December 2 2017

BlockStorage is released for 1&1 Cloud

So for the past two years of the 1&1 Cloud, there’s been some exciting things. 1&1 has finally added CloudInit about 6months ago allowing your configuration of servers to be setup via a script (no more manually adding repos and installing software!), and about a month or so ago they released SSH Keys as a repo of sorts in the Cloud Panel to make adding your keys a breeze. One of the neatest ideas they had, but in my humble opinion was flawed in implementation, was the Shared Storage device. Shared Storage was, in simple terms, a Network-Attached Storage device (harddrive) that you could connect multiple servers to. The flaw was in the implementation of the NFS:

  • There’s only 1 Credential for all Shared Storage devices
  • Linux needed a cron to auth with it because of the scope of mounting/authenticating
  • Windows needed auth to map and then changes to the Application pool to give IIS permissions to read/write from it
  • File permissions were set by the account “nas2” domain that was running on this NAS auth server, so no NTFS permissions or your own AD permissions

So in my mind, the concept is great to have multiple servers be able to connect to a NAS device, but the implementation ruled out alot of use-cases that customers wanted.

1&1 always had a feature with the Cloud called Flex Servers, which means that instead of having predefined sizes (M/L/XL), you could decide if you wanted 500GB of SSD, 8GB of Ram, and only 2vCore. Why would you want that, who really knows, but you could have it. The trade off is that this is priced so much higher than what the predefined sizes allowed.

For example:

1 XXL Server with Linux has 4vCores, 8GB of Ram, and 160GB of SSD for only $49.99
If you needed 300GB of Ram (140GB more) then you’d need a Flex server:
4vCores, 8GB of Ram, and 300GB of SSD = $108.00/month!!!!
That’s $58.01 just for 140GB more disk space! Kinda sucks right? Well, welcome the newest addition to 1&1’s offerings: BlockStorage.

In simplest terms, BlockStorage is still a Network Attached Storage device like the Shared Storage offering, but instead of sharing with other servers, a BlockStorage instance is attached to only a single server. Because of this, there’s no need for authentication, so the storage device is simply just treated as an additional harddrive. Priced at the typical $7.20 per 100GB, this means that we can add that 140GB we want for only $10.08 more a month! Using our example above, we have an XXL server + 140GB of BlockStorage for $60.07 vs Flex Server for $108.00/month!

Now since we’re talking about a new storage device, obviously this brings up a new concern. If your application is hardcoded to check your C: volume or you have an LVM on linux (as the 1&1 Images do by default) then you can’t normally benefit from a second drive. However, a simple “Span Volume” in Windows or a reconfiguration of your LVM to span across multiple disks, will eliminate this all together! Pretty exciting news for a great price, don’t ya think?

Check it out and let me know in the comments how you like it!

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Posted December 2, 2017 by Timothy G in category "1&1 Internet

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