Skip to content

Workshop management

You can manage your workshops conveniently with SimpleVM. Create workshops in your SimpleVM project, add users and administrators, and launch virtual machines for your users with a few clicks.

On this page, you learn:

  • How to create and manage a workshop.
  • How to start instances for your workshop participants.
  • How to inform your participants about their machines.
  • Good general practices and tips for workshop and vm management.

Requirements

Only administrators in a SimpleVM project with workshops activated can use the workshop tools.
If you have no SimpleVM project, you need to apply for a SimpleVM project with Workshop marked, see the Portal wiki page for more information about the application process.

allocation_workshop

If you have a SimpleVM project without workshop activated, but would like to conduct one in the context of your project, contact the de.NBI helpdesk at cloud-helpdesk@denbi.de.

Manage workshops

new_workshop_sidebar

All project administrators can manage workshops within the portal once your SimpleVM project got approval.
To get to the workshop management page, click Manage workshops in the sidebar.

I can't see the tab in the sidebar

The workshop section is only visible if:

  • You are an administrator of a SimpleVM project.
  • The SimpleVM project has workshop capability activated.

If you satisfy both conditions and still not see the tab, contact the cloud-helpdesk@denbi.de.

On this page, you can:

  • Create workshops
  • Clean up workshops
  • Get information about the participants and their instances
  • Email participants with information about their instances

Create a new workshop

create_or_select_workshop

Select the project you want to manage a workshop for. The dropdown only displays projects with workshop activated.
Click New Workshop, enter a descriptive name, and a project-intern unique shortname.
You can create as many workshops as you want and use them to create different configurations.

Why the shortname?

The shortname of your workshop appears in the workshop vm names and research environment URLs to better differentiate between workshops.

Workshop resource consumption

Workshops share the available SimpleVM project resources. If you have maximum 10 vms available, you can't start more than 10 vms across all workshops running in that SimpleVM project.

Selected workshop overview

workshop_overview

Select the project you want to manage a workshop for. The dropdown only displays projects with workshop activated.
A list of all workshops within the selected project appears, and an overview of all participants. Select a workshop to load the list of the participants' virtual machines and their details.

To add participants and administrators to your project and workshops, you need to add them in the project overview.

add_members_ws

Inform participants about their instances

Click Send VM info Mails to inform every participant with a virtual machine about their virtual machines details and how to access it.
Click Send Mail or (Re)Send Mail to inform selected participants about their virtual machines details and how to access it.

Who sends the E-Mail and who gets it?

The cloud@denbi.de address sends an E-Mail to the preferred E-Mail address of each participant. Each user can change their preferred E-Mail address on their profile page.

Clean up a workshop

Select the project you want to manage a workshop for. The dropdown only displays projects with workshop activated.
Select the workshop you want to end and click Cleanup workshop. This deletes the workshop and all instances started for this workshop. Created volumes and snapshots remain.

Volume resources

Keep in mind that volumes, that remain after cleaning up a workshop, occupy your allocated volume resources. If you want to free the resources, you need to apply for more resources or delete the remaining volumes manually.

Manage workshop vms

new_workshop_sidebar

All project administrators can manage workshop vms within the portal once your SimpleVM project got approval, and at least one workshop got created.
To get to the workshop vm page, click Add workshop VM in the sidebar.

I can't see the tab in the sidebar

The workshop section is only visible if:

  • You are an administrator of a SimpleVM project.
  • The SimpleVM project has workshop capability activated.

If you satisfy both conditions and still not see the tab, contact cloud-helpdesk@denbi.de.

On this page, you can:

  • Start virtual machines for your participants

Starting vms prohibited for participants by default

By default, workshop participants can't start machines on their own. An administrator can waive this restriction on the project overview.

Start virtual machines for your participants

Select a workshop.

new_instance_workshop

Select a flavor. See Flavors for more information about flavors.
Select an image. See Images and Snapshots for more information about images and snapshots.
Optionally, select a research environment template. See Research environments for more information about browser-based research environments.

Base image with template versus research environment image

de.NBI Cloud provides images with a research environment installed. Virtual machines with pre-build images start faster than base images with a selected template.

Select the participants and administrators you want to start vms for. You may start as many virtual machines for a participant as you have resources.

select_users

The machine name, and the research environment URL, have the form <WORKSHOP-SHORTNAME><PARTICIPANT-LASTNAME><PARTICIPANT-FIRSTNAME>, and have a maximum of 25 characters.
The startup process puts the public SSH key of your project administrators on every workshop vm. This enables your project administrators to connect to a workshop vm if required.
The research-environment is accessible by the participant, and the administrator who started the virtual machine.
Before starting the workshop vms, you need to confirm your responsibility for the machines. After starting, a redirect takes you to the instance overview where you find more information about the status of your machines.

vm_overview

Prepare data for your participants

Often, workshop participants need access to the same data. SimpleVM projects can't duplicate or snapshot volumes yet.
Because it's important that your participants can access the same data, and creating each volume is time-consuming, you can contact us at cloud-helpdesk@denbi.de. We create copies of your prepared volume for you and assign them to your project.

Best Practices

Add participants beforehand

You should add participants to your project a couple of days before your workshop starts. They need an account for the de.NBI Cloud Portal, otherwise you can't add them. You can send them a link to the registration wiki where they can read about the registration process.
Sometimes, participants can have trouble registering. Having them register beforehand, so you can add them, helps for a smoother workshop start.

Start machines before the workshop starts

You should start machines for your participants before your workshop begins. Depending on your vm configuration, starting many vms can take a couple of minutes. In rare cases, starting a vm can fail, or a snapshot can be faulty. Starting them beforehand, and making sure they run correctly, helps for a smoother workshop start and prevents troubleshooting when you actually want to conduct your workshop.

Explain SSH keys

Info

Please ignore this paragraph if your participants don't need to connect to their machines with SSH.

You should explain to your participants the basics of an SSH keypair. Many participants don't know what an SSH keypair is. It may happen that participants lose their private key, mix up public and private keys, or try to use unrelated private and public keys. This can lead to your participants losing access to their vm.
Your participants can set their public key or create a keypair on their profile page. Make sure they download the private key when they create an SSH keypair and save it on their computers, the de.NBI Cloud Portal only stores the public key.

Have your administrators set their public key

Make sure the administrators of your project have their SSH key set. Starting virtual machines for your participants requires a public key from every administrator.

Troubleshooting problems

If you experience troubles, have feedback, or have a special request, contact us at cloud-helpdesk@denbi.de.


Last update: December 28, 2022