Old red telephone and an old computer in between cogs and wheels.

Sneak Preview: Upcoming FC Platform and Infrastructure Features

We are planning to implement some cool stuff for the Flying Circus hosting platform and its underlying infrastructure during the second half of this year. In this post, I will give a preview to technical improvements you can happily look forward to.

All of these improvements are included in the platform subscription (this is what the platform subscription is actually for!) so you don’t have to pay extra for any of them.

VPN access to virtual machines

While there are already several ways to connect to VMs that do not have a frontend IP address, some customers would like to spawn a virtual private network (VPN) to plug their computers right into the server network at our data center. We will create a new VPN gateway role which equips one VM in a resource group with an automatically configured OpenVPN gateway that allows exactly to do this.

Let’s encrypt integration

We plan on integrating free SSL certificates from Let’s encrypt into our web server component. Obtaining, installing, and updating certificates will be just be activating a simple option. Perhaps we will even make this option the other way around, so you must explicitly state not to get a SSL certificate. 🙂

10 Gigabit storage connectivity

Our storage cluster already gained a lot from a 10 GbE hardware upgrade in the backend network. Now we take it one step further and upgrade the storage network connectivity of  VM hosts. This means that VMs will see greatly improved I/O performance.

Self-service hosting reports

For those of you who like to have a nice monthly summary, we are currently preparing a self-service reporting service. Reports will include data traffic, number and length of outages, and other useful bits of information.

NFS box integration on NixOS VMs

The much-loved box feature will be ported to our new NixOS VMs. This will bring us closer to the goal of feature parity between old Gentoo-based and new NixOS-based VMs.

Graylog logfile analytics

If you think that the ELK stack for logfile analysis is too heavyweight—there will be an alternative soon. We are planning to provide a Graylog2-based loghost as managed component.

Improved support chat

We already maintain individual chat rooms with some of our larger customers. This feature will be generalized so that everyone will be able to chat with our support staff without much hassle.

As you see, there is quite a bit in the pipeline. Individual features, bugfixes and improvements will be announced en detail in the platform changelog once they are ready.

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