OpenStack is a system that allows users to create, customize, and run Virtual Machines (VMs) to carry out research computation. This is an alternative approach to submitting jobs to a batch system. Users have the ability to provision the VMs with provided base Linux Ope and install any custom application on top of the Operating System; the ability to create storage volumes to attach to the VMs for data; and the ability to interact with OpenStack via a web dashboard or command-line interface.
There are multiple OpenStack clusters available; one is the KyRIC system (currently under maintenance/upgrade), where the each machine that hosts the VMs has 3TB RAM, allowing for a large number of VMs to be created. The other system, the CoT system, contains 128 GB RAM and is backed with petabyte-level storage (using Ceph Block Storage). The KyRIC system, after the upgrade, will also have petabyte-level storage to enable multiple users to create many large storage volumes.
Resources for OpenStack end users: