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What is cloud computing?
Cloud computing enables businesses to rapidly provision IT services via the Internet, or "cloud", as opposed to investing in dedicated hardware or software resources. With cloud computing, users purchase "virtual" services on a pay-as-you-go basis, much the same as metered utility billing, like electricity. Cloud computing helps businesses turn a capital expense into an operating expense while gaining the added benefits of flexibility and scalability as virtual components can be rapidly provisioned and scaled up or down as business needs change with market conditions and time. Cloud computing service delivery models include: Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). InstaCompute is an IaaS model which includes the compute processing power, storage and network bandwidth necessary for IT cloud computing. Learn more about cloud computing basics
What is Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)?
Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) is a cloud computing deployment model which enables provisioning of processing, storage, networks, and other fundamental computing resources over the Internet. While the cloud service provider manages the underlying cloud infrastructure, the end-user has control over operating systems, storage, and deployed applications along with limited control of select networking components (e.g., firewalls). InstaCompute is an IaaS service offering.
What are the benefits of cloud computing?
Cloud computing gives customers on-demand access to computing resources, the flexibility to scale servers up or down as needed, and the ability to optimize resources as business needs grow are the three main benefits of cloud IaaS. See all benefits
Is cloud computing the same as a virtualized data center?
Virtualization is one of many technologies used to create a cloud computing offering. Cloud computing takes virtualization to the next level by enabling the end user to grow or shrink capacity as needed, providing pay-as-you-go pricing (metering) and letting users provision new servers and storage in minutes.
How much impact does a company's legacy system have on its ability to manage its virtual and cloud-based services?
With very entrenched legacy applications, equipment, and computing processes it will take time to migrate every application from one platform to the next. It is imperative that businesses with a large base of legacy computing applications create mirror systems of key legacy applications — one on the new cloud platform, another on the existing platform — and compare performance, reliability, and functionality before moving over to the cloud-based version. Also, companies should consider moving the most critical legacy applications last. Customers with relatively simple legacy applications, such as business productivity software and a few custom applications are better off making a complete changeover.
How does IaaS differ from traditional IT services?
Cloud computing with IaaS will not make traditional hosting obsolete. For static, continuous or predictable load operations such as static hosted applications, corporate email, PBX systems, core back-office operations (ERP, CRM, SFA, HRM) and core databases, a traditional managed hosting environment may still be the most economical solution. For test/dev environments, dynamic web applications and short-term needs that require the ability to scale servers up or down, IaaS is ideal. Plus, there are no contracts or setup fees with IaaS — you pay only for the services you use. To learn more, read our Is Cloud Computing Right for You? whitepaper.
How can virtual servers and the cloud be managed as secure platforms?
Virtual servers require the same rigorous security measures as physical machines. This starts at the data centres that house the cloud infrastructure. For example, Tata Communications data centres adhere to the most stringent standards in data and information security management covering the physical environment, compliance, auditing, maintenance, and employee clearances and work procedures. However, security isn't just the responsibility of the service provider — businesses must do their part to safeguard virtual resources within the cloud. This includes hardening of OS and applications, as many security breaches result from improperly configured software or uninstalled/out-of-date security patches. For more details on cloud security, download our security whitepaper.
Can every IT system be moved to the cloud?
Not every IT system is a good candidate for the cloud. In order to determine which types of applications and workloads are best suited for IaaS, you should first analyse security and compliance issues. Generally, workloads that are not heavily regulated nor require integration with on-premise security services (such as enterprise identity management solutions) are better suited to the public cloud than more regulation driven workloads. Also, if your application is subject to legal compliance that requires you to keep storage and processing of data in your home country, you will want to be sure to select an IaaS service provider that offers the service from a data centre located in your home country. To learn more, read our Is Cloud Computing Right for You? white paper.
What is InstaCompute?InstaCompute is a flexible, scalable, pay-per-use, cloud-based computing service that was developed by Tata Communications and first released in early 2011. As an IaaS offering, InstaCompute gives you near-instant access to processing power, storage and bandwidth that you can scale up or down as your computing needs demand. Brought to you by global leader Tata Communications, InstaCompute enables you to meet core initiatives such as lowering total cost of ownership (TCO), achieving business continuity and rapidly bringing new services to market.
Where are your data centres located?Tata Communications has hundreds of data centres located globally that are connected into Tata Communications' wholly owned-and-operated IP backbone and MPLS network — which is one of the world's largest, reaching everywhere you do business. InstaCompute is currently served from 2 of these data centres — one in Hyderabad, India, the other in Singapore. When you sign up for InstaCompute, you can chose to create your virtual machines in either of these locations — known as "availability zones". Zone choice depends on user location — you'll want the data centre to be as close as possible to your end users in order to improve data transmission latency times.
What security precautions are in place?Tata Communications handles many sophisticated and expensive infrastructure tasks to create a secure environment for your virtual machines; however, you must make certain you have configured your InstaCompute installation to safeguard your VM instances within that installation. Working as a team, we can create a cloud infrastructure that rivals or even surpasses the security measures of the most sophisticated corporate premise-based data centres. Read more details about our security measures.
How is Tata Communications different from other cloud service providers?Tata Communications is a full-service telecommunications and managed hosting provider, meaning you'll be able to more easily expand your business IT by plugging in to our other services if needed. We have been providing colocation and hosting services for many years on our wholly owned-and-operated IP backbone and MPLS network — which is one of the world's largest, reaching everywhere you do business. Our global reach means wherever your data needs to go, chances are it goes on our secure network.
What is the maximum amount of storage I can buy per VM?Currently, InstaCompute offers up to 1 TB of storage per VM. If this isn't large enough to meet your needs, you can join together multiple 1 TB volumes. NOTE: There is a small ~1% degradation of performance when you do this.
What certifications do your data centres hold?Tata Communications globally-located data centres are centrally managed for a consistent environment across all our markets. We build to the highest global standards such as-TIA 942 Standard at Tier III to deliver a secure, reliable, and resilient infrastructure for your information. Our data centres are SAS 70 certified, and hold ISO 14001, ISO 20000 and ISO 27001 certifications. In addition, our Singapore data centre is BCA Green Mark compliant.
Do you offer any managed services with InstaCompute?Because InstaCompute is a public, self-managed cloud for IaaS, we do not offer managed services associated with the offering. However, Tata Communications offers managed hosting as a separate service. We recommend speaking with a Tata Communications sales representative to determine which service best meets your business needs.
What can I expect for customer support?InstaCompute comes with free 24/7 live customer support. This means you can call and speak with a representative anytime, day or night, 365 days per year. In addition, you can log trouble support tickets via the service management portal, send general email queries, and also search our user guides and other online content including how-to videos and whitepapers to find your own answers. View support page
Are DNS services provided when web apps need to be hosted?No. InstaCompute does not include DNS services or other applications or databases, other than a few featured operating system templates.
What kind of load balancers are provided with InstaCompute?InstaCompute provides a basic load balancer that enables you to create rules to specify how you want to balance your servers. NOTE: You can only load balance among VMs in the same availability zone. View the InstaCompute User Guide for instructions on how to use the basic load balancer.
Can I use your cloud for disaster recovery?Yes. Disaster recovery is a process of duplicating your physical servers on virtual servers so if the primary data centre experiences an outage, the IaaS virtual machine (VM) can be started, putting company operations immediately back on track.
Can I use your cloud for data backup? InstaCompute is not meant as an alternative to online storage back-up services. In fact you will need to take snapshots or download VHD files in order to store an offline version of any data you upload to your InstaCompute virtual machines as Tata Communications does not backup customer data on the InstaCompute cloud.
Does InstaCompute use RAID technology?Yes. InstaCompute utilizes RAID 6 technology which enables our disks to execute read and write requests to all of a RAID's virtual disks in the presence of any two concurrent disk failures. The latest SAN and RAID technologies are the backbone of InstaCompute's storage infrastructure.
How long does it take to bring up or shut down a server instance?Once you've created an account, you can log in to the InstaCompute online management portal and create a new server instance in less than 10 minutes. Stopping, restarting or destroying instances make take longer depending on the size of the VM and the amount of data associated with the VM.
Does InstaCompute provide for redundancy?InstaCompute offers multiple availability zones where you can create virtual machine instances in one zone, replicate it through our snapshot feature and bring it up in a second zone — this level of redundancy works best for non-transactional VM usage.
Is auto scaling supported?While you can manually increase or decrease the size of your virtual machine instance at any time, there is no auto scaling feature that does this for you.
Is InstaCompute PCI compliant?No. InstaCompute is not PCI compliant, but you can use PCI compliant applications on InstaCompute virtual servers.
How do I compare your server response time to other cloud computing services?A quick search of the Internet will reveal a variety of independent, unbiased reviewers of cloud service provider performance. For example, CloudHarmony.com measures and compares approximately 30 different cloud providers. In the APAC region, InstaCompute has consistently earned high marks for performance from CloudHarmony.
Which operating systems are supported with InstaCompute?We provide these featured OS templates that you can select when creating a VM:
1. Windows 2008R2 X64 Datacenter Edition
2. Windows 2003 X86 Datacenter Edition
3. Windows 2003 X64 Datacenter Edition
4. UBUNTU10.04 LTS X64
5. CentOS 5.4 X64
In addition, you can add your own templates - we support these Windows OS or Linux Distribution types.
Do you offer additional storage volumes?Yes. At any time you can acquire additional storage in fixed volume size as follows:
Is bandwidth usage limited?No. You are charged by the GB/hour for outgoing data transfer - this is the data users pull down from your servers. Incoming data transfer is free.
What hardware platform is InstaCompute built on?InstaCompute utilizes the latest Intel Xeon processors with the Citrix XenServer as the hypervisor.
How can I evaluate InstaCompute's performance to other cloud providers?There are a number of independent, unbiased reviewers of cloud service provider performance. For example, you can go to the CloudHarmony.com website and select the providers you're interested in to run your own benchmark tests. This helps you to determine which service will provide the best performance for your region.
What tools are offered along with InstaCompute?InstaCompute offers an online service management portal that enables you to create and manage projects, users and virtual machine instances. It also offers tools to take snapshots or VHD downloads of your virtual machine volumes. Before searching for any other tools to manage your applications on your VMs, we suggest you view our partner page.
Does InstaCompute provide cloud storage?Root storage volumes are included in the bundled package for all InstaCompute virtual machine instances. You can purchase additional storage volumes if the root disk size does not meet your needs.
Can I import VHD files?Yes. ".VHD" images can be uploaded to your InstaCompute account.
Can I transfer VMs between different accounts?No. But you can you can find a third-party program to help you back up the file system within the VM, then FTP it to a new account.
What clock speeds do the CPUs run on?Each "instance type" or service offering has a fixed CPU size and clock speed. See the complete list on the rates page.
What latency can be expected from your cloud?Latency is determined by the physical location of the cloud as well as the quality of the network. The Tata Global Network includes one of the most advanced and largest submarine cable networks, a Tier-1 IP network, with connectivity to more than 200 countries across 400 PoPs, and nearly one million square feet of data center and colocation space worldwide. For the least amount of data transmission latency, you should choose the availability zone nearest to your end users when you create VMs on InstaCompute.
Is there a limit on how many compute instances I can deploy during a trial?The free trial offers all the privileges of a commercial account, except there is a limited spending budget of $50 USD. Use our monthly cost calculator to determine how many compute instances you can create within this budget.
What virtualization technology, or hypervisor, do you use?InstaCompute technology is based on Citrix XenServer 5.6 as the hypervisor.
Is your data center protected with IDS\IPS (or other devices) against attacks from the outside, or do I have to install software on my servers to have that kind of protection?InstaCompute data centers offer the highest levels of security for the industry, but it is always recommended that you take steps to secure your virtual machine servers the same as you would your own on-premise physical servers.
Do you provide an external firewall?You can use the firewall and port forwarding tools on the InstaCompute online management portal to set rules and access your virtual machines via the public IP.
Are you member of Cloud Security Alliance and SAS Level II certified?Tata Communications is a member of the Cloud Security Alliance. Our data centres which host InstaCompute are SAS Level II certified.
What's included with InstaCompute and what am I responsible for providing? InstaCompute provides cloud computing infrastructure which includes compute power, storage and network bandwidth, all on a pay per use basis. The service also provides an online management portal to help you create and manage users, projects, virtual machines and network access. Plus, Tata Communications offers free 24/7 customer support as well as a library of online training material to help ensure your success with the service. When using the InstaCompute service you will have full administrative control over the OS, data and applications installed on your VMs, which means you are responsible for all OS and application operations, hardening, patch management, security management (virus and malware protection) and advanced authentication; licensing as required (unless an OS license is provided via a "featured template" selection); data backup; performance monitoring and scaling; and, disaster recovery. Note: Tata Communications employees do not have any access rights to your virtual machines, and does not perform data backup of your VMs as this is not a managed service.
What is Tata Communications plan for future service enhancements?Future plans for InstaCompute include opening more availability zones which will continue to improve performance based on the location of your end users. Coming soon is an availability zone in London, U.K., with future expansion to the U.S.
What applications have been certified on your cloud?InstaCompute is a public cloud computing service that provides the infrastructure necessary to create and operate virtual servers in the cloud. Therefore, once you create the server, you can run applications of your choice. There are no applications specifically certified on InstaCompute.
What software licenses can I bring to the Cloud? Do the same license terms work in the cloud like on-premise?Because you have full administrative control over the OS, data and applications installed on your InstaCompute VMs, you are responsible for all licenses the same as you would use on an on-premise server.
What about other add-ons like shopping carts, e-commerce applications, or SSL certificates?InstaCompute is a public cloud computing service that provides the infrastructure necessary to create and operate virtual servers in the cloud. Therefore, once you create the server, you can run applications of your choice. There are no applications specifically certified on InstaCompute.
Can I stream video/audio using a CDN and InstaCompute?Yes. Once you create a virtual machine instance on InstaCompute, you can run applications of your choice including the use of a CDN.
How do I sign up for InstaCompute services?It takes less than 10 minutes to open a InstaCompute account using a credit or debit card. For businesses with a credit history, we also offer a direct-bill option, which requires signing up with a Tata Communications' representative and a credit review. You can start the easy sign-up steps at the InstaCompute website by clicking either the Free Trial or Buy Now button. The free trial gives you 30 days with a spending limit to see if InstaCompute is right for your business.
Do you offer trial accounts? Yes. Simply go to the InstaCompute website and click on the Free Trial button to get started. The trial last for 30 days and there is a limited spending budget, but all user privileges apply. At the end of the trial you can maintain all your work and convert to a paid account in minutes.
Is there any charge incurred during the trial period?There are no charges during the trial period. In fact, you are not asked to provide any credit card information until you decide to convert your trial account to a paid account.
Can I extend my trial account? You cannot extend the trial account, but you can convert to a paid account with just a few clicks of the mouse and continue working without interruption. You can choose to convert to a credit card account or a corporate PO account. If you use your credit card, you can instantly convert to a paid account and keep right on working after your trial expires. All virtual machines and associated data created during the trial are maintained for 2 weeks to give you time to upgrade.
How do I pay for InstaCompute?You pay for only the services you use, billed on an hourly basis. We offer credit cards and corporate PO accounts in a variety of popular currencies — making InstaCompute a very flexible IaaS offering. There is no charge to sign up for the service, but charges will be incurred as long as you create and have a VM instance running. Because the service is billed on a metered basis, you can stop and restart your VM instances at any time and pay only for the time the VM is running. Note: if a VM is running you will incur charges — even if you are not logged in and actively using the VM.
Do you charge any additional fees or taxes?Taxes applicable to your country of record will be added to your bill. If your business has a valid VAT registration number that was issued to you by one of the EU member states, you should provide that number during enrolment to be exempt from VAT.
Can we use NetBanking or direct debit instead of using a credit card?Not at this time. You can sign up for an InstaCompute account using a credit card or by paying via a corporate PO.
What billable currencies do you offer?Businesses can sign up for the service using Indian Rupees, Singapore Dollars, Euros or U.S. Dollars depending on their country of residence. Please make your currency selection carefully as it cannot be changed. If you use a credit or debit card to make payments, you can make payment using other currencies but exchange rate fluctuations and exchange conversion fees may be assessed by your credit or debit card bank.
Do you offer any guarantees? What about an SLA?InstaCompute includes a service level agreement (SLA) that guarantees specific monthly uptime and offers credits in the event of a service outage. We know that every minute your business loses to downtime is a minute you can never get back. That's why our industry-leading SLA guarantees 99.95% monthly uptime — this amounts to less than 22 minutes per month of an allowable service interruption.
Are there any charges if I sign up but don't use the service?No. It is free to sign up for InstaCompute. Charges will incur only after you add virtual machine instances, storage volumes, snapshots, templates or ISOs.
Do you charge for public IPs?No. Public IPs are included at no charge with InstaCompute.
Why is it that VMs are charged by the hour, but storage is charged even when the VMs are turned off?Any data you have residing on your VM is accumulating storage space on the InstaCompute cloud and is therefore charged regardless of whether the VM is running or stopped. You must destroy your VM and all associated disk volumes, snapshots, templates or ISOs for the storage charges to cease.
Is backup included in the price?No, Tata Communications does not backup your data or virtual machine instances on the InstaCompute cloud. InstaCompute does include volume snapshot and volume download features, and it is highly recommended that you develop a back up plan that best meets your needs using these or other redundancy tools.
Do you charge extra for support?InstaCompute includes free 24/7 live customer support. This means you can call and speak with a representative anytime, day or night, 365 days per year. In addition, you can log trouble support tickets via the service management portal, send general email queries, and search our user guides to find your own answers.
How do I upgrade my trial account?At any time during your trial, and for up to two weeks after your trial expires, you can convert to a paid account and continue working right where you left off. Just follow these easy steps:
1. Click the BILLING tab in the online management portal
2. Click the link inside the pink box which states "please click here to convert to a paid account"
3. Choose an account type: credit card account or a corporate PO account and complete the form
What is difference between credit card and corporate accounts?Both credit card and corporate account types are billed in arrears at the end of a monthly billing cycle — credit cards are automatically debited for the amount due, while corporate account holders are required to submit payment within 30 days of the invoice posting date. Also, you can get started with InstaCompute instantly by using a credit card, which is why we refer to this account type as "on demand." Corporate PO account types, however, must go through a credit vetting process which takes a few days to complete.
How do I switch from a credit card account to a corporate PO account?Contact InstaCompute customer support to switch to a corporate account from a credit-card account. Credit data needs to be collected and a sales representative will work with you to open the account.
How do I make a payment?If you signed up as a credit card user, payments will automatically be deduced from your credit card account each month within a few days of posting the invoice. If you are a corporate PO customer, please make arrangements with your sales representative for sending in payments on a regular and timely basis.
Will I be charged for any licensing fees?When you create a virtual machine instance on InstaCompute, you have your choice of pre-formatted OS templates. Some of these are Windows-based templates for which you will pay a license fee — see rates. In addition, if you upload any of your own OS templates to your VMs, you will be responsible for any licensees imposed by the OS vendor — those fees are not billed as part of your InstaCompute service.
Are databases provided in a pay-per-use model?No. InstaCompute offers computing infrastructure which means you are paying hourly for compute power, storage and network bandwidth in order to create virtual machines. InstaCompute does not include any applications or databases, other than a few featured operating system templates.
Is server monitoring included in the price?No. The InstaCompute support teams monitor the InstaCompute cloud on a 24/7/365 basis, but there is no server monitoring of customer's virtual machines or the apps/websites being served from the those VMs.
I no longer need a cloud computing service. Should I terminate my InstaCompute account?An InstaCompute account that is not using any resources — i.e. there are no active or stopped VMs, storage volumes, snapshots, templates, or ISO files — will not incur any charges. Therefore, you will not be billed for keeping the account open, but will be responsible for any outstanding balances due.
How is data transfer calculated?Data transfer is charged for outgoing usage according to the published InstaCompute rates. That means any data that your end users pull down from your virtual machines (i.e. from a from a web/FTP/SMTP server) is billed according to gigabytes of outgoing data transferred. Data uploaded to your VM is not charged. This benefits you so you can create new VMs and add appropriate data without incurring inbound data transfer fees.
Why don't I see any applied service credits on my invoice?If you requested and were approved for a service unavailability credit, then the credit will appear on the invoice for the next billing period. Because we bill in arrears on a 30-day basis, it may take up to two billing cycles for your service unavailability credit to appear.
Is there any separate charge for VPN connectivity?There is no additional charge for InstaCompute services if you connect to the service via a VPN, however, you will continue to pay regular Internet access fees to your Internet service provider.
Can I get the hard copy of the Invoice delivered to my billing address?InstaCompute invoices are sent via email and also posted on the InstaCompute service portal under the Billing tab. Invoices are not mailed to postal addresses.
How can I make an offline payment?Please view one of your InstaCompute invoices (either the PDF that was emailed to you or log in to the service portal and click on the Billing tab). The second page of the invoice has complete details for making offline payments either by bank (ACH) wire or by postal mail.
I received an email that I crossed my credit limit - how can I have this limit increased?All InstaCompute users have a monthly credit limit associated with their account. For example, credit card customers all start with a limit of $1,000 USD, while corporate PO customers have varied credit limits applied to their accounts according to their business needs. These limits can be adjusted on a case-by-case basis. For example, if you are a credit card customer who plans to continually exceed the $1,000 monthly limit, you should contact customer support to find out about converting to a corporate PO account type. This means a credit review of your business will occur and payment methods will be discussed. It may be that you can continue to pay via credit card depending on the limits of your credit card.
How do I change the billing address associated with my account? To change the billing information associated with your account, log in to the InstaCompute service portal and click on the Billing tab. In the "Billing Contact" window, click the "Edit Billing Contact" link to update your information, including your billing address or phone number. NOTE: Only the enterprise admin for the account has access to change the billing contact information.
many users can I create for my accounts?There
can be a maximum of 10 users (including Enterprise Admin and Billing Admin) on
I set up a new user, how do I know which "profile" to select?On
InstaCompute, there are three types of users, or "account profiles".
Enterprise Admin (account owner) — can create users and projects and manage all
aspects of the account
Billing Admin — creates and manages projects and sees all financial aspects of
User — member of projects to which they've been assigned .
the master user for the account create multiple domains?No. There is one single domain for
How do I delete a user from my
account?Users can only be removed from an
account by the Enterprise admin of the account. On the Users tab, hover over
the intended user's name and delete the user. Please ensure that the User must
be listed as a User on the account and NOT as a Project Admin. All project
associations must be removed before deleting the user from the account.
How do I create a virtual machine (VM)? To create a VM, click on the Instances tab, click the "Add Instance" button, then follow the 5-step wizard. See the InstaCompute User Guide or the Creating a Virtual Machine how-to video for complete instructions.
What is an availability zone?An availability zone is the local data centre where the physical servers that make up the InstaCompute cloud are based. The first step in creating a virtual machine instance is to choose your availability zone — you'll want this to be as close as possible to your end users in order to reduce data transmission latency.
What is an instance type?Virtual machine "instance types" are offered in combinations of CPU and RAM size. You select an instance type each time you create a virtual machine. The instance type can also be changed by stopping the VM, then clicking the "change service" command under the Actions drop down menu in the instance details window.
What is the data disk offering when creating a VM?If the root storage supplied with each VM is not enough to handle your OS and data files, then you can add secondary volumes. You are asked if you want to add these additional data disks when you create a VM via the Instance Wizard, but you can also add a data disk at any time via the Cloud Console/Storage tab.
How do I access my cloud servers once my VM is created?The best way to access your VMs is to use common remote access technologies such as Remote Desktop Connection for Windows or SSH for Linux. To do this, you will first need to set up the appropriate network connections via the Network menu located under the Cloud Console tab. For complete instructions, see the InstaCompute User Guide, or the "Creating a Virtual Machine" video.
How can I upgrade my VM size?First stop your VM instance. Next, from the Action pull down menu, select Change Service and chose the new offering. VMs can be upgraded and downgraded.
How many VMs can I have and how do I request more? There is a limit of 30 VMs of any size. Pease contact customer support if your business requirements may need to exceed that limit.
How do I start or stop a VM?Click on the Cloud Console tab on the InstaCompute service management portal then on the Instances tab to select your VM instance. Then click the "Stop" or "Start" button located in the top menu bar above the instance details window.
What is the difference between shutdown on the VM and stopping the instance from the Cloud Console on the portal? The shutdown from within a VM will cause the VM to restart, due to High Availability (HA), unless of course you disable HA. A stop from the portal is a power down of the VM and HA will not restart it.
How do I destroy a VM? Click on the Cloud Console tab on the InstaCompute service management portal then on the Instances tab to select your VM instance. Then click the "Destroy" button located in the top menu bar above the instance details window.
How do I reboot a VM? Click on the Cloud Console tab on the InstaCompute service management portal then on the Instances tab. You will see individual tabs for running, stopped and destroyed VMs. To restart a "stopped" VM, click on the VM name, then click the "Start" button in the menu bar above the instance details window. To reboot a "destroyed" VM, click on the instance name, then click the Actions drop down menu and select "restore instance". Note: destroyed instances can only be restored within 60 minutes after you set them to be destroyed.
How can I reset my VM instance password? Select your instance from the list under the Instances tab. If the instance is running, click the Stop button. Next, using the Actions dropdown menu on the instance detail window, select the Reset Password option.
Can the Cloud support team reset passwords for VMs on customer request? No. A temporary password is displayed and emailed to you each time you create a VM. You can change this password to something easier to remember upon logging in to the VM. If you forget the randomly-generated password, you can reset it on the Instances tab
I have a new VM and have the VM password, but what is the user ID? The user ID is based on your OS type. Windows = "Administrator"; CentOS = "root"; Ubuntu = "cloud". Note: the user name is case sensitive.
Can more than one user logon to one VM at a time? Yes, if you configure the VM to allow multiple users, who can all be logged on to the VM at the same time.
I deleted my VM, can I recover it? You have about 60 minutes to restore a destroyed VM. Click on the instance name, then click the Actions drop down menu and select "restore instance". Also, if you took snapshots of your VM then you can recover the data by converting the snapshot to a volume and attaching it to another VM. If you created a template from your VM then you can us the template to create a new VM.
If I delete my VM what happens to my data disk? If you delete your VM then your data disk will also be deleted. To ensure you retain the data you can either take a snapshot of the volume or use the volume download feature. See the InstaCompute User Guide for instructions.
How can I change the Instance Name or Group Name for a VM? Click on the name of the VM instance in the list that appears when you click on the Instance tab. Then, from the "Actions" drop down menu, select "Edit Instance" to see all the fields, including the instance name or the group name, that can be changed.
How do I change my service offering or "instance type"?Together, the CPU and RAM make up an "service offering". To change this offering, you must first stop the VM. Next, under the Action pull down menu, select Change Service and chose the larger offering.
How can I increase the volume size of my VM?Additional volumes can be acquired on the Storage tab and attached to VMs.
How can I increase just the CPU or just the RAM for my VM? Together, the CPU and RAM make up an "service offering", therefore you cannot upgrade then separately. You can, however, upgrade to a larger offering. To do this, stop the VM and then from the Action pull down menu, select Change Service and chose the larger offering.
Can I view a VM created by another user on the same account? Users that are part of the same Project/Domain can view VMs created by others on the project.
How much bandwidth is provided to each VM ? Can I customize that to get greater fixed and/or burstable bandwidth? Bandwidth is not specified for each VM. The VM can transact at speeds up to 1Gbps.
How do I choose where my VMs and storage are placed?When deploying VM instances, you should choose the availability zone that is nearest to your end users in order to reduce data transmission latency times. Your templates, root volumes and data disks will all reside on the same zone that you created your template in — i.e. if you deploy in Singapore the data disk stays in Singapore.
Can I store my VMs in one zone and keep snapshots in another zone? No — virtual machines (VM) instances, root volumes, data disks and snapshots must all reside on the same zone.
How can I move or migrate a VM instance from one zone to another?Technically speaking, a VM is not moved from one zone to another, but rather it is duplicated in a new zone and then deleted in the previous zone. The InstaCompute User Guide has all the steps for moving VMs between zones.
Can I move a data disk to a new zone?Your data disks must be associated with a VM. If you choose to move the VM to a new zone, you can also move the data disk. See complete instructions on switching zones in the InstaCompute User Guide.
Can I connect to my VM through SSH or Remote Desktop using public IPs? If so, how? Yes you can. In fact, this is the recommended method for accessing your VMs. Complete instructions on how to set up and use public IPs for remote access can be found in the InstaCompute User Guide or the Creating a Virtual Machine video.
Can I combine cores so that I get greater compute capacity (i.e. combine an 8 core instance + 8 core instance to get a total of a 16 core instance)?At this time, InstaCompute instance types cannot be combined.
What is High Availability (HA)? In information technology, High Availability (HA) refers to a system or component that is continuously operational for a desirably long length of time. On InstaCompute, HA enables a virtual machine instance to be restarted on another node automatically when one node fails.
Why does my VM restart when I shutdown from within the operating system? You will have High Availability (HA) enabled by default, when you select Shutdown from within the operating system. The cloud controllers believe that the system has failed and they restart your VM for you. To avoid this situation you can disable HA.
How can I upload applications on my VM? Applications can be uploaded to a VM by first uploading the application ISO to the InstaCompute platform and then attaching that ISO to the VM. See the InstaCompute User Guide for complete instructions on uploading ISOs.
How do I transfer the raw disk image of any instance to our local machine? The disk image that can be transferred using the Volume Download option. The format of the downloaded volume is a ".VHD" file. This can be used on systems/platforms that support the ".VHD" format.
How do I upload a Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5 ISO so that I can setup a RHEL 5.5 VM instance? Ensure the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) ISO is stored on a HTTP Server. Log in to the Cloud Console on the InstaCompute service management portal and click on the Templates tab then the My ISO link. Then click the Add ISO button in the top menu bar above the ISO details window. Fill in the blanks on the form and then click Add to upload the RHEL ISO.
Is it possible to clone an instance with all software installed on it?To clone an instance, capture a snapshot of the VM and convert the snapshot to a template. The created template can be used to create a new VM with the same configuration.
Can I run a Wordpress blog on an InstaCompute VM? Because InstaCompute users have complete admin/root access to their VMs, you control the OS and all applications installed on the VM. So, yes, you can run a Wordpress blog.
Can I create a single spanned volume at the OS layer from multiple individual disk volumes within InstaCompute? No, this operation is currently not supported by InstaCompute.
What is the default administrator name for a Windows VM? The user name for a Windows template is "Administrator".
Are there any additional charges if I create a VM instance from my own ISO or template?If you upload ISOs or templates to InstaCompute, you will incur additional costs for data storage of these items at the per-GB storage rate as published on the InstaCompute rates chart. Your per VM instance rates, however, are not affected by the use of private ISOs or templates.
Is there any auto backup system? There is no backup system associated with InstaCompute. You can, however, set up recurring snapshots via the Snapshot menu in the Cloud Console. Snapshots can be captured hourly, daily, weekly or monthly. You can also take advantage of the VHD download feature to download and save volumes offline. See the InstaCompute User Guide for details.
Can I backup my VM? While Tata Communications does not back up customer data on the InstaCompute cloud, we do offer you a number of ways to save your virtual machines and data so you can restore your files if necessary. Two options are the snapshot feature or the VHD download feature. For complete instructions on how to take snapshots or download VHD files, see the InstaCompute User Guide.
Am I charged for my backups? You are charged according to the amount of total storage you use. If you create "snapshots" of your volumes, then the snapshots incur the same storage costs as the original volume.
Can I schedule backups? Yes, if you use the snapshot feature to create duplicate versions of your data volumes. You can set up snapshots to recur on an hourly, daily, weekly and monthly schedule and also create a retention period. Note: storage charges apply for all snapshots.
How do I delete a snapshot? On the Storage tab, select the Snapshot option, and select the snapshot that is to be deleted. Under the Actions menu, select Delete Snapshot.
Can I use the various zones for data redundancy? Yes, you can create a snapshot of a VM, then a template and store the template in multiple zones. For data disks, you can copy from one zone to another by following the steps to move a data disk. Note that you will incur storage charges in each zone.
What happens to my snapshot once a retention period has passed? Once a retention period has passed, the snapshot is removed.
How can I view additional volumes attached to a VM? Log in to the InstaCompute service management portal, click the Cloud Console tab and select your project. Next, click the Instances tab, then in the instance detail window, then click the Storage tab to view all volumes associated with the VM.
I would like to increase my c-drive, or root storage, how do I do that? The system drive, or "root" volume that is included with each VM is fixed and cannot be increased. However, additional storage volumes can be purchased and attached to the VM.
If I create additional storage volumes, am I charged by the total size of the volume created or the size of the data accumulated on the volume? You will be charged storage costs for the size of the volume you created according to the published GB-month rates on the InstaCompute rates chart. For example, if you add a 100 GB data disk to your VM, you will be charged the per-GB rate x 100 GB for the amount of time the data disk is utilized during the monthly billing period. So, to continue the example, if you add or delete the 100 GB data disk mid-way through the monthly billing period, you will be charged for just half of the monthly rate, but you are charged for the entire 100 GB volume regardless of how much data you put on the disk.
What is my Public IP address and where can I find it? The public IP address is located under the Network section. This is the IP address you would use to access VMs remotely.
How many Public IPs can I have and how do I request more? You will not need more than one pubic IP address per VM instance, and you can share public IPs with multiple VMs. Therefore, we limit public IP addresses to 20 per user. If this does not mean your needs,please contact InstaCompute customer support. NOTE: our goal is to continue to offer free public IP addresses as part of the InstaCompute service. To do that, we ask all users to log in to the portal and click the Network tab to view current public IP addresses and to please release any unused IPs.
Can I have multiple firewall rules in one security group? You can have as many rules in a security group as you wish. Each group of rules can be applied to one VM so we would advise that you group your security rules into logical access rules. For example, one rule for RDP, another for SSH, another for Web services, etc. If you wish to apply a security group to multiple VMs then you have to acquire multiple Public IPs or assign the rule on different ports.
How do I apply firewall settings to my VM? Log in to the InstaCompute service management portal, click the Cloud Console tab and select your project. Next, click the Network tab to create a port forwarding group and configure the firewall rules that you require. Next, go to the Instances tab, select the VM instance, and click Apply Security Group. Select the relevant security group and click on the right arrow to move it across, then click Apply.
Can I have different numbers in the public and private port? Yes.
What are the firewall ports that I need to open for RDP (Windows OS) or SSH (Linux OS)? The default RDP port is 3389 TCP. This can be changed per virtual machine instance and you should follow the Microsoft documentation on how to do this. The default port for Linux is 22.
How do I enter the public and private ports if I don't have a range to enter? You can enter either the public or private port as a range or enter the same port number in both boxes. You do not have to enter a range. View the InstaCompute User Guide for more details.
How do I release a public IP address? In the Cloud Console, click on the Network tab, then select from the list of IP addresses the IP that is to be released. Next, from the Actions drop down menu, select Release IP.
Can I set up a load balancer and balance VMs across multiple zones? No. The load balancer is tied to the zone where the VM is created.
Can one port forwarding rule be associated to multiple VMs? No.
What is the difference between round robin, leastconn and source on the load balancers? Roundrobin = traffic is routed to each connection in turn Server1, Server2, Server1, etc.
Leastconn = traffic will be routed to the connection with the lowest load.
Source = source load-balancing is where different source IP addresses (i.e. clients) are forced onto different servers.
When adding a load balancer rule the following error is received: "Http status 531 — Unable to find account null in domain 4". Why does this occur? You will get this error if you do not have any VMs created when you added the load balancer rule.
How do I set up a VPN to access my VMs? Complete instructions for setting up VPN for both Windows and Linux can be found in the InstaCompute User Guide.
Can I have a wide range of random service ports opened on the firewall? All inbound ports on the firewall are closed by default. As per requirement, ports can be opened by defining the port forwarding rule on the network tab.
Does the load balancer support session affinity/sticky sessions? No.
Is it possible to restrict firewall access by source IP? No.
How do map servers against a user ID? A VM is mapped against a domain/project. A user can be mapped to a project thereby giving them access to the VMs on that project.
When I create a new VM instance, what are the different template styles? When you add a new VM instance to your InstaCompute account, you will go through a 5-step wizard. The first step asks you to select an OS template. Your choices are:
•Featured Templates (most common choice) — preconfigured Windows or Linux templates (RDP or SSH-enabled) provided by Tata Communications
•My Templates – contains any templates you've previously created and uploaded to the service
•ISO Boot – contains any ISOs you have previously created and uploaded to the service
How do I add a pre-existing template to my account. Click on the Cloud Console tab on the InstaCompute service management portal, select your project, then click the Templates tab on the left-side menu. Click the Add a Template button at the top of the Templates Details window, then complete the fields to upload your own OS template
How can I create my own template? Click on the Cloud Console tab on the InstaCompute service management portal, select your project, then click the Storage tab on the left-side menu. Click the name of the volume that you wish to replicate as a template, then click the Actions drop down menu and select the "Create Template" command.
What formats are supported for uploading a template? Currently InstaCompute only supports the .VHD format for templates
What is the maximum permissible size of a template that can be uploaded? Templates as big as 30GB in size can be uploaded.
When I create or upload a template does it appear in all zones? When creating a new template, there is a drop-down menu to select "All Zones" or individual zones. Be sure to select the All Zones option in order to have access to the template or ISO in all zones.
How can I copy my template to another availability zone? 1. Go to the Templates tab
2. Click the Actions pull-down menu then click Copy Template
3. Select the Zone you wish to copy the template to by selecting from the drop down list and click OK
4. The template will now start copying and you should monitor the status to see the progress — remember this is a GB file being transferred so it can take some time
What is the significance of having a password-enabled template? The cloud has a password tool to allow the resetting of the admin password. If you are not using this tool then it need not be password enabled.
When I upload a template I get an Error Http 404 — why? This error message indicates that the location URL you have specified is invalid.
What is the .ISO image? An ISO file, often called an ISO image, is an "image of an entire CD or DVD". The entire contents of a disk can be perfectly represented as a single .ISO file.
Can I upload an ISO? Yes. To upload an ISO select the Templates tab, then the ISO sub tab. Click on "My ISO" and the list of all associated ISOs will appear. To the top right of the list is a button that says "Add ISO" — click that button to upload an ISO. Be sure to select the All Zones option in order to have access to the ISO in all zones. Note: once you upload the ISO to your account, it will appear in the Instance Wizard during VM creation.
How do I attach the ISO Image to the VM instance? Under the Instance tab, click on the instance that you want to work with. The "details" window for that instance will open. Pull down the "Actions" menu and select the Attach ISO command. A pop up window will open to show all the ISO files associated with your account.
Why do I sometimes receive an Http error 530 when trying to upload an ISO or template? The template or ISO must be hosted on a web server and be on the default Port 80 or https 443.
How do I upload my ISO from my FTP server? At this time, ISO's can be uploaded only from HTTP servers. Upload from FTP servers is not supported.
How do I create VM Instance from ISO image? Enter the Cloud Console via the InstaCompute service portal, then click on the project name, then the instances tab. Click the Add Instance button in the top menu bar above the instance details window. This will open a 5-step instance wizard. The first step will ask you to select a template. Click the ISO Boot tab to select your own ISO as the template.
Why am I asked for a URL when I add a template or ISO? At this time uploads can only be made from HTTP servers. Hence the source path must be a URL.
How do I find my username? Your InstaCompute log-in user name is sent to you in your verification email immediately after signing up for the service. In addition, you can find your user name by clicking the User button under the Account Administration tab. Do not confuse your user name to log-in to the service management portal with the user ID you'll need to remotely log in to your VMs. That user ID is based on your OS type: Windows = "Administrator"; CentOS = "root"; Ubuntu = "cloud". Note: the user name is case sensitive.
What is the difference between resetting the password from the Cloud Console versus My Profile? The password to the InstaCompute service management portal is used to login and perform activities such as setting up users and projects, viewing invoices, and creating new virtual machines. To change your log in password on the portal, go to My Profile (appears when you hover over your user name at the top right of the menu bar), then click the Edit button. After you update your password, you will receive a verification call to confirm the change — be sure your phone number displayed on your profile is correct and you are able to answer that phone. On the Cloud Console, each of your virtual machines have their own passwords associated with the operating system which allows you to remotely access the VM. To change your VM password, go to the Cloud Console, click the Instance tab, click on the VM you wish to update, then click Reset Password.
How can I change my billing currency? Unfortunately once a billing currency has been selected, this can't be modified. You would need to create a new account to change your currency.
If I'm not logged in to the VM will the pricing continue counting? If your VM instance is "running" then the clock is also running. This means you are incurring charges on the VM whether you are logged in to it or not. To stop charges from occurring, you would need to "stop" the VM. To do that, click on the Cloud Console tab, click the Instances tab, click the name of instance you wish to stop, then click the "Stop" button in the menu bar above the instance detail window. Note: storage charges will continue to incur if you have any additional data volumes, templates or ISOs associated with the VM. In order to cease all charges, you will need to destroy the VM.
Will I continue to be billed if I stop my VM? For any VMs you have stopped, you will not incur any hourly compute charges, but storage charges will continue for your root volume, data disks or snapshots, as well as any templates and ISOs you have created.
How do I know how many hours I have used the service including outgoing bandwidth? When you log in to the InstaCompute online service portal, the homepage dashboard shows your usage statistics for VM usage as well as bandwidth — these values are updated daily. We recommend you log in to the service portal on a regular basis in order to manage and track your usage. Also, a click on the Billing tab in the service portal will reveal all your InstaCompute invoices which show you total monthly usage at the end of each billing period.
Can I change my portal log-in user name? The portal login username cannot be changed after registration has been completed. You would need to create a new account in order to change your user name.
How can I monitor my outbound data usage? The outbound data usage can be seen on the Usage details page of your account on the portal.
Why am I being billed for storage if I have no volumes or snapshots? Storage comprises volumes, snapshots, templates and ISOs. If any of these are present on your account, billing is done for storage.
How do I set a custom spend alert? Custom spend alerts can be set via the "Custom Spend Alert" section on the Account Administration tab on the service management portal. Custom Spend Alerts can only be set for Projects defined on the account
How can I look up my current InstaCompute payment due balance? When you log in to the InstaCompute service portal, you will land on the Account Administration tab. This homepage presents a dashboard view which shows all your current monthly usage for VM instances as well as storage and bandwidth. These values are updated daily. If you click on the Billing tab, you can see all your invoices as well as any outstanding fees due.
Can I update the account information so my bills are sent to a different address? You can update your account information and have different billing address from your company address, however, we do not use the postal service to mail bills. Invoices are generated monthly and sent via email. You can also log in to the InstaCompute service portal and click on the Billing tab to see all current and past invoices. If you are a credit card customer, your billing address needs to match your credit card account address.
What is the timeout period when I'm logged in to the InstaCompute portal? After 10 minutes of inactivity, you will be logged off of the InstaCompute service portal.
Why am I able to sign in to the InstaCompute portal, but not the cloud console? If your trial account has expired, or your paid account is suspended, your access to the Cloud Console will be denied. You can still log in to the InstaCompute service portal to convert from a trial to a paid account or to manage your account, users and projects, but you cannot access the cloud console to create new virtual machines. Please contact InstaCompute support for details
Can I see my spending by zone? All spend budgets are grouped together by project and are not related to zone availability. For easy management, you can separate projects by zones, but there is no automatic way to separate the spend budget by zones.
Is there a restriction on the number of domains that can exist on the account? There is a single domain for each account. If you wanted more than one, you must register for another account to get a second domain.
How do I get help with API scripts? Please refer to the Developer API section of the support tab on the portal for API documentation.
Can I transfer my OS image from XenServer to your cloud? Yes. The ".VHD" image needs to be uploaded to the InstaCompute platform, which can be used to create a new VM using the image.
How do I claim SLA credits? If a service outage occurs, you can request a Service Unavailability Credit for the affected service by submitting a written request to InstaCompute Customer Support within thirty (30) days of the applicable event giving rise to the credit. You will need to provide a description of the outage including date, time and duration of outage and documentation showing proof of outage (i.e., monitoring or system logs).
How do I point our domain to my virtual machine instance? Please consult your domain name administrator to set up a DNS entry.
If I have a colo cage in a Tata Communications data centre can I map my IPs with my InstaCompute VMs? Your specified IP block can only be mapped to the your InstaCompute domain if MPLS is the access mechanism.
How do I delete (terminate) my account? To delete or "terminate" your InstaCompute account you will need to follow a few steps. First be sure to backup (if necessary) and destroy your VMs, release any acquired IPs, and delete all storage volumes, snapshots, templates and ISOs. Note: Tata Communications does not back up your data, and once your account is terminated, you will not be able to retrieve your data. When ready, send an email to customer support with the subject line "Termination Request" — only account owners can request account termination. You will be asked to confirm your intent to terminate so be sure to respond to any emails from customer support. Note: as soon as you destroy all VMs and storage volumes, no further charges will incur even if you do not officially terminate your account. You will be responsible for any outstanding balances due prior to termination.
Is there a way to view daily usage of my account activity in the InstaCompute portal for my VMs, storage or data transfer? Yes. To view daily usage, log in to the InstaCompute service portal and click on the Account Administration tab. Next, click the Home tab and then the Usage Details link. When the Usage Details window opens, you'll see a chart displaying the total usage for the current monthly billing cycle. You can view the current month, or you can click the "Previous Billing Period" link to see earlier usage. To see a day-by-day view, click on one of the blue links located under the "Rate Plan Charge" column to see daily usage associated with any item on the list. Be patient as it may take a few seconds for the detailed daily list to display. You also have the option to view total account usage (if you are an enterprise admin) or your own individual user's usage.