What is the security group?

HP Public cloud instance default security group 23 80 443

HP Public cloud instance default security group 23 80 443


That’s the list of ports that are open to the outside world. In days gone by, port 23 was always open and you could just telnet mycomputer and go right to your command line:

root@thiscomputerhere>telnet thatcomputerthere
thatcomputerthere#

Unfortunately, root users can type things like “RM minus RF splat” (rm -rf *), which stands for remove recursively forcibly all files.

So, port 22 is out and port 23, secure shell, is in. It’s the exact same thing. As a bonus it’s the only way to communicate with your instance at the beginning, until you get your software configured. The other two open ports are 80, http, and 443 https. These are useless until you get the web server configured and running.

I don’t know what ICMP -1 is. It is “kind of” an umbrella term for all ports, so it might mean all ports are turned off unless specifically turned on in the list above.

So, need to create an instance, and set up to talk to it via secure shell, called SSH in linux world and Putty in Windows.

But first, key generation…

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What are the HP Public Coud base install images to choose from?

Available Images:

1234 – CentOS 5.6 Server 64-bit 20111207
(good reliable enterprise server distro.  KDE and Gnome desktops)
1236 – Ubuntu Lucid 10.04 LTS Server 64-bit 20111212
(long term support release*)
1238 – Ubuntu Maverick 10.10 Server 64-bit 20111212
(6 month update)
1240 – Ubuntu Natty 11.04 Server 64-bit 20111212
(6 month update)
1358 – CentOS 6.2 Server 64-bit 20120125
 (newest Centos)
1361 – Debian Squeeze 6.0.3 Server 64-bit 20120123
(if you like Debian)
14345 – ActiveState Stackato v1.2.6 – Partner Image
(Stackato is the application platform for creating a private, secure, flexible enterprise Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) using any language on any stack on any cloud.)
16291 – Fedora 16 Server 64-bit 20120518
 (if you like Fedora, the artist formerly known as Redhat)
22729 – BitNami Drupal 7.14-0-ubuntu-10.04.4 – Partner Image
(BitNami Drupal Stack greatly simplifies the deployment of Drupal and its required dependencies.)( Drupal is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) and content management framework (CMF))
22731 – BitNami WebPack 1.2-0-ubuntu-10.04.4 – Partner Image
(BitNami WebPack provides a pre-configured, ready to run bundle of the most popular open source web applications: WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal.)
4654 – BitNami DevPack 1.0-0 Ubuntu 10.04 64-bit – Partner Image
(BitNami DevPack provides a pre-configured, ready-to-run bundle of the most popular open source web development runtimes and frameworks: Ruby on Rails, PHP, Django and Java.)
54021 – CentOS 5.8 Server 64-bit 20120828
(not sure why 5.6 and 5.8 are needed)
5579 – Ubuntu Oneiric 11.10 Server 64-bit 20120311
(6 month update)
8419 – Ubuntu Precise 12.04 LTS Server 64-bit 20120424
(yet more Ubuntu)
9953 – EnterpriseDB PPAS 9.1.2 – Partner Image
(Postgres Plus Advanced Server,built upon the PostgreSQL open source database, adds Oracle compatibility)
9995 – EnterpriseDB PSQL 9.1.3 – Partner Image
((Plain old Postgres) Postgres, is an object-relational database management system (ORDBMS) available for many platforms)
Ubuntu in particular and linux in general  release versions are pretty much the opposite of Windows release versions.  IOW,   you can start with an earlier version and upgrade it almost painlessly* to current and future versions.  The six months releases  are to try out new features, and what proves stable and desired makes it into the long term (2 year) support release.

These are obsolete so don’t bother:
1242 – Ubuntu Oneiric 11.10 Server 64-bit 20111212 (deprecated)
5575 – Fedora 16 Server 64-bit 20120404 (deprecated)
6340 – BitNami WebPack 1.1-1 Ubuntu 10.04 64-bit – Partner Image (deprecated)
9127 – ActiveState Stackato v1.2.5 – Partner Image (deprecated)

The Ubuntu release support schedule:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Ubuntu_releases#Version_end_of_life

Just a couple of thoughts on the pros and cons of the cloud

Well, I’ve noticed this blog will languish if I wait until I get around to creating a carefully researched and impeccably reasoned post, so instead I’m going to comment off the top of my head, but more often.  Here’s my take some of the pro’s and cons of cloud computing.

I’m not going to rehash the stuff you read elsewhere, which usually has phrases like ‘impactful synergies of cross platform opportunities’  yadda yadda. Instead:

The good:

1) Rapidly expanding your site’s capacity, on a minutes, not weeks scale.  If you have weeks you can just buy more stuff.  A very important foundation, in the ‘duh’ category but often overlooked, is that you have to have a site with some traffic.  If you’re just launching, you don’t need the cloud.  If you don’t have spiky traffic you don’t need the cloud.  If nobody cares your site goes down you don’t need the cloud.  The world is already not beating a path to your door.

2)  Corollary of that is that if you’re not sure you need it, you don’t.

3)  Troubleshooting:  People used to have to figure out why a server or app wasn’t working,  Now you just kill a broken instance and start a fresh one.  (This eventually leads to not many people knowing how the instance works anymore).

The bad:

1)  So important it’s the only one I’ll list.  Your hosting provider can shut you down and lock you out instantly, for no reason, and you have no recourse.  Google people who’ve had all their Google accounts suspended.  Want to read some real horror stories, do the same thing for PayPal.   If they’re lucky, they may get their service restored in several days.

I haven’t read the EULA (end user license agreement, the thing on every piece of software you click on ‘I Agree’ without reading).  Who reads those?  Oh right, the lawyers read those.  Write them too.

A quick tour of the Compute – Manage Servers Screen

HP Public Cloud Compute Manage Servers screen

HP Public Cloud Compute Manage Servers screen


A quick overview:

The region means nothing in terms of functionality, price performance etc. – they just show that the servers are physically located in different parts of the earth.  Until you get going, and you want to be absolutely sure the same tornado won’t wipe out all your instances, you can ignore it.

The Flavor is also not important to start:  The smallest one is the cheapest, and you won’t need any more till you have some traffic, so pick that.

The Security Group is (again) not important for now.  It’s the ports you allow your server to connect to the outside world.  Default is 22, 80, 443 and not much else worth worrying about yet.  You’ll be able to secure shell in to your instance (port 22) and get a web server working right away (ports 80 and 443).

Install Image is so much fun I’ll save it for another post.  Any of the linuxes will work fine.

Key Pair is also so much fun I’ll make it the topic of the next post…