Infrastructure at your Service

Background

More and more companies are moving from on premise hosting to cloud hosting. There are many justifications to move to the cloud, but also also many justifications not to move to the cloud. It depends on the company.

Advantages of cloud are certainly:

  • With just a few clicks you can scale your environment.

  • It can be extremely cost-effective, depending on what you need.

  • Reduced IT administration effort.

  • No more investment costs for server hardware.

  • Access to geographically distributed IT resources regardless of device, time and location.

If you are hosting personal data, then you need to care about privacy and the guidelines of your local state/country. Otherwise you could have issues with GDPR. Because of this, the server location is very very important. Exoscale is a Swiss company focusing on cloud computing. Their goal is simple: To be a solid European cloud hosting alternative. Servers are located in: Switzerland, Austria and Germany.

Usability

Once you created a login and successfully logged in, you will notice at the first glance, that the website is kept very simple and is very easy to understand. Before you create a new instance, I would recommend you to generate a new ssh key pair and upload your public key to Exoscale.

Linux / Mac users:

ssh-keygen

Windows users:

ssh-keygen.exe

And then upload your public key under Computer -> SSH-KEYS -> Add

Because of security, we recommend to create a new firewall rule which allows ssh connections only from your public IP Address. For that you need to find out your public IP address and open Compute -> Firewalling -> default

As you see, it’s very simple.

Options

Templates

To create a new server and connect through SSH, it takes less than 5 minutes. Exoscale provides the most used Linux distributions like CentOS, RedHat, Ubuntu, Debian, SLES, Fedora, OpenBSD, Windows Server 2016/19 and other Templates like CheckPoint, Cisco Asav F5 BIG-IP…

You can select a default instance type or choose between Storage/Memory/CPU focused server types. For sure, you can upgrade/downgrade the size of your server, otherwise cloud computing would not make sense 🙂 After the server has been successfully created, the login password will be displayed and then you can login through SSH.

CLI

As every cloud provider, Exoscale provides a CLI, too. Otherwise automating processes is impossible. After you installed the CLI from this link and configured your IAM user, you are ready to use it. It’s very easy to use. Just type “exo” and you will get all available commands.

 

For example, if you want to create a template from your snapshot.

exo vm snapshot list
exo vm template register centos8-pg13 --from-snapshot 903fd897-380a-41e2-8425-c4e5488d0951 --description "CentOS 8 server with PostgreSQL 13"

What we tested?

We installed PostgreSQL 13 on CentOS 8 and Debian 10. To manage multiple PostgreSQL instances easily, we installed also our DMK, the Database Management Kit. Increased the disc space. Worked without problems.

The good side First of all, I’ts a Swiss company and they are providing 6 locations, in 4 Countries:

  • Switzerland, Zürich (CH-DK-2)

  • Switzerland, Geneva (CH-GVA-2)

  • Austria, Vienna (AT-VIE-1)

  • Germany, Munich (DE-MUC-1)

  • Germany, Frankfurt (DE-FRA-1)

  • Bulgaria, Sofia (BG-SOF-1)

For more information: https://www.exoscale.com/datacenters/ As you can see from the screenshots, it is very simple to use. Also the CLI is very easy. They are providing very good and understandable documentation. https://community.exoscale.com/

The bad side:

  • If you want to split your database volume from your OS volume by adding additional volumes, it’s not possible. Exosacle provides Object storage, its like the AWS S3 to store files. That means you can not mount it to your OS to use it for databases.

  • Once you create a new instance from your own template, you are not able to create a user at the same time.

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Furkan Suv
Furkan Suv

Consultant