Managing Virtual Machines
Apporto offers two types of Virtual Machines:
- Persistent VMs
Persistent VMs are assigned to specific users. They are useful when users need administrative permissions to a machine (for example, to install software or modify the environment). Changes to the environment are persisted across sessions.
- Non-persistent VMs
Non-persistent VMs provide users with a full virtual machine, but are not assigned to specific users and the environment is not persisted across sessions. Each time a user launches a non-persistent VM, a VM is selected from a pool of available VMs.
Persistent VMs are required for:
- Cyber Range
The "Cyber Range" is a persistent VM with embedded VMs (eg. Windows and Linux machines). Users can install or create malware and stage attacks on the embedded VMs.
- Extended Compute
When users need to run long processes (eg. simulations, rendering, etc.) that run overnight or for multiple days, Apporto offers "Extended Compute." Users are assigned to Persistent VMs on servers with no timeouts. You may set usage limits and monitor usage relative to budget.
By default, inactive sessions (with no keyboard or mouse activity) are ended after 30 minutes. Active sessions are ended after 8 hours. Extended Compute enables users to leave processes running > 8 hours.
This short guide will show you step by step how to:
View Virtual Machines
Using your preferred web browser, navigate your Apporto instance (eg. “mycollege.apporto.com”) and log in using your Admin credentials. (Faculty may also access VMs if their role has permissions.)
Click the Servers icon in the Navigation Panel.
The ‘Servers’ screen displays.
Click the Non-persistent VMs tab.
The 'Non-persistent VMs' screen displays.
A list of available non-persistent VMs is displayed along with basic information including a user-defined LOCAL NAME, the unique VM NAME, and system STATE.
To start a Virtual Machine, click Start
Wait about 30 seconds (AWS) to 2 minutes (Azure) for the server to start.
Once started, the INSTANCE STATE will change from stopped to running. Also, the button will change from Start to Launch. Click Launch to launch the desktop.
Users will launch their VM from the App Store. Admins and Faculty may launch the base image or any other VM from the Persistent VMs screen.
Click the Persistent VMs tab.
The 'Persistent VMs' screen displays.
The 'Persistent VMs' screen provides a list of persistent VMs. These are created ahead of time (based on the number of purchased VMs) and assigned to users when they launch the VM.
The USER EMAIL field will be populated once a persistent VM has been assigned.
Backup, Restore, or Re-image
A common use case is for students to make changes to VMs during class and for faculty to re-image all VMs after class - to restore them to the base image.
The first VM listed is the Base Image. It is possible to Backup and Restore the base image.
For all other Persistent VMs, it is possible to Backup, Restore, Re-image, or Delete the VM.
Restoring a VM will restore the image to the most recent backup of that particular VM.
Re-imaging a VM will remove the current image and replace it with the Base Image.
These processes can take from 4-15 minutes depending on the size of the image.
You may update one VM at a time or select multiple VMs (using the checkboxes) and click Update Options to update multiple VMs at once.