Launching and Managing Instances

Instances are virtual machines that run inside the cloud. You can launch an instance from the following sources:

  • Images uploaded to the Image service.
  • Images that you have copied to a persistent volume. The instance launches from the volume, which is provided by the cinder-volume API through iSCSI.
  • Instance snapshot that you took.

Launching an Instance

  1. Log in to the dashboard.


    Note: When you first log in to the dashboard, the LAUNCH INSTANCE button is available on the landing page.

  3. Specify values as shown in step 4 in the following procedure.

To launch an instance from a screen that does not have the LAUNCH INSTANCE button displayed, follow these steps:

  1. Select the appropriate project from the drop-down menu at the top left.

  2. On the PROJECT tab, click the INSTANCES category.


  4. In the Launch Instance dialog box, specify the following values:
    • Details Tab
        By default, this value is set to the availability zone provided by Cisco engineers. You may have only one availability zone.
        Assign a name to the virtual machine.

        Note: The name you assign here becomes the initial host name of the server. If the name is longer than 63 characters, the Compute service truncates it automatically to ensure dnsmasq works correctly.

        After the server is built, if you change the server name in the API or change the host name directly, the names are not updated in the dashboard.

        Server names are not guaranteed to be unique when created so you could have two instances with the same host name.

      • Flavor
        Specify the size of the instance to launch. Choices include:
        • m1.tiny
        • m1.small
        • m1.medium
        • m1.large
        • m1.xlarge

        Note: Once you select a flavor, the flavor details display on the right. For example, if you select m1.medium, the flavor details show 2 VCPUs, 40 GB root disk, and 4096 MB of RAM.

        To launch multiple instances, enter a value greater than 1. The default is 1.
        Your options are:
        • Boot from image
          If you choose this option, a new field for IMAGE NAME displays. You can select the image from the drop-down list.
        • Boot from snapshot
          If you choose this option, a new field for INSTANCE SNAPSHOT displays. You can select the snapshot from the drop-down list.
    • Access & Security Tab
      • KEY PAIR
        Specify the name of an existing key pair or click the + to import a key pair.

        Note: If the image uses a static root password or a static key set (neither is recommended), you do not need to provide a key pair to launch the instance.

        Activate the security groups that you want to assign to the instance. Security groups are a kind of cloud firewall that define which incoming network traffic is forwarded to instances.
        If you have not created any security groups, you can assign the default security group to the instance by checking the DEFAULT box.

    • Networking Tab
        To add a network to the instance, click the name of a network in the AVAILABLE NETWORKS field, then drag and drop into the SELECTED NETWORKS field. NIC order is determined by the order the networks appear, and can be changed by dragging and dropping networks to rearrange their order.
    • Post-Creation Tab
        Specify a script to customize your instance after it launches. Select one of these script sources:
        • Direct Input: Enter the script directly in the SCRIPT DATA field.
        • File: Enter the name of the script in the SCRIPT FILE field.
    • Advanced Options Tab
        Select the type of disk partition from the dropdown list:
        • Automatic: Entire disk is single partition and automatically resizes.
        • Manual: Faster build times but requires manual partitioning.
        Configure OpenStack to write metadata to a special configuration drive that attaches to the instance when it boots.
  5. Click LAUNCH.
    The instance starts on a compute node in the cloud.

    Note: If you did not provide a key pair, security groups, or rules, the only way to access the instance from inside the cloud is through VNC. Even pinging the instance is not possible without an ICMP rule configured.

Launching an Instance from an Image

You can also launch an instance from the Images category by clicking LAUNCH INSTANCE next to the image you want to use for the instance.

When you launch an instance from an image, OpenStack creates a local copy of the image on the compute node where the instance starts.

For details on creating images, see Creating images manually in the OpenStack Virtual Machine Image Guide.

Connecting to your Instance Using SSH

To use SSH to connect to your instance, use the downloaded keypair file.

  1. Copy the IP address for your instance.

  2. Use the ssh command to make a secure connection to the instance. For example:

    $ ssh -i MyKey.pem cloud@
  3. At the prompt, type yes.

You can also SSH into an instance without an SSH keypair, if the administrator has enabled root password injection. For more information about root password injection, see Injecting the administrator password in the OpenStack Administrator Guide.

Tracking Usage for Instances

You can view usage for instances for each project. You can view meters that show usage of vCPUs, disks, RAM, and uptime for all your instances.

  1. Log in to the dashboard.

  2. Select the appropriate project from the drop-down menu at the top left.

  3. On the PROJECT tab, click the OVERVIEW category.

  4. To query the instance usage for a specific period of time, enter the date range in the From and To fields, and click SUBMIT.

  5. To download a summary in .csv format, click DOWNLOAD CSV SUMMARY. The file is stored in Excel, as shown in the following example:
    Usage Summary

Creating an Instance Snapshot

  1. Log in to the dashboard.

  2. Select the appropriate project from the drop-down menu at the top left.

  3. On the PROJECT tab, click the INSTANCES category.

  4. Select the instance from which to create a snapshot.

  5. In the ACTIONS column, click CREATE SNAPSHOT.

  6. In the Create Snapshot dialog box, enter a name for the snapshot, and click CREATE SNAPSHOT. The new snapshot appears in the list of images, and the TYPE is shown as Snapshot.

To launch an instance from the snapshot, select the snapshot and click LAUNCH INSTANCE. Fill out the requested values in the Launch Instance dialog and click LAUNCH.

Managing an Instance

  1. Log in to the dashboard.

  2. Select the appropriate project from the drop-down menu at the top left.

  3. On the PROJECT tab, click the INSTANCES category.

  4. Select an instance.

  5. In the menu list in the ACTIONS column, select the state.
    ACTIONS Sub-menu

    You can resize or rebuild an instance. You can also choose to view the instance console log and edit the instance or the security groups. Depending on the current state of the instance, you can select pause, resume, suspend, soft or hard reboot, or terminate.