access into this portal, you are ready for the following Webinar tour.

Production By Hostwinds Support Team Agent, David H.

What do you think? Helpful? We hope so!

If you are interested in reviewing a few highlights and timestamps of the video, we’ve got you covered.

As for the Cloud Portal buttons and links, we’ll take a page from the webinar’s book and start with the ‘SERVERS’ drop-down menu to the left of the page.

SERVERS Menu:

‘My Servers’

The ‘My Servers’ section shows you all your Hostwinds cloud servers as well as information about them. Try clicking on a server’s nickname. Doing so “will direct you to the management page for that specific server,” according to the Cloud Control Webinar.

TIMESTAMP FOR ‘My Servers’ LINK DESCRIPTION: 0:48

‘SSH Keys’

Question: You may be asking yourself, “What can I do within the ‘SSH Keys’ page?”

Excellent question.

Answer: “Here you can generate SSH keys as an alternative for logging in as a root user on a Linux VPS.”

An Important Note Brought Up in the Webinar: “[…] we don’t store your private key, so just make sure to download and save it.”

Pointer from Webinar: “This blue checkbox automatically attaches your key to new servers.”

TIMESTAMP FOR ‘SSH Keys’ LINK DESCRIPTION: 1:50

NETWORK Menu:

Load Balancers’

The ‘Load Balancers’ link brings you to a page where you can create load balancers to distribute traffic between two or more servers.

Pointer from Webinar: “The load balancer gets an IP address and traffic sent to that address is split between the servers you have listed underneath it.”

TIMESTAMP FOR ‘Load Balancers’ LINK DESCRIPTION: 2:53

‘Domains’

Pointer from Webinar: “This is the cloud DNS management page where you can add domains and manage the DNS records for them.”

TIMESTAMP FOR ‘Domains’ LINK DESCRIPTION: 3:55

‘Firewalls’

Click the ‘Firewalls’ link to navigate to a page where you can set up firewall profiles for your cloud servers.

Pointer from Webinar: Firewalls “act as whitelists that allow you to specify firewall rules. So, any traffic that matches a rule is allowed through, any traffic that doesn’t match a rule is denied, and by default, all traffic is allowed through.”

TIMESTAMP FOR ‘Firewalls’ LINK DESCRIPTION: 4:27

‘Manage IP’s’

Pointer from Webinar: The ‘Manage IP’s’ link will direct you to a page where “[…] you can manage the rDNS for your IPs. rDNS, or reverse DNS, allows you to associate a domain name to an IP address.”

TIMESTAMP FOR ‘Manage IP’s’ LINK DESCRIPTION: 4:58

‘SSL Certificates’

The ‘SSL Certificates’ page is where you upload SSL certificates to use for load balancers.

Pointer from Webinar: “You can use the SSLs added here to encrypt traffic between a load balancer and the servers that are listed below the load balancer.”

TIMESTAMP FOR ‘SSL Certificates’ LINK DESCRIPTION: 5:08

STORAGE Menu:

‘Volumes’

Click the ‘Volumes’ link to “create additional volumes that can be attached and mounted to VPSs as secondary drives. […] volumes are a good option for adding more storage to your VPS in a cost-effective way. And just as a note, a volume doesn’t expand the base drive of the server; it just adds a secondary drive.”

TIMESTAMP FOR ‘Volumes’ LINK DESCRIPTION: 5:26

‘ISO’s’

Pointer from Webinar: “Here you can upload your own custom ISOs that can be mounted to a VPS for installing your own operating system on the server.”

TIMESTAMP FOR ‘ISO’s’ LINK DESCRIPTION: 6:00

‘Snapshots’

This area displays all the server snapshots you’ve taken.

Pointer from Webinar: “You can delete snapshots from here, or you can convert them into templates to create or reinstall a new server using the snapshot.”

TIMESTAMP FOR ‘Snapshots’ LINK DESCRIPTION: 6:17

‘Object Storage’

Pointer from Webinar: The ‘Object Storage’ section is where you can “manage your cloud-based S3-compatible block storage. You can create containers here and store files within them by just clicking ‘Create Container.'”

An Important Note Brought Up in the Webinar: ” […] if you’ve purchased Hostwinds’ Cloud Backups add-on service, all your backups would be stored within the object storage container here.”

TIMESTAMP FOR ‘Object Storage’ LINK DESCRIPTION: 6:36

ACCOUNT Menu:

‘Billing’

Pointer from Webinar: “This page allows you to see a breakdown of your hourly cloud charges for things like volumes and object storage[…].”

TIMESTAMP FOR ‘Billing’ LINK DESCRIPTION: 7:26

‘API Keys’

The API Keys link brings you to a page where you can “create and manage API keys to be able to access and call functions from our Hostwinds Cloud API in order to manage the items within the Cloud Portal.”

Pointer from Webinar: “If you click ‘API Documentation’ here, you can view the documents for using our API.”

TIMESTAMP FOR ‘API Keys’ LINK DESCRIPTION: 8:12

‘API Request Log’

Pointer from Webinar: “This page will show you a log of cloud events performed through the Cloud Portal or via API.”

TIMESTAMP FOR ‘API Request Log’ LINK DESCRIPTION: 8:40

‘Maintenance Events’

This area “displays a log of maintenance events for our cloud infrastructure for your account specifically.”

TIMESTAMP FOR ‘Maintenance Events’ LINK DESCRIPTION: 8:54

Create Button:

As far as the green ‘Create’ button, each of the drop-down options were discussed during the webinar. The drop-down links are pretty self-explanatory, and the pop-up forms that load once you click the links are very straightforward. They will walk you right through the steps necessary to create each item.

Click The Server’s Nickname To Go To Its Very Own Management Page:

Here area few details about each of the tabs in the server management page:

‘Overview’

The ‘Overview’ section shows you a variety of details pertaining to your server such as its main IP address, billing cycle, and password.

Pointer from Webinar: “You can also assign SSH keys you’ve created to the server here. And again, you would need to reboot the server to apply the recently-added key. And you can then login without needing a password by using the private key you downloaded.”

‘Graphs’

The ‘Graphs’ panel displays a graph illustrating your CPU and memory usage.

‘Firewall Profile’

Pointer from Webinar: “This area allows you to design a pre-defined firewall profile, and here you can attach firewall profiles that you’ve created to the server. You’ll also need to reboot the server in order to apply the firewall profile.”

‘Volumes’

Pointer from Webinar: “[…] in this section, you can attach additional volumes created on the volume management page to the server. The volume will be attached as a secondary drive that can be mounted.”

‘ISOs’

Pointer from Webinar: Click the ‘ISOs’ tab to “attach an ISO to the VPS to be able to boot to either for installing an operating system or for boot utilities.”

‘Upgrade/Downgrade VM’

Pointer from Webinar: The ‘Upgrade/Downgrade VM’ panel is where you can “upgrade or customize your VPS’s specs.”

An Important Note Brought Up in the Webinar: “Oftentimes it’s cheaper to choose a pre-set tier than to customize it.”

‘Logs > Action Log’

Pointer from Webinar: “[…] here you’ll see a log of the actions created on the server through the cloud portal since its creation. So, that would involve startups, shutdowns, and things like reboots.”

‘Logs > Maintenance’

Click ‘Logs’ then ‘Maintenance’ to see a list of “scheduled maintenance events performed on the VPS.”

‘Manage IP’s’

Pointer from Webinar: “Here is a list of all of the IPs assigned to this server. So, here you can add, remove, or change IPs assigned to the server.”

TIMESTAMP FOR SERVER MANAGEMENT PANEL DESCRIPTIONS: 9:18

Onto more facts and features! The subsequent section covers the options available when you click the blue ‘Actions’ drop-down button on the server management page.

Actions Drop-Down Button:

‘Reinstall’ enables you to reinstall one of the following:

“Either you can install one of our pre-set operating system images, or you can install one of our pre-set application images, or you can mount an ISO for manually installing an operating system, or you can reinstall to a snapshot template you’ve taken of the VPS.”

‘Reboot’ reboots the server.

‘Rescue Mode’

Pointer from Webinar: “‘Rescue Mode’ reboots the server into a safe mode where only the necessary drivers are loaded.”

‘Regenerate Networking’

‘Regenerate Networking,’ according to our webinar, “detaches, resets, and reattaches the network adapter, then reboots the server. So this is a good option to try if you are having network issues on the server.”

‘Get VNC’

Pointer from Webinar: “‘Get VNC’ opens a virtual monitor to the server. This is a way to get access to the server even if the server’s networking is misconfigured.”

‘Get Serial Console’

Pointer from Webinar: “‘Get Serial Console’ provides a web socket to connect to for accessing the server over a serial connection, and it also provides commands that can be run from a Linux environment to connect to the web socket.”

‘Snapshot Server’ takes a snapshot of the cloud server.

An Important Note Brought Up in the Webinar: “[…] we recommend shutting down the server prior to taking the snapshot. You can view the snapshot from your snapshot management page, and you can convert it into a template for creating or reinstalling other services.”

‘Destroy’

Pointer from Webinar: “So the ‘Destroy’ option is only available for hourly servers, and it’s how you would basically destroy or cancel the server. If you have a VPS on a normal billing cycle, you would request cancellation through the Client Area.”

TIMESTAMP FOR ‘Actions’ LINK DESCRIPTIONS: 13:05

Wow, what a cornucopia of helpful pointers! If you have any questions at all about this information or would like to receive more tips about navigating through the Cloud Portal, you are always welcome to give us a call (888-404-1279) or start a Live Chat on our website (www.Hostwinds .com).

This is Just the Beginning

Guess what? This Cloud Control Webinar is just the tip of the iceberg as far as Hostwinds Webinars go. Stay tuned for the next Hostwinds Webinar coming your way soon! We think you’ll find it very informative. Until next time, folks, all of us here at Hostwinds wish you well.

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