Virtual Computing Lab (VCL)

What is Cloud Virtual Computing Lab?

Virtual Computing Lab (VCL) provides a service that allows users to reserve virtual machines or laboratories with predefined or custom sets of applications and remotely access it over the Internet. Users can schedule images of virtual machines for current or future use.

 

Who can use this service?

The service is available to employees and students of public academic institutions and public research institutes (or those appropriately designated within their AAI@EduHR system).

What are the benefits of using the VCL service?

Service ensures significant savings when compared to the cost of physical infrastructure procurement and maintenance for both the user institution as well as the entire science and higher learning community.

What is the configuration of a standard virtual machine as offered by this service?

A standard virtual machine provided by the VCL service has the following characteristics:

  • 1 processor (vCPU) [Intel Xeon E7-4830 ~2 GHz]
  • 2 GB operating memory (vRAM)
  • 20 GB storage space
  • a single IPv4 address within the public address space reserved for VCL service

How is the VCL service accessed and which functionalities are provided by the VCL web interface?

The management web interface is available at http://vcl.srce.hr.

It allows for:

  • image reservation
  • management of existing image reservations (modification, removal)
  • information for accessing virtual machines
  • creation of user images based on existing images
  • management of user images (selection of active version, removal of old versions)
  • usage statistics and history of all reservations
  • usage statistics of the whole VCL system

Which operating systems are available on virtual machines and can machines be modified according to user’s needs?

SRCE provides and maintains set of system images with selected operating systems and software. Currently the following systems images are provided:

  • CentOS 5 (64bit)
  • CentOS 5 (64bit) integrated with GSS service
  • CentOS 6 (64bit)
  • CentOS 6 (64bit) integrated with GSS service
  • CentOS 6 (64bit) with GNOME GUI
  • CentOS 6 (64bit) with GNOME GUI and integrated with GSS service
  • MS Windows 7 (64bit) with Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2007
  • MS Windows 7 (64bit) with Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2007 and integrated with GSS service
  • MS Windows XP with Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2007.

User can create user image with custom set of tools by using existing system or user image. User image is by default accessible only to the user that created it. On a user’s request (via user support) SRCE will enable access to the usage image to set of selected users.

Is it possible to start multiple virtual machines based on a given image (for workshops or presentation purposes)?

VCL enables restricting number of concurrent reservation for a given image. This mechanism is suitable for software with license that limits number of running instances.

User image can have multiple sub-images (same or different images) which are all started at the beginning of reservation. User can define up to 30 sub-images per image. This mechanism enables user to prepare set of virtual machines for workshops or complex system with multiple components (e.g. computer cluster).

Where can I seek assistance and additional information?

Customer service is provided by Srce helpdesk.
Detailed instructions for VCL users are available here (Croatian).
All relevant rules and regulations regarding user rights and responsibilities, usage and service levels and other information, are outlined in the Terms of service document (Croatian).