It is common practice among cloud providers and a long tradition at Exoscale to let users choose from a wide choice of compute instance templates, spanning many different operating systems (Linux, Windows, BSD, etc.), distributions (Debian, Ubuntu, CentOS, SUSE, etc.) and versions.

Those templates are usually prepared by upstream “vendors” themselves, with disk images specifically crafted for cloud platforms and readily available for cloud deployment (with the help of components such as cloud-init).

One notable fact about most of those disk images is their disk partitioning being based on a single partition and a filesystem chosen by the upstream vendor (e.g. ext4 or xfs, btrfs, etc.).

Unfortunately, this single partition and choice of filesystem may not entirely fit the bill of users with specific storage requirements, such as snapshots, checksums, encryption, etc.

Exoscale Flexible Storage template

The Exoscale Flexible Storage template aims at addressing this shortcoming and empowering users to manage their instance’s disk/storage as they deem fit, by providing:

  • a minimalistic Debian-based template, with no extraneous components and only what is required to get you started (namely: cloud-init and sudo)

  • built from scratch using the Debian “netinst” installation media and the ssh-server installation scenario (aka. tasksel)

  • using UEFI boot mode and a GPT partition table (as opposed to Debian’s stock cloud image), such as to enable support for larger-than-2TiB disk images (e.g. along Exoscale Storage Optimized Instances)

  • using LVM logical partitioning (as opposed to Debian’s stock cloud image), such as to allow you to manage partitions and filesystems as you deem fit

Please refer to Exoscale Documentation for further details on how to get started and use this template.

Getting further

The following articles cover some of the use cases which the Exoscale Flexible Storage template is particularly well fitted for: