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Workshops

We offer you the ability to manage your workshops more conveniently. You may create a workshop and start multiple virtual machines for your participants with just a few clicks.

On this page we will show you how to create a workshop, how to start instances for your participants, where to get more information on your workshop and also some good general practices.

Requirements

In order to offer a workshop and receive the necessary resources, you need to be an admin of a SimpleVM project which offers workshops. If you are not already an admin of such a project, you must submit a project application.
To do this, select the SimpleVM project type and mark the Workshop item in the corresponding application. Further information about the application process can be found under Allocation. allocation_workshop

Managing workshops

All project administrators are able to manage workshops within the portal once your SimpleVM project is approved. To get to the workshop management page, click on Manage workshops in the sidebar.
new_workshop_sidebar
The workshop section will not be visible if you are not an administrator of a SimpleVM project with workshop functionality activated.

On this page you can create workshops, cleanup workshops and get information about the participants and their instances.

Create a new workshop

Select the corresponding project in which the workshop is to be started. Only projects with workshop functionality activated are displayed in the selection.
Click on "New Workshop" and enter the desired name and shortname.
You can create as many workshops as you want here, and use them to create different configurations. Keep in mind here that the number of machines available is tied to the resources from the project application.
create_or_select_workshop

Shortname

The shortname of your workshop will be used, inter alia, for naming of virtual machines and research environment links.

Overview a workshop

Select the corresponding project in which the workshop is to be started. Only projects with workshop functionality activated are displayed in the selection.
You will get an overview of your running workshops within the select project and an overview of all participants and their corresponding instances, which Research Environments you have started for which participant and whether the machines are currently running (once a workshop is selected).
workshop_overview
Running instances will be loaded and shown once you select a running workshop.
To add participants to your project, use the corresponding function in the project overview.
add_members_ws

Inform participants about their instances

Once a running workshop is selected, you have the possibility to inform specific or all participants about their running instance and how to access it. An E-Mail will be send to the preferred E-Mail of the participant.
To do this, click on Send Mail or Send VM Info Mails.

Cleanup a workshop

Select the corresponding project in which the workshop is to be started. Only projects with workshop functionality activated are displayed in the selection.
Select the workshop you want to terminate and click on Cleanup workshop. The workshop will be deleted and all instances started for this workshop will be deleted. Created volumes and snapshots will remain.

Managing instances

In the sidebar you can find the menu item "Add workshop VMs". Go there and once again select the corresponding project and the desired workshop you have created in the

Start virtual machines for your participants

Once you select a workshop, you will see a form similiar to the New Instance form.
new_instance_workshop
You will need to select a flavor, an image and the participants you want to start a virtual machine for.

Base images with research environments

Note that there are also images available that already contain a running Research Environment.

You may also start virtual machines for your admins and at participant selection you will see an icon if a virtual machine is already started for the participant. You may start as many virtual machines for a participant as you have resources.
select_users
The machines and the research-environment links will be named automatically and will have the form <WORKSHOP-SHORTNAME><PARTICIPANT-LASTNAME><PARTICIPANT-FIRSTNAME> and will be truncated to a maximum of 25 characters.
We will place the public SSH key of every admin of your project on every started machine, so that every admin of your project has SSH access to every started machine.
The research-environment will be accessable by the participant and the admin who started the virtual machine.

Once you selected everything you need and confirmed the checkboxes at the bottom of the for, you may start the virtual machines and you will get taken to the instance overview, where you will find more information about the status of the virtual machines.

vm_overview

Prepare data for your participants

Often Workshop participants need access to the same data. Unfortunately, it is not yet possible to create volume snapshots for SimpleVM projects. However, since this is an important feature for the workshops to provide the same data to the participants and a manual creation of the individual volumes would be very time-consuming for the workshop organizer, we offer as long as the volume snapshot feature is not yet available, that we create multiple copies of a volume prepared by you and assign them to your project. Please contact us by mail at cloud-helpdesk@denbi.de.

Best Practices

Preparation

It is advised to add your participants to your project a couple of days beforehand. This will help with a smoother start of your workshop. They will need to have or make an account for the de.NBI portal in order for you to add them. If you are not sure if they have an account you can send your participants the wiki site where the registration process is explained.

SSH keys

Info

If your participants do not need to login to their machines with SSH, please ignore this paragraph.

There are many users to whom the concept of SSH keys is foreign and therefore it is important to explain the users the basic concept of SSH keys, in case that they have no prior knowledge about them. Furthermore, it is important to tell users to pay attention if they create a key pair using the de.NBI portal. While the public key is stored on the portal, they need to save the private key on their computer themselves.
As workshops tend to have a lot of new content and participants may be overwhelmed, it is important to explain them these steps patiently and make sure everyone follows through, as they will not be able to access their machines later on, if they lose their private key.

Tip

Make sure the admins of your project also have their SSH key set.

Access to machines

Info

By default, workshop participants are not allowed to start machines on their own. This restriction can be waived in the project overview.

Trouble Shooting

If you experience troubles, have feedback on our services or have a special request please do not hesitate to contact us under cloud-helpdesk@denbi.de.