Working with Virtual Servers

Using the SoftLayer portal to order virtual servers is fine, but for a number of reasons it’s often more convenient to use the command line. For this, you can use SoftLayer’s command-line client to make administrative tasks quicker and easier. This page gives an intro to working with SoftLayer virtual servers using SoftLayer’s command-line client.

Note

The following assumes that the client is already configured with valid SoftLayer credentials.

First, let’s list the current virtual servers with slcli vs list.

$ slcli vs list
:.....:............:.........................:.......:........:..............:.............:....................:........:
:  id : datacenter :           host          : cores : memory :  primary_ip  :  backend_ip : active_transaction : owner  :
:.....:............:.........................:.......:........:..............:.............:....................:........:
:.....:............:.........................:.......:........:..............:.............:....................:........:

We don’t have any virtual servers yet! Let’s fix that. Before we can create a virtual server (VS), we need to know what options are available to us: RAM, CPU, operating systems, disk sizes, disk types, datacenters, and so on. Luckily, there’s a simple command to show all options: slcli vs create-options.

$ slcli vs create-options
:.................:...........................................................................................:
:            Name : Value                                                                                     :
:.................:...........................................................................................:
:      datacenter : ams01,dal01,dal05,dal06,dal09,hkg02,hou02,lon02,mel01,par01,sea01,sjc01,sng01,tor01,wdc01 :
:  cpus (private) : 1,2,4,8                                                                                   :
: cpus (standard) : 1,2,4,8,12,16                                                                             :
:          memory : 1024,2048,4096,6144,8192,12288,16384,32768,49152,65536                                    :
:     os (CENTOS) : CENTOS_5_32                                                                               :
:                 : CENTOS_5_64                                                                               :
:                 : CENTOS_6_32                                                                               :
:                 : CENTOS_6_64                                                                               :
:                 : CENTOS_7_64                                                                               :
:                 : CENTOS_LATEST                                                                             :
:                 : CENTOS_LATEST_32                                                                          :
:                 : CENTOS_LATEST_64                                                                          :
: os (CLOUDLINUX) : CLOUDLINUX_5_32                                                                           :
:                 : CLOUDLINUX_5_64                                                                           :
:                 : CLOUDLINUX_6_32                                                                           :
:                 : CLOUDLINUX_6_64                                                                           :
:                 : CLOUDLINUX_LATEST                                                                         :
:                 : CLOUDLINUX_LATEST_32                                                                      :
:                 : CLOUDLINUX_LATEST_64                                                                      :
:     os (DEBIAN) : DEBIAN_6_32                                                                               :
:                 : DEBIAN_6_64                                                                               :
:                 : DEBIAN_7_32                                                                               :
:                 : DEBIAN_7_64                                                                               :
:                 : DEBIAN_LATEST                                                                             :
:                 : DEBIAN_LATEST_32                                                                          :
:                 : DEBIAN_LATEST_64                                                                          :
:     os (REDHAT) : REDHAT_5_32                                                                               :
:                 : REDHAT_5_64                                                                               :
:                 : REDHAT_6_32                                                                               :
:                 : REDHAT_6_64                                                                               :
:                 : REDHAT_LATEST                                                                             :
:                 : REDHAT_LATEST_32                                                                          :
:                 : REDHAT_LATEST_64                                                                          :
:     os (UBUNTU) : UBUNTU_10_32                                                                              :
:                 : UBUNTU_10_64                                                                              :
:                 : UBUNTU_12_32                                                                              :
:                 : UBUNTU_12_64                                                                              :
:                 : UBUNTU_14_32                                                                              :
:                 : UBUNTU_14_64                                                                              :
:                 : UBUNTU_LATEST                                                                             :
:                 : UBUNTU_LATEST_32                                                                          :
:                 : UBUNTU_LATEST_64                                                                          :
:   os (VYATTACE) : VYATTACE_6.5_64                                                                           :
:                 : VYATTACE_6.6_64                                                                           :
:                 : VYATTACE_LATEST                                                                           :
:                 : VYATTACE_LATEST_64                                                                        :
:        os (WIN) : WIN_2003-DC-SP2-1_32                                                                      :
:                 : WIN_2003-DC-SP2-1_64                                                                      :
:                 : WIN_2003-ENT-SP2-5_32                                                                     :
:                 : WIN_2003-ENT-SP2-5_64                                                                     :
:                 : WIN_2003-STD-SP2-5_32                                                                     :
:                 : WIN_2003-STD-SP2-5_64                                                                     :
:                 : WIN_2008-DC-R2_64                                                                         :
:                 : WIN_2008-DC-SP2_64                                                                        :
:                 : WIN_2008-ENT-R2_64                                                                        :
:                 : WIN_2008-ENT-SP2_32                                                                       :
:                 : WIN_2008-ENT-SP2_64                                                                       :
:                 : WIN_2008-STD-R2-SP1_64                                                                    :
:                 : WIN_2008-STD-R2_64                                                                        :
:                 : WIN_2008-STD-SP2_32                                                                       :
:                 : WIN_2008-STD-SP2_64                                                                       :
:                 : WIN_2012-DC_64                                                                            :
:                 : WIN_2012-STD_64                                                                           :
:                 : WIN_LATEST                                                                                :
:                 : WIN_LATEST_32                                                                             :
:                 : WIN_LATEST_64                                                                             :
:   local disk(0) : 25,100                                                                                    :
:   local disk(2) : 25,100,150,200,300                                                                        :
:     san disk(0) : 25,100                                                                                    :
:     san disk(2) : 10,20,25,30,40,50,75,100,125,150,175,200,250,300,350,400,500,750,1000,1500,2000           :
:     san disk(3) : 10,20,25,30,40,50,75,100,125,150,175,200,250,300,350,400,500,750,1000,1500,2000           :
:     san disk(4) : 10,20,25,30,40,50,75,100,125,150,175,200,250,300,350,400,500,750,1000,1500,2000           :
:     san disk(5) : 10,20,25,30,40,50,75,100,125,150,175,200,250,300,350,400,500,750,1000,1500,2000           :
:             nic : 10,100,1000                                                                               :
:.................:...........................................................................................:

Here’s the command to create a 2-core virtual server with 1GiB memory, running Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, and that is billed on an hourly basis in the San Jose 1 datacenter using the command slcli vs create.

$ slcli vs create --hostname=example --domain=softlayer.com --cpu 2 --memory 1024 -o UBUNTU_14_64 --datacenter=sjc01 --billing=hourly
This action will incur charges on your account. Continue? [y/N]: y
:.........:......................................:
:    name : value                                :
:.........:......................................:
:      id : 1234567                              :
: created : 2013-06-13T08:29:44-06:00            :
:    guid : 6e013cde-a863-46ee-8s9a-f806dba97c89 :
:.........:......................................:

After the last command, the virtual server is now being built. It should instantly appear in your virtual server list now.

$ slcli vs list
:.........:............:.......................:.......:........:................:..............:....................:
:    id   : datacenter :          host         : cores : memory :   primary_ip   :  backend_ip  : active_transaction :
:.........:............:.......................:.......:........:................:..............:....................:
: 1234567 :   sjc01    : example.softlayer.com :   2   :   1G   : 108.168.200.11 : 10.54.80.200 :    Assign Host     :
:.........:............:.......................:.......:........:................:..............:....................:

Cool. You may ask, “It’s creating… but how do I know when it’s done?” Well, here’s how:

$ slcli vs ready 'example' --wait=600
READY

When the previous command returns, you’ll know that the virtual server has finished the provisioning process and is ready to use. This is very useful for chaining commands together.

Now that you have your virtual server, let’s get access to it. To do that, use the slcli vs detail command. From the example below, you can see that the username is ‘root’ and password is ‘ABCDEFGH’.

Warning

Be careful when using the –passwords flag. This will print the virtual server’s password on the screen. Make sure no one is looking over your shoulder. It’s also advisable to change your root password soon after creating your virtual server, or to create a user with sudo access and disable SSH-based login directly to the root account.

$ slcli vs detail example --passwords
:..............:...........................:
:         Name : Value                     :
:..............:...........................:
:           id : 1234567                   :
:     hostname : example.softlayer.com     :
:       status : Active                    :
:        state : Running                   :
:   datacenter : sjc01                     :
:        cores : 2                         :
:       memory : 1G                        :
:    public_ip : 108.168.200.11            :
:   private_ip : 10.54.80.200              :
:           os : Ubuntu                    :
: private_only : False                     :
:  private_cpu : False                     :
:      created : 2013-06-13T08:29:44-06:00 :
:     modified : 2013-06-13T08:31:57-06:00 :
:        users : root ABCDEFGH             :
:..............:...........................:

There are many other commands to help manage virtual servers. To see them all, use slcli help vs.

$ slcli vs
Usage: slcli vs [OPTIONS] COMMAND [ARGS]...

  Virtual Servers.

Options:
  --help  Show this message and exit.

Commands:
  cancel          Cancel virtual servers.
  capture         Capture SoftLayer image.
  create          Order/create virtual servers.
  create-options  Virtual server order options.
  credentials     List virtual server credentials.
  detail          Get details for a virtual server.
  dns-sync        Sync DNS records.
  edit            Edit a virtual server's details.
  list            List virtual servers.
  network         Manage network settings.
  pause           Pauses an active virtual server.
  power_off       Power off an active virtual server.
  power_on        Power on a virtual server.
  ready           Check if a virtual server is ready.
  reboot          Reboot an active virtual server.
  reload          Reload operating system on a virtual server.
  rescue          Reboot into a rescue image.
  resume          Resumes a paused virtual server.
  upgrade         Upgrade a virtual server.