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IGE Globus Appliances in StratusLab Cloud

GE Globus Appliance on StratusLab Marketplace

The IGE Globus appliances are published on the StratusLab market place. Their description could be found at http://marketplace.stratuslab.eu/metadata, among the list of other appliances. They contain Globus Toolkit (GT) components installed and partially configured.

Marketplace Entries of IGE Globus Appliances

For the moment, due to limited searching features of the user interface offered on the StratusLab marketplace Web page, the simplest way to select the collection on IGE Globus appliances is filtering based on the operating system (os). It is recommended to use that field to give a specific name to the IGE GT Appliances. Thus, their name starts with "IGEvx.y-GT5" string, followed by the real OS name, where x and y identify the IGE release (for the moment the only supported releases are 1.0 and 2.0). The currently working IGE Globus appliances comes with Ubuntu Server 10.4 (x86_64), Fedora 15 (i686) and CentOS 6.0 (i686) operating systems.

The screen-shot below illustrates such a selection, where only the first element of the selection is visible, due to the relatively long description of the image displayed after its name. 

Selection of IGE Appliances on the StratusLab Marketplace


For more detailed information, "More..." link must be followed. The figure below illustrates detailed information about an IGE image. 

Details About an IGE Image


What a user is important to note is firstly, the description field, in order to find out the needed appliances, and secondly, once the appliance fits the user needs, the appliance's identifier. The latter information will be used to instantiate that appliance on the StratusLab cloud, like will be shown below.

The description field is relatively large and not nice formatted. The large size is because we want to give the user precise information about the content of every appliances and the differences between them. The format appearance is due to limitations of the StratusLab tools. We hope to be able to improve it in the near future.

IGE Globus Appliance Types

There are currently three types of IGE Globus appliances available on the StratusLab marketplace:

  1. With the GT5.2/5.0.4 sources downloaded from globus.org and only compiled. Detailed about the compilation options could be seen in the appliance description. This type of appliance requires configuration of GT services. It is intended for users who want to either learn configuring Globus components (for instance during Globus trainings)  or try out different particular configurations. The advantage is thus the flexibility of usage and the saving of the relatively long Globus compilation time.

  2. With GT5.2/5.0.4 compiled from sources and also some of the GT services configured, namely GridFTP, GRAM5, gsi-openssh. The configuration performed is the basic one described in the QuickStart guide at http://globus.org/toolkit/docs/latest-stable/admin/quickstart/#quickstart. This type of appliances is intended for those wanting to test regular configurations of Globus services. 

  3. Few GT5.2/5.0.4 installed from IGE packages. Namely, we provide GridFTP server and GSI-OpenSSH server installed and using the default configuration, i.e. the one provided in the corresponding IGE package. The configuration file for GridFTP server is located at /etc/gridftp.conf, a file copied from /etc/gridftp.conf.default when gridftp server is firstly started, i.e. at machine boot. The configuration file for GSI-OpenSSH server can be found at /etc/gsissh/sshd_config. Note that the default port used by gsisshd is 2222.

No host and user certificate is created for any published IGE Globus appliance, so this is the responsibility of its users in both cases described above. Though, on the configured appliances, we installed in /etc/grid-security/certificates the certificates of most known CAs.

Running Appliances on the StratusLab Cloud

In order to instantiate a published appliance like a virtual machine in the StratusLab cloud, someone needs the followings:

  1. Permission rights to do this. This can be asked from the StratusLab support staff (support@stratuslab.eu), providing them your Grid certificate's DN. 
  2. The client command line tools. This software can be downloaded from http://repo.stratuslab.eu:8081/content/repositories/fedora-14-releases/eu/stratuslab/pkgs/stratuslab-cli-user-pkg/1.27/stratuslab-cli-user-pkg-1.27.tar.gz.

The way the StratusLab client tools can be installed and configured is described at http://stratuslab.org/doku.php/tutorial:installation. The basic steps consists, however, in doing the followings:

  1. Decompress the archive in some directory. I suppose in this exemplification to be the $HOME one.
  • Set some environment variables.
    export PATH=$HOME/stratuslab/bin:$PATH
    export PYTHONPATH=$HOME/stratuslab/lib/stratuslab/python
    export STRATUSLAB_KEY=$HOME/.ssh/id_rsa.pub
  • Create a $HOME/.stratuslab directory.
  • Create a StratusLab user configuration file. Copy the file $HOME/stratuslab/conf/stratuslab-user.cfg.ref to $HOME/.stratuslab directory. Modify it to have the contain the following settings.

    endpoint = cloud.grnet.stratuslab.eu
    pem_key = $HOME/.globus/userkey.pem

    pem_certificate = $HOME/.globus/usercert.pem


    marketplace_endpoint = http://marketplace.stratuslab.org/metadata

    key = $HOME/.ssh/id_rsa.pub

  • The StratusLab client tools detailed user guide can be found at http://stratuslab.org/doku.php/tutorial:machinelifecycle. The main operations are:

    1. Create a new instance of an appliance
      stratus-run-instance <APPLIANCE_ID>

    2. Monitor the status of created instances. Status and allocated IP is displayed.
      stratus-describe-instance

    3. When the instance state is "running", connect that instance
      ssh root@<INSTANCE_IP>

    Pay attention that, due to security reasons, only the ssh key based authentication is allowed to an instance of any IGE Globus appliance. Actually, this is the StratusLab recommended strategy for all the appliances running on their cloud. The instantiating user ssh public key is automatically copied and installed in the new instance (in /root/.ssh/authorized_keys file) during its creation, which is what provides the creator user the possibility to login using ssh to that instance.

    Once logged in a Globus appliance instance, the user can start working on configuring GT services or at least getting host/user certificates to use the GT tools.