The Problem

When you first log into the NeCTAR cloud, you are automatically granted a 3 month trial ("pt-nnnn")  project with limited resources.  This allows you to try things out.  When you are ready, you can then can convert this to a "full" project by apply for a Resource Allocation.  This has the following benefits:

  • You can request a longer time-scale than the original 3 months.
  • You can request more resources:
    • more instances,
    • more VCPUs,
    • more memory,
    • persistent disc storage and / or object storage
  • You can share your project with other NeCTAR users ... which you can't do with a "pt-nnnn" project.

This "how to" deals with that, and what happens next.

Applying for a NeCTAR Allocation

You can apply for a Research Allocation from your NeCTAR Dashboard.  Click on the "New Allocation" link i the navigation menu on the left side of the page.  Once you have completed the form, click the "Submit" button at the bottom, and your allocation request will be submitted to NeCTAR for approval.

Using your new NeCTAR Allocation

The approval process normally takes a few days.  When this has completed, you will be notified by email of the outcome, and your new Project will appear in the "Current Project" selector in your NeCTAR Dashboard. 

When you select your new Project, you can then launch new Instances against your new allocation, and (if you have a storage quota) you can create and attach new persistent storage volumes.

Transferring an Instance

The last step in switching to a "full" project is to deal with the Instances in your trial project.  If you no longer needs them, the simplest thing to do is to simply Terminate them.  This gets rid of the instance and frees up the disc space occupied by its ephemeral discs.  Note that Terminate is permanent.  You lose the instance's state ... and its IP address.

If you have invested considerable time and effort in building an Instance in your trial project, you may not want to discard it.  In that case, your best option is to Snapshot your instance, and then launch a new instance from that snapshot in your new project.

There are a couple of an important caveat with this procedure:

  • A NeCTAR Instance Snapshot only contains a copy of the state of the instance's primary ephemeral disk.  If your instance uses the secondary ephemeral disk, that won't be included in the Instance snapshot, and neither will any persistent volumes or NFS mounted volumes that are attached / mounted.  (There is a separate snapshot mechanism for persistent volumes, and NFS file systems are independent of the instance anyway.)
  • When you launch an instance from a snapshot, you need to use the same "flavor" of Instance as was used to create the snapshot in the first place.

Step #1 - Create an Instance Snapshot:

  1. Go to the NeCTAR Dashboard and select your "pt-nnnn" project.
  2. Shutdown the Instance.  You can do this by running "sudo shutdown -h now" on the instance itself, or by using the "Shut Off Instance" action in the Instance panel.
  3. Wait until the Instance is in "powered-off" state.
  4. Create the Snapshot by selecting the Instance in the "Instances" panel, and running the "Create Snapshot" action.
  5. Enter a name for your snapshot and click "Create Snapshot".
  6. Wait for the creation of the Instance Snapshot to complete.  It will show up in the "Images & Snapshots" panel as an Image.

Step #2 - Make the Instance Snapshot visible in your new Project

You need to make your Instance Snapshot (which you created in your "pt-nnnn" project) visible in your new project.  The simple way to do this is to make is "public" ... temporarily.  (For a "full" project, you would have other options ... but you are not there yet.)

  1. From the Dashboard select your "pt-nnnn" project and go to the "Images & Snapshots" panel.
  2. Select the Image you want to make public, and run the "Edit" action.
  3. Check the "public" and "protected" boxes and then click "Update Image".

Step #3 - Use the Instance Snapshot to launch an Instance in your new Project.

  1. From the Dashboard select your "new" project and go to the "Instances" panel.
  2. Click "+Launch Instances".
  3. Fill in the instance name, select the flavor (same as your original instance), and other fields as required
  4. Set the Instance Boot Source selector to "Boot from Snapshot".
  5. Select your snaphot image in the Image Name selector.
  6. Click Launch.
  7. Wait for the new Instance to boot.

Step #4 - Check that your new Instance is functioning.

It is a good idea to do this now ... because there is no going back from the next step.

Step #5 - Tidy up.

  1. Select your "pt-nnnn" and Terminate the old instance.
  2. Delete the Instance Snapshot.