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VCL Community,

One of the items on the VCL roadmap for 2.3 is service/server deployments.  
The idea being to use the cloud infrastructure of VCL to deploy servers for 
long term use with additional features that aren't part of just making a 
normal reservation for a really long time.  Here is a proposed way of 
implementing it that Aaron, Andy, and I hashed out.

__Development Round 1__

Create a new section of the web site called "Server Profiles".  Server 
profiles will be a new type of resource so that they inherit the same types of 
controls of other resources (grouping, access control, etc).  Each profile has 
the following attributes:

- -name
- -description
- -image - image that will be deployed, can be an image that has subimages
- -owner
- -fixed IP address (optional)
- -fixed MAC address (optional)
- -admin user group - user group that will have access to do administrative 
things with the server
- -login user group - user group that will have access to log in to the server, 
but not have administrative access to it

When you want to deploy a server, you will have the option to apply a profile, 
but also be able to modify each attribute if needed.  Additionally, you would 
specify 'now' or a start time to deploy it and an end time or 'indefinite'.  
After submitting it, an entry would be created in the request and reservation 
tables, plus an additional entry in a new serverrequest table to contain the 
additional information from above.

There would be some additional options available through the Current 
Reservations page for these reservations.  Anyone that is a member of the 
admin user group would see the entry on their Current Reservations page.  
There would be an option to do a "capture now" that would save off a copy of 
the image without ending the reservation.  We'd like to look in to what live 
snapshotting techniques could be used here so that the server could be left 
online.

__Development Round 2__
These are some other ideas we had for additional features, but that weren't 
quite as important compared to the complexity of implementing them.  Things in 
this round of development may or may not be included in 2.3.

- -scheduled captures/snapshots - allow users to specify intervals at which 
captures would automatically happen
- -a way to give specs for VMs such as RAM and cores
- -allow everyone in the login user group to see the reservation on their 
Current Reservations page, but only have access to see the login information, 
not the administrative functions
- -include a way to initiate reboots as well as reinstalls from the Current 
Reservations page


Now, we need feedback from the rest of the community about this.  Does this 
sound like a useful way to implement this?  What parts do you particularly 
like or not like?  Are there other features that would need to be present for 
you to use it at all?  What other useful features do you see for round 2 or 
later?

Thanks,
Josh
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Josh Thompson
VCL Developer
North Carolina State University

my GPG/PGP key can be found at pgp.mit.edu
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