EduCloud FAQ

General inquiries

 

EduCloud Dashboards

 

What is available as self-service in EduCloud Server?

Feature Self-Service Open Service Request

Increasing VM CPU, memory and/or disk resources X  
Deploying additional virtual machines / vApps X  
Delegate access to my organization in EduCloud X  
Take & remove virtual machine / vApp snapshots X  
De-provision virtual machine/ vApp X  
Migrate between Cloud instances X  
Migrate virtual machine  / vApp between disk tiers X  
Change firewall rules & load balancers   X
Add additional resources to my Org vDC   X
Migrate my VSS virtual machines to EduCloud Server   X

What systems administration tasks are supported?

TASK Supported Best-Effort Unsupported

Hardware and Operating System related performance / stability problems

X

 

 

Backups and Restores

X

 

 

Adding external networks to ORGs (Requires approval)

X

 

 

Maintaining Gold-images in Catalog

X

 

 

Self-Service Hardware Changes (Increasing VM CPU, memory, disk resources, networking)

 

X

 

File Sharing Setup (NFS, CIFS, etc…)

 

X

 

Local Firewall / ACL Management

 

X

 

Software / Application Installation

 

 

X

User, Group, or Permissions Management

 

 

X

Application Related Problems

 

 

X

Building / Implementing Scripts

 

 

X

Security Auditing

 

 

X

Scheduling Tasks

 

 

X

Guest Operating System Maintenance Including Security / Application Patches

 

 

X

Guest Operating System Agent-Based Monitoring – Resources, Usage, Performance

 

 

X

 

What is a vApp?
A vApp is a container for virtual machines that offers resource controls and management for the virtual machines that are inside. Think of a vApp as a portable, self-contained box that holds multiple virtual machines that make up a multi-tiered application (like a web server, database, and security server), including all custom network configurations.

vApps offer:

  • Container for multiple virtual machines
  • Resource controls for the VMs inside the container
  • Network configurations contained inside
  • Portability of the vApp such that everything can be contained and transferred to another virtual infrastructure
  • Entire vApps can be powered on, powered off, suspended, or shutdown
  • Entire vApps can be cloned

What is an OrgVDC?
OrgVDC is short for Organization Virtual Datacenter.

An organization VDC is a logical grouping of resources from one or more provider VDCs that an organization is allowed to access. Depending on back-end (provider VDC) configuration and needs of the organization, one or more sets of resources backed by different provider VDCs might be present. This enables different performance, SLA or cost options to be available to organization users when deploying a workload.

What is a ProviderVDC?
ProviderVDC is short for Provider Virtual Datacenter.

A provider VDC is a logical grouping of compute and storage resources. The provider VDC groups together a set of vSphere hosts and a set of one or more associated datastores (storage). This logical grouping is then made available for consumption by organization virtual datacenters. Provider VDCs can leverage the Storage Profiles feature of vSphere to provide multiple classes of storage to differing organizations.

What Browsers does EduCloud Server support?
The EduCloud Server Web Console is compatible with many versions of the Firefox and Internet Explorer Web browsers.

Note:  The EduCloud Server Web Console is compatible only with 32-bit browsers. When a browser is listed as supported on a 64-bit platform, use of a 32-bit browser on the 64-bit platform is implied.

Browsers Supported on Microsoft Windows Platforms

On Windows platforms, the EduCloud Server Web Console is compatible the most recent version of Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome, and with their immediate predecessor versions.

The EduCloud Server Web Console is not compatible with the Microsoft Edge browser.

Browsers Supported on Linux Platforms

On these Linux platforms, the EduCloud Server Web Console is compatible with the most recent version of Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, and with their immediate predecessor versions.

  • CentOS 7.x
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.x
  • Ubuntu 14.x

Browsers Supported on MAC OS X Platforms

On Mac OS X, the EduCloud Server Web Console is compatible with the most recent version of Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, and with their immediate predecessor versions.

Supported Versions of Adobe Flash Player
The EduCloud Server Web Console requires Adobe Flash Player version 11.2 or later. Only the 32-bit version is supported.

Supported Versions of Java
EduCloud Server clients must have JRE 1.6.0 update 10 or later installed and enabled. Only the 32-bit version is supported.

What OS images are currently offered in EduCloud Server?

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 64-bit
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 64-bit
  • Ubuntu Linux 14.04 LTS 64-bit
  • Ubuntu Linux 16.04 LTS 64-bit
  • Windows 7 Enterprise 64-bit
  • Windows 8.1 Enterprise 64-bit
  • Windows 10 Enterprise 64-bit
  • Windows 2008 R2 Standard
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard

How do my VMs activate their Microsoft Licensing in EduCloud Server?
The current images in EduCloud Server will activate against the Microsoft KMS server on campus.

What are snapshots and how do I use them?
Snapshots allow you to preserve the state of the virtual machine so you can return to the same state repeatedly. The most common use for snapshots is to preserve system state before making major changes or applying operating system patches. Please note that snapshots are not backup systems – they only contain deltas of changes between the time the snapshot was taken and current state.

You can take a snapshot of a virtual machine either on a virtual machine level or a vApp level. Please note that you can only take one snapshot at a time – subsequent snapshots replace previous snapshots of the VM or whole vApp.  vApp snapshot will take a snapshot of each VM contained within it, thus replacing any individual VM snapshots taken previously.

After you take the snapshot, you can revert a virtual machine to the most recent snapshot or remove the snapshot.  Remove the snapshots as soon as possible, especially on high-transaction virtual machines (e.g. email or database servers).

Note: Snapshots do not capture NIC configurations.

 

What are known issues with Educloud Server?

  • Please ensure the appropriate plugin is installed for the browser you wish to use with Educloud Server:
Windows (Google Chrome) http://vsphereclient.vmware.com/vsphereclient/3/6/3/5/3/4/1/VMware-ClientIntegrationPlugin-5.6.0.exe
Windows (other browsers) http://vsphereclient.vmware.com/vsphereclient/3/8/6/3/8/4/6/VMware-ClientIntegrationPlugin-6.2.0.exe
Mac OS X (other browsers) http://vsphereclient.vmware.com/vsphereclient/3/8/6/3/8/4/6/VMware-ClientIntegrationPlugin-6.2.0.mac64.dmg
Linux http://vsphereclient.vmware.com/vsphereclient/3/8/6/3/8/4/6/VMware-ClientIntegrationPlugin-6.2.0.x86_64.bundle

 

  • You may receive a federation certificate expiration notification email from vcdbcnet@it.ubc.ca such as this:

"The federation certificate expiration is MM/DD/YYYY HH:MM:SS AM/PM. An expired certificate may disable federation with the identity provider setup with your organization. The certificate can be regenerated from the Federation Settings page."

Option 1: This email can be ignored as it only applies to SAML authentication.

Option 2: The certificate can be regenerated (via Administration -> Federation -> Regenerate), but it will expire within 1 year and send another warning shortly before it expires.

 

  • Windows Server 2016 virtual machines in the EduCloud Server environment may unexpectedly crash when increasing the number of CPUs while the virtual machine is powered on if it has been configured with less than 4GB of memory. 

This is a known issue and has been identified by both VMware and Microsoft.  There is no ETA for a resolution from the vendors.

To workaround the issue either:

- Power off the VM prior to increasing the number of CPUs

- Increase the ammount of memory on the VM to 4GB prior to increasing the number of CPUs

 

How is EduCloud different from VSS?
EduCloud is a self-service model. EduCloud provides admins the ability to self-manage their EduCloud data center.

Will my current VSS VMs work with EduCloud VMs?
Most virtual machines will be able to migrate over to the EduCloud model. UBC IT Systems team will work with you to assist in the migration from VSS to EduCloud.

What are the different storage profiles?
EduCloud Server offers different storage profiles based on performance, backup and cost.  The separation of storage allows you to choose the best combination of resources for your requirements. For example, you may choose a less expensive disk for your development and verification data, and a higher performance, more expensive disk for your production data.

For more information about storage profile pricing, please see the EduCloud Server Service Pricing Model page.

Performance Tier

High Performance Storage

High performance is our highest performing tier designated for more demanding virtual machine workloads.

Use cases

  • Moderate to High I/O performance
  • Database servers, I/O demanding applications

Standard Performance Storage

Standard performance is our middle of the road disk tier to be used for everyday applications.

Use cases

  • Low to Moderate I/O performance
  • File Servers

Backup Rotation

Backup Type Local BACKUPS Retained Remote BACKUPS Retained

Local and Remote Backup - crash consistent backup is taken every night and copied to a remote location the same day 28 daily 28 daily and 12 weekly

How can I find out what my department code is?

Department codes are used for building access URLs for each organization in EduCloud Server. Your department code will align with the HRMS department code unless confirmed differently by the EduCloud administrator during the onboarding process.

If you have forgotten your department code, please contact the Systems team via http://web.it.ubc.ca/forms/systems.

Can I ask UBC IT to provision a virtual machine with EduCloud Virtual Server Service?
Yes, UBC IT is still able to provide all forms of management and administrative support under this new service if necessary.

What are EduCloud Dashboards?
EduCloud Dashboards is a web application which gives EduCloud administrators visibility into their virtual data center environments. Various dashboards and metrics are available to assist in monitoring, troubleshooting, and capacity planning.

Do I need to request Dashboards for my virtual data center? Is there an extra cost to use the Dashboards?
EduCloud Dashboards is available to all EduCloud virtual data centers. The Dashboards are part of the EduCloud Server service and there is no additional cost to use them.

How do I access the EduCloud Dashboards?
From a web browser, you can go to https://dashboard.educloud.ubc.ca. This is available on the public internet.

What is my EduCloud Dashboard username and password? Are they the same as my EduCloud Server username and password?
Your Dashboard credentials are different from your EduCloud Server credentials. You should’ve received an email with your Dashboard login credentials. If not, you can submit a request for credentials at http://web.it.ubc.ca/forms/bcnet/.
Please Note: At this time we can only provision one EduCloud Dashboard account per organization.

Can I change my password?
Once you’re logged in, you can click on the Dashboard link at the top right corner of the screen to change your password.

Can I set up alert notifications or reporting in EduCloud Dashboards?
At this time, there are no alert notifications nor reporting features in EduCloud Dashboards.

Can I make changes to the data available, such as add/update metrics or create custom dashboards?
At this time, EduCloud Dashboards is read-only so no custom changes can be made.