Drive and computer in the cloud

pomaranczona lza man-ha minThe PIONIER Network has created a public cloud with free services that are available for students and researchers. As part of these services, users have remote access to a wide range of applications and the ability to create and run virtual machines. They can store files on a  disk in the cloud which can be accessed through virtual machines directly from anywhere on the Internet.

The cloud supporting platform is located in 22 centres in Poland, but it may be accessed from a single location. The cloud is supported by the OpenStack platform, for which  a portal with the resources booking system has been created. Since resources in the cloud are limited, each user receives a certain limit on a number of virtual machines, processors, RAM, etc., in which they can run applications and virtual machines instances. User’s virtual machines run in a private virtual network to which access is possible through floating public IP addresses.

Cloud users can also create high availability virtual machines. This involves the replication of set of virtual machines between data centres. In case of data centre failure or lack of availability from the Internet, a virtual machine will be launched and made available from a different location.

Users of the application and virtual machines have the possibility to copy their files to a virtual machine directly from their PC via RDP in the case virtual machines with Windows or SSH / SFTP in the case those with Linux. They can also use the cloud storage which can be mapped as a home directory to the system in a virtual machine. Access to it is also possible directly via the Internet using the SFTP client. Because the direct use of cloud storage is more efficient than copying the files to the virtual machine, a user can copy large amounts of data to the disk in a cloud and then use them by mapping the home directory in the virtual machine.