News

Scheduled downtime for the HPC2N region of SSC – 3/9 2018

One of the central network switches in the storage-infrastructure will be replaced due to a failed fan and to do this we must shut down all running instances in the HPC2N region on 3/9 2018 between 08:00 and 12:00.

This will only effect the HPC2N region and will not have any impact on instances running in the other SSC regions.

However login via the web dashboard to the other regions will not work during this maintenance period.

SNIC Science Cloud Workshop in Sundsvall, 31 August 2018

The SNIC Science Cloud (SSC) invites all interested current and future users to a training workshop on an introductory level at Mid Sweden University, Campus Sundsvall, 10:00-16:00 on the 31st of August.

We will introduce cloud computing in general, including covering the best practices around security and you will learn the basics of how to work with the OpenStack based Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). The majority of the time will be spent in lab sessions on basic usage of the IaaS cloud.
You need to bring a laptop, but no prior experience of using cloud resources are required.

For more information and registration here: https://www.hpc2n.umu.se/events/courses/cloud-workshop-august-2018

SSC Introductory Workshop at C3SE, Göteborg

We would like to invite all interested current and future users to a training workshop on introductory level at C3SE, Göteborg, on Oct 23, 10-16. We will introduce cloud computing in general, including covering best practices around security. The majority of time will be spent in lab sessions on basic usage of the IaaS cloud.

Please register here.

Location: Chalmers University of Technology, Room Raven & Fox, Fysik forskarhus 5th floor.

Visiting address: Chalmers Campus Johanneberg, Room Raven & Fox, Fysik forskarhus, 5th floor entrance Fysikgränd 3.

Note the the number of participants are limited to around 25, and spots will be filled on a first-come-first serve basis.

You need to bring a laptop, no prior experience of using cloud resources are required.

SSC training workshop at HPC2N on Oct 10

We would like to invite all interested current and future users to a training workshop on introductory level at HPC2N, Umeå, on Oct 10. We will introduce cloud computing in general, including covering best practices around security. The majority of time will be spent in lab sessions on basic usage of the IaaS cloud.

Please register here.

Note the the number of participants are limited to around 25, and spots will be filled on a first-come-first serve basis.

You need to bring a laptop, no prior experience of using cloud resources are required.

Information Security Workshop

The work on SNIC Science Cloud is progressing rapidly. Today we are operating two fully functional regions (at HPC2N and C3SE), with capacity to host over 2000 VCPUs. That capacity will soon double with the addition of our third region provided by the UPPMAX centre.

As part of assessing the readiness of the project to start delivering production resources, we gathered last week for an Information Security Workshop organized by the SNIC office. It was two intensive days filled with interesting potential scenarios, and corresponding mitigation options.

One major outcome of the workshop was a more extensive list of topics that we need to carefully explain to the users of the IaaS systems, in a structured manner. This is important input that we will bring with us into the work on finalizing a draft service description for SSC, and a security guideline, that we are currently working on.

Using IPv6 with your instances

One prevalent problem for SSC has been a constant shortage of IPv4 addresses. Fortunately, it is now possible to use IPv6 with your instances. You can find a tutorial for how to enable the interfaces in your instances, and read about the requirements client-side to access instances over IPv6 here: https://github.com/SNICScienceCloud/technical-training/tree/master/how-to-use-IPv6  

SSC in pre-production

It has been a busy spring in the SSC team. Following instructions from SNIC to start converging to a production-level national service, we have worked hard to refine and automate our deployment and management of the cloud control planes (in the process standardizing on e.g. operating systems and management software across all regions). We now have a common operations base, contributed to from all participating centra and publicly available on GitHub.

We are happy to announce that we open up for project requests again, in what we call the “pre-production stage”. To get access to the resources, simply make a new project request in SUPR, following the instructions here.

During pre-production, we have all intention to provide a stable, well supported infrastructure mature for real use-cases. We offer SNIC’s normal best offer support. However, we acknowledge the fact that there might be unforeseen modifications needed when then number of users ramps up again. Hence, we reserve the right to have frequent service windows, sometimes with short announcement times during the pre-production stage. All service descriptions, policies etc. regarding usage and quotas should also be considered in draft-stage (we need this pre-production time to verify that our models hold up in practice). By using SSC in the pre-production stage,  we also ask you to be helpful to report any issues you encounter swiftly, and we might reach out to you as a user for feedback on critical functionality  and documentation to help us harden the setup further.

If you were a pilot user of SSC in 2016/2017, you will now notice the following major changes:

  1. In SUPR the cloud resource is now associated with the SSC-metacenter rather than UPPMAX.  There is a dedicated round associated with SSC.
  2. When requesting the project, the unit for the resource is “Coins”. We are in the process of implementing an accounting system that resembles commercial clouds, to better support the “cloud economic model” of usage. In pre-production, you can ignore this number (just write e.g. 1000 in the box), but it will become used in production stage.
  3. Account management has been reworked, and now uses SUPR as the identity provider. This means that in order to log into the dashboard, you will log into SUPR first to prove your identity. This means that SWAMID is supported (and the preferred mechanism for authentication to Horizon).
  4. There are two independent (and hence resilient) but harmonized regions,  HPC2N and C3SE. Each currently offer the same set of services. You are welcome to use either, or both. Since the regions have HW of different quality, later there will be a differentiated cost.

During the pre-production stage we will continue the work on:

  • Finalizing the cost/quota model and implementing accounting with SAMS.
  • Improve our automated monitoring of systems.
  • Scaling regions with more HW.
  • Finalizing an offical service description.
  • Finalizing end-user policies, incl.  security considerations.

The following timelines now apply:

  • March 21-August 30: Pre-production stage opens.
  • April 4: The old “SMOG” cloud is decommissioned.
  • April 5-August 30, “Dis”, a new large region based on UPPMAX-Tintin resources is added to SSC.
  • August 30 – Production stage (pending final review).

Welcome back to SSC!

The SNIC Science Cloud Team