Manage instances

As an NeCTAR Cloud administrative user, You can manage instances for users via NeCTAR Dashboard. You can perform many tasks such as view, terminate, reboot and create a snapshot from an instance, etc.

Control the state of an instance

To manage and change the state of an instance, you can login to the NeCTAR Dashboard and follow the below steps:

  • Login to Dashboard

  • Authenticate yourself via AAF

  • Click 'Instances' on the left side of the page and click 'Action' drop down list for an instance. You should see something similar as the below screenshot

instance management

The drop down list includes all the available actions you can use to manage the instance. This article gives a brief explanation about them.

You can refer to this document to see more information about managing instances.

Create instance snapshots

To create an snapshot, you can click 'Create Snapshot' from the above action list and you will see a pop-up window like below:


Provide a meaningful name and the click 'Create Snapshot' button.

Notes: You should always pause the instance before snapshot it. However, live snapshot is also possible and you need to make sure the snapshot is consistent with the instance as the snapshot doesn't capture the state of the memory. So before snapshot, you need to ensure that:

  • running programs have written their contenst to disk

  • the file system does not have any 'dirty' buffers

For Linux user, you can execute sync to write dirty buffer to disk. It is not sufficient to only use sync to get file system consistent. It is recommend to use fsfreeze tool. In ubuntu, you can run sudo apt-get install util-linux to install the fsfreeze tool.

To freeze a file system, you can run fsfreeze -f /mnt as a root user in a command line console, where /mnt is the file system mount point.

After you created the snapshot, you can unfreeze the file system by executing fsfreeze -u /mnt where /mnt is the file system mount point.

You can refer to Taking Snapshot for more information.

Change security group

You can click "Edit Security groups" from the drop down list to add/remove security group for a running instance.

instance management

From the above screenshot, You can see the currently applied security groups are listed on the right hand side and left hand side is a list of available security groups. You can click the plus button to add the available security groups to the right hand side and click the minus button to remove a security group. Once you have done, you can click 'Save' button to save your changes.

Launch a VNC console

Sometimes, you need to access your instance directly via a web browser and you can do it by using the VNC console. The console provides a great way to access the instance if you haven't open port for SSH.

Click the "console" item from the drop down list and you should see a screen like below:

instance management

You can then click the 'Click here to show only console' and you should see the following screen:

instance management

After the login prompt appears, you can type in username and password to login to the instance and perform any task as required.

View log

The console log provides very useful information that may be required in troubleshooting issues. You can access the log by clicking "view log" item from the action drop down list. After clicking, you should see the following screen:

instance management

This gives you the latest system log messages, if you want to see the full logs, you can click the 'View Full Log Button'.

Create and Manage Volumes

You can attach volumes as persistent storage to instances. You can attach or detach a volume from a instance at any time and it is also easy to create snapshot from or delete a volume.

To create a volume, you can follow the below steps:

  • Log in to the dashboard

  • select the project from the CURRENT PROJECT on the Project tab

  • On the Project tab, open the Compute tab and click Volumes category

  • Click 'Create Volume' button

  • In the pop-up window, you can enter or select the following values:

Volume Name: name for the volume

Description: description for the volume

Type: Leave this field blank

Size: The size of the volume in gigabytes

Volume Source: To create a standard empty disk for data storage, select "No source, empty volume"

Availability Zone: Select the Availability Zone from the list

  • Click 'Create Volume' button

  • The dashboard shows the volume on the 'Volumes' tab.

To attach a volume to an instance:

  • Log in to the dashboard[dashboard ]

  • select the project from the CURRENT PROJECT on the Project tab

  • On the Project tab, open the Compute tab and click Volumes category

  • Select the volume to add to an instance and in the action drop down list, click Edit Attachments

  • In the Manage Volume Attachments dialog box, select an instance and click 'Attach Volume' button

To detach a volume from an instance:

  • Log in to the dashboard, choose a project, and click Volumes

  • Select the volume and click Edit Attachments

  • Click 'Detach Volume' button and confirm your changes

To delete a volume:

  • Log in to the dashboard, choose a project, and click Volumes

  • Select the check boxes for the volumes that you want to delete.

  • Click 'Delete Volumes' button and confirm your choice.

Note: the data in its attached volumes is not destroyed after you delete a volume