Getting Started


Trial

What does your Free 5-Day Trial include?

The free trial gives you full access to our system and includes 2000 core-MHz CPU, 1024 MB RAM, 30GB HDD, 5GB high performance SSD and 10GB data transfer, which is enough capacity to run a medium-sized server or several small servers.

Are there any restrictions on your Free 5-Day Trial?

  • The free trial is limited to 2000 core-MHz CPU, 1024 MB RAM, 30GB HDD, 5GB high-speed SSD and 10GB data transfer. It lasts for 5 days.
  • During the trial, we block outbound connections to smtp, ftp, ssh and telnet servers – ports FTP (tcp 21), SSH (tcp 22), telnet (tcp 23), SMTP (tcp 25), POP3 (tcp 110), IMAP (tcp 143), SIP (udp 5060), VNC (tcp 5900-2) and Runescape (tcp 43594-5) – to prevent abuse of our trials for sending spam or conducting dictionary attacks against other internet hosts.
  • We ask triallists not to run Minecraft or other game servers. Game servers may be powered off without warning.

Is it possible to have a trial for longer or with extra infrastructure capacity?

We are happy to consider requests for larger and/or longer trials on a case-by-case basis. Please email support@elastichosts.com if you would like extra time or resources.

How do I run Windows during my trial?

There are 3 options for setting up a server to run Windows during your trial:

  1. Use one of our pre-installed Windows images. However, please be aware that these require a licence from Microsoft, and you will have to purchase the correct Windows licence from us if you wish to continue using this after the trial has expired.
  2. Select ‘self-install from CD’, rather than ‘pre-installed images’, and then install from the appropriate trial CD (Windows Server 2008 R2 Trial CD, Windows Web Server 2008 CD or Windows Server 2012 R2 Trial CD) yourself.
  3. Upload your own install CD using our cloud hosting upload tool or SFTP to ftp.<zone>.elastichosts.com (e.g. ftp.lon-p.elastichosts.com) with your account UUID (as username) and Secret API key (as password) as shown on your account profile page.

When I sign up, can I continue to use the servers I created during the trial?

Yes. You can purchase monthly plans or add burst balance at any time from inside your account. If you sign up before the end of your trial, you will be able to continue running your servers uninterrupted.


Uploading CD/server images

How can I upload my own ISO CD images?

You are welcome to provide your own ISO CD images to use on your servers. You can upload these in one of three ways:

  1. using our API with the ElasticHosts-upload script;
  2. by SFTP (Secure FTP) protocol to ftp.<zone>.elastichosts.com (e.g. ftp.lon-p.elastichosts.com) with your account UUID and Secret API key as shown on your account profile page. We recommend use of the WinSCP application to do this – Filezilla is known not to work; or
  3. if the image is less than 1GB, using the upload web form found on an existing drive's ‘Configure drive’ page. Upload image on the control panel

How can I upload my own server images?

You can use any of the methods mentioned in the previous question to upload a server image to your account. Using our API upload tool is likely to be the best choice if the image is large, as this uploads in chunks and has the option of resuming an interrupted upload. We can also accept USB hard drives with drive images on, to copy across directly. Please submit a ticket on the control panel or email support@elastichosts.com if you would like further details.

What format server images do you support?

We accept only raw drive images that are the same as a physical drive, with block device, partition tables etc. However, we do accept converted VMware images – see the Converting OS images section below for details.

I have uploaded an ISO9660 image (.iso file). How do I boot a server from it?

On the server configuration page, set the drive media type for the drive containing the image to CD-ROM and ensure the boot radio button is activated next to it. If you are installing a server from the CD, remember you will also need another drive attached onto which to install your operating system.

How can I migrate Linux KVM or QEMU virtual machines into your cloud?

If your drive is already in the raw format supported by these hypervisors, it is ready to upload using our API upload tool unchanged, as described above.

If your drive is in qcow2 format, you will need to convert it to raw format before uploading. You can do this with the command:

qemu-img convert -f qcow2 -O raw drive.qcow2 drive.raw
where `drive.qcow2` is the qcow2 file you want to convert to the raw file drive.raw.

How can I migrate physical servers into your cloud?

If you have physical servers that you would like to migrate into our cloud, you should boot your server from a live CD and then run the ElasticHosts-upload script to upload the hard disk block device.
However, please note that uploading a large drive this way can take a very long time depending on your internet connectivity. It may be quicker to install afresh in our cloud and copy your data across.

Can I send you data on a physical disk to copy into my account?

Yes.


Converting server images

I use Hyper-V. Is it possible to upload Hyper-V disk images and use them on the ElasticHosts system?

Yes, although they must be converted first: our system requires either DVD or CD images in .iso format, or raw disk images. Microsoft’s VHD file format can be converted to raw format using qemu-tools:

qemu-img convert -f vpc inputfilename.vhd -O raw outputfilename.raw
If they are installed, it’s important to remove Microsoft’s Virtual Machine Additions before converting, as these non-standard drivers can cause problems on our system.

I use VMWare. Is it possible to upload VMware disk images and use them on the ElasticHosts system?

Only indirectly. Our system requires either DVD or CD images in .iso format, or raw disk images – the equivalent of taking the stream of bytes off a physical disk and saving them in a file. A .vmdk file is a long way from raw format. However, qemu does have tools to convert these.

On a Linux system, you can use the following command to convert a .vmdk into a raw disk image that our system can use:

$ qemu-img convert inputfilename.vmdk -O raw outputfilename.raw
Be aware that a raw image is probably larger than the .vmdk, which is a compressed format.

Mac users can also perform this conversion using Oracle’s VirtualBox, by running the following commands in Terminal:

 cd /Applications/VirtualBox.app/Contents/MacOS/  
sudo ./VBoxManage clonehd drive.vmdk drive.raw –format RAW

With a converted VMware image, is there anything else I need to know?

Yes – you might still have issues getting it to work. Our recommendation is always to create a new system inside the ElasticHosts servers and install what you need, and send over data. Windows guests in particular dislike having their virtual hardware swapped around, so there are few guarantees that you’ll have a reliable system after conversion. That said, we recommend:

  1. Remove VMware Tools before you shut down for conversion. This is the most important step.
  2. Make sure when you run the converted file, you set the number of cores to at least two. This is in the advanced options for the server, and does seem to make Windows guests in particular more reliable.
  3. Some users have had more success with the older RealTek virtual network card than the Intel one. If you do have issues, it’s certainly worth swapping.

I don’t have a Unix/Linux system. Is there any other way to do this?

Yes – if you can boot the VM locally, you can upload a hard drive without needing to convert the image using the method described here.