FAQs from Melbourne Customers

Below are the most frequently asked questions that are specific to existing customers of Melbourne.

How does Serverlove relate to Melbourne’s UltraVM Cloud Servers?

Whilst both products enable customers to run Cloud Servers, they have a different focus:

Serverlove is a self-service cloud platform which gives you all the tools to start, stop, resize, clone or destroy your own Cloud Servers.  We have a ‘hands-off’ approach to support, looking after only the underlying infrastructure and network, i.e. the OS of your servers is your responsibility.  In fact we have no access to your server OS.

Because of the self-service focus of the product, we’re able to offer market-leading pricing.

Serverlove is backed by the reliability and green credentials of Melbourne.

Melbourne’s UltraVM has a slightly different focus.  Our support is more far-reaching and we’ll be involved in server builds, re-sizes, clones, or deletions.  Furthermore, we’ll give you ad-hoc support.  If you take out our Server Management service we’ll even proactively maintain, monitor and manage your server’s OS.

Melbourne’s UltraVM platform is based on a carefully designed platform for high-performance and high-availability, and as such the pricing is higher than Serverlove.

Can I combine Serverlove Cloud Servers along with my Melbourne servers?

Serverlove is designed as a separate free-standing product, and as such it’s not possible for us to extend your VLAN or IP addresses into Serverlove.

If you wanted to have your Melbourne servers talk to Serverlove servers, you’d need to open the appropriate firewall rules between the various servers.  There’s minimal infrastructure in between the two platforms (you’ll see a couple of hops if you traceroute, and latency should be under 1ms).  Traffic taking this route should be encrypted as we cannot guarantee privacy.

If you’re wanting a managed hybrid solution (combining dedicated and virtual servers), with completely private communication between hosts, you’ll need to choose Melbourne’s UltraVM servers which can sit on your own private network with your dedicated servers or colocation.

How would I migrate to Serverlove?

If you feel Serverlove is more appropriate to your needs, but you’re currently on a Melbourne service (dedicated server, virtual server, colocation), you’d need to:

  • Create an account with Serverlove, and add some credit.
  • Create your new servers in Serverlove, either by making new images, and migrating data across using a P-to-V tool (more details on this page of our FAQ).  Melbourne staff will be able to help you with this process if you need it, charged at our standard £50/half hour server management rate (fixed prices may be available for large moves).  We may not be able to guarantee compatibility.
  • If you want to move over ALL of your services, we may be able to move over your Melbourne IPs.  Each subnet (range) would have to be moved intact, i.e. a subnet cannot be split between both platforms.

If you would like migration assistance, please submit a Melbourne support ticket.  Please be aware following migration to serverlove that you’d need to have the complete ability to manage your servers yourselves as serverlove is a completely self-service product.

How does the speed of Serverlove compare with UltraVM?

We’re running both platforms on similar hardware, that’s Dell R710 nodes, with dual quad-core processors.  Therefore you should expect a similar CPU speed between platforms.  The main difference between the platforms is storage:

Serverlove uses internal storage on the nodes, pairs of 7200rpm SATA disks running in RAID 1.

In contrast, UltraVM uses central SAN-based storage with tens of 7200rpm SATA or 15,000rpm SAS disks (depending on your choice) in RAID50.  Because the storage is centralised your data will be split over many disks and will therefore have better performance for random reads.

How does the reliability of Serverlove compare with UltraVM?

As described above, the principal difference in architecture is that Serverlove uses internal storage in the nodes.  This means that if a node were to catastrophically fail (motherboard, memory etc), this would take down the servers running on it until the hardware were replaced.  Fortunately failures like this are incredibly rare with the Enterprise-class Dell servers we use.  More common faults (power supply, hard disk) are covered by internal resilience in the nodes and would not take down servers running on the node.

Of course, we keep on-site spares and guarantee hardware swapout within 2 hours in the event of hardware failure.

So essentially you can expect the same reliability of a high-end dedicated server, but with instant scalability.

Because Melbourne’s UltraVM stores data on a centralised Storage Area Network (SAN), rather than on the node itself, it means that if the node your server is running on were to fail, your server would be re-started on a new node instantly.

Both services benefit from Melbourne’s reliable self-owned and self-managed datacentres and network.

For the more technical amongst you, Melbourne’s UltraVM platform is based on Citrix Xenserver, running on Dell R710′s, dual-uplinked to two separate switching networks, with storage based on EqualLogic SANs (both SAS and SATA).  Serverlove runs on the Linux-based KVM hypervisor with a custom-written API layer on top to control which server starts where. This is run on Dell R710 or R410 nodes, with local storage in RAID1 pairs.

Will I get access to the UltraFire Shared Firewall with Serverlove?

No, UltraFire is an add-on to Melbourne’s services and not part of the Serverlove product.  You’ll either need to use host-level firewalling, or build a firewall cloud server, linking it to your other servers by a private VLAN.

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