Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Changes in Nimbus Cloud Allocations in FutureGrid

Dear Nimbus Users,

FutureGrid has decided to decommission the Nimbus Cloud on Sierra at San Diego Supercomputing Center. 

Over the last several years Sierra and Hotel have been the two most used FutureGrid clouds. Sierra has fulfilled an important role for many Nimbus-based projects as a complement to Hotel: both Sierra and Hotel are configured with the Xen hypervisor so it was easy for users to move their virtual machines between the clouds when one of them was down for maintenance or to configure distributed experiments. We will be sad to see Sierra go, but in the meantime we made plans to facilitate the transition for our users. 

In order to provide the same level of service, i.e., provide two closely integrated clouds such that users can move easily from one to the other, we will reconfigure Hotel such that the Nimbus Alamo cloud at TACC and the Nimbus Hotel cloud at University of Chicago support the same configuration. Since Alamo is configured with KVM, this will mean that the Hotel cloud will now also support KVM. 

What this means to you: If you are using Nimbus on Sierra or Hotel it means that you will need to convert your images from Xen to KVM. We will of course provide guides on how to make this conversion as well as base KVM images that can be configured with user software. To allow our users time to make the change we will also operate both the Nimbus-Xen and Nimbus-KVM clouds at University of Chicago side by side for a month. 

Timetable: The Hotel Nimbus-KVM cloud will become available on March 3rd and the Hotel Nimbus-Xen cloud will shut down on March 31st. The Sierra Nimbus-Xen cloud will become unavailable after March 3rd.

Both Alamo and Hotel also support OpenStack KVM-based clouds with complementary configurations used by an increasing number of projects. As you are migrating your work from the Hotel and Sierra Nimbus-Xen clouds, please consider using one of those clouds as well. The amount of physical resources allocated to Nimbus and OpenStack will be based on cloud utilization.

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