Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Am I billed if the server fails and goes offline?
When a server is offline due to hardware faults, the time it is offline is not counted as billable time until the replacement server is brought online, and your server registration is preserved from the original registration period (for the purpose of duration discounts).
BIOS/Firmware/BMC Access and Updates?
For our Autonomous Intelligence to properly manage all servers, we retain control of the BIOS and Firmware, and access is restricted from individual tenants. Tenant needs, such as to the server console, are provided through the Cato Metal Console.
For the highest security possible, each Baseboard Management Controller (BMC) is isolated per server on an internal private LAN, which can only be accessed by the Cato Metal controller and allows for no outbound access. That is, each BMC controller is on a discrete/private LAN from the others.
From within the operating system of a host, you may have access to change settings within the BMC or BIOS. However, this is prohibited in your terms and conditions. Changing BMC or BIOS settings will cause your server to be taken offline until the settings are reconciled.
Can I add storage, GPUs, FPGAs, or other expansion cards?
We have standardized our server configurations to bring you the best price possible. This means that, unfortunately, the hardware configuration is not changeable. The servers are as-is as-available and are not alterable.
Depending on the size of your request, we might be able to create a new product to meet your needs—contact a Sales Representative for more details.
Carbon accounting? Green?
At Cato Digital, we believe a green internet is essential. We work with numerous partners and distributors to ensure our servers are upcycled, carbon-accounted, and as environmentally friendly as possible. This involves saving functional hardware from the landfill, refurbishing as necessary, and reusing those systems.
As we grow, we plan to incorporate as much renewable energy into our operations as possible to achieve carbon-neutral compute.
How do I load the Operating System?
Similar to a cloud server, you provide an SSH key, and we provision a Linux Operating system (selected from those available), and you can then access it via SSH with the given credentials.
Currently Linux is the only operating system available, as either Rocky/9 (RHEL/Centos Family) or Ubuntu 22.
How do I manage my instances? Can I get the server console?
Using the Cato Metal Console you can start, stop, and configure things like server ports and networks, as well as accessing the server’s console.
How is my NIC setup?
To facilitate the greatest level of customer privacy and flexibility, we use 802.1q port trunking at the server level, and we map private VLANs and VXLANs based on each customer’s need.
By default, each server has three 8012.1q VLANs:
- __Public__ — This can be disabled, but is the default public VLAN shared by all servers in the pod, which can be given a Layer-3 public internet IP via DHCP.
- __Private__ — Each customer account is assigned a Private VLAN, which is the default VLAN for untagged packets. This VLAN can be used for cross-server internal networking, or it can be ignored. We only provide Layer-2 services on this VLAN. You can add any Layer-3 network space as you so desire, and it will work within the Pod across your servers.
- __Control__ — This is used by the Baseboard Management Controller (BMC) and it should not be used by the tenant. However, it is unique to each server, and only includes the single BMC controller per server, as well as the Cato management host which controls that control server, which is also firewalled.
Additional VLANs may be added for other needs, such as storage.
What is a Region? Area? Zone? Pod? Do you have Availability Zones?
Our systems are set up in Areas, and within each area are multiple Zones which have Pods. Each pod is a cluster of interconnected systems, and within the pod you can recognize the full speed of your network connections as you interconnect with other servers in that pod, either through the public network or private LAN.
Pods are analogous to Availability Zones, but are focused on integration of networking, rather than availability.
We recommend for your systems to achieve the highest level of availability, that you create instances across zones as part of a cluster, if not across regions (using the internet in both cases). See section on Networking about Private LAN limitations.
Because pricing may vary between zones, registrations are not transferable across a zone.
What options are there for Backups and Data Recovery?
For your protection and security, there are no secondary systems maintaining data backups of your servers, and no data assurance This means if there is a failure of the hardware, the data may be lost. You are responsible for data backups on your systems.
What options do I have for networking? VMs? VPN?
Each server is given one public IP address as part of the package. In the future, we will allow you to create private VLANs directly through the console. Until that feature is available, Private VLANs can be created through a services engagement.
Private VLANs are restricted to the Region/Pod of the server.
When using Private VLANs your server port is set up with 802.1q trunking.
At this time, there are no load-balancer or higher-level network services available, but these services are on our roadmap. You can create these services on your servers, however.