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Home > Reference Info > Dashboard Help Text > Instances



Create a new instance (virtual machine) in the cloud. Before you can launch the instance, you will need to provide a Name and the following information:

  • Image - What image the new instance should use, boot from, etc.
  • Instance Type - Generically speaking, the size of the instance. Typically includes compute resources such as the amount of CPU, memory, and ephemeral storage.
  • Security Group(s) - Select one or more Security Groups. Security Groups are firewalls in the cloud supporting various inbound networking rules (such as allow/deny access to various ports, protocols, IP addresses, other Security Groups,etc.).
  • Datacenter / Zone - A regional datacenter in the cloud (Datacenter and Zone are synonymous). A cloud will often have multiple Datacenters which can help when architecting a highly available Deployment. For example, a US based cloud with 4 Datacenters might be North, South, East and West.
Clouds > Cloud > Instances > New


A cloud instance refers to a Virtual Machine Instance (VMI) that runs within a cloud infrastructure. Conceptually, an instance is simply a dedicated machine in your desired cloud infrastructure that you can configure for your own purposes. Two of the more important concepts with respect to instances in the cloud are instance type and state. Both of which can differ from cloud to cloud. An instance type is basically the size of the instance. That is, the amount of compute resources when provisioned such as the amount of CPU, memory, and ephemeral storage. RightScale maps these back to generic terms which are easier to understand across all cloud infrastructures. It's the cloud provider's responsibility to make sure that an instance is provisioned which meets the requirements you specify from the RightScale Dashboard (or API).

Default Fields

  • Name - Name of the instance.
  • Resource UID - Resource Unique IDentifier. Each resource (or entity) in the Dashboard has a unique ID tied to it. Whether the ID is numeric or alphanumeric varies depending on the cloud infrastructure. The Resource UID is generated and persistent in the Cloud. The value is initially retrieved from the Cloud, set in the database, and retrieved/displayed in many areas of the Dashboard (tied to the specific cloud resource).
  • Attachable IP - Static, public IP Address which can be assigned to an instance. Attachable IP addresses typically come from a pool offered by the cloud infrastructure, hence assigning or reassigning to a different instance does not have severe lag times normally associated with DNS propagation.
  • State - The state of an instance. Valid states are: pending, booting, running, operational, terminating, terminated, stopping, stopped, decommissioning.
  • Actions - The actions you can run against a specific instance. For example, terminate or SSH into an instance.

Other Fields

  • OS Platform (e.g. Linux/Unix, Windows), Public/Private IP, Public/Private DNS.


  • Launch - Launch an instance. You will be prompted for the following information: Name, Image, Instance Type, Security Group(s), and Datacenter/Zone.
  • Apply - You can apply a Filter by Name, Resource UID or Platform.

For operational instances, the following Actions also apply:

  • SSH Console (Linux/Unix) - Open an SSH terminal into the instance using an SSH client. You can use a local installed SSH client when available (See Settings -> User -> SSH tab).
  • RDP (Windows) - Use Remote Desktop Program (RDP) to access a Windows instance. (IE browser only.)

Clouds > Clouds > Instances

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The Instances Show page reveals detailed information about your instances.


  • SSH Console (Linux/Unix) - Open an SSH terminal into the instance using an SSH client. By default, uses Mindterm's universal client (Java applet). However, you can also use a local installed SSH client when available (See Settings -> User -> SSH tab).
  • RDP (Windows) - Use Remote Desktop Program (RDP) to access a Windows instance. (Note: IE browser only.)
  • Reboot - Reboot the instance. It is generally considered "best practice" to launch new instances (with your ServerTemplate) instead of trying to reboot a troublesome instance. Remember, in the cloud you always want to "roll forward" instead of wasting time trying to troubleshoot a problematic instance.
  • Terminate - Terminate the instance. Make sure that instances are successfully terminated, otherwise you will still incur associated usage costs.
Clouds > Cloud > Instances > Show

Volumes tab

The Volumes tab lists the instance's block level permanent storage configuration settings. Currently attached Volumes for running instances are displayed. Any Volumes or Volume Snapshots that will be used when the instance is rebooted are also listed.

Default Fields

  • Name, Resource UID, Datacenter/Zone, Size, Server
  • Age - Length of time since Volume creation.
  • Status - Status of the Volume. Legal statuses are: pending, available, in-use, terminating and failed.
  • Tags - Machine tags associated with this Volume.
  • Snapshots - Lists the total number of Snapshots that have been taken of the Volume. If no Snapshots have been taken, a "-" is displayed.
  • Last Age - Last time the Volume had a Volume Snapshot taken. The number of days since the last snapshot or approximate number of months is displayed. If no Snapshots have been taken, a "-" is displayed.

Other Fields

  • Volume Types - Lists the Volume Type for clouds that support the capability. If they do not, or the actual Volume does not conform a known Volume Type, "unknown" is displayed.


  • Attach Volume - Attach an existing volume that's currently available. You can only attach a volume that exists in the same Datacenter/Zone as the instance you want to attach it to. You will be prompted for: Volume Name; which instance to attach to (default is the instance you are viewing); Device name for the attached Volume.
  • Create Volume and Attach - Create a new storage Volume and attach it to the running instance. Specify the following: Name; Description; Datacenter/Zone; Snapshot to create Volume from; Device name; Size of new Volume.
  • Create Snapshot - Create a new Volume Snapshot of the Volume.
  • Detach - Detach the listed Volume from the instance.
Clouds > Cloud > Instances > Show > Volumes tab

Audit Entries tab

The Audit Entries tab provides easy access to log file-like entries for all actions that are performed against your instance. Audit Entries are an important troubleshooting resource. Example Audit Entries include when an instance changes state (goes operational, or is being decommissioned, etc.) or when a RightScript or Chef Recipe is run.

Default Fields

  • Timestamp - Time and date stamp when the Audit Entry was logged.
  • Subject - Subject of the Audit Entry.
  • User - RightScale User the action is attributed to.
  • Summary - Basic text that summarizes the Audit Entry. A short Summary is displayed. If you click on the short Summary a longer Summary is displayed. The Summary can be tied to several things, such as a state transition (e.g. an instance goes operational, a volume is attached, etc.) or the execution of a RightScript or Chef Recipe (completed, or an error message, etc.).
Clouds > Cloud > Instances > Show > Audit Entries tab

Alerts tab

The Alerts tab shows all information pertaining to alerts associated with the instance. In addition to the Alert Spec name and who Defined it, the following fields are shown:

  • Condition - The criteria portion of an Alert. The condition and threshold define the trigger for the alert. If the condition and threshold are met, the alert will be raised. For example, if the Server's CPU-idle time is greater than 85% for at least 3 minutes, then trigger an Alert (whereby that Alert may vote to grow a Server Array).
  • Escalation - Name of the Alert Escalation that should be called if all conditions are met and an alert is raised. An Alert Escalation can be one action or a list of several actions.
  • Enabled - Enabled/disabled status of the Alert. For example, if an Alert is enabled (yes) or disabled (no). Disabled Alerts won't trigger an action if an associated condition is met.
  • State - The state of the alert for this instance. A Green sphere indicates the alert is is triggering, a red sphere indicates they are not.


  • New - Create a new alert.
  • Copy alert - Copy an existing alert associated with one of the following sources: Default RightScale alerts; Server; Private ServerTemplate; Imported ServerTemplate.
  • Enable All - Activates (turns-on) all alert specifications and escalations.
  • All 1hr off - Temporarily deactivates (turns-off) all alert specifications and escalations for 1 hour.
  • All 24hr off - Temporarily deactivates (turns-off) all alert specifications and escalations for 24 hours.
  • Disable All - Permanently deactivates (turns-off) all alert specifications and escalations.
Clouds > Cloud > Instances > Show > Alerts tab

Info tab

The Info tab is grouped into the following areas:

  • Status - Status information such as the instance state, IP address information, and who launched the instance (a RightScale username/email address, not a RightScale account).
  • Info - Both generic and cloud specific data is displayed in the Info section. The data displayed here is fetched from the database, but could have originated and been set by RightScale directly (e.g. a Name or Tag) or from the cloud (e.g. a Resource UID or CPU Speed). Note that many are actionable links.
  • Cloud Info - This section is specific to the cloud infrastructure the instance is running on. RightScale reports this on behalf of the cloud, but you cannot manipulate this data from the Dashboard (Please see your cloud provider documentation for more information. Note: The exact name of this info grouping differs, in that "Cloud" in the Cloud Info reflects the actual name of the cloud).
  • Timestamps - Critical instance timestamps (in the local TZ) are shown, such as Created, Booted and Updated at times.
Clouds >??Cloud > Instances > Show > Info tab

Port Forwarding Rules tab

The Port Forwarding Rules tab displays the current port forwarding rules in effect for the instance. Port forwarding is used to enable communications between external hosts and services offered within a VLAN (virtual local area network) in a private cloud. As a common use case, you could use port forwarding rules to enable external hosts to access SSH or HTTP services on a specific instance and port in your VLAN. Port forwarding is often known as port mapping, because a request on a public port gets mapped to a private port number. The port can be the same on both sides, or mapped from any open external port to any open internal port. Unlike port forwarding in traditional computing, in virtual environments (such as cloud infrastructures that support port forwarding capabilities) you can have multi-tenant IP addressing. That is, a virtual instance in the cloud could support more than one IP address. This offers a lot of flexibility on how to forward network traffic for a given IP:Port combination, and is also why both an IP address and Instance name are required when configuring port forwarding rules.

Default Fields

  • Resource UID, Actions
  • Instance - The running instance to forward the network traffic to. Because the instance and IP address are rather loosely coupled (e.g. not always 1:1) for clouds with port forwarding capabilities, you must specify both the instance and IP Address to forward traffic to.
  • IP Address - Specify the public IP address for the instance to forward traffic to. The instance might have only one IP address, but it could be more than one. Hence, you must specify the IP too.
  • Public Port - Incoming network traffic on this public port will get forwarded (to the IP:Private Port of the specified Instance).
  • Private Port - Incoming network traffic will get forwarded to this port number on the specified Instance.
  • Protocol - Type of network traffic that gets forwarded. Specify UDP or TCP traffic.


  • New - Create a new port forwarding rule.
  • Delete - Delete an existing port forwarding rule.
Clouds > Cloud > Instances > Show > Port Forwarding Rules tab

Monitoring tab

The Monitoring tab displays real-time graphical data for instances that have monitoring enabled (for example, instances that have collectd configured for the instance where the OS Platform is Linux/Unix). View CPU, disk, network, memory and OS specific data in a real-time graphical format.

Clouds > Cloud > Instances > Show > Monitoring tab
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Last modified
13:43, 10 Jul 2014


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