Creating your first virtual server in SoftLayer: Server configuration

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This second blog post in my step-by-step series on ordering a SoftLayer virtual server will focus on the server configuration options. In part 1, we walked through the initial navigation to the web interface for ordering a virtual server as well as the billing options available.

You can follow these next steps to complete the server configuration of your virtual server:

1. After selecting the option for either a monthly or hourly virtual server, you will be directed to the next screen to configure your cloud server. For the purposes of this tutorial, we will be configuring an hourly server.

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We will go into each option on this page in the following steps.

2. Quantity and location

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Each data center location has a standardized pod design; however, there are different capacity and physical access controls across locations. For detailed data center pod design, as well as site specifications, please visit the data center web page. This site also has a tool to test upload and download speeds at each site.

For this exercise, we will select one server hosted in Dallas (DAL01).

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3. System configuration

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For this exercise, we will select a single 2 GHz core and 1 GB of RAM.

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4. Operating system

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In this case, we have selected “Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 – Minimal Install,” which adds $0.080 per hour to our billed rate. To view the new total with this additional option, scroll up the page to the top and view the new price as shown in the following screen capture:

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The total will continue to update as you choose additional options, so you can always check where your hourly cost is throughout the ordering process.

5. Disk configuration

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For this demonstration, we will select 25 GB SAN for the first disk and no additional disks.

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6. Network options: Bandwidth and port speeds

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For simplicity, we will accept all the defaults in this section.

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Networking in itself could be a series of blog posts, so this part is being drastically simplified. If you are interested in more information on networking options, please visit the networking web page.

7. Network options: IP addresses

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Again for simplicity, we will accept all the defaults in this section. This will give us a single IPv4 IP address for this virtual server:

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8. System add-ons

This section contains several options that can be added to the server. These add-ons are all optional and the default for each is set to “None.” Review each option and select those that apply for your server. A description of each is included in the following figure:

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For this tutorial, we are going to leave all of the add-on options with the default “None.”  Please do not misinterpret this as a recommended configuration. You should review each option for your business needs when you purchase your own virtual server.

9. Storage add-ons

This section allows you to select additional network attached storage to attach to your virtual server.

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For this tutorial, we will not add any additional network attached storage.

10. Service add-on

In this section, you can customize your monitoring and response services. Again, monitoring could be a topic for a blog post in itself, so if you are looking for a detailed description of monitoring options please visit the server monitoring website, which has a comprehensive table explaining the various options for monitoring.

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In this tutorial, we will stick with the defaults.

Now that you have gone through all of the server configuration options, you are ready to add this virtual server to your order! Click the “Add to Order” button.

Repeat the steps above for all virtual servers you would like to order with different configurations.  Part 3 of this series will walk you through the checkout process after you have configured all of the servers you would like to add to your order.


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