Overview

Templates are the operating systems customers can deploy on the platform. Currently, the following server templates are offered:

Specialised templates include:


Customising Templates

Upon configuring an instance to your exact requirements, you may wish to deploy it multiple times. Orchestration systems like Ansible, Puppet or Chef can be run from another instance over your private network to automatically configure new instances.

An alternative is to clone an instance you’ve configured to your requirements, and clone it as needed. To do this:

  1. Shut down the target instance
  2. Go to the Disks screen under Storage
  3. Click the ⚙ Actions menu button, and choose Clone
  4. Confirm the pricing for this disk, and click Clone
  5. Upon completion of the clone, click the ⚙ Actions menu button and choose Rename. Give the new base disk a descriptive title, such as “cPanel Web Server”

When you require a new instance based off this disk, clone this master disk:

  1. Click ⚙ Actions menu button, and choose Clone.
  2. Confirm the pricing for this disk, and click Clone
  3. Upon completion of the clone, click the ⚙ Actions menu button and choose Rename. Give the new base disk a descriptive title, such as “Customer X Web Server”
  4. Go to the Instances screen under Compute
  5. Click Advanced Create from the top-right corner
  6. Configure your new instance as normal
  7. Under the Storage tab, drag your cloned disk to the left pane
  8. Finish with Create or Create and Start

Building New Templates

Specialised use cases and workloads may require a template not offered on the platform. Fortunately, the panel makes installing new operating systems simple with the CD-ROM disk setting, and a helper instance to copy an installation ISO over to a disk. You can then boot from this disk, and install as a normal server.

First, create a new disk to store an ISO image:

  1. Go to Disks under Storage
  2. Click Create Blank Disk from the top-right corner
  3. Leave the default options, and give the disk a descriptive name, such as “OS.iso”

To create a helper instance and download an ISO:

  1. Go to the Instances screen under Compute
  2. Click Quick Create from the top-right corner
  3. Choose a Linux template, such as Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty
  4. Click Create to provision the instance
  5. Once provisioned, click the ⚙ Actions menu button and choose Manage Disks
  6. Attach the blank disk created earlier by dragging to the left pane
  7. Click Manage Disks to apply
  8. Click the ⚙ Actions menu button and choose Start

Once the helper instance has started, you can use it to download your ISO and image it across to the target blank disk. For example, to download openSUSE and image it to disk, perform the following:

# wget http://mirror.internode.on.net/pub/opensuse/distribution/13.2/iso/openSUSE-13.2-DVD-x86_64.iso
# dd if=openSUSE-13.2-DVD-x86_64.iso of=/dev/xvdb conf=sync,noerror

WARNING: Ensure the target disk does not contain production data before running. dd is irreversible.

Your ISO can now be used to boot another instance. Detach the disk from the helper instance:

  1. Shut down your helper instance with halt, or click the ⚙ Actions menu button and choose Shutdown
  2. Click the ⚙ Actions menu button and choose Manage Disks
  3. Detach the ISO disk by dragging it to the right pane
  4. Click Manage Disks to apply

And set the disk as a CD-ROM image:

  1. Go to the Disks screen under Storage
  2. Click the ⚙ Actions menu button and choose Manage Options
  3. Drag the CD-ROM Mode slider to True
  4. Click Manage Options to apply
  5. Note the Template column in the Disks screen now shows CD-ROM

Next, create a new disk as your installation target:

  1. Go to the Disks screen under Storage
  2. Click Create Blank Disk, and configure as required
  3. Click Create Blank Disk to apply

A new instance can now be be booted and installed from the CD-ROM image:

  1. Go to the Instances screen under Compute
  2. Click Advanced Create from the top-right corner
  3. Configure your instance as required
  4. Under the Storage tab, drag your CD-ROM disk and target install disk to the left pane, in that order
  5. Under Boot Options, set Boot Device to CD-ROM
  6. Click Create and Start to apply and start the instance

A standard operating system installation can now be performed. Once completed, remove the CD-ROM disk and reset the boot options to Disk as above.