Greg-

When you make changes to the EBS volumes of a galaxy cloudman instance and 
choose 'persist' from the admin panel, an EBS snapshot is taken.  The next time 
you start an instance up, instead of creating the EBS volume from the base 
snapshot that we distribute, it is created from your own customized snapshot.

The share string is actually a handle to a cloudman s3 bucket.  That bucket 
contains all of the configuration information for your cluster and 
customizations.  You can look at your own buckets to see the information saved, 
if you'd like.  When the share-an-instance configuration steps happen and 
snapshots are taken, privileges are set to allow others to access those 
snapshots.

Since the customizations you make to galaxy are stored as an EBS snapshot, this 
does carry an extra cost.  See more information about EBS snapshots at 
http://aws.amazon.com/ebs/.

And, lastly, if you're *really* interested in the nuts and bolts of how it 
happens, see the source here: 
https://bitbucket.org/galaxy/cloudman/src/tip/cm/util/master.py#cl-859

-Dannon



On Jan 9, 2012, at 9:26 AM, mailing list wrote:

> I was wondering how the sharestring feature works?
> 
> Enis mention it a little bit here:
> http://biostar.stackexchange.com/questions/15467/galaxy-cloudman-best-way-to-customize-and-share-cloudman/15481#15481
> 
> So as I understand it, I do my customizations and persist them, and
> then I get a sharestring so others can load my customizations.
> 
> How does this work behind the scenes?
> 
> Also where are my customizations stored?  Am I charged by Amazon for
> storing them?  How do others have permissions to pull them from my
> Amazon account?
> 
> (I'm new to all of this, sorry if my questions are obvious)
> 
> -Greg
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