Skip to content

Launch a VM


To start a VM, we will need a base image. NERC has made several Public images available to users.

Launch an Instance

Navigate: Project -> Compute -> Images.

VM Images

Click Launch Instance next to the public image of your choice. In the example, we chose ubuntu-21.04-x86_64.

*Important: There are multiple tabs along the top of the the pop up window.

Make sure you review all of them as per instructions before clicking on Launch! Otherwise, your launched VM may be inaccessible.*

In the Launch Instance dialog box, specify the following values:

  • Details tab

Instance Name: Give your instance a name that assign a name to the virtual machine.

NOTE: The name you assign here becomes the initial host name of the server. If the name is longer than 63 characters, the Compute service truncates it automatically to ensure dnsmasq works correctly.

Availability Zone: By default, this value is set to the availability zone given by the cloud provider i.e. nova.

Count: To launch multiple instances, enter a value greater than 1. The default is 1.

VM Launch Instance Detail

  • Source tab: Double check that in the dropdown "Select Boot Source," "Image" is selected.

VM Launch Instance Source


  • To create an image that uses the boot volume sized according to the flavor ensure that "No" is selected under the "Create New Volume" section.

  • When you deploy a non-ephemeral instance (i.e. Creating a new volume), and indicate "Yes" in "Delete Volume on Instance delete", then when you delete the instance, the volume is also removed. This is not desired while the data of its attached volumes need to persist even instance is deleted. But this incures the Volumes quotas so ideally you can select "Yes" only for those instances you will not be storing persistent data.

VM Launch with persistent Volume

  • Flavor tab: Specify the size of the instance to launch. Choose m1.large from the 'Flavor' tab by clicking on the "+" icon.


In NERC OpenStack, flavors define the compute, memory, and storage capacity of nova computing instances. In other words, a flavor is an available hardware configuration for a server. The default flavor is m1. small which is too small for the available base images so please do not use it.

Some of the flavors will not be available for your use as per your resource Quota limits and will be shown as below:

Flavor Not Avaliable due to Your Quota

More details about available flavors and corresponding quotas details can be found here.

After choosing m1.large, you should see it moved up to "Allocated".

VM Launch Instance Flavor

  • Networks: tab: Make sure the Default Network that is created by default is moved up to "Allocated". If not, you can click on the "+" icon in "Available".

VM Launch Instance Networks

  • Security Groups: tab: Make sure to add the security group where you enabled SSH.

VM Launch Instance Security Groups

  • Key Pair: Add the key pair you created for your local machine/laptop to use with this VM.

VM Launch Instance Key Pairs

NOTE: If you did not provide a key pair, security groups, or rules, users can access the instance only from inside the cloud through VNC. Even pinging the instance is not possible without an ICMP rule configured.

  • Network Ports, Configuration, Server Groups, Schedular Hints, and Metadata: tab: Ignore these tabs for now.

You are now ready to launch your VM - go ahead and click "Launch Instance"! This will initiate a instance on a compute node in the cloud.

On a successful launch you would be redirected to Compute -> Instances tab and can see the VM spawning.

Once your VM is successfully running you will see the Power State changes from "No State" to "running".

VM Launch Instance Successful


You can also launch an instance from the "Instances" or "Volumes" category when you launch an instance from an instance or a volume respectively.