Launch an Instance

Launch an Instance

In order to run a virtual machine within OpenStack, you must launch an instance from a properly made image. The CRC has tested and made available many images of all the major Linux OS's for your use, including Ubuntu (12 & 14 LTS), Fedora, CentOS, and Red Hat. It is STRONGLY recommended that you use one of these images. The CRC will not be able to support custom images or those obtained from other sources. You can find the CRC tested images on the 'Images' page under the 'Public' tab. CRC tested images are prefixed with "CRC-".

Note: If using one of the CRC tested Red Hat images for your instance, please read this note below after getting your instance up and running.

Launching an instance can be done in two places on the OpenStack web interface, either from the Images page or from the Instances page. On the Instances page, click the 'Launch Instance' button.

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From the Images page, find the image would want to create an instance of and push the 'Launch' button.

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Both options will present you with the same pop up window.

Details Tab

The Details tab will allow you to enter the following information:

Availability Zone - The zone your instance will be available in. Until further notice, 'nova' is the only option, so select it.
Instance Name - The name of this particular instance. It does not need to be the same as the image name. If you make another instance using the same image, it should have a different name from this one.
Flavor - The resources that will be allocated to this instance. The flavors are a combination of RAM (memory), Disk size, and CPU core count and they range from very minimal (512MB RAM, 1GB Disk, and 1 CPU Core) to very, very large (16GB RAM, 20GB Disk, and 8 CPU cores), with many to choose from in between. The details of each flavor are displayed in the box to the right of the window (and in the name of each flavor). It is possible for administrators to create custom flavors should none of the existing images suit your needs. Please e-mail CRCSupport@nd.edu if you would like a particular flavor (combination of RAM, Disk size, and CPU cores) that doesn't exist already. Also note that you may be unable to select a flavor if your image does not support it.
Instance Count - The number of instances you want to launch. The names of the instance will be the instance name plus a long sequence of numbers and letters. This can be edited at a later point.
Instance Boot Source:

  • Boot from image - Choose an image in your project or one that was made available to you publicly.
  • Boot from snapshot - Choose a previously created Snapshot. A Snapshot is a saved state of a previous instance that has been saved as an image.
  • Boot from volume - Choose to boot from a volume if one is available to you.
  • Boot from image(creates a new volume) - Choose an image to boot from, created on a separate volume.
  • Boot from volume snapshot(creates a new volume) - Choose a previously created Snapshot, created on a separate volume.

Image Name - The name of the image to use for this instance.

If you launch the instance from the image page, the instance boot source and image name fields will be filled in automatically.

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Access & Security Tab

From the Access & Security tab, you will be able to select your keypair and your security groups.

Key Pair - The key pair that will be required for users to join your instance.
Security Groups - The security groups that you are allowing for this instance. This will determine what ports will be available on the instance. You are able to select more than one.

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Networking Tab

From the Networking tab, you will be able to select which networks you want to use. The default network is 'Campus - Private 1'. If you have other networks available to you, they will be listed below. Simply click the + symbol to add the network.

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Post-Creation Tab

From the Post-Creation tab, you will be able to set custom scripts that will be ran after the instance is launched. Most users will not need to do this.

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Advanced Options Tab

The Advanced Options tab will allow you to modify the disk partitioning scheme of your instance. Most users will not need to do this and should leave it set to Automatic.

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Final Product

Once you are satisfied with all of your settings, click the 'Launch' button in the lower right corner of the window. Depending on the size of the image you are launching your instance from, it may take some time. You will be redirected to the Instances page where you can check on the status of your new instance. If everything was done correctly, the Power Status should read Running. If something went wrong, you will be given an error message. Common issues include:

  • Using an image that has not been properly prepared for OpenStack
  • Not specifying a flavor that contains enough resources (RAM, disk space, etc.) for your selected image distribution
  • Failing to fill out all of the required fields

Note on Using Red Hat Images:

For any instance that is created using one of the CRC tested Red Hat images, you will need to register the instance with the CRC's Red Hat Satellite Server, in order to install any software or receive any updates. To do this, run the script entitled "bootstrap-admin.sh" located in the /root directory on the instance.

Creating a Windows Instance

Creating a Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 Instance is possible by first following the instructions outlined above, then by using these instructions.

Security Group Changes - Ingress/Egress rules will need to be added for the RDP protocol (port 3389) to at least the campus network ranges, and for port 1688 (Windows Activation via KMS) to at least network range 129.74.0.0/16

Obtain Password for Instance - After launching your instance, you must wait 10 minutes for it to fully boot up before you can obtain the password from OpenStack. See Pinging and Connecting to Your Instance: Windows Server 2012 R2 Instances for instructions.

Update Time - After connecting to your instance through RDP, be sure to set the correct time zone and sync the clock via NTP. The time must be synced before activating Windows.

Activate Windows - Activate Windows with KMS using the instructions provided to you via Email.

Install Updates - Finally, be sure to turn on Windows Update, and run it manually the first time to install the latest updates onto the VM.


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