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Dedicated Servers

Frequently Asked Questions

1) What is a dedicated server?

A dedicated server is Pulsant -owned hardware hosted in our datacentre, with various options for the level of support that Pulsant will provide under your contract. You can still have physical access to the servers by appointment. As with standard colocation, a dedicated server provides you with multi homed bandwidth, redundant power and cooling.
2) Who needs Dedicated hosting?

Customers who have full control over all aspects of their website and the way it operates are best suited for dedicated hosting. Those customers who wants to save money on equipment and pay for the internet connectivity and networking needs.

3) What is a U?

The space used by your server(s) is measured in Rack Units (or ‘U’). This is the unit of measurement used for defining the vertical space used. A ‘U’ is equivalent to 1.75 inches (4.45cm).

1U Server= 1.75″ of Vertical Rack Space
2U = 3.5″ of Vertical Rack Space
4U = 7.00″ of Vertical Rack Space

A full rack contains 40 to 42U 1/4 Rack=10U (10 servers of 1U) Half rack =20 U (20 Servers of 1U)

4) Do you provide 24x7x365 access?

Yes, however additonal conditions and costs may apply depending on the type of colocation contract in effect.

If you need to arrange access please contact us at [email protected] or 0845 11 99 999. For further information.

 

5) Keeping Red Hat Enterprise Linux Current

Keeping your Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server patches up to date is critical to security and performance and is easily done.

For general package updates, run the following as root:-

up2date –update

This will automatically update all relevant packages.

As kernel updates are more system critical, these have to be explicitely specified.

up2date -l

This will list any relevant kernel packages for your system.

Then run:-

up2date –force -u

Which will install the relevant kernel packages.

A reboot is then required to put the new kernel live. Please let our
Customer Support team know of any planned reboots. Customer Support can
be contacted at [email protected] or on 0845 11 99 999


6) Why I am unable to remote desktop or connect to the server hosted at the datacentre?

This is most likely due to a firewall issue. To add a firewall rule, you should email [email protected]

Managed Sysadmin Support – Windows 2003 Servers

The information provided below is for Windows 2003 Servers

Introduction

The managed server product is based around standalone Windows 2003 Servers (Standard edition or Web edition – no domains / active directories).

Features

Base Operating System:

  • 20 users created initially and 5 per month
  • Backups to either tape or backup+ (schedule can be daily, weekly or monthly) of up to 10 separate paths
  • Standard partitioning is 8Gb C: drive for Operating System, with the remainder of the drive set a separate disk used for data, logs and application storage

Virtual web hosting

  • 20 virtual hosts created initially and 5 per month
  • 1 Virtual Application per Virtual Host
  • IIS functionality supported:
  • SSL
  • ActivePerl
  • ASP
  • ASP.net (Note: Virtual hosts will be configured with ASP.NET 1.1 by default. Customer should advise if they require virtual hosts to be configured with ASP.NET 2.0)
  • PHP
  • Authentication (up to 5 authenticated directories per virtual host, with 1 user directory per month)
  • CDOSYS
  • Anonymous and user ftp (1 of each)
  • Terminal Services access


MS SQL Server 2005, MS SQL Server Express or MySQL 5

  • 20 database users created initially and 5 per month
  • 20 databases created initially and 5 per month

(NB: MS SQL Desktop Engine 2000 is limited to 5 concurrent database connections and so is only suitable for test or very, very low traffic web applications. Once the MS SQL Desktop Engine 2000 reaches 5 concurrent connections it will queue subsequent database connections which may cause web applications to time out.)

Pulsant recommend only one Database server is run concurrently. MySQL can be installed alongside MS SQL Server 2005 or SQL 2005 Express Edition for migration purposes.

Specifications

Base Windows 2003 Server with all latest service packs and hotfixes installed plus:

  • Indexing Service (with a limit of 5 catalogues initial setup, and 5 new catalogues per month)
  • IIS (with frontpage, ftp and smtp components)
  • Script Debugger
  • Terminal Services (remote administration or application mode)
  • ActiveState Perl 5.6.1 + Standard PPMs
  • PHP 4.4 (default, vanilla configuration)

If the customer requires any service or configuration not listed above then they should contact the sales team ([email protected]) to obtain a quote for Pulsant to provide these services.

Management

  • Pulsant will automatically apply critical level and all security hotfixes available from Microsoft informing the customer as this happens. In the case of a critical or security hotfix breaking site/server functionality, Pulsant will rollback. Prior notice may not be given due to the nature of the fixes and potential threat.
  • Other hotfixes or service packs will be applied only after the customer has been given 7 days notice.
  • Critical faults on the server will be dealt with 24×7, but customer-change requests will normally only be actioned within normal working hours (Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm).
  • Customer-requested configuration changes can be arranged to happen outside of working hours, but these will be charged at the out-of-hours pro rata rate. All customer-requested configuration changes will be actioned within 1 working day of receipt in writing from the customer. The customer will be notified of any changes made to their managed server.

End user access

  • The end user shall be provided access to the server via one or more user accounts. Administrator access will not be permitted.
  • Users may access the system by Terminal Services, FTP or SMB from trusted static IP addresses. Up to 10 such addresses may be nominated.
  • Terminal Services are limited to 2 concurrent connections with a 10 minute idle timeout and customers must ensure 1 connection is available to Pulsant to carry out server management tasks on demand.
  • Changes to administrator level configurations shall be made by the web admin interface, or by request to the Pulsant support system.

System Monitoring

Hardware needs to be one of the following Dell Poweredge models:

  • 350
  • 650
  • 750
  • 850
  • 1850
  • 2550
  • 2650
  • 2850
  • 2950

The following checks will be monitored via Dell OpenManage Server Administrator’s (OMSA) SNMP interface:

Check Warning Critical Platforms supported
Fans N/A Any fan less than minimum failure threshold 350, 650, 750, 850, 1850, 2550, 2650, 2850, 2950 PV220
Memory Status “non-critical” as reported by OMSA Status other than “OK” as reported by OMSA 350, 650, 750, 850, 1850, 2550, 2650, 2850, 2950
Temp Greater than maximum warning thresholds or less than minimum warning thresholds in OMSA Greater than maximum failure thresholds or less than minimum failure thresholds in OMSA 350, 650, 750, 850, 1850, 2550, 2650, 2850, 2950, PV220
Voltage N/A Status other than “good” as reported by OMSA 350, 650, 750, 850, 1850, 2550, 2650, 2850, 2950
PSUs N/A Status other than “good” as reported by OMSA 1850, 2550, 2650, 2850, 2950, PV220
RAID array Status other than “ready” or “failed” as reported by OMSA Status “failed” as reported by OMSA 1850, 2550, 2650, 2850, 2950, PV220*
Disks Status other than “disk online” as reported by OMSA Status “disk failed” or “redundancy lost” as reported by OMSA 1850, 2550, 2650, 2850, 2950, PV220*
Disk utilisation 80% full 90% full 350, 650, 750, 850, 1850, 2550, 2650, 2850, 2950
CPU utilisation Linux: Load of 3
Windows: 95% utilisation
Linux: Load of 5
Windows: 97% utilisation
350, 650, 750, 850, 1850, 2550, 2650, 2850, 2950
IP Network Connectivity 25% packet loss or 500ms latency 75% packet loss or 1000ms latency All
HTTP availability Anything other than a 2xx or 3xx code returned 4xx or 5xx error codes or port 80 not available All
HTTP delay If request takes 10% and 100ms longer than last request If request takes 12% or 120ms longer than last request. Or if request takes longer than 1000ms in total. All
FTP availability N/A Anything returned other than FTP code 220 (server OK) All
SMTP availability N/A Anything returned other than SMTP code 220 (server OK) All
MySQL availability N/A Cannot get connected or logged in as specified user All
PostgreSQL availability N/A Cannot get connected or logged in as specified user Linux hosts only

 

 

*PV220 itself does not have OMSA capability and requires a Dell controlling head unit (e.g. 2850) in order to be monitored.

In order not to generate false positives, the monitoring system has to have 3 consecutive failure states to generate an alert.

Monitoring is only currently available under Sysadmin Support.

Managed Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Server – Sysadmin Support

Introduction

The managed server product is closely based on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux, version 5

Features

Base Operating System:

  • 20 users created initially and 5 per month
  • Backups to either tape or backup+ (schedule can be daily, weekly or monthly) of up to 10 separate paths. (Subject to purchase of a backup product)
  • All core system logging (syslog) is logged both locally and to a secure centralised system for audit purposes.
  • System disk partitioning:
  • 4 gig allocated to /
  • 2 gig allocated to /swap
  • 5 gig allocated to /var
  • 250 meg allocated to /boot
  • Remaining space on disk allocated to /data(which includes /home and /var/lib/pgsql)

Virtual web hosting (CGI, PHP, Perl, SSL)

  • 20 virtual hosts created initially and 5 per month
  • Apache modules/functionality supported:
  • mod_ssl.c, sapi_apache2.c, mod_cgi.c, mod_mem_cache.c, mod_file_cache.c, mod_disk_cache.c, mod_suexec.c, mod_cache.c, mod_rewrite.c, mod_alias.c, mod_userdir.c, mod_speling.c, mod_actions.c, mod_imap.c, mod_dir.c, mod_negotiation.c, mod_vhost_alias.c, mod_dav_fs.c, mod_info.c, mod_asis.c, mod_autoindex.c, mod_status.c, mod_dav.c, mod_mime.c, mod_setenvif.c, mod_unique_id.c, mod_usertrack.c, mod_headers.c, mod_deflate.c, mod_expires.c, mod_cern_meta.c, mod_mime_magic.c, mod_env.c, mod_log_config.c, mod_include.c, mod_auth_digest.c, mod_auth_dbm.c, mod_auth_anon.c, mod_auth.c, mod_access.c, mod_so.c, http_core.c, prefork.c, core.c
  • cgi-wrapper
  • Anonymous and user ftp server (1 of each)
  • Shell access and development environment

PostgreSQL and MySQL databases

  • 20 database users created initially and 5 per month
  • 20 databases created initially and 5 per month

Specifications (no Control Panels)

  • RedHat Enterprise Linux Release 5
  • Kernel 2.6.10 (RHEL Build)
  • Apache2 (2.2.3) *
  • OpenSSH Server 4.3 *
  • OpenSSH Client 5.3
  • Emacs 2.1
  • GCC 4.1.2
  • SNMP (net-snmp-5.1.2)
  • S.M.A.R.T. Tools for IDE based systems *
  • OpenManage system – Dell equipment only *
  • Perl 5.8.8
  • VIM 7.0

Optional Supported Packages Available

  • PHP 5.1.6
  • Tomcat 5.5.23 Red Hat Package with Sun Java 1.5.0, using proxy_ajp connectors.
  • VSftpd 2.0.5 *
  • Python 2.4.3
  • PostgreSQL Server 8.1.9 *
  • PostgreSQL Client 8.1.9
  • MySQL Server 5.0.22 *
  • MySQL Client 5.0.22
  • Postfix 2.3.3 (mail relay only) *
  • Sendmail 8.13.8 *
  • BIND DNS Caching server 9.3.3 *
  • SAMBA Server 3.0.25 *
  • SAMBA Client 3.0.25
  • External Download tools – wget and/or curl.
  • ImageMagick (C/C++/Perl libraries as appropriate)
  • NFS Server * (access only provided to other dedicated Pulsant hosted servers)

* means that the service is monitored

If the customer requires any service or configuration not listed above then they should contact the sales team ([email protected]) to obtain a quote for Pulsant to provide these services.

Management

  • Pulsant will automatically apply updated RedHat packages on a periodic basis (currently every 4 hours, except kernels which will be applied manually at a time agreed with the customer), or in response to a published security advisory where necessary.
  • In the case of a faulty upgrade, the updates will be rolled back.
  • Critical faults on the server will be dealt with 24×7, but customer-change requests will normally only be actioned within normal working hours (Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm).
  • Customer-requested configuration changes can be arranged to happen outside of working hours, but these will be charged at the out-of-hours pro rata rate. All customer-requested configuration changes will be actioned within 1 working day of receipt in writing from the customer. The customer will be notified of any changes made to their managed server.
  • SELinux is not supported by Pulsant.

End-user access

  • The end user shall be provided access to the server via one or more user accounts. Root access will not be permitted.
  • Users may access the system by SSH or FTP from trusted static IP addresses. Up to 10 such addresses may be nominated.
  • Changes to root-level configurations shall be made by the web admin interface, or by request to the Pulsant support system.
  • Users may run their own software within a user account, but must accept that this will not be supported. Daemons may be run on high port numbers, and Pulsant will provide the facility to start such services at boot up.
  • Process limits may be applied to maintain the stability of the server.

Linux Server – Software support (Only)

Introduction

The managed server product is closely based on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux, version 4.

Software to be updated

RedHat Enterprise Linux Release 4
Kernel 2.6.9 (RHEL Build)
Apache2 (2.0.52)
OpenSSH Server 3.9
OpenSSH Client 3.9
Emacs 2.1
GCC 3.4.4
SNMP (net-snmp-5.1.2)
S.M.A.R.T. Tools for IDE based systems
OpenManage system – Dell equipment only
Perl 5.8.5
VIM 6.3
emacs-nox 2.1

Optional supported packages that will be updated if installed

VSftp 1.2.1
PHP 4.3.9
Tomcat 5.0.28
IBM Java j2sdk-1.4.2
mod_jk 2.0.4
Python 2.3.4
PostgreSQL Server 7.4.8
PostgreSQL Client rh-postgresql-7.4.8
MySQL Server 4.1.12
MySQL Client 4.1.12
Postfix 2.1.5
Sendmail 8.13.1
Cyrus-imapd 2.2.13
BIND DNS Caching server 9.2.4
SAMBA Server 3.0.10 (access only provided to other dedicated Pulsant hosted servers)
SAMBA Client 3.0.10
ImageMagick (C/C++/Perl libraries as appropriate)
NFS Server (access only provided to other dedicated Pulsant hosted servers)

Management

Pulsant will automatically apply updated RedHat packages on a periodic basis (currently every 4 hours, except kernels which will be applied manually at a time agreed with the customer), or in response to a published security advisory where necessary.

In the case of a faulty upgrade, the updates will be rolled back.

End user access

The end user shall have full root access to the server, Pulsant will only have root access to be able to login and apply the software updates.

Windows 2003 Server – Software support (ONLY)

Introduction

The managed server product is based around standalone Windows 2003 Servers (Standard Edition and Web Edition – no domains / active directories).

Software to be updated

  • Base Windows 2003 Server with all latest service packs and hotfixes
  • IIS
  • ActiveState Perl 5.6.1
  • ASP.net
  • PHP 4.3
  • Terminal Services access
  • Indexing Service
  • MS SQL Server 2000, MS SQL Desktop Engine 2000 or MySQL 4.1

Management

Pulsant will automatically apply critical level and all security hotfixes available from Microsoft informing the customer as this happens. In the case of a critical or security hotfix breaking site/server functionality, Pulsant will not rollback. Prior notice may not be given due to the nature of the fixes and potential threat.

Other hotfixes or service packs will be applied only after the customer has been given 7 days notice.

End user access

The end user shall have full administrative access to the server, Pulsant will only have administrator rights to be able to login and apply the software updates.

Server Specification

Server Specification:

Business Server

1 x Intel Pentium D 2.8GHz Processor
1GB RAM
1 x 80Gb 7200rpm SATA hard drive
Dual port NIC
24 Speed IDE CD-ROM
Floppy disk drive
Windows 2003 Server Web or Standard Edition, Red Hat Enterprise Linux or an operating system of customer choice are also available for an additional fee.

Pro Server

1 x Quad Core Intel® Xeon® E5504, 4MB Cache, 2.0GHz
4GB RAM (2 x 2GB RAM 1066MHz DDR3)
1 x 6 Hot Plug Backplane
PERC 6/i add in RAID controller
2 * 500GB 7,200rpm 3.5inch SATA hard drives in RAID 1 configuration
2 x 330W Hot-Plug Power Supplies
Dual 1GB Broadcom NetExtreme II  Network Interface Card
16x Speed DVD ROm Drive ( No writing capability )
Floppy Drive
Fedora Core installed by default
Windows 2003 Server Web or Standard Edition, Red Hat Enterprise Linux or an operating system of customer choice are also available for an additional fee.
Advanced Server

2 x Intel Xeon 5130 2Ghz Processor, 4MB L2 Cache, 1333MHz FSB
Dual embedded Intel Gigabit NICs, with failover support (Intel 82541)
4GB RAM (4 x 512MB + 2x 1GB RAM )
1 x 6 Hot Plug Backplane
PERC 5/i embedded RAID controller
3 x 146GB 10000rpm SAS hard drives configured as C4 RAID 5
2 x 330W Hot-Plug Power Supplies
24 Speed IDE CD-ROM
Floppy Drive
Fedora Core installed by default
Windows 2003 Server Standard or Enterprise Edition, Red Hat Enterprise Linux or an operating system of customer choice are also available for an additional fee

Advanced + Server

4x 2.2GHz AMD Opteron 8214s (64-bit), 2x1MB cache, Dual core (95W)
8GB RAM (16x 512MB 400MHz single rank DIMMs)
1×5 SAS 3.5inch Hard Drive Backplane
PERC 5ei embedded dual channel RAID controller
3 x 146GB 15,000rpm SAS hard drives (hot plug) configured in C4 RAID 5
2 x 330W Hot-Plug Power Supplies
Dual port integrated Gigabit NIC
24 Speed IDE CD-ROM
Floppy Drive
Fedora Core installed by default
Windows 2003 Server Enterprise Edition, Red Hat Linux AS or an operating system of customer choice are also available for an additional fee

Disk Partitioning:

1) Default Disk Partitioning: Red Hat Enterprise Linux (ext3 filesystem)

  • 4 gig allocated to /
  • 1 gig allocated to /tmp
  • 2 gig allocated to /swap
  • 5 gig allocated to /var
  • 250 meg allocated to /boot
  • Remaining space on disk allocated to /data

2) Default Disk Partitioning: Windows Server 2003

  •  36GB allocated to OS
  • Remaining space on disk allocated to customer data

3) Default Disk Partitioning: Windows Server 2008

  •  56GB allocated to OS
  • Remaining space on disk allocated to customer data

 

 

Operating System Details:

By default, all Dedicated Servers are supplied with a minimal vendor default installation of current stable release of Fedora Core Linux is provided by default.

Installs of Microsoft Windows and Red Hat Enterprise Linux will be supplied with the same base OS installation as that of a SysAdmin Support Dedicated Server, though packages marked as “optional” are not supplied – please see Managed Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Server for further details.

Server requirements

Server Requirements Guide

1 x 10/100 full duplex ethernet port (rate limited to 2Mbps by default, higher caps available on request)

Further ethernet ports available via the Pulsant managed VLAN service

Gigabit connectivity available on request

Flexible rackspace solutions:

  • shared rackspace starting from 1U
  • quarter, half and full independently locked racks
  • multiple racks in a secure, caged area
  • full suites

Power available in:

  • For per-U co-location, customers are supplied dual (A+B feed) individually managed, remotely controllable IEC power ports with maximum rated PSUs of 400W per U of space taken
  • Full racks have dual (A+B) 16A metered supplies directly into the rack with 13A plugs on powerbars
  • Half and quarter racks are as above but with dual (A+B) 8A and and 4A metered supplies respectively. The supplies in half racks come with two 8-way IEC power bars and quarter racks come with two 4-way IEC power bars.
  • Metered power is supplied as per customer contracts

IP allocations to fit customer requirements (from /30 upwards)

Port filtering (up to 100 rules in the standard product, tailored solutions also available)

Onsite escorted access to equipment or unescorted 24×7 access for customers taking their own secured areas (from quarter rack upwards), with 1 named access card and rack key included (additional accesscards and rack keys available on request)

Remote hands service available

Media change and storage service for backups

BackupASP network-based storage platform for fast, reliable backups without a tape drive

Product Overview

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