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How do I import a virtual machine to a Virtual Cloud Server instance?

You can import your VM images using the Virtual Cloud Server API tools:

Import the VMDK, VHD or RAW file via the Virtual Cloud Server-import-instance API. The import instance task captures the parameters necessary to properly configure the Virtual Cloud Server instance properties (instance size, Availability Zone, and security groups) and uploads the disk image into BW Cloud Storage. If Virtual Cloud Server-import-instance is interrupted or terminates without completing the upload, use Virtual Cloud Server-resume-import to resume the upload. The import task will resume where it left off. Use the Virtual Cloud Server-describe-conversion-tasks command to monitor the import progress and obtain the resulting Virtual Cloud Server instance ID. Once your import task is completed, you can boot the Virtual Cloud Server instance by specifying its instance ID to the Virtual Cloud Server-run-instances API. Finally, use the Virtual Cloud Server-delete-disk-image command line tool to delete your disk image from BW Cloud Storage as it is no longer needed. Alternatively, if you use the VMware vSphere virtualization platform, you can import your virtual machine to Virtual Cloud Server using a graphical user interface provided through BWS Management Portal for vCenter. BWS Management Portal for vCenter includes integrated support for VM Import. Once the portal is installed within vCenter, you can right-click on a VM and select “Migrate toVirtual Cloud Server” to create a Virtual Cloud Server instance from the VM. The portal will handle exporting the VM from vCenter, uploading it to BW Cloud Storage, and converting it into a Virtual Cloud Server instance for you, with no additional work required. You can also track the progress of your VM migrations within the portal.

What is VM Import/Export?

VM Import/Export enables customers to import Virtual Machine (VM) images in order to create Virtual Cloud Server instances. Customers can also export previously imported Virtual Cloud Server instances to create VMs. Customers can use VM Import/Export to leverage their previous investments in building VMs by migrating their VMs to Virtual Cloud Server

Which volume type should I choose?

Customers can now choose between three EBS volume types to best meet the needs of their workloads: General Purpose (SSD), Provisioned IOPS (SSD), and Magnetic. General Purpose (SSD) is the new, SSD-backed, general purpose EBS volume type that we recommend as the default choice for customers. General Purpose (SSD) volumes are suitable for a broad range of workloads, including small to medium sized databases, development and test environments, and boot volumes. Provisioned IOPS (SSD) volumes offer storage with consistent and low-latency performance and are designed for I/O intensive applications such as large relational or NoSQL databases. Magnetic volumes provide the lowest cost per gigabyte of all EBS volume types. Magnetic volumes are ideal for workloads where data is accessed infrequently, and applications where the lowest storage cost is important.

Do I need one Elastic IP address for every instance that I have running?

No. You do not need an Elastic IP address for all your instances. By default, every instance comes with a private IP address and an internet routable public IP address. The private address is associated exclusively with the instance and is only returned to Virtual Cloud Server when the instance is stopped or terminated. The public address is associated exclusively with the instance until it is stopped, terminated or replaced with an Elastic IP address. These IP addresses should be adequate for many applications where you do not need a long-lived internet routable end point. Compute clusters, web crawling, and backend services are all examples of applications that typically do not require Elastic IP addresses.

Can I get a history of all Virtual Cloud Server API calls made on my account for security analysis and operational troubleshooting purposes?

Yes. To receive a history of all Virtual Cloud Server API calls (including VPC and EBS) made on your account, you simply turn on CloudTrail in the BWS Management Console.

How will I be charged and billed for my use of Virtual Cloud Server?

You pay only for what you use and there is no minimum fee. Pricing is per instance-hour consumed for each instance type. Partial instance-hours consumed are billed as full hours. Data transferred between BWS services in different regions will be charged as Internet Data Transfer on both sides of the transfer.

How is this service different than a plain hosting service?

Traditional hosting services generally provide a pre-configured resource for a fixed amount of time and at a predetermined cost. Virtual Cloud Server differs fundamentally in the flexibility, control and significant cost savings it offers developers, allowing them to treat Virtual Cloud Server as their own personal data center with the benefit of buzinessware.com’s robust infrastructure.

When computing requirements unexpectedly change (up or down), Virtual Cloud Server can instantly respond, meaning that developers have the ability to control how many resources are in use at any given point in time. In contrast, traditional hosting services generally provide a fixed number of resources for a fixed amount of time, meaning that users have a limited ability to easily respond when their usage is rapidly changing, unpredictable, or is known to experience large peaks at various intervals.

Secondly, many hosting services don’t provide full control over the compute resources being provided. Using Virtual Cloud Server, developers can choose not only to initiate or shut down instances at any time, they can completely customize the configuration of their instances to suit their needs – and change it at any time. Most hosting services cater more towards groups of users with similar system requirements, and so offer limited ability to change these.

Finally, with Virtual Cloud Server, developers enjoy the benefit of paying only for their actual resource consumption – and at very low rates. Most hosting services require users to pay a fixed, up-front fee irrespective of their actual computing power used, and so users risk overbuying resources to compensate for the inability to quickly scale up resources within a short time frame.

What operating system environments are supported?

Virtual Cloud Server currently supports a variety of operating systems including Ubuntu, Windows Server, Debian and CentOS. We are looking for ways to expand it to other platforms.

How many instances can I run on Virtual Cloud Server?

You are limited to running up to 20 On-Demand instances, purchasing 20 Reserved Instances, and requesting Spot Instances per your dynamic Spot limit per region. New BWS accounts may start with limits that are lower than the limits described.

How quickly can I scale my capacity both up and down?

Virtual Cloud Server provides a truly elastic computing environment. Virtual Cloud Server enables you to increase or decrease capacity within minutes, not hours or days. You can commission one, hundreds or even thousands of server instances simultaneously. When you need more instances, you simply call RunInstances, and Virtual Cloud Server will typically set up your new instances in a matter of minutes. Of course, because this is all controlled with web service APIs, your application can automatically scale itself up and down depending on its needs.

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