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Home > Release Notes > RightScale Cloud Management Platform > 2009-12-17


Release Date:  December 17, 2009

General Release Information

Release Date:  December 17, 2009

Release Time:  9:00pm Pacific

Description:  The focus of this release is:

  • Support for AWS US West
  • Support for big memory EC2 instances
  • Server Login Control
  • Rackspace RightImages, Alerts, and Server Arrays

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

Contact Information:


  • 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.  Only eligible for limited technical support. Service Level Response times are not applicable to Alpha software.
  • 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.

Support for Amazon's new region - EC2 Northern California

On December 3, 2009 Amazon launched the northern California region (AWS US-West).  The new region supports similar functionality as the US-East and EU regions.  RightScale offeres full support of the new US-West region.  This is most noticable within the Dashboard from the second row of the horizontal navigation menu and the "Select Cloud" drop down menu, both of which now include "AWS US-West" in the list.  Once selected, AWS US-West also shows up in the  "Clouds" column of various tables within the display.   Currently there are two availability zones:  us-west-1a and us-west-1b.  For those with data centers in the northern California area using EC2 US West could shrink latencies.  Look here for additional information with respect to the AWS announcement or check out our blog post: Amazon EC2 – A New Chapter Begins (or-7072)

When creating or displaying S3 Buckets you will also notice a "Location" field to accomodate the new region.

See EC2 Regions.

Server Array and Alert Support in Rackspace (alpha)

Server Arrays and Alerts are now supported in the Rackspace cloud.  To learn more see Alerts, Alert Escalations and Server Arrays.

New AWS Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) Features

The RightScale Dashboard support has been improved, and now supports the following features:

  • Server Arrays
  • VPN connection "show" page (Clouds -> AWS region -> VPCs -> Gateways Tab -> VPN_Name) includes enhanced configuration information including:
    • Cisco IOS
    • Juniper OS
    • Generic
    • XML
  • Set Default Subnet for Deployment (public, VPC subnet)


New Enterprise Features

Several new features have been added to the Enterprise accounts (Settings -> Enterprise)

  • Ability to export data usage estimates to CSV format.  For each account the rate, description, usage totals and estimated cost is exported.  See Settings -> Enterprise -> Download action button.  See Download a Enterprise Usage Report for more information.
  • A Sharing Groups column now displays a list of Sharing Groups for each account
  • A single invitation can now apply to multiple accounts.  See Settings -> Enterprise -> Invitations tab, send invitations action button.  Notice the Select Account drop down allows you to select multiple accounts now. A single user's email address will receive the invitation for all selected accounts.  Note this is slightly different than regular accounts, where although you may own multiple accounts, each account is an individual entity.  For the Enterprise, you can manage a group of accounts, so you may want to invite a user to a set of accounts you manage.
  • The language in the Legend for the Enterprise Usage Report has been updated to make the meaning of each figure in the report more clear

you can think it as that you can manage a group of accounts, so you will want to invite an user to a small set of accounts you have. As for regular accounts, even though you may own multiple accounts, each account you own is an individual entity.  (bl-7022)

New API and Macro Support for US-West and EU Regions

Support for AWS US West and EC2 EU regions has been added to both the RightScale API and Macros.  The API now uses a cloud identifier ('cloud id') that you must specify when launching servers.  (1 = us-east; 2 = eu; 3 = us-west).  If left unspecified, it will default to the 'us-east' region.  The 'cloud_id' is a mandatory parameter when creating the following cloud resources: EBS Snapshots and Volumes, Elastic IPs, Security Groups, and SSH Keys.  See Servers. (gr-7356)

Download CSV of External References

You can now download valuable Input information tied to any of your Deployments.  Simply navigate to Manage -> Deployments -> DeploymentName -> Inputs tab and select the "Download CSV of External References" action button.  A CSV file is saved on your local hard disk with the following information:

Input Name, Server Name, Server ID, RightScript or Chef Recipe (and version), Phase (boot/operational/decommision), Input value and its Source. 

See Download CSV to External References to learn more.  

Server Login Control

Previously, SSH access was granted on a per account basis where users of a RightScale account would be able to use the same cloud SSH keys to log into instances.   Now, users can use their own SSH Key Pair to SSH into instances.   The new Server Login Control feature provides per-user SSH access control based upon a new user role and a private SSH Key Pair that either you can manage yourself or RightScale can manage for you.

This release introduces a new user role called 'server_login' which gives a user the privilege of logging into any servers in the RightScale account.  Previously, the 'ec2_actor' role included the permission to SSH into servers.  There is no change for existing users because anyone who previously had 'ec2_actor' role privileges will automatically be granted 'server_login' privileges.  But, now an 'admin' can grant users the ability to launch a server but not SSH into it.  Conversely, other users might only have 'server_login' privileges so they can SSH into a server for auditing and troubleshooting purposes even though they can't actually launch/terminate a server. (az-4556w)

Note:  Server Login Control is only supported for instances using RightImage v5.1.1 or newer and on accounts with the Server Login Control feature enabled (default). 

To learn more, see FAQ 115 - What is Server Login Control?



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

Events replaces Recent Activity in the Dashboard UI

"Recent Activity" used to be displayed on the left edge within the Dashboard.  It displayed events such as Servers becoming operational or terminated, etc.  However, all entries in the Recent Activities were disjoint with no practical way to correlate related entries.  Recent Activities has been deprecated and replaced with real-time updates of "Events".  The primary benefits of this change are that related Events are grouped together and you now have control over various display options.  The Tools drop down menu provides the following features:

  • Ability to toggle display of specific Event categories by selecting the appropriate icon File:Hidden/Media_Gallery/icon-lifecycle.pngFile:Hidden/Media_Gallery/icon-notification.pngFile:Hidden/Media_Gallery/icon-security.pngFile:Hidden/Media_Gallery/icon-error.png (lifecycle, notification, security and error)  See FAQ 121 - What do the Events icons mean?.
  • Ability to view or filter out Event notifications from your other RightScale Accounts (checkboxes)
  • Specify how many Events per topic you wish to display (1, 3, 10 or All)
  • Mark all events as read (clears them from the display)
  • On a per topic basis you can mark events as "read" or choose to ignore them (so they are not displayed in the future)
  • RightScale Events RSS feed


Change the AWS Access Key ID and Secret Access Key

You can now change the AWS Access Key ID and AWS Secret Access Key from the Dashboard.  (gr-7750)

Minor changes to Clouds menu

The titles of the AWS clouds menu has slightly changed.  Now that there are two EC2 regions in the US, we've slightly changed the menu to be more descriptive.

Locate RightScripts or Chef Recipes within the ServerTemplate MultiCloud Marketplace

After implementing the MultiCloud Marketplace in our last release and mandating that each RightScript be part of a ServerTemplate, it was difficult to locate RightScripts within the MultiCloud Marketplace.  The process has been greatly simplified by adding a "Contents" to the "Filter by" drop down menu.  This option works for RightScale, Private and Shared ServerTemplates.  As an example, if you want to locate what ServerTemplates contain RightScripts or Recipes pertaining to promoting a Server to be database Master, you would:

  • Design -> ServerTemplates -> MultiCloud Marketplace
  • Filter by:  Contents
  • Type in: promote
  • Click Apply action button

This will reveal all ServerTemplates that contain "promote" as part of the RightScript or Recipe name.   The RightScript and/or Recipes are displayed in the "Matching Contents" column.  Each name is prefixed by the content type (RightScript or Recipe).  Selecting any item in the resulting "Matching Contents" column will take you to the "Contents" Tab of that specific MultiCloud Marketplace ServerTemplate (with the same filter still enabled).  Note:  Only the "Name" attribute is searched, not the contents of the RightScript or Recipe.  That is, the "Name" field of a ServerTemplate's Content tab.  (bl-5250w)

Changes while Editing Inputs

There have been several changes that make the process of editing Inputs more intuitive:

  • When you select the "Edit" action button at the Deployment level, the Input values are not "blanked" out.  (Input field values use to disappear from the screen.  They remain displayed now however, and are color coded as mentioned below.)
  • Color coding Inputs - Whether editing at the Server, ServerTemplate or Deployment level, you are presented with a color coded legend and each Input is identified by a color indicating where the Input was defined from.  For example, the following is the legend if you edit Deployment Inputs:

Display Recipes and Repo Paths in MultiCloud Marketplace

The names of a ServerTemplate's Chef Recipes and Repositories are now displayed under the Contents tab when viewing templates in the MultiCloud Marketplace.  (bl-6806)

Deployment's Usage Estimates 

When viewing a deployment, you will now see the usage estimates broken down by cloud under the Servers tab, if applicable.


Bug Fixes

The following bugs have been resolved in this release.

Alert Statistics

A "lag time" is used in several cacluations pertaining to whether or not an Alert should be triggered or not.  In some rare instances this lag time was artificially large, resulting in valid Alerts that would not get processd and triggered.  How we calculate lag times has been fixed and this issue is now resolved.  (or-5232w)

Server drops the Amazon Web Services Virtual Private Cloud (AWS VPC) information

When a Server was launched in a Deployment in your VPC it would drop critical VPC information.  A change was made so that if the VPC subnet is specified in the Server launch process that the subnet information gets passed on to the Cloud.  This guarantees that the Server launches in the VPC as opposed to in the public Cloud.  (or-5261w)

Lock/unlock Instances

Previously you could not lock/unlock bare instances the way you can lock/unlock Servers in the Dashboard.  (Bare instances are instances running in the cloud that were not launched from RightScale Server objects.)  Further, you could not unlock previously locked instances.  You now have this functionality from the RightScale Dashboard.  (See Instances under Manage -> Deployments -> View Dashboard -> Deployments Tab)  (gr-5103w)

run_script API call not backwards compatible

A 'run_script' API method call on Servers threw an exception when provided the 'right-script' as a parameter.  The method was not backwards compatible. The bug has been resolved.  (gr-5172w)

Duplicate Alerts for a ServerTemplate

In some instances, a ServerTemplate could have duplicate Alerts, and adding additional Alerts generated an internal error.  This issue has been resolved.  (gr-5344w)

Tab Jumping Error

A long standing bug that affected only Google Chrome and Apple Safari browser has been resolved.  Essentially, after using the Dashboard for quite some time and selecting any Tab you could get sent to a different tab.  Almost as if the correct desired tab and a random incorrect tab had jumped or been swapped with respect to navigation.  (gr-7344)

Confirmation when stopping all Instances in a Server Array

When attempting to stop all running Instances in an Server Array you are presented with a confirmation dialog window.  The dialog includes the total number of Instances that will be terminated if you continue with the process.  To absolutely guarantee this is exactly what you want to do, you must type in "confirm" before any of the Instances are terminated.  This guarantees that you will not inadvertantly terminate Instances in a Server Array prematurely.  (gr-4782w)

Internal NoMethod error with the Customer Usage Report

Under very specific circumstances you could receive an error when displaying a custom metric in the Customer Usage Report.  The CSV download version of the same report does not produce an error (only when trying to display to the screen.)  The error manifested is:

internal NoMethodError: a notification will be sent to the admin

This error has only been reproduced for ServerTemplates that were published to a private sharing group and later imported by another paid RightScale account.  The report has been fixed.   (bl-5217w)

Copying Inputs from Current/Next Server

If you attempted to copy inputs from the next server to the current running server, it would actually copy the inputs from the current server to the next server. Similarly, if you started a server with no inputs, set the inputs while the server is operational and then click the "copy inputs" button, the inputs would instantly get cleared.  The problems with the "copy inputs" feature under a Server's Inputs tab have been resolved.  The "copy inputs" button has also been removed for previously terminated Servers.   The "copy inputs" feature is only supported between the 'Current' and 'Next' Servers.  (az-5037w; 5038w)

Running an operational Chef Recipe on Rackspace with a missing input generates an "Argument error"

When you attempt to run an operational Chef Recipe on a Rackspace server that contains a missing input that's required, it generates an "Argument error" instead of prompting you to provide a value for the missing input.  (az-5084w)


Unresolved Issues

  • The use of colons (:) is currently not supported in the value of a tag, however they are supported in the name of a tag.  In this example:  rs_backup:lineage=some:value,   'some:value' is not supported.  See Tagging.

Please report issues to:



ServerTemplates, RightScripts and Recipes

New and significant changes for this release with respect to ServerTemplates, RightScripts and Recipes are summarized below.  New and updated ServerTemplates  are typically released approximately 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.

Released Dec 29, 2009

New ServerTemplates

RightScale will be publishing the following new ServerTemplates approximately one week after the current Dashboard release.  The following ServerTemplates are pre-configured to launch instances into any AWS region.  New features and bug fixes are listed below each ServerTemplate.

Released Dec 29, 2009

  • MySQL EBS v1
    • Support for m2.2xlarge, and m2.4xlarge instances
    • MySQL binlogs are now automatically rotated every 15 days
    • Optimized tuning parameters in my.cnf files
    • Collectdmon is now used in this (CentOS) ServerTemplate
    • Slow query logs are now enabled in all MySQL configurations  (Bug Fix)
    • Collectd would sometimes fail to report MySQL statistics when initializing a Slave-DB  (Bug Fix)
    • Default RightImage: CentOS_5.2 v4.2.4
    • Other Supported RightImages: CentOS_5.4 v4.4.10, Ubuntu_8.04 v4.3.7
  • MySQL EBS v2 (Beta)
    • Slave init from slave backup. It is now possible to initialize a slave database from a slave EBS snapshot
    • Supports EBS Striping.
    • Support for m2.2xlarge, and m2.4xlarge instances
    • MySQL binlogs are now automatically rotated every 15 days
    • Optimized tuning parameters in my.cnf files
    • Updated Alert Definitions
    • Slow query logs are now enabled in all MySQL configurations (Bug Fix)
    • Collectd would sometimes fail to report MySQL statistics when initializing a Slave-DB  (Bug Fix)
    • Default RightImage: Ubuntu 8.04 v4.3.7
    • Other Supported RightImages: CentOS_5.2 v4.2.4, CentOS_5.4 v4.4.10

The following RightScript-based "Toolbox" ServerTemplates were also released.  Toolbox ServerTemplates are not designed to launch server instances, rather they contain useful RightScripts that can be added to existing ServerTemplates to perform specific actions.

  • EBS Toolbox v2 (Beta)
  • MySQL EBS Toolbox v2 (Beta)


Released Jan 8, 2010

  • PHP FrontEnd v9 (CentOS)
  • PHP FrontEnd v9 (Ubuntu)
  • PHP App v9 (CentOS)
  • PHP App v9 (Ubuntu)
  • Rails FrontEnd v9 (CentOS)
  • Rails FrontEnd v9 (Ubuntu)
  • Rails App v9


In the ServerTemplates above, the following issues were addressed:

  • Compressed rewite rule breaks
  • Reduce HAProxy plugin load
  • Better race condition code for HAProxy connect/disconnect backend
  • Apache modules are not installed properly for Ubuntu images
  • "WEB apache FrontEnd https vhost v2 [Rev 4]" breaks the application path for "PHP FrontEnd v7"
  • "WEB apache FrontEnd https vhost v2 [Rev 4]" defines incorrect variable(apache_name) on Centos
  • "RightScript WEB apache FrontEnd https vhost v2" has an misleading description
  • Mongrel installation script is not properly configuring start/stop links in init runlevels
  • Front End HAProxy ServerTemplates do not rotate the /var/log/httpd/haproxy.log
  • Ubuntu Apache access_log doesn't get rotated


Alerts were added to new versions of our premium Chef ServerTemplates (Alpha) listed below:

  • PHP FrontEnd (Ubuntu) (Chef Alpha)
  • PHP App Server (Ubuntu) (Chef Alpha)
  • Rails-Passenger FrontEnd (Ubuntu) (Chef Alpha)
  • Rails-Passenger App Server (Ubuntu) (Chef Alpha)


The following Chef "All-In-One" ServerTemplates support the new CentOS 5.4 RightLink image:

  • PHP All-In-One Demo (Chef Alpha) - New ServerTemplate
  • Rails All-In-One Demo (Chef Alpha)
  • Rails All-In-One Developer (Chef Alpha)


New RightLink enabled RightImages (Alpha)

The following new RightLink enabled RightImages are now publicly available in the AWS EU, US-East & US-West clouds:

  • RightImage Ubuntu_8.04_i386_v5.1.1_Alpha
  • RightImage Ubuntu_8.04_x64_v5.1.1_Alpha
  • RightImage CentOS_5.4_i386_v5.1.1_Alpha
  • RightImage CentOS_5.4_x64_v5.1.1_Alpha



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