Manage Smart Servers

Smart servers are dedicated entities based on KVM CloudBoot compute resources with the passthrough enabled. Smart servers are created and managed exactly the same as virtual servers, the only difference is that only one smart server can be created per compute resource. Using a smart server feature, you can create and manage servers on smart appliances with pass through enabled. You can set the minimum specifications for the smart servers (minimum size, resource price, etc) in the same way as for virtual servers.

Smart servers can be organized into zones to create different tiers of service - for example, by setting up different zones for smart appliances, with limits and prices specified per zone. Smart compute zones can also be used to create private clouds for specific users.

In this document you can find information on how to manage Smart Servers in your OnApp cloud.  

View Smart Servers

To view the list of smart servers deployed in the cloud:

  1. Go to your Control Panel > Cloud > Smart Servers menu to see an overview of all smart servers in the cloud with their details:
    • OS
    • Label
    • IP addresses
    • Disk size
    • RAM
    • CPU cores
    • CPU priority
    • Backups
    • Power status

       2. Click the Actions button next to the server for the quick access to the list of available actions (the list of actions displayed depends on the server status).
       3. To change the smart server power status, click the required status icon.
       4. To view particular smart server details, click the label of a required server.
       5. To add a new smart server, press "+" or click the Add New Smart Server button.

View Smart Server Details

To view details of a specific smart server:

  1. Go to your Control Panel > Cloud > Smart Servers menu.
  2. Click the label of the smart server you're interested in.
  3. The screen that appears loads the Smart server propertiesnotesactivity log and tools for managing your smart server.

Smart Server Properties

Smart server properties page gives a general overview of the smart server details:

  • Template this smart server is built on
  • Power status & On/Off/Reboot buttons.

    Clicking the OFF button performs a graceful shutdown and then powers off the virtual server after the timeout set in Configuration settings.

  • FQDN (fully qualified domain name)
  • Smart compute resource
  • Login credentials
  • Owner
  • Estimated Price per hourThis sum does not take into consideration the free limits for resources set in the bucket. Therefore, the final price for the server might differ from the sum indicated here.
  • Memory
  • CPU(s)
  • CPU priority
  • Disk Size
  • Disk backups
  • Network Speed
  • IP Addresses
  • Auto-backups
  • Notes
  • Activity log
 Autoscaling and VIP status options are not available for smart servers.
  • Acceleration allowed - move the Acceleration allowed slider to the right to allow acceleration for this VS or move this slider to the left to prohibit acceleration for this VS. Acceleration status of the VS will be changed on the next CDN Sync Runner run (default value 20 minutes). To edit CDN Sync Runner delay, refer to Edit Infrastructure Configuration section of this guide. If VS is accelerated, you can also view the actual Acceleration Status - active or inactive.

    Ensure that Accelerate any Virtual Server/Accelerate own Virtual Servers permissions are on before enabling acceleration for the VS. For more information about permissions refer to the List of all OnApp Permissions section of this guide.

  • Boot from CD - move the slider to the right to boot a smart server from the location where ISOs are stored. If this slider is disabled, then smart server will be booted from the disk where smart server is provisioned.


The Notes section lists brief comments or reminders for a Smart server. You can add either Admin's or User's notes. The Admin's note will be available to cloud administrators. Click the Actions button in the Notes section of the page to add admin's or user's note.

Smart Server Management

  • Click the Tools button to expand the Tools menu with the Smart Server management options.
  • Use the top menu to manage your smart servers' networking/storage options.

Rebuild/Build Smart Server Manually

To build/rebuild virtual server build/rebuild virtual server must be enabled. This is a new permission which manages build/rebuild functionality independently from update virtual server permission which used to regulate the build/rebuild options in the previous versions.

If you haven't checked the Build Smart Server option during the smart server creation process, you will have to do this manually after the SS has been created. Building a smart server is the process of allocating physical resources to that smart server.

To build a smart server manually or rebuild the server on the same (or another) template:

  1. Go to your Control Panel > Cloud > Smart Servers menu.
  2. Click the label of the server you're interested in.
  3. On the screen that appears, click the Tools button and then click Rebuild Smart Server.
  4. On the screen that pops up, use the drop-down menu to choose a template with which to build the server.
  5. Move the Start VS after rebuild slider to the right if you want to have your server started automatically after it is built.
  6. Click the Rebuild Virtual Server button to finish.
After you rebuild your template all data will be lost!

Edit Smart Server

To edit smart compute resource settings:

  1. Go to your Control Panel > Cloud > Smart Servers menu.
  2. Click the label of the server you want to edit.
  3. Click the Tools button and select the Edit smart server link. You can edit the label, pricing, CPU, RAM, CPU priority resources for all smart servers. You can also edit the time zone for Windows smart servers.

    After you edit the server's time zone, you need to stop and then start up the smart server.

    Currently, the time zone is set at the compute resource side only. Therefore, users need to set the target time zone inside a Windows smart server manually. Setting correct time zone at the compute resource side helps to keep correct time inside a smart server after starting it if time synchronization is not completed for some reason.

    Depending on the OS it is built on, some smart servers can have their CPU and RAM resized without needing to be powered off ("resize without reboot").

  4. Click the Save button to save your changes.

    If the smart server template allows resize without reboot, the resize should be completed automatically: you will be returned to the server details screen and see a message indicating the resize was successful.If the template does not allow this, you will be asked to confirm that the smart server will need rebooting so that the resize can take place.

Edit XML Configuration

You can manage your smart servers at a raw configuration level by editing the XML configuration file available for each smart server in your Control Panel. 


Smart servers with modified XML configuration are not supported by the OnApp support team.

To edit the XML config file of a smart server, follow the next steps:

  1. Go to your Control Panel > Cloud > Smart Servers menu and click a label of a specific smart server.
  2. Expand the Tools menu and click the Edit XML Config button in the Smart Server Options.
  3. Click the Unlock button to be able to edit the XML file. In the pop-up box, click Yes to confirm your action.
  4. Edit configuration and click the Save button.  In the pop-up box, select whether you want to save changes with or without a reboot. Changes will be applied only after the VS reboot, so if you select the Save without reboot option, the update will be postponed until the next VS reboot. 

To revert changes that you made before saving configuration, click the Cancel button.

If you want to discard all changes, click the Reset to default button at the Edit XML Config page. In the pop-up box, select whether you want to reset configuration with or without a reboot. Changes will be applied only after the VS reboot, so if you select the Reset without reboot option, the update will be postponed until the next VS reboot. 

This action initiates deletion of all changes you have applied in the XML configuration except for RAM and CPU related modifications. As a result, the XML configuration file will be reset to default and locked.

If you edit RAM or CPU Cores for smart server:

  • After clicking the Save button, the RAM and CPU cores are validated according to the bucket settings and the price for the resources can be changed. If the bucket does not allow the changes you applied, the appropriate message will be displayed.
  • The Reset to default button will not restore the RAM and CPU values to the previous state.

You can not perform the following actions after you save changes in the smart server XML configuration file:

  • Edit smart server
  • Create/edit/migrate/delete smart server disks and set disk IOPS limits
  • Create/edit/delete network interfaces

Migrate Smart Server

To migrate Smart Servers between different compute resources the network interface configuration of those compute resources should be identical.

OnApp allows cold migration of smart servers between hosts that share common data stores (or data store zones). Cold migration means moving smart servers that are shut down.

To migrate a smart server:

  1. Go to your Control Panel > Cloud > Smart Servers menu.
  2. Shut down the smart server you want to migrate.
  3. Click the Tools button and press the Migrate Smart Server link.
  4. In the window that appears, choose the target smart server from the drop-down menu.
  5. Click the Start Migration button.

OnApp administrators can control user access over smart server migration. Using OnApp permissions, you can allow/forbid users to perform migration of all smart servers, or their own servers only. This is handled in the Control Panel's Roles and Sets menu.

Smart Server Power Options

To manage a smart server power options:

  1. Go to your Control Panel > Cloud > Smart Server menu.
  2. Click the label of the smart server in question.
  3. Click the Tools button on the Smart server's screen to expand the Tools menu.
  4. The Tools menu enables you to perform the following power actions on smart servers (the exact list shown depends on the smart server status):
    • Reboot Smart Server - powers off and then restarts the smart server.
    • Reboot in Recovery- powers off and then restarts the Smart Server Recovery mode with a temporary login ("root") and password ("recovery") for servers where password encryption is enabled. For servers with password encryption disabled, the root password will be used to reboot in recovery.

      • Windows smart servers boot from the Linux-based recovery template in a recovery mode.  You need to log in as admin via SSH or VNC console, then mount a Windows system disk manually.
      • Note that smart servers can be rebooted only from Control Panel > Tools menu. If you try to restart smart server from VNC console, the reboot will fail.
      • You cannot work with the "whole" disk (like mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/sdb1) while mounting and checking block devices inside the recovery image, as Windows disk is split into partitions.
    • Suspend Smart Server - stops a smart server, changes its status to suspended and disables all the other actions on SS, unless unsuspended.
    • Shut Down Smart Server – pops up a dialog box, where you can either Shut Down SS (terminates the SS gracefully), or Power Off SS (terminates the SS forcefully).
    • Startup Smart Server - queues a start-up action for an SS that's currently powered off.

      When you start up a smart server, it might be implicitly cold migrated if the current compute resource does not have sufficient resources. For more information, refer to Server Provisioning.

    • Startup on Recovery - starts the SS in recovery mode with a temporary login ("root") and password ("recovery").
    • Boot from ISO - boots the smart server from an ISO. You can boot smart servers from your own ISOs or the ISOs that are uploaded and made publicly available by other users. If you boot a smart server from an ISO with the RAM requirement larger than the smart server's RAM, the transaction will fail. Make sure that you have enabled the Any power action on own virtual servers and Allow own virtual servers to boot from ISO permissions for the user to have access to this feature. 

      To boot a smart server from an ISO: 

      1. Click the Boot from ISO button. 
      2. Select the ISO image from which the VS will be booted. 
      3. Click the Boot button. 

      As soon as you boot a smart server from the ISO, OnApp cannot control any components (backups, networks, disks). The migration option is not available for smart servers booted from ISO.  The only available actions will be start and stop a smart server. Be aware, that all the contents of the disk will be deleted.

Smart Server Administrative Options

To manage a smart server administrative options:

  1. Go to your Control Panel > Cloud > Smart Server menu.
  2. Click the label of the smart server in question.
  3. Click the Tools button on the smart server's screen to expand the Tools menu.
  4. The Tools menu enables you to perform the following administrative actions on smart servers:
    • Reset Root Password - resets the root password for this SS (the password is displayed in SS Information).
    • Change Owner - pops up a dialogue box with a drop-down of all users on the system, enabling you to pass ownership of the SS to the user selected from the list.
    • Set SSH keys – assigns SSH keys of the admin and an SS owner to the SS. If an SS owner does not have any SSH keys, the system will only assign admin keys.

Delete Smart Server

Shut down the smart server before destroying it. If you are deleting a smart server that is running, the server will be deleted after the time set in Timeout Before Shutting Down configuration parameter.

To remove the smart server from the cloud:

  1. Go to your Control Panel > Cloud > Smart Servers menu.
  2. On the screen that appears, you'll see the list of all servers in the cloud. Click the label of the smart server you want to delete.
  3. On the server screen, click the Tools button, then select Delete Smart Server.
  4. Confirm the deletion.