RackConnect v3.0 Upgrade Information

Customers can now upgrade from RackConnect v2.0 to RackConnect v3.0. This article provides information about RackConnect v3.0 and about upgrading.

Benefits of RackConnect 3.0

RackConnect v3.0 provides the following benefits:

  • Supported on latest images: Because RackConnect v2 is deprecated, newer images such as CentOS 8® and Ubuntu 20® are not available on RackConnect v2 accounts.

  • Built on Rackspace Cloud Networks: Cloud Networks provides your cloud servers with an isolated, single-tenant network that exists virtually between your cloud servers.

  • Ability to choose an IP scheme on cloud networks: The ability to choose your own IP scheme means that you can avoid IP overlap issues such as site-to-site VPNs between network environments residing in different regions. Unless you specify otherwise, a default IP scheme (and network name) is provided when our Network Security team provisions the RackConnect cloud network.

  • A fully functional public API for RackConnect v3.0: You can use the RackConnect v3.0 API to perform automated tasks (or provide information) such as adding or removing load balancer members and assigning or unassigning a public IP address to cloud servers.

  • No more in-instance, per-cloud server automation: In RackConnect v2.0, automation made changes on a per-cloud-server basis by using a system user (which caused issues for some customers). With RackConnect v3.0, automation is seamless and happens at the hypervisor layer.

  • No Public IP address is necessary: RackConnect v3.0 uses a public IP address that is assigned to and resides with your dedicated network environment. These public IP addresses are routed through your edge device (typically a firewall) just like any other dedicated server's public IP address. Unlike the v2.0, RackConnect v3.0 does not provision a public IP address by default. If you decide you need a public IP address, you can choose to assign one to your cloud server at any time.

    An example of where this feature provides value: Cloud servers that receive load-balanced traffic from a dedicated load balancer usually do not require a public IP address.

  • Your cloud servers can be protected by robust dedicated security: Because each RackConnect cloud network is a dedicated, private network segment that resides on your dedicated network device, it follows standards used by traditional dedicated network segments. This means many of the same security devices (for
    example, IDS and WAF) and methods used for dedicated network segments can also be used for your RackConnect cloud networks.

  • More scalable: Each RackConnect cloud network have up to 250 cloud servers, and you can create multiple networks based on the roles that the servers will fulfill in a network. This means that you can set up scalable security on a per-network basis, and all cloud servers created within those networks will have those permissions automatically applied. This is a benefit for highly automated operations.

Limitations of RackConnect 3.0

RackConnect v3.0 has the following limitations:

  • Cloud Load Balancers blacklisted by default: For security reasons, Cloud Load Balancers are blacklisted by default, and cannot communicate with RackConnect v3 cloud servers. We recommend a dedicated hardware load balancer (Brocade ADX or F5 LTM) for RackConnect v3.0. However, we can whitelist Cloud Load Balancers if you require acccess to this product.

  • Not compatible with OnMetal v1.0: RackConnect v3.0 supports OnMetal 2.0 only. If your RackConnect network was provisioned before 2016, it might be necessary to provision a new RackConnect network, or to migrate your existing network (this is free). Contact Rackspace Support, if you have questions about this.

  • Limit of 250 cloud servers per RackConnect cloud network: This is a limitation of the Rackspace Cloud Networks product that RackConnect v3.0 uses.

  • Traffic between two RackConnect cloud networks must traverse the connected device: For traffic to go between two RackConnect cloud networks, a routing decision must be made by the network's default gateway. Each network's default gateway exists on the connected network device. Because of this, traffic coming from one
    network that is destined to another network must be forwarded to the connected network device before making its way to the destination network.

Upgrade eligibility

Some customers might require firewall software version updates to be eligible for RackConnect v3.0. Contact your Rackspace Account Manager or Service Delivery Manager for additional details and to ensure that you have no other potential issues that would prevent you from upgrading to RackConnect v3.0.

Options for migrating to RackConnect v 3.0

You can follow one of two paths to upgrade to RackConnect v3.0 from RackConnect v2.0.

Upgrade path A

Upgrade path A is ideal for customers who want to run RackConnect v2.0 and RackConnect v3.0 side-by-side. However, this path might require significant manual effort, depending on the total number of cloud servers that you have. Following are the requirements and caveats for this upgrade path:

  • An additional cloud account is required for the RackConnect v3.0 configuration: This requirement means that any other cloud services being used (including your cloud account's Role Based Access Control settings) must be re-created on the new cloud account used for RackConnect v3.0.

  • RackConnect v3.0 and v2.0 run in parallel at the same time: RackConnect v3.0 is set up on the same dedicated network devices used for RackConnect v2.0, but it does not replace the current RackConnect v2.0 configuration. Both v2.0 and v3.0 run in parallel without interfering with each other. As a result, you can migrate as slowly as necessary while maintaining the ability to communicate between RackConnect v3.0 and v2.0 cloud servers.

  • Each cloud server to be migrated must have a snapshot image taken
    and shared with the new cloud account used for RackConnect v3.0
    : The snapshot image is saved on the cloud account used for RackConnect v2.0 and is shared with the new cloud account used for RackConnect v3.0. A data migration must occur for Windows devices.

  • You will lose the existing public and private IP addresses of your cloud servers: Because the server itself isn't being moved, the IP addresses assigned to the server on RackConnect v2.0 will not be migrated with the snapshot image. As a result, the new RackConnect v3.0 server replacement can't receive the old IP addresses used by the RackConnect v2.0 server. Any necessary changes to your applications or environment must take into account the IP address changes that will be occurring.

  • You can test RackConnect v3.0 before fully committing to the migration: You can test v3.0 before you migrate your existing infrastructure. You can also migrate devices as quickly or as slowly as you like.

  • All RackConnect v2.0-supported images are currently fully compatible with this upgrade path.

Upgrade path B

Most customers prefer upgrade path B. Following are the requirements and caveats for this upgrade path:

  • The same cloud accounts are used for both RackConnect v2.0 and RackConnect v3.0: No additional account is necessary.

  • Your cloud servers keep their original public IP address and ServiceNet IP address: Your server's assigned public IP address is kept after you migrate the server to RackConnect v3.0, but the address is NAT translated to the server's private IP address (from the cloud network). The ServiceNet IP address remains the same as
    well, but is now used only to communicate with other cloud services (such as Cloud Databases and Cloud Monitoring). Your RackConnect v3.0 cloud servers will be unable to use their ServiceNet IP address
    to communicate with your other cloud servers or dedicated servers; the cloud network IP address is used to accomplish this in RackConnect v3.0.

  • A configuration freeze is necessary for RackConnect v2.0: After migration has started, RackConnect v2.0 still exists (and allows v2.0 cloud servers to communicate as normal), but RackConnect automation can't make any v2.0-related changes to your network devices or cloud servers. During this time you cannot create or delete RackConnect v2.0 cloud servers, cannot make changes to your RackConnect v2.0 Network Policy rules during the migration, though you can create new RackConnect v3.0 cloud servers.

  • Downtime will be on a per-server basis: Downtime lasts approximately 1 to 2.5 minutes as we add and move to the RackConnect Cloud Network.

  • After the upgrade maintenance process starts, it should be completed in one batch: The upgrade can occur in multiple batches upon request, but the configuration freeze for RackConnect v2.0 must be in place for the entire process (until the upgrade is complete).

Next step

After you determine which upgrade option best meets your needs, call your Account Manager or Server Delivery Manager to being the migration process. Also, your Account Manager can schedule a call with one of our RackConnect specialists to answer any outstanding questions that you might have.