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Frequently Asked Questions; How to ___; etc.

How do I get support

The M5 Cloud is supported. However, you are the systems administrator of the Operating System and software within your Virtual Machines. If you need help getting your desired environment configured with the M5 Cloud control panel, please ask. By asking us, you are helping us understand what might need to be improved. If you want to know how to get the fastest and most accurate service from us, please see this HOWTO.

My Server is Unreachable!

NOTE: If you cannot reach your server from your particular location, that does not necessarily mean that your Virtual Machine is offline. If you can, try connecting from a second location on an entirely different network. If you are able to reach your server from the second location, then it is likely a problem on your network or out on the Internet between you and us.

If you are ever unable to reach your server, we will need some information in order to do any sort of investigation into the cause….

Please tell us your apparent IP address (where you are trying to connect to your server *from*) as reported by WhatIsMyIPAddress.com.

Please tell us the IP address you are trying to connect *to*. (If your Virtual Machine or VPC has more than one IP address, this could be important.)

Please send the output of a ‘traceroute‘ or ‘mtr from your location to your server. If possible, also send a traceroute or mtr from your Virtual Machine server back to your location.

Tell us the exact time of the outage, as best you can. (This will help us to correlate your outage with any other events on the network.)

With that information ready, open a ticket.

I Can't Login at Cloud Manager

You are here because you can’t log in at our cloud control panel. This is where you can manage your cloud and VPC resources (create, destroy, reboot, resize, backup, and create templates from your VMs). If you want to access your M5 account (manage Profile and Contact Information, Support Tickets, Billing, and dedicated servers), then you need to log in at our customer portal instead.

The first thing to know is that these two systems use separate logins. If you have changed your password in one system, it does NOT change your password in the other system. We try to make the login IDs the same for consistency, but we also understand that this may cause some confusion.

If you are having trouble accessing the M5 Customer Portal, see this FAQ.

If you are having trouble accessing the M5 Cloud Control Panel, please open a ticket and we’ll be happy to help.

What can I do with my service with M5?

We often get asked by prospective or current customers whether they are allowed to do something on their server, such as install and run a particular piece of software or listen on an additional port. The answer is a simple “Yes, but…”

Yes, you can do whatever you like on your Virtual Machine, VPC or dedicated server… as long as it is not in violation of our Acceptable Use Policy, (so nothing illegal and nothing that interferes with other customers and services). Also see our Terms and Conditions

Can I run an IRC server on my virtual machine?

No. IRC is the only protocol that is prohibited by our Acceptable Use Policy.

Are these servers "managed"?

No. The long-winded answer is that the Virtual Machines and Dedicated Servers we offer are what are known in the hosting industry as “unmanaged” (though a more accurate term would be “customer-managed”, or “self-managed”). Once you have the login information to your server or Virtual Machine, you are now the administrator (‘root’). This means you have the ability to install/uninstall software as you please, and communicate on whatever network ports and protocols you like.

As Spiderman’s Uncle Ben told him, “with great power comes great responsibility”. Being root or Administrator also means that you are responsible for the day-to-day maintenance of everything from the Operating System inward (OS, middleware, applications, accounts, backups, etc.). If your server is compromised and used to send abusive traffic to/from our network, this becomes your problem. We therefore recommend that you have someone on your team who is explicitly responsible for keeping up with security updates to your software and managing access to your server. If you do not have that expertise in-house, and cannot hire it at a reasonable rate, please ask us about a “managed server” or our professional services.

We do manage security, upgrades and updates to the cloud management infratsructure, network and operations software such as our billing system, ticketing system, monitoring systems, hypervisors, storage, etc. But, any software running inside your Virtual Machines are your responsibility. We don’t mind if you ask our opinions or for advice and if we have any experience with what you are trying to do, we will be glad to help with a thought or two.

Which Operating Systems do you offer?

The most-requested operating systems are several Linux distributions, Microsoft Windows, and FreeBSD. This is what is available now:

  • 64-bit FreeBSD
  • 64-bit Linux (CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu)
  • 64-bit Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 and 2012R2

If you need OpenBSD, or something else not listed here, please see our dedicated servers.

Which Linux distributions do you offer?

  • CentOS 5.x
  • CentOS 6.x
  • Debian 7.5
  • Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
  • Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
  • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

All distributions on M5-built templates available in 64-bit only. If you upload your own template or disk image, it must be 64-bit. Currently, 32-bit operating systems are not supported.

Do you sell cPanel licenses?

Yes. We are a cPanel Partner NOC. We do offer licensing for cPanel. We have a Virtual Machine template with cPanel pre-installed.

NOTE: You will need to open a ticket and ask us to allocate a license to each VM that you provision from this template.

How do I upgrade or downgrade my VM size?

To adjust the CPU and RAM resources for an instance you can select a different compute offering. For more information on the different sized offerings and their pricing please view Cloud Pricing.

Warning: To change the compute offering, you must stop the instance.

Perform the following steps to change the compute offering for an instance:

  • On the left menu panel, click Instance. The Instances page displays in the main panel.
  • Click on the instance you want to change the compute offering for. The Details tab will display.
  • Click the Change service offering icon. This will display the Change service offering dialog box.
  • Select one of the compute offerings from the drop-down list and click OK. The selected offering will now be applied to your instance.

Can I purchase additional IPs?

Yes. IPv4 addresses are available and priced hourly. See the current price matrix.

See “How do I add an additional public IP address to my VM?” in this FAQ for instructions.

Why can't I create another Virtual Machine (VM)?

You may not be able to create an additional virtual machine (VM) if your existing virtual machines are using enough of your available resources such that insufficient RAM or disk space remains available in your account.

Note: We place protective resource limits on each account. You may create as many VMs as will fit within these protective limits. You may request these limits be raised by contacting support.

To see your current limits, click on “Accounts” on the left-margin menu. Then select the account your user is in. Scroll down and you will see the limits for Instances (how many VMs you can create), Public IP addresses, Volumes (aka: virtual disks), snapshots in storage, custom templates, VPCs, CPUs (virtual cores), memory, networks, primary storage (where volumes are kept), secondary storage (where snapshots and templates are kept).

Can I get my resource limits increased?

Yes! We place protective resource limits on each account. You may request these limits be raised by contacting support. There is no cost to increase these limits and customers in good standing can expect a very rapid response to such requests. The limits are in place to protect you from an unexpectedly high bill and to make sure that resources are available for everyone.

How do I ensure my VMs are always booted on different hypervisors?

Affinity groups can influence which hypervisor your instances run on.

To create a new affinity group, log into the management interface and click on the “Affinity Groups” tab on the left navigation pane. Click “Add New Affinity Group”, and enter a group name and optionally a description. Currently, the only type of affinity group is host anti-affinity. The cloud manager will attempt to start instances in a host anti-affinity group on different hypervisors.

You can add an instance to an affinity group when creating a new instance. During the normal instance creation process there is an “Affinity” tab where you can select the affinity group for this instance. To add an existing instance to an affinity group, stop the instance and click the “Change Affinity” button that appears on the instance details tab. Choose a previously created affinity group and restart your instance.

Why does my instance restart after I shut it down?

M5 Cloud instances are highly available. If your instance crashes or a hypervisor fails your instance will immediately restart, on a different hypervisor if needed. The cloud manager has no way of differentiating between a crashed instance and one that was intentionally shut down or rebooted from within the instance and so attempts to restart it. To avoid this, instances should be rebooted or restarted using the cloud manager web interface, command line tool or API.

To shut down or reboot your instance with the web interface, log into the cloud manager, click on “Instances” on the left navigation pane and click on your instance to view the “Instance Details”. There you will see buttons for “Stop Instance” and “Reboot Instance”. These buttons are also available in the instance “Quickview” by hovering over the plus sign “+” on the instances tab.

Do you have an API?

Yes! M5 Cloud has a fully RESTful API that supports both JSON and XML, so it’s easy to automate the management of your cloud resources. Documentation of the API is available

Is there a command line interface (CLI) to the M5 Cloud?

Yes! M5 Cloud is based on the Apache Cloudstack project. You may use any tool or interface that is compatible with the Cloudstack API. Perhaps the most popular is “CloudMonkey”

What is your SLA?

99.95% on all systems related to our IaaS Cloud service.
99.95% on all network connectivity

How am I billed?

When you sign up, you can choose from a few options:

  • Any resources your or your users consume are billed for at an hourly rate or by data transfer. An invoice is sent monthly (or sooner). When you sign up, you will enter a credit card. You may pay by a Credit Card kept on file with us, or promptly by PayPal. If arranged in advance, we may also accept ACH or Wire Transfer for larger balances. However, invoices are due 10 days after they are issued. We may require new customers keep a credit card on file. The card on file will be billed automatically if payment is not otherwise received. We are very flexible with established customers
  • Branded Partner or Reseller – Please contact us if you are interested in partnering with us.

See our current price matrix.

What Credit Cards do you accept?

We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.

How do I close my account?

The best way to stop incurring charges is to delete all of your virtual machines and disk volumes. Remember, you are billed hourly or any resources that are in use. You can stop incurring costs within the hour when you delete your Virtual Machines, disks and snapshots.

If you prefer to save some backups for future use and minimize your bill until that time, you can do that too by creating templates from your VMs and then deleting your VMs. The backup space used for these templates will continue to incur charges. You only need one template for each unique Virtual Machine profile (OS, applications and custom configuration). Additional system-specific data can be backed up off-site.

If you just want to remove billing information from our system, and prevent any use of your account, please open a support ticket and we will help remove you from the system. We will require authentication that you are the owner of the account, and confirmation that you are authorized to do this for your account.

Security & Networking

How do I change my password in the Cloud Manager?

To change your password, click “Accounts” in the left-margin menu of the cloud manager interface. Then select the Account your User is in. Then, click the “View Users” button in the upper right area. Click on the user name you want to change the password for. Finally, you can choose the “key” icon. If you ever lose your password, just let us know!

IPv6 support

IPv6 support is currently available for Dedicated Servers or Colocation. However, we are still working on it for our CloudStack-based cloud. Ofcourse, we are well aware of IPv4 exhaustion and we have been making the best of the IPv4 allocations we have for some time now.

If you would like to be kept posted on our IPv6 progress in our CloudStack-based cloud, please feel free to open a ticket with us with “IPv6” in the subject line. That way, when we have announcements about this, we can search our ticketing system for “IPv6” and update you.

Can I get a "console" on my VMs?

Yes. There are many reasons you may need to access the Console on your instance. Some of these include:

  • You can not reach your instance via its public IP, this would mean you cannot SSH, RDP, or connect to it via any of its services.
  • Your instance is inaccessible due to a change in network configuration or firewall issues.
  • You have an ISO attached and you need to access the Live CD.

To gain console access perform the following steps:

  1. On the left menu panel, click Instances. Your Instances should now be viewable in the main panel.
  2. Click on the instance you require console access to. This will display the details tab.
  3. Click the View console icon. A popup window will display the console. You may need to disable or add an exception to your popup blocker in some browsers.
  4. If you are greeted with a black screen hit shift (or enter) to activate and proceed to login to access your instance via the console.

Help! I can't send email from my VM!

Spammers suck. To protect your ability to send mail with reasonable deliverability results, we have blocked port 25 outbound from our cloud networks. You may use port 587 (or another port) to relay through an external mail server, or use a service such as SendGrid or Mandrill.
SendGrid and Mandrill both have free packages and can greatly increase the deliverability of your email. They are easy to configure and both have integration documentation for integrating the service with your applications in many different languages and platforms.

To configure SendGrid, you need to sign up for their service (free) and then follow these instructons.

To configure Mandrill, you need to sign up for their service (free) and then follow their instructons (link to PostFix).

How do I add a private IP address to an existing VM?

NOTE: If you’re not using an M5-provided template, you should shut down your VM prior to adding a network interface.

From the M5 Cloud Hosting interface, select “Instances” on the left, then find your Virtual Machine and select it. Select the second tab from the left, “NICs,” then click on “Add Network to VM.” Select or create an isolated network to use, and that’s it!

Depending upon the operating system you’re using, you may need to configure the new network interface for DHCP. Please refer to the documentation for your operating system and how to configure a network interface. The “NICs” pane within your VM instance in the M5 Cloud Hosting interface will show the IP configuration information you need.

How do I add a public IP address to my VM?

From the M5 Cloud Hosting interface, select “Instances” on the left, then find your Virtual Machine and select it. Select the second tab from the left, “NICs,” then click on “Add Network to VM.” Select “M5-CA1-Public,” and the VM should have the interface show up.

Depending upon the operating system you’re using, you may need to configure the new network interface for DHCP. Please refer to the documentation for your operating system and how to configure a network interface. The “NICs” pane within your VM instance in the M5 Cloud Hosting interface will show the IP configuration information you need.

Note: you will want to remove the default gateway from any private / isolated network interfaces you have set up, and set up the appropriate public default gateway on your VM’s public interface. The gateway IP will be shown in the “NICs” pane in your instance in the web interface.

How do I add an additional public IP address to my VM?

In the M5 Cloud Hosting interface, select “Instances” on the left, then find your Virtual Machine and select it. Select the second tab from the left, “NICs,” then find your public network interface. Click the “View Secondary IPs” button next to “IP addresses” under that NIC. Then click “Acquire New Secondary IP,” then specify the IP.

How do I use a private IP address with a new Virtual Machine (VM)?

If you have multiple virtual machines in the same “zone”, using private IP addresses and attaching them to the same “isolated” VPC (Virtual Private Cloud) network will allow you to communicate between them without incurring bandwidth usage on your account.

In order to do so by default, when you’re creating an instance and get to Network setup, either select an “isolated” VPC network you’ve already created, not a “shared” network, or create a new isolated VPC network by clicking next to “New” under “Add Network,” and name your network. An isolated VPC network is currently the only kind of network offering you can add.

How do I use a private IP address and a public IP address with a new VM?

Simple! When setting up the network for your new VM instance, just click next to both a “shared” (public IP) network and create or choose an existing “isolated” (private IP) network.

Is bandwidth free between my M5 Cloud VMs?

If your Virtual Machines are in the same “Network”, then all data transfer between your Virtual Machines is free.

You are capable of creating your own Network when you provision Virtual Machines. You can add more Virtual Machines to an existing Network, or a new Network.

All traffic sent out the Internet-facing (public) interface on each Network is billable, even if it is going to another Network you have created at M5 Cloud. However, you can add a free private interface to each of your VMs, which can route to any other M5 Cloud VM in the same Availability Zone but not to the Internet. Traffic sent over private interfaces is unlimited and free of charge.

If you plan to create multiple networks and move data between them, please check out the Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) feature. See YouTube Video on CloudStack VPC”

NOTE: You must configure your OS and applications properly to ensure that traffic between your VMs is using the private interface. Creating a private interface **does NOT** automatically route local traffic over that interface!


Do I need a domain name?

No. However, the PTR record for your IP address is automatically generated using the hostname you choose when building the virtual machine. If you use some random non-FQDN hostname, then your PTR record will be a random non-FQDN too. This might cause problems for outbound email deliverability, or other issues.