14May/180

New Operating Systems available: Fedora 28 and Ubuntu 18.04

Good news: From now on, we offer you the brand new Fedora 28, it replaces the previous version 27. Furthermore, Ubuntu 18.04 (LTS) is available at Contabo!

Both operating systems can be combined with Software RAID 1 and Webmin. Additionally, Ubuntu 18.04 can also be ordered together with LAMP and Webmin+LAMP. An installation via VNC / SSH is possible for both OS as well.

As an active customer, you can easily install one of these new versions through your customer control panel.

It is especially noteworthy for all of you interested in purchasing our services:
We always offer you a large selection of Linux distributions (as well as Windows Server 2012 and 2016). Just click on "Customize & Order" below your desired (virtual) server model in order to get a detailed overview and select the operating system of your choice!

Please note: You can find further information and a product overview on our website!

Posted by: Markus | Tagged as: , , , , , No Comments
2May/182

Contabo wins German Data Center Award 2018

Last year Contabo was already honored and received the German Data Center Award 2017 for the modernization of its data center in Nuremberg. Now we took part in this year’s contest as well and faced the competition with our modernization measures that have been recently performed at our data center in Munich.

This year’s ceremony was held on April 24th 2018, and the winners of the “Deutscher Rechenzentrumspreis 2018” (German Data Center Award 2018) were honored. Again, and just like last year, an independent jury of data center experts and planners decided which of the 51 submitted data center projects would receive the award. The jury placed particular emphasis on the innovative to visionary character of the data center projects as well as on the energy efficiency which can be achieved in data center operations.

Once again, we have won the first place in category 6 – “Increase in energy efficiency through reconstruction in an existing data center” – this time with our data center located in Munich, and consequently received the German Data Center Award 2018.

This means that both of our data centers have received the German Data Center Award – a huge acknowledgement of all our modernization efforts in recent years and we are very happy about that.

In the course of the energetic optimization of our now award-winning data center in Munich all chillers which had been in use for cooling the data center were replaced by a groundwater cooling system. Now only a few pumps with a low power consumption are sufficient in order to reliably supply the entire data center with cooling – thanks to groundwater which is cool all year long.
Not only you, our valued customers benefit from this measure due to decreasing energy demand and thus rental costs for the server operation: Due to the low power consumption for the data center cooling, the environment is best protected and the groundwater flows back to the soil unchanged.
All this work was carried out without any interruption of the operation of your servers, thanks to extensive planning and project scheduling as well as precautionary activities. We have thousands of servers online in our data center in Munich, and all these actions were performed noiseless.

 

The PUE value (PUE = “Power Usage Effectiveness”) of our data center in Munich could be reduced from 1.4 to less than 1.1 and at the same time, the cooling power was increased. Power capacity which was up to now reserved for peak loads of the chillers in midsummer could be used to accommodate hundreds of new servers in the data center. The electricity requirement for cooling the entire data center is thus negligible for us for the first time – throughout the whole year.

25Apr/180

Review about Contabo at Top10-WebsiteHosting

Great news: The experts at top10-websitehosting have recently published a review about us. They have thoroughly tested our services and we have had the chance to do a Q&A with them.

The authors were especially impressed by our approach to put a special focus on you, our valued customers and to offer you customized solutions regarding the configuration of your server (especially applies to our dedicated servers and colocation offers). Apart from our great price-/performance-ratio, our blog and especially our tutorials section were highlighted in the review. We are really proud about that 🙂

You can read the full review by clicking on the following link:

Top10-websitehosting about Contabo

17Apr/180

New Operating System: FreeBSD 11.1

As of today, we offer you FreeBSD 11.1 as an additional operating system for your VPS and dedicated servers.

You can combine it with the Software RAID 1.

If you are already using our services, you can easily switch to FreeBSD 11.1 through your customer control panel.

One more thing, which is most likely interesting for all potential new customers:

Besides FreeBSD 11.1 we offer you a large selection of the latest Linux distributions as well as Windows Server 2012 and 2016. Just click on "Customize & Order" below your desired virtual or dedicated server model in order to get a detailed overview and select the operating system of your choice!

You can find further information and a product overview on our website!

Posted by: Markus | Tagged as: , , , No Comments
21Mar/180

How to manage your raidcontroller in Windows

Not long ago, we have shown you in a different tutorial how to manage your raidcontroller in Linux. Below you can find the respective guideline for Windows.

Monitoring a RAID array

A hardware RAID has certain advantages, but also a hardware RAID has to be monitored. We always rely on tried and tested hardware to minimize the risk of a hardware failure, but there is always the risk that hardware fails, therefore monitoring the hardware is even more important to guarantee that the server will keep running properly.

In the case of a software RAID, the operating system generates messages about the RAID; with a hardware RAID, the controller does it itself - but you need a special software to read these messages.

This blog entry shows the installation and use of the Adaptec and LSI software on Windows operating systems.
There are also graphical interfaces available for managing raidcontrollers, such as a web interface.

Please contact our support department in case you are not sure which controller was added to your server.

Updating the controller's firmware or the operating system's driver may lead to a complete loss of all data stored on that RAID!

1. Adaptec

1.1 Installation of the arcconf binary

Open the Powershell as Administrator, you will start at the "Administrator" User folder.
Create a new folder and change to that folder, e.g.:

mkdir C:\raid; chdir C:\raid

The binary can be downloaded via Powershell as well, type in the following command:

iwr -URI http://download.adaptec.com/raid/storage_manager/arcconf_v2_03_22476.zip' -OUTFILE arcconf_v2_03_22476.zip; start arcconf_v2_03_22476.zip

(You could also download the binary with your webbrowser from here )

You should see some directories including the "windows_x64" directory, select that directory and copy it to "C:\raid\".

1.2 Monitoring the raidcontroller

Open the Powershell and change the directory using the following command:

chdir C:\raid\windows_x64\cmdline

You should be able to run the executable by using the following command: " .\arcconf.exe getconfig 1" - this will display all information.

You will get all information regarding the 1st controller installed in your system. In case you have installed more than one controller you could display the information of the 2nd controller by typing ".\arcconf.exe GETCONFIG 2".

A list of available options can be displayed by typing ".\arcconf.exe" .
The most important status can be filtered out by typing ".\arcconf.exe GETCONFIG 1 | findstr Status" into the Powershell.

PS C:\raid\windows_x64\cmdline> .\arcconf.exe GETCONFIG 1 | findstr Status
Controller Status : Optimal
Status : ZMM not installed
Status of Logical Device : Optimal

"ZMM not installed" shows that this controller currently has no BBU (battery backup unit) installed, a BBU can be installed at any time as an upgrade.

A "Degraded" status on a LD (Logical Device) indicates that there must be an issue.

PS C:\raid\windows_x64\cmdline> .\arcconf.exe GETCONFIG 1 | findstr Status
Controller Status : Optimal
Status : ZMM not installed
Status of Logical Device : Degraded

To check if there is any failed drive (in this scenario the SSD failed), type in the following command and you will see the "State : Failed" information:

PS C:\raid\windows_x64\cmdline> .\arcconf.exe GETCONFIG 1 PD
Controllers found: 1
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Physical Device information
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Device #0
Device is a Hard drive
State : Failed
Block Size : 512 Bytes
Failed logical device segments : True
Supported : Yes
Transfer Speed : Failed
Reported Channel,Device(T:L) : 0,0(0:0)
Reported Location : Connector 0, Device 0
Vendor :
Model : Crucial_CT275MX3
Firmware : M0CR040
Serial number : 11111111111111
World-wide name : 500A075116639956
Total Size : 262321 MB
Write Cache : Enabled (write-back)
FRU : None
S.M.A.R.T. : No
S.M.A.R.T. warnings : 0
Power State : Full rpm
Supported Power States : Full power,Powered off,Standby
SSD : Yes
Temperature : Not Supported
NCQ status : Enabled

To replace a failed drive just contact us, we will immediately take care of it. To speed up the process you should provide us with the above output. It shows the S/N and the port that drive is attached to. In this case the S/N is "11111111111111" and the attached Port is "0".

As soon as the drive got replaced the rebuild should start automatically:

PS C:\raid\windows_x64\cmdline> .\arcconf.exe GETCONFIG 1 | findstr Status
Controller Status : Optimal
Status : ZMM not installed
Status of Logical Device : Degraded, Rebuilding ( Rebuild : 1 % )

Depending on your RAID setup this will probably take several hours.

1.3 Installing an available webinterface

For Adaptec controllers there is the "MaxView Storage Manager" available, it can be downloaded here: https://storage.microsemi.com/de-de/speed/raid/storage_manager/msm_windows_x64_v2_03_22476_zip.php

The installer is located within the directory called "manager" - that directory will be created when unpacking the downloaded archive.
You can start the installation by starting "setup_asm_x64.EXE" .
Afterwards you should be able to reach the webinterface on https://<SERVERIP>:8443 .

2. LSI

2.1 Installation of the StorCLI binary

Download of the commandline Binary :

iwr -URI 'https://docs.broadcom.com/docs-and-downloads/raid-controllers/raid-controllers-common-files/1.21.16_StorCLI.zip' -OUTFILE StorCLI.zip;explorer.exe .\StorCLI.zip\versionChangeSet\univ_viva_cli_rel\

A Windows Explorer should popup when using the above command. Now copy "storcli_ALL_OS.zip" to the "C:\raid" directory:

 

Now unzip that file.

 

2.2 Monitoring the raidcontroller

Go to your Powershell and type the following command to access the recently unpacked files:

chdir C:\raid\storcli_All_OS\storcli_All_OS\Windows\

You should be able to call "storCLI.exe", there is also a 64Bit binary.

You can display the current status of the raidcontroller by typing:

PS C:\raid\storcli_All_OS\storcli_All_OS\Windows> .\storcli64.exe /c0 show

TOPOLOGY :
========
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
DG Arr Row EID:Slot DID Type  State BT       Size PDC  PI SED DS3  FSpace
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
0 -   -   -        -   RAID1 Optl  N  255.656 GB dflt N  N   dflt N
0 0   -   -        -   RAID1 Optl  N  255.656 GB dflt N  N   dflt N
0 0   0   64:4     12  DRIVE Onln  N  255.656 GB dflt N  N   dflt -
0 0   1   64:5     13  DRIVE Onln  N  255.656 GB dflt N  N   dflt -
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Example for a failed HDD:

TOPOLOGY :
========
----------------------------------------------------------------------
DG Arr Row EID:Slot DID Type  State BT Size PDC  PI SED DS3  FSpace
----------------------------------------------------------------------
0 -   -   -        -   RAID1 Dgrd  N  255 GB dflt N  N   dflt N
0 0   -   -        -   RAID1 Dgrd  N  255 GB dflt N  N   dflt N
0 0   0   -        -   DRIVE Msng  -  255 GB -    -  -   -    -
0 0   1   64:5     13  DRIVE Onln  N  255 GB dflt N  N   dflt -
---------------------------------------------------------------------

 

PS C:\raid\storcli_All_OS\storcli_All_OS\Windows> .\storcli64.exe /c0 /sall show

Controller = 0
Status = Failure
Description = No drive found!
Detailed Status :
===============
----------------------------------------
Drive Status ErrCd ErrMsg
----------------------------------------
/c0/sALL Failure 255 Drives not found
----------------------------------------

To display the current status of the rebuild you can run:

PS C:\raid\storcli_All_OS\storcli_All_OS\Windows> .\storcli64.exe /c0 /eall /sall show rebuild


Controller = 0
Status = Success
Description = Show Drive Rebuild Status Succeeded.
---------------------------------------------------------
Drive-ID Progress% Status Estimated Time Left
---------------------------------------------------------
/c0/e64/s4 0 In progress -
/c0/e64/s5 - Not in progress -
---------------------------------------------------------

2.3 Installation of a graphical interface

You can download the latest MegaRAID Storage Manager using the following link:

https://docs.broadcom.com/docs-and-downloads/raid-controllers/raid-controllers-common-files/16.05.04.00_MSM_Windows.zip

After downloading, unzip all files. You should be able to access the directory, just run the installation wizard.

Usually you will not have any LDAP authentication, in this case you have to unmark the checkbox when running the installer - otherwise you cannot connect to the manager.

A new shortcut will appear on your desktop, now run that shortcut and type in your login credentials. The following MSM interface should show up:

 

 

 

Posted by: Gianni-Donato | Tagged as: , , , , , No Comments
7Mar/180

How to manage your RAID controller in Linux

Please note: This tutorial focusses on Linux OS. Should you be a Windows user instead, please confer our respective tutorial on how to manage your RAID controller in Windows.

Monitoring a RAID array

A hardware RAID has certain advantages, but also a hardware RAID has to be monitored. We always rely on tried and tested hardware to minimize the risk of a hardware failure, but there is always the risk that hardware fails, therefore monitoring the hardware is even more important to guarantee that the server will keep running properly.

In the case of a software RAID, the operating system generates messages about the RAID; with a hardware RAID, the controller does it itself - but you need a special software to read these messages.

This blog entry shows the installation and use of the Adaptec and LSI software on Linux operating systems.
There are also graphical interfaces available for managing raidcontrollers, such as a web interface.

Please contact our support department in case you are not sure which controller was added to your server.

Please note: Updating the controller's firmware or the operating system's driver may lead to a complete loss of all data stored on that RAID!

For this tutorial some additional software is needed, for Ubuntu 17.10 it can be installed using the following command "apt install zip unzip net-tools"

1. Adaptec

An overview of available software for your Adaptec controller can be found here: https://storage.microsemi.com/en-us/support/series6/index.php

1.1 Installation of the arcconf binary

Installing the binary with the Linux commandline is very easy, you can manage the controller using that binary afterwards.

A download link for the latest available binary can be found on the above mentioned website by clicking on the "Storage Manager Downloads" link.
The "arcconf" binary can be used for various Adaptec products, usually there is no need for additional software.
In this tutorial we are going to download the following binary: https://storage.microsemi.com/en-us/speed/raid/storage_manager/arcconf_v2_03_22476_zip.php

On your commandline just type:

wget http://download.adaptec.com/raid/storage_manager/arcconf_v2_03_22476.zip && unzip arcconf_v2_03_22476.zip

Now move the binary to your binary folder and make it executable:

mv linux_x64/cmdline/arcconf /usr/sbin/ && chmod +x /usr/sbin/arcconf

The "arcconf" command should be available now.

root@contabo:~# arcconf
Controllers found: 1
| UCLI | Adaptec by PMC uniform command line interface
| UCLI | Version 2.03 (B22476)
| UCLI | (C) Adaptec by PMCS 2003-2016
| UCLI | All Rights Reserved

1.2 Monitoring the raidcontroller

Usually the RAID should have an "OPTIMAL" value, in case one HDD fails the controller will start to send an audible alarm signal. That signal will be recognized by our technicians working in the datacenter, in this case we will contact you and inform you about a possible hardware failure.

With the parameter "arcconf GETCONFIG 1" you will get all information regarding the 1st controller installed to your system. In case you have installed more than one controller you could display the information of the 2nd controller by typing "arcconf GETCONFIG 2".

A list of available options can be displayed by typing "arcconf getconfig".

The most important status can be filtered out by typing "arcconf getconfig 1 | grep Status" into the commandline.

root@contabo:~# arcconf getconfig 1 | grep Status
Controller Status : Optimal
Status : ZMM not installed
Status of Logical Device : Optimal

"ZMM not installed" shows that this controller currently has no BBU (batterie backup unit) installed, a BBU can be installed at any time as an upgrade.

A "Degraded" status on a LD (Logical Device) indicates that there must be an issue.

root@contabo:~# arcconf getconfig 1 | grep Status
Controller Status : Optimal
Status : ZMM not installed
Status of Logical Device : Degraded

To check if there is any failed drive (in this scenario the SSD failed), type in the following command and you will see the "State : Failed" information:

root@contabo:~# arcconf getconfig 1 PD
Controllers found: 1
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Physical Device information
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Device #0
Device is a Hard drive
State : Failed
Block Size : 512 Bytes
Failed logical device segments : True
Supported : Yes
Transfer Speed : Failed
Reported Channel,Device(T:L) : 0,0(0:0)
Reported Location : Connector 0, Device 0
Vendor :
Model : Crucial_CT275MX3
Firmware : M0CR040
Serial number : 11111111111111
World-wide name : 500A075116639956
Total Size : 262321 MB
Write Cache : Enabled (write-back)
FRU : None
S.M.A.R.T. : No
S.M.A.R.T. warnings : 0
Power State : Full rpm
Supported Power States : Full power,Powered off,Standby
SSD : Yes
Temperature : Not Supported
NCQ status : Enabled

To replace a failed drive just contact us, we will immediately take care of it. To speed up the process you should provide us with the above output. It shows the S/N and the port that drive is attached to. In this case the S/N is "11111111111111" and the attached Port is "0".

As soon as the drive got replaced the rebuild should start automatically:

root@contabo:~# arcconf getconfig 1 | grep Status
Controller Status : Optimal
Status : ZMM not installed
Status of Logical Device : Degraded, Rebuilding ( Rebuild : 1 % )

Depending on your RAID setup this will probably take several hours.

1.3 Installing an available Webinterface

For Adaptec there is the "MaxView Storage Manager" available, it can be downloaded here: https://storage.microsemi.com/de-de/speed/raid/storage_manager/msm_linux_x64_v2_03_22476_tgz.php

You could also just download it via commandline:

wget http://download.adaptec.com/raid/storage_manager/msm_linux_x64_v2_03_22476.tgz && tar -xzf msm_linux_x64_v2_03_22476.tgz

The installer is located within the directory called "manager" - that directory will be created when unpacking the downloaded archive.
For our system (Ubuntu 17.04) we will install the package using the following command:

dpkg -i manager/StorMan-2.03-22476_amd64.deb

Afterwards you should be able to reach the webinterface at https://<SERVERIP>:8443

2. LSI

2.1 Installation of the StorCLI binary

Download of the commandline Binary :

wget https://docs.broadcom.com/docs-and-downloads/raid-controllers/raid-controllers-common-files/1.21.16_StorCLI.zip --no-check-certificate && unzip 1.21.16_StorCLI.zip && cd versionChangeSet/univ_viva_cli_rel/ && unzip storcli_All_OS.zip

For our system we will install the Ubuntu package by typing:
dpkg -i storcli_All_OS/Ubuntu/storcli_1.21.06_all.deb

Create a link to make the "storcli" command available to your shell.
ln -s /opt/MegaRAID/storcli/storcli64 /usr/sbin/storcli

2.2 Monitoring the raidcontroller

You can display the current status of the raidcontroller by typing:

root@contabo:~#storcli /c0 show

TOPOLOGY :
========
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
DG Arr Row EID:Slot DID Type  State BT       Size PDC  PI SED DS3  FSpace
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
0 -   -   -        -   RAID1 Optl  N  255.656 GB dflt N  N   dflt N
0 0   -   -        -   RAID1 Optl  N  255.656 GB dflt N  N   dflt N
0 0   0   64:4     12  DRIVE Onln  N  255.656 GB dflt N  N   dflt -
0 0   1   64:5     13  DRIVE Onln  N  255.656 GB dflt N  N   dflt -
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Example of a failed HDD:

TOPOLOGY :
========
----------------------------------------------------------------------
DG Arr Row EID:Slot DID Type  State BT Size PDC  PI SED DS3  FSpace
----------------------------------------------------------------------
0 -   -   -        -   RAID1 Dgrd  N  255 GB dflt N  N   dflt N
0 0   -   -        -   RAID1 Dgrd  N  255 GB dflt N  N   dflt N
0 0   0   -        -   DRIVE Msng  -  255 GB -    -  -   -    -
0 0   1   64:5     13  DRIVE Onln  N  255 GB dflt N  N   dflt -
---------------------------------------------------------------------

root@contabo:~#storcli /c0 /sall show


Controller = 0
Status = Failure
Description = No drive found!
Detailed Status :
===============
----------------------------------------
Drive    Status  ErrCd ErrMsg
----------------------------------------
/c0/sALL Failure   255 Drives not found
----------------------------------------

To display the current status of the rebuild you can run:

root@contabo:~#storcli /c0 /eall /sall show rebuild

Controller = 0
Status = Success
Description = Show Drive Rebuild Status Succeeded.
---------------------------------------------------------
Drive-ID   Progress% Status          Estimated Time Left
---------------------------------------------------------
/c0/e64/s4         0 In progress     -
/c0/e64/s5         - Not in progress -
---------------------------------------------------------

2.3 Installing an available webinterface

Unfortunately, there is currently no webinterface available for Linux.

 

Posted by: Gianni-Donato | Tagged as: , , , , , No Comments
19Feb/184

Additional DC uplinks: AMS-IX and CenturyLink

As recently reported, we continuously expand our data centers in order to meet the increasing demand for hosting solutions. In order to ensure that you are still perfectly connected to the internet in spite of the many new servers we build every day, we have enhanced our data center connectivity with two additional 10 Gbit/s uplinks.

One of the new uplinks connects us with one of the biggest internet exchange hubs across the globe, namely the AMS-IX in Amsterdam. At this internet exchange point, we get access to the networks of hundreds of other internet service providers in the world. Thanks to our uplink to the DE-CIX in Frankfurt and, from now on, the AMS-IX uplink in Amsterdam, an even faster and more direct exchange of data is possible. Specifically between servers in Contabo’s data center and servers, respectively users in other network areas of the internet.

The second uplink increases our connection to the carrier CenturyLink – up to now better known as Level3 – to a total of 40 Gbit/s.

Our data centers are currently connected to the Internet with 120 Gbit/s and it's not the end of the story yet. In the future, we will continue to increase the number of uplinks and connected carriers so that we increase not only the number of servers hosted, but grow on all levels - together with you!

Posted by: Markus | Tagged as: , , , , , 4 Comments
13Feb/180

New Operating System: Fedora 27

A brief update regarding our Linux OS: As of today, we offer you the brand new Fedora 27 for your VPS and Dedicated Servers, it replaces the previous version 26.

It can be combined with the Software RAID 1 and Webmin and an installation via VNC is possible as well.

If you are currently using the previous version, you can easily upgrade to the new version through your customer control panel.

Our existing customers know it already, and it is possibly interesting for potential new customers:
We offer you a large selection of the latest Linux distributions as well as Windows Server 2012 and 2016. Just click on "Customize & Order" below your desired virtual or dedicated server model in order to get a detailed overview and select the operating system of your choice!

You can find further information and a product overview on our website!

Posted by: Markus | Tagged as: , , , , No Comments
1Feb/180

Our own tutorials section provides many helpful hints and tricks

Not only are we constantly improving and expanding our data centers, as reported recently. At the same time, we are publishing useful tutorials, which offer you solutions and short cuts for common issues and hopefully simplify the administration of your virtual or dedicated server.

Did you know that we have created a special section on our website for that? There you can find all the articles we have published so far - and in the future, many more tutorials will be added!

Just take a look at our own knowledge base, and please do not forget to bookmark it for future reference 😉

Is there anything missing, or do you have a special question in mind which we could deal with? Just let us know and our technical department will further check its feasibility.

As usual, we are available for all other inquiries every day of the year: Just contact our customer service department!

Posted by: Markus | Tagged as: , , , , No Comments
19Jan/180

We create more space for your servers!

Over the last couple of weeks and due to the turn of the year, it has been a little bit quiet here in our blog. But this does not mean that we have been idle during that time. Quite the contrary: Thanks to you, our valued customers and the many new customers we convince from our services each day, we are growing at a rapid pace and consequently, we need more space for many new servers 🙂

As a result, our technical team has recently put another room for server racks into operation in our data center in Nuremberg. On the picture below, you can see the false floor. In a first step, the cable trays for the network and power supply connection of the server racks were installed. Following this, we have assembled many new server racks!

If you would like to find out more: We provide an overview of our two data centers on our website!

Posted by: Markus | Tagged as: , , , , No Comments