You can prepare
images on your own laptop (or local machine, but we will call it laptop from now on), that you can later upload to the HPC Cloud.
One piece of software we often see around is VirtualBox. VirtualBox is a virtualisation solution that you can install on your laptop. You can run virtual machines locally, and that should make it easy enough for you to set up your software and basic environment, without having to depend on the HPC Cloud.
Once you are ready configuring your environment in your VirtualBox VM, shut your VM down. Then you can export it as a VMDK file.
You should convert the VMDK file you exported to the QCOW2 format.
Do not use VirtualBox’s option to export to QCOW2 format, because that QCOW2 format will not work on the HPC Cloud.
You can use the QEMU utilities (in particular,
qemu-img), to convert your images among different formats. You can install these utilities in your laptop to perform the conversions. The instructions to install the QEMU utilities depend on your laptop’s operating system. For most Linux distributions, you can usually find a package in your package management system (i.e.: you can easily install them with some sort of
sudo apt-get installor
yum installor any analogous commands). For Mac OS or Windows, you can find some hints on their Links page: http://wiki.qemu.org/Links.
Once you have qemu-img installed on your laptop, converting your VMDK to QCOW2 is just a breeze. Run (replace file and image for paths that make sense to you):
qemu-img convert -O qcow2 file.vmdk image.qcow2
To upload your image, create an image as you would normally do (see Adding a CEPH datablock to your VM), but choose for ‘image location’, choose for ‘upload’ and select the qcow2 file on your local PC.