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Stratus.FI logo

Stratus.FI is a private cloud for FI users built on software OpenNebula .

The primary purpose is to provide users with an environment for experimentation and rapid testing, or even production use of software that, for various reasons, cannot be installed directly on servers managed by CVT FI (such as Anxur or Aisa).

Content


Login

The Stratus.FI cloud web interface can be found at the following URL:


https://stratus.fi.muni.cz/

Log in to the web interface with the faculty login and faculty password (more about the faculty account and change the password here ).


Cloud versus User view

The Stratus.FI web interface is available to users in two versions: a simpler cloud view , which is set by default and which is described in chapter I want to quickly create a virtual machine , and a more complex user view with left menus and more controls. You can switch between them by clicking on the username and selecting the last item named Views . Compare - cloud view:

Cloud view

... a user view:

User view


User context configuration

Pre-installed images of virtual machines are configured to take some information from user settings (SSH key, superuser password, ...). Therefore, before you can create a virtual machine, you must set these parameters. Log in to web interface , click on the username at the top right and select Settings from the menu:

ssh key

SSH key

If you don't have one yet, create an SSH key for example on Aise with the command:

ssh-keygen -b 4096 -t rsa

The secret key will be saved to a file $HOME/.ssh/id_rsa and public there to file id_rsa.pub . When creating, you can enter a password ( passphrase ), which will be required each time the SSH key is used.

In the web interface in the user settings, click on the Config section and then on the Add SSH Key item, and copy the public key - file content to the form window id_rsa.pub .

ssh-key

Encrypted password

Create an encrypted form of the password for the virtual machine, for example with a command openssl passwd -1 on Aise or other Linux:

xnekdo@aisa$ 
openssl passwd -1
Password: 

correct horse battery staple
Retype password: 
correct horse battery staple
$1$t2DaE4vm$i8A...630
xnekdo@aisa$

In the user settings in the Stratus.FI web interface, add a new attribute named at the very bottom of the Attributes section CRYPTED_PASSWORD , the value created above (string $1$... ) and click to save [+] .

Password for Windows VM

To use a Windows virtual machine, you need to add two additional attributes to the user attributes: WIN_USERNAME with the username and WIN_PASSWORD containing an unencrypted login password. Here we recommend choosing a different password than you use on faculty systems.

Choose a non-trivial password, otherwise Windows may refuse to log in to the VM with a password that is too simple.

Overall, the set context information looks something like this:

context


I want a pre-installed virtual machine

Use the following procedure if you need to try something on a pre-installed machine (run / compile your version of some software, etc.) and you do not want to waste time installing and configuring the operating system.

Configure your user context as described in the previous chapter .

Open up main page Stratus.FI (from another Stratus.FI page, click on the Dashboard at the top).

Click green on the left side of the page [+] .

Choose from a menu of pre - installed systems (for example CentOS 8 , Fedora or Debian 10 ) and click on the selected system.

Note the templates that have the name [CVTFI] , are templates created by us, are intended for users and should have contextualization packages installed, ie they should have a working network and it should be possible to log in to them with a password and SSH key from the user's context. So if you encounter a problem with a template marked like this, do not hesitate to contact us and we will try to solve it with you.

Note: If it is production virtual machine, select the persistent option (for more see disk creation ).

Fill in the left part of the page with the name of the virtual machine you are creating (for example, Test CentOS ) and click on the green Create on the right.

Wait until the name of the just created virtual machine has a green square instead of an orange one (you can restore the view with the icon of two arrows in the circle shown at the top right).

Once the virtual machine is active, you can from the internal FI network (for example, from Aisa, Anxura or VPN ; see also access to the FI network ) try, for example, logging in via SSH to the IP address displayed for the created virtual machine (if the template uses SSH contextualization, it has an SSH server and an IP address). You can access the console of the machine by clicking on its title and then on the bottom left of the blue terminal icon. You can log in as root with a previously entered password.

For newly instantiated machines, we recommend updating the packages, especially if you plan to use the machine for a longer period of time and restart the machine for their full application.

Newly created virtual machines are assigned NATed private IPv4 and public IPv6 address. It is no longer necessary to use the HTTP proxy cache to access the public IPv4 Internet. You can read more about the technical solution in our blog in IS.

If you would like to use such a virtual machine more permanently and need a larger disk, enlargement is possible, but the disk must be connected to a running virtual machine for this operation (it can be enlarged in the Storage tab).


Quotas and rules of use

Our goal is to enable users to use a larger amount of computing resources (about 8 virtual machines) in the short term . Users will be able to try out distributed applications, for example. Therefore, system resource quotas are set for this usage. You can find exact information on quotas in the web interface in the user settings in the Quotas section.

Please be considerate of other users: the current hardware does not have the capacity for each FI user to use all resources up to the size of his quota at one time. Therefore, the set quotas do not apply to continuously running virtual machines . If we detect virtual machines running for more than a day, or a maximum of small units of days, we will shut down these machines and later erase their disks.

If you need a longer-running test or even a production virtual machine, or a short-term excess of computing resources, contact the system administrator at unix@fi.muni.cz .

When using virtual machines, keep in mind that this also applies Operating rules , in particular the ban on the operation of publicly available network services without the prior approval of the head of CVT FI.

VCPU vs CPU: When allocating resources to a virtual machine, two parameters are set, among others: VCPU and CPU . The integer parameter VCPU means how many processors will see the virtual machine, ie how many cores of the host computer it will be able to spread its work. The real CPU parameter is less important - it is used as information about how much computing power this VM will take up on average in the long run. In short: if you only need a sudden parallel power, set only the VCPU .


I want to install my operating system

In this chapter, we will assume that the user has the interface switched to the User view .

Creating disks

For your virtual machine, you will need the installation media (CD-ROM image), the system disk, and possibly a volatile disk for temporary data, such as swap space. To view the available disks, click StorageImages in the left menu.

If you do not find the installation media of your chosen system among the available disks, you can create them:

  • click on the green [+] at the top of the page,
  • fill in the disk name (for example CentOS 7.1511 netinst.iso ), or the description,
  • select Read-only CD-ROM as the type and leave the datastore cephds ,
  • under Image location, select Upload and browse for the ISO image on your computer,
  • create an image by clicking on the green Create above.

The newly created disc should appear in the list of available discs. To save disk space, offer the ISO image you have loaded to other users as much as possible: click on the appropriate line in the list of disks and add the Use right for Group and Other in the access rights on the right side of the page.

Similarly, create a system disk. On the StorageImages page, click on the green [+] , fill in the disk name (for example, MyTest ) or the description. Choose Generic storage datablock as the type , leave cephds storage. Important: check the This image is persistent checkbox . (Non-persistent image: created instances use a copy-on-write copy of this image. Changed VM will lose the changes made. Persistent image: can be used by only one VM, changes made are retained even after deleting the VM.) Next, select Empty disk as the source. image and enter the size. Click the green Create at the top of the page to complete the action. After creating a disk, you can still click on its line in the list of disks and change the disk type from DATABLOCK to OS .

Virtual machine template

Stratus.FI (OpenNebula) uses templates to describe what a virtual machine should look like. Primarily, templates are designed when you need to efficiently create a large number of identical virtual machines, for example, for load balancing. However, each virtual machine must have a template, even though we know in advance that it will always run in only one instance.

In the left menu, select TemplatesVMs to display a list of available templates (all your own and public ones). Click the green [+] to create a new template. On the General tab, fill in the template name, default memory size, and processor information: the CPU entry determines the complexity of this virtual machine for the purpose of selecting the physical node where the machine will run. Because the machine may not take up the entire processor for 100% of the time, set the value to around 0.2 . The VCPU tells you how many processors the virtual machine's operating system will see. Set the value to 1 . Leave Hypervisor to KVM.

Next, click the Storage tab at the top of the page (next to the General tab). Select (leave) the Image type as Disk 0 and select the disk created above from the list. Add another disk with a blue (+) . Select the installation CD-ROM as Disk 1 . Similarly, you can add a Volatile disc , such as a swap type. This disk is not a separate image, it is always re-created when the template is instantiated. One of the suitable types of use is storage space.

On the third Network tab, you set the network interfaces of the virtual machine. Connect the NIC 0 to the 503-usrpriv network.

The fourth OS Booting tab controls the boot order of the disks. To install the operating system from the CD-ROM image, select this image first (check boot from Disk 1 and use the arrows to move this disk above).

You don't have to set anything else on the other tabs at this stage, just click on the green Create at the top of the page.

Start the virtual machine

Based on the created template, we can create ( instantiate ) a virtual machine. Select the appropriate template from the list by clicking on its row, and from the detailed page about the given template, click on the blue Instantiate at the top. Here it is still possible to change some parameters for a specific instance, this will be used mainly when customizing the finished pre-installed images and templates. Just click on the green Instantiate at the top of the page.

The newly created virtual machine is visible in the list of virtual machines: InstancesVMs from the left menu. You can also see the assigned network addresses here. When installing a new system, set the network statically; copy this information into the installer. For production virtual machines, it is better to use contextualization packages that the system sets itself, for example addon-context-linux , addon-context-windows .

You can access the virtual machine console using the terminal icon on the right in the list of virtual machines, or using the terminal icon with the word VNC from the details page of one virtual machine. Here you can continue with the system installation.

After instalation

After the installation, you only need to turn on disk booting. Shut down the installed virtual machine ( power button at the top of the page with details about this virtual machine, and then Undeploy ). Then select the Conf tab on the far right, click on the green Update Configuration and change the boot order. Click the green Update at the top of the page to save your changes. You can then start the virtual machine with the triangle button to the right ("Play", ). Alternatively, a similar effect can be achieved by completely shutting down the virtual machine (the persistent disk remains), modifying the template, and re-instantiating.

Useful configuration

Finally, we recommend checking the list tips when installing the machine on FI . It contains useful advice of both a general nature and advice on how to use some services specific to the faculty network.


Links