DAIR How-To Blog Series — Images Explained

cloud7The Digital Accelerator for Innovation and Research (known as DAIR) is a federally-funded program that is offering Canadian entrepreneurs and small businesses free '€” or heavily subsidized '€” access to cloud computing resources. Interested users can now apply to join. The program is offered by CANARIE, Canada's national advanced network organization, with support from Cybera and Compute Canada.

For those who are already using the DAIR system, or who are thinking about joining, this post marks the first of a DAIR How-To series, intended to guide users through using the system with helpful tips and advice.

So, what is an "image"?

The term '€œimage'€ originates from the job of desktop and server deployment. This site'€™s definition of a '€œgolden image'€ defines the image concept quite well.

In a nutshell, imagine yourself manually setting up a desktop or server for the first time: you install the operating system, install any programs you will need, and then finally make any configuration changes needed. Now imagine having to do this on 100 different desktops or servers. Rather than repeat the process over and over, you instead make an '€œimage'€ of the first desktop or server and then apply that image to any other computer that needs set up.

The images you see in the DAIR environment were made with the same methodology in mind '€” they are templates taken from a previously configured desktop or server. Their configuration is very, very minimal which allows you to more easily customize the operating system once it has been applied.

Since DAIR is an OpenStack-based cloud environment, the images used in DAIR follow OpenStack'€™s rules about images. If you would like to learn all of the intricate details about how an image works and how to build your own image, please refer to the OpenStack Image Guide.

To learn more or to apply to join the DAIR program, click here.