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:
- In SUPR the cloud resource is now associated with the SSC-metacenter rather than UPPMAX. There is a dedicated round associated with SSC.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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