Home > Release Notes > RightScale Cloud Management Platform > 2009-09-15

2009-09-15

Table of Contents
  1. 1. Table of Contents
  2. 2. General Release Information
  3. 3. New Features
      1. 3.1.1. User Interface Enhancements
      2. 3.1.2. Support for Chef Cookbooks and Recipes (ALPHA)
      3. 3.1.3. Amazon Reserved Instances
      4. 3.1.4. Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (BETA)
      5. 3.1.5. Rackspace ServerTemplates (ALPHA)
      6. 3.1.6. Copy inputs between current/next servers
      7. 3.1.7. API Feature Enhancements
          1. 3.1.7.1.1. New API Call for retrieving raw sketchy (monitoring data)
          2. 3.1.7.1.2. New API Call for listing server array instances
          3. 3.1.7.1.3. Improvements in ebs_volume attachments
  4. 4. Changes
      1. 4.1.1. Improvements to Tables
      2. 4.1.2. Create audit entries when enabling/disabling alerts
      3. 4.1.3. Separate server array resize up/down values
      4. 4.1.4. Changes to server array resizing
      5. 4.1.5. 'Terminate All' option available for server arrays
      6. 4.1.6. Optimized load time for deployments
  5. 5. Bug Fixes
      1. 5.1.1. Administrator cannot remove 'admin' role
      2. 5.1.2. Search RightScripts Internal Error
      3. 5.1.3. Missing information in e-mail alert notifications
      4. 5.1.4. Invitations to non-admin users fails
      5. 5.1.5. Windows Image bundling error
      6. 5.1.6. Edit Deployment - NoMethodError
      7. 5.1.7. Eucalyptus - Cloud Registration Failures
      8. 5.1.8. Alerts tab is displayed for users without access
      9. 5.1.9. Switching between the Classic and Beta layouts re-opens SSH window
      10. 5.1.10. A locked server array instance gives 'internal error' message
      11. 5.1.11. A server array's Min and Max Count values cannot be equal
      12. 5.1.12. Flash messages are now html escaped for security purposes
      13. 5.1.13. Locked server array instances can still be terminated
      14. 5.1.14. List of Alerts is empty when using the 'copy as' feature
      15. 5.1.15. Internal Errors from the Dashboard's Deployments tab view
      16. 5.1.16. Unable to delete an unused RightScript
      17. 5.1.17. Check server state before attempting a relaunch
      18. 5.1.18. Performance Improvements
  6. 6. Unresolved Issues
  7. 7. ServerTemplates and RightScripts
      1. 7.1.1. New ServerTemplates
      2. 7.1.2. MySQL EBS v2 (ALPHA)
  8. 8. Copyright and Legal Notice

Table of Contents

  1. 1. Table of Contents
  2. 2. General Release Information
  3. 3. New Features
      1. 3.1.1. User Interface Enhancements
      2. 3.1.2. Support for Chef Cookbooks and Recipes (ALPHA)
      3. 3.1.3. Amazon Reserved Instances
      4. 3.1.4. Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (BETA)
      5. 3.1.5. Rackspace ServerTemplates (ALPHA)
      6. 3.1.6. Copy inputs between current/next servers
      7. 3.1.7. API Feature Enhancements
          1. 3.1.7.1.1. New API Call for retrieving raw sketchy (monitoring data)
          2. 3.1.7.1.2. New API Call for listing server array instances
          3. 3.1.7.1.3. Improvements in ebs_volume attachments
  4. 4. Changes
      1. 4.1.1. Improvements to Tables
      2. 4.1.2. Create audit entries when enabling/disabling alerts
      3. 4.1.3. Separate server array resize up/down values
      4. 4.1.4. Changes to server array resizing
      5. 4.1.5. 'Terminate All' option available for server arrays
      6. 4.1.6. Optimized load time for deployments
  5. 5. Bug Fixes
      1. 5.1.1. Administrator cannot remove 'admin' role
      2. 5.1.2. Search RightScripts Internal Error
      3. 5.1.3. Missing information in e-mail alert notifications
      4. 5.1.4. Invitations to non-admin users fails
      5. 5.1.5. Windows Image bundling error
      6. 5.1.6. Edit Deployment - NoMethodError
      7. 5.1.7. Eucalyptus - Cloud Registration Failures
      8. 5.1.8. Alerts tab is displayed for users without access
      9. 5.1.9. Switching between the Classic and Beta layouts re-opens SSH window
      10. 5.1.10. A locked server array instance gives 'internal error' message
      11. 5.1.11. A server array's Min and Max Count values cannot be equal
      12. 5.1.12. Flash messages are now html escaped for security purposes
      13. 5.1.13. Locked server array instances can still be terminated
      14. 5.1.14. List of Alerts is empty when using the 'copy as' feature
      15. 5.1.15. Internal Errors from the Dashboard's Deployments tab view
      16. 5.1.16. Unable to delete an unused RightScript
      17. 5.1.17. Check server state before attempting a relaunch
      18. 5.1.18. Performance Improvements
  6. 6. Unresolved Issues
  7. 7. ServerTemplates and RightScripts
      1. 7.1.1. New ServerTemplates
      2. 7.1.2. MySQL EBS v2 (ALPHA)
  8. 8. Copyright and Legal Notice

 

Note: ServerTemplates and RightScripts are typically released 3-7 days after the new release of the RightScale Cloud Management Platform. Thanks for your patience!


General Release Information

Release Date:  September 15, 2009

Release Time:  9:00pm PDT

Description:  The focus of this release is:

  • Alpha support for Chef Cookbooks and Recipes
  • Alpha support for the Rackspace cloud
  • Support for Amazon Reserved Instances
  • Beta support for Amazon Virtual Private Clouds (VPC)
  • UI improvements - Tagging, Repos tab, Reserved Instances, and Tab-sensitive Help.  Classic layout has been deprecated.
  • Minor API improvements

Please read the release notes in their entirety for a more exhaustive understanding of what comprises this release.

Contact Information:

Terminology:

  • alpha - Feature that has undergone simple testing and is expected to change, possibly significantly, before going into "beta" or "general release."  Recommended for early access to new features and prototyping of new deployments/architectures.
  • beta - Feature that has undergone significant testing and is not expected to significantly change before "general release."  Recommended for non-production deployments.
  • general release - Feature that has undergone testing and field experience or is a minor upgrade from prior releases.  Recommended for production upgrade after testing.  (Also known as general availability (GA).)

 

Note:  Any numbers in parentheses below are for internal RightScale use only.  Please ignore them, they are simply tracking numbers. 

 


New Features

- Disclaimer -

recently_intro_icon.gifThe following new features have been added to the RightScale Cloud Management Platform.  Be sure to read the documentation, follow best practice principles, and thoroughly test any new functionality before making any changes to your production deployment.
 

User Interface Enhancements

  • Tagging - You now have the ability to create custom tags for Servers and Images. EBS Snapshots are also automatically tagged. Use tags to filter and search through items.  See Tagging.
  • Tab-sensitive Help - Previously, the Help text that was displayed was not tab-sensitive.  The same help text was shown regardless of which tab was being viewed.   Since many sections have multiple tabs, we simply didn't have enough space to provide the level of detailed help information that was necessary in most cases. The amount of help text that was displayed was was kept to a minimum.   Now that our help text is tab-sensitive, we're able to provide more helpful information for each section and tab.
  • RepoPaths - (Design -> RepoPaths)  Create links to the repository paths of your Chef cookbooks.  Later you can add recipes from those Chef cookbooks to ServerTemplates.
  • Repos tab - When viewing a ServerTemplate, the RepoPaths tab lists all of the available Chef Cookbook Repositories.  Each repository can specify multiple repository paths.
  • New Dashboard Layout - Afer making further improvements to the Beta layout, it's now ready to be officially released.  We hope you enjoy the new interface and find it more user-friendly than our previous layout.  The Classic layout has been deprecated. 
  • Adjustable Column Widths - The column widths of many index tables are now adjustable.  Simply drag and drop to adjust widths.  The table has a variable 100% fixed width.

Support for Chef Cookbooks and Recipes (ALPHA)

You now have the ability to use Chef cookbooks in your ServerTemplates.  Simply create a link to public or private Chef repositories.  Then you can add Chef recipes as boot, operational, or decommission scripts, just like how you would add normal RightScripts.   This will be our first release supporting Chef, so there is limited functionality at this time.  Currently, you cannot perform a diff on cookbooks/recipes.  You will not receive an orange ball icon next to a recipe if it has been changed.  Repositories are fetched roughly every 10 minutes.  You can also use the Refetch action button for on-demand pulls.   Supporting documentation is a work in progress.  It is currently posted here.  

Amazon Reserved Instances

Amazon Reserved Instances are now supported. To purchase a reserved instance you must be an 'admin' user.  Sub-account users cannot purchase reserved instances.  Once you purchase a reserved instance, Amazon will need to process the request before you will be able to see the reserved instance listed.

Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (BETA)

In late August Amazon launched support for its Viritual Private Cloud (VPC) to help bridge the gap between existing IT infrastructures and its public cloud.  (Note: The August release is considered beta from AWS.)  The RightScale Dashboard UI supports VPC for Enterprise accounts.  Please click here for a summary of features on VPC.  Only an 'admin' user can create a VPC.  You can only create one VPC per RightScale account.  For Sales related information, please contact sales@rightscale.com.  We will  be posting supporting documentation from a Dashboard perspective in our Support Portal shortly.  (Search on "virtual private cloud" for precise documents.)  See Virtual Private Cloud (VPC).

Rackspace ServerTemplates (ALPHA)

Several enhancements have been made to the support of the Rackspace Cloud.  Our support of Rackspace is still 'Alpha' and is not production ready.  See Rackspace for details about current RightScale support.  (or-5569a)

Supported Features

  • Register a Rackspace cloud account with valid credentials (See Add Rackspace Cloud Credentials to a RightScale Account)
  • Manage Instances, Images, Instance Types (Only use Ubuntu images.)
  • Add Rackspace as a cloud to ServerTemplates
  • Set inputs for Chef recipes
  • Set inputs for RightScripts (Define inputs using the 'text' input type only.)
  • Add a Rackspace server to any deployment
  • Launch servers as part of a deployment
  • SSH into servers via SSH Console button (Mindterm)
  • View progression of a server's state (pending-running-booting-operational-shutting down)
  • Run operational scripts for which all inputs are specified
  • Instances can be launched and terminated
  • Root passwords are displayed for launched instances, allowing SSH access into those instances


Unsupported Features

  • Change script inputs after a server launch.
  • Run scripts that address Amazon-specific resources (EBS Volumes/Snapshot, Elastic IPs, etc.)
  • Run scripts that have Amazon-specific inputs (SSH keys, Env variables, etc.)
  • Monitoring and Alerts

See Add Rackspace Cloud Credentials to RightScale and Create a Rackspace ServerTemplate for more information.

Copy inputs between current/next servers

You now have the ability to copy input parameters between current and next servers.  For example, if you change an input parameter to the current (operational) server, but you want to make sure that if that server is ever relaunched, that the modified input parameter will be preserved, you can now click the 'copy inputs' button and select which input parameters you want to copy over.  Note the "copy Inputs" works both directions between current and next servers.  (gr-4195w)

API Feature Enhancements

New API Call for retrieving raw sketchy (monitoring data)

A new RightScale API call has been added to retrieve raw sketchy (monitoring) data.  (gr-2819w)

URL: GET /api/acct/1/servers/000/get_sketchy_data

 See the RightScale API Reference section, Servers for more information.

New API Call for listing server array instances

A new RightScale API call has been added to list all non-terminated instances in a server array.  (gr-4314w)

URL: GET /api/acct/1/server_arrays/000/instances

 See the RightScale API Reference section, Server Arrays for more information.

Improvements in ebs_volume attachments

The following Improvements have been made for ebs_volume attachments:

  • A new Server API call, attach_volume, has been introduced. This call allows a volume to be attached to a running server:
    • Volume and the device to be mounted on are parameters to this call.    
    • Volume attachment is temporary and will not be sticky across server launches. For sticky attachments of volumes on server launches, see the EC2 EBS Volumes Create API call.
       
  • Fixed the EC2 EBS Volumes Create API call to correctly conform to REST semantics:
    • The call will now only succeed when the "mount=boot" parameter is passed. This will continue creating and returning the href of the resulting "component_ec2_ebs_volume" in the same way.
    • The call without mount=boot option is deprecated in lieu of a new Server API call (attach_volume) and will fail with the appropriate error text.

 


Changes

Changes to the software are listed here.  Changes usually refer to enhancements to existing features, minor UI changes, additional logging or messaging, etc.

Improvements to Tables

The following improvements have been made to the table views within the Dashboard.

  • Resize the widths of columns. (gr-4211w)
  • All columns are now sortable.  Select a column by clicking the column name so that the sort arrow appears on the right side.  Click the name link again to reverse the sorting order.  (gr-4057w)
  • When performing a filter on RightScripts, ServerTemplates, Snapshots, etc., instead of rerouting you to the main index page after you delete an object, you will now be returned to the filtered view of objects.  You no longer have to re-apply the filter. (gr-4152w)
  • New columns have been added to the Deployments -> Servers tab.  Instance ID, SSH Key, Security Groups, Instance Type, Public IP, and Private IP.  Choose which columns you would like to be displayed, or use the show defaults option. 
  • Previously, the 'Subject' column of the Audit Entries index page (Report -> Audit Entries) displayed a server's AWS-id and the items were not alphabetically sorted correctly.  The 'Subject' column now displays the server name and is sorted correctly.  (gr-4045w)
  • You can now sort Elastic IPs by Nickname and Address.  (gr-4361w)
  • When attaching an EBS Volume to a Server, you now use a 3-column selector to select the server instead of a dropdown menu. (gr-4361w)
  • When viewing the Deployment's index page that has at least one server array attached, you will now see the states of all instances in the array.  (pending, operational, stranded, terminating, other)  Previously, some instances were not listed because they were stuck in a booting ("other") state.  All possible instance states are now accounted for and numeric links will denote how many instances in the array are currently in a specific state.  (gr-4361w)

Create audit entries when enabling/disabling alerts

If an instance exists, an audit entry will be created if any alerts are enabled or disabled. (gr-4281w)

Separate server array resize up/down values

Previously, each array had a single 'resize by' value that was used for scaling up and scaling down.  However, there may be situations where you want to scale up and scale down at different rates.  Server arrays now have separate resize values: Resize Up by, Resize Down by.  For existing server arrays, the same value will be used for both resize actions. (gr-4221w)

Changes to server array resizing

In order to provide a more accurate resizing of an array, we've changed how server arrays evaluate an "active" instance.  Previously, instances that were not fully operational were considered as active instances even though they were not serviceable instances.  Now, in order for instances to be considered 'active' they must have the following attributes: not terminated, stranded, or shutting down, and have been booting for < 3 times the 'resize_calm_time' value. (The resize calm time is the amount of time the array waits to act after a triggered action.)  For instance, if there is a problem with the booting process and an instance gets stuck in a booting state and doesn't become operational, the server array will no longer view that instance as an 'active' instance.  Therefore, if a user's calm time is set to 5 minutes (default), and the instance has been booting for three times as long (3 x 5min = 15min), then another instance will be launched.  Similarly, if the 'max_count' of the array is 4 and you have 4 instances booting, the array will not launch more instances.   The logic for calculating the 'max_count' has not been changed. You can have only {max_count} active instances (terminated_at = null, shutdown_at = null).  If the 'max_count' of an array is 4 and 4 instances are booting, no more instances will be launched. (gr-4221w)

'Terminate All' option available for server arrays

You now have the ability to terminate all instances in an array.  Previously, you had to manually select which instances you wanted to terminate.  (gr-4222w)

Optimized load time for deployments

Previously, we would load data for all deployments even if there were no active servers in either the deployment or its server array.  To optimize the load times of the listed deployments (Dashboard -> Deployments tab) we only load data for the deployments that have active servers or server array instances.  The data for collapsed deployments that don't contain any active servers will be loaded on-demand.   (gr-4270w)

 

 


Bug Fixes

The following bugs have been resolved in this release.

Administrator cannot remove 'admin' role

A bug was briefly introduced whereby the account administrator could not revoke the admin role from account memberships that had the "admin" privilege.  (Settings -> Account -> Permissions tab)  When the Edit action button was selected, the admin role remained grayed out (unselectable).  Note:  If you revoke the admin role from an account, that account gets added to the total number accounts that are non-admin.  There is a limit of non-admin role accounts.  The limit varies depending on the type of account.  (e.g. developer, premium, ...)  (bl-4216w)

Search RightScripts Internal Error

Some attempts to search RightScripts resulted in an Internal Error.  Specifically, when searching for a text pattern in non-private RightScripts. (Design -> RightScripts -> Search action button with Private, Shared or RightScripts check boxes selected.)  (bl-4129w)

Missing information in e-mail alert notifications

The e-mails from the Alert subsystem (alerter@my.rightscale.com) had some helpful information omitted.  Specifically, the Server and description of the alert condition were not included in the Subject line.  For example, the following helpful informaiton is back in the subject line:

"cpu-0/cpu-idle.value is 82.17"

This type of subject line information along with additional details in the message body have been added back into the e-mail notificaiton.  (bl-4138w)

Invitations to non-admin users fails

Each RightScale account can have a maximum of 5 admin users.  Previously, if an account had more than 5 users, but less than 5 admin users, you were unable to successfully send account invitations because the logic check was incorrectly calculating how many non-admin users exist.  This problem was fixed. (4190w)  

Windows Image bundling error

When attempting to bundle a Windows AWS EC2 image, the following error message would be displayed (partial audit entry excerpt):

...Bundling an image from i-3c888248 failed: Validation failed: Multi cloud identifier can't be blank

The multi cloud identifier was not set, hence inserting the record into the database failed and produced this error.  This issue has been resolved.  (or-3172w)

Edit Deployment - NoMethodError

When showing any Deployment (Manage -> Deployments -> <DeploymentName>), upon selecting the Edit action button the following error would be displayed in the Dashboard:

Internal NoMethodError: a notification will be sent to the admin.

this prohibited the editing of Deployments and the resolution was promptly implemented and pushed live in production.  (or-4186w)

Eucalyptus - Cloud Registration Failures

When registering your own private Eucalyptus Cloud with RightScale, in some rare instances the following flash error message could have been displayed in the Dashboard:

error: undefined local variable or method 'callback_url for Biz:Cloud:LocalGatewayProxySurrogate:Class'

The error stemmed from an improper URL being constructed.  Similarly, the mishandling of temporary session data could result in a generic "Internal error" message.  These issues have been resolved, and you should be able to successfully register your Eucalyptus cloud.  (or-4217w, or-4198w)

Alerts tab is displayed for users without access

Previously, users who did not have support for alerts still saw the Alerts tab. The Alerts tab is now hidden from such users.  (gr-4127w)

Switching between the Classic and Beta layouts re-opens SSH window

Previously, if you clicked the SSH button, closed the SSH window, and then switched the Dashboard layout from Classic to Beta, the SSH window would re-open.  This issue has been resolved.   (gr-4148w)

A locked server array instance gives 'internal error' message

Previously, if you locked an instance in your server array and then clicked the Scripts tab, you would received an internal error message because the instance did not have the @component or @server variables. This issue has been resolved.   (gr-4297w)

A server array's Min and Max Count values cannot be equal

When configuring a server array, the 'Default min count' field had to be less than the 'Default max count' value.  However, if you want to set up time-based scaling, you might want these values to be equal to prevent any undesired scaling.  You can now use the same value for both the default min and max count values on server arrays.  (gr-4140w)

Flash messages are now html escaped for security purposes

In order to have the html evaluated, we wrapped the string in raw(), which allows the flash message to be evaluated as html.  raw() creates a new instance of the new Unsafestr class.  (gr-3331w)

Locked server array instances can still be terminated

Previously, you could still terminate an instance in an array even if it was locked. Locked array instances can no longer be terminated using the terminate button. (gr-4298w) 

List of Alerts is empty when using the 'copy as' feature

When adding an alert from an existing ServerTemplate using the 'Copy As' button under the Alerts tab, the second panel in the selection process doesn't show any alerts, even if there are some available.   The Alert list is now populated correctly.  (gr-4218w) 

Internal Errors from the Dashboard's Deployments tab view

Under certain accounts, if you clicked the Deployments view (Dashboard -> Deployments tab), an 'Internal Error' message would appear.  The message would also appear if you attempted to sort the State column.  This issue has been resolved.  (gr-4219w)

Unable to delete an unused RightScript

You should be able to delete a RightScript that's currently not being used by any ServerTemplates in your account.  However, if the RightScript was referenced by a previously deleted ServerTemplate, you could not delete it.  The cross-reference checks for deleting a RightScript have been modified so that you can now successfully delete any unused RightScripts.    (gr-4233w)

Check server state before attempting a relaunch

When attempting a relaunch, a check was not performed to check the state of the server.  This issue has been resolved.  Before attempting a relaunch, a check will be made to make sure that the server is operational.  If a server is not operational, you will receive an invalid action error message.  (gr-4238w)

Performance Improvements

Performance improvements have been made to many of the Dashboard tabs, including deployments and alerts.

 


Unresolved Issues

There are no known unresolved issues.

Please report issues to:  support@rightscale.com

 


ServerTemplates and RightScripts

New and significant changes for this release with respect to ServerTemplates and RightScripts are summarized below.  New and updated ServerTemplates and RightScripts are typically released 3-7 days after the new release of the RightScale Cloud Management Platform.  Updated status messages with respect to actual release date/time of the ServerTemplates and RightScripts will be found here within this document.

ServerTemplates and RightScripts are typically released 3-7 days after the new release of the RightScale Cloud Management Platform. Thanks for your patience!

New ServerTemplates

Warning! - RightScale ServerTemplates are published with frozen repositories and are associated with a particular RightImage.  There is no guarantee that newer RightImages (RightImages CentOS v4.1.15 and 4.1.20 for both the US and EU regions and 32- and 64-bit versions) will work correctly using older versions of software packages in the frozen repositories.  To ensure that an older ServerTemplate works with one of the newer RightImages, you will need to clone the template and refreeze the software repositories to a more recent date where the RightImage and the repositories are compatible.  Always check to make sure that a server will boot correctly.

MySQL EBS v2 (ALPHA)

MySQL EBS v2 (CentOS Alpha) and MySQL EBS v2 (Ubuntu Alpha) use EBS striping to increase disk performance.  For additional information, please read the ServerTemplate and associated RightScript Descriptions in the Dashboard.  To learn more about migrating from MySQL EBS to MySQL EBS with striping, please click here.  They are premium ServerTemplates and require a paid RightScale account. 

 


Copyright and Legal Notice

© 2006-2009 RightScale, Inc. All rights reserved.

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