DRE Migration

Announcement by anDREa CTO Stefan van Aalst

Migration Starts on March 22nd

2021-03-02

Summary

You have been working on the Azure DRE of Radboudumc. What you may or not may know, Radboudumc has been most gracious to allow researchers from other organizations to make use of their Azure DRE. Of course, this ever-growing group is not sustainable for Radboudumc. That is why an alliance was formed between Radboudumc, UMC Utrecht and Erasmus MC to create a spin-off, anDREa, with the mission to support a multitude of organizations.

anDREa evolved the Azure DRE of Radboudumc into what we call the Shared Tenant. Over the coming weeks we will inform you on what we think will be interesting features and how the Shared Tenant solves some challenges faced by the current Azure DRE. But for now, I want to concentrate on the downside of moving to the Shared Tenant: we will be migrating your accounts and Workspaces starting from March 22nd, and this will have the following implications:

New user account / new profile

Any files in a VM on My Documents, My * will be lost

Any application installed in a VM under your own profile will be lost

Linux users

The migration will take place over a period of 10-15 working days, following this procedure:

- As of March 22nd we will start the migration, about 80-120 Workspaces a day

- Three days in advance we will give notice when and which of your Workspace(s) will be migrated.

- Those Workspace(s) will not be available for the entirety of that work day

- Once a Workspace is migrated you will get instructions about how to access the migrated Workspace, as well as a request to validate the migration

- Take note, that if you are a member of multiple Workspaces, not all those Workspace might be migrated on the same day.

We understand the inconvenience that the migration brings to you. Please consider that the migration is required because our developers have created something very special and are proud of it. This Shared Tenant version and future development on it will support you to do more and more. Perhaps even enable things that are right now are not possible. I am very proud of what they have accomplished.

Stefan van Aalst

CTO anDREa

New user account / new profile

Everyone will get a @mydre.org account. However, you will receive all your emails on your original/existing email account.

You’ll get an invite with your @mydre.org, a temporary password. On the first login, you’ll be asked to create your password and setup your MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication). Something that needs to be done once and will take you a minute or so.

Your new login credentials are also the way to log into a VM; so no longer the need or possibility for a different password for the VMs. In one of the upcoming updates on the interesting features we will address why it is needed and how this will benefit you.

Bear in mind, the new user account means that you get a different profile on the VMs as well and this has implications:

Any files in a VM on My Documents, My * will be lost

It is always recommended to keep import files on the Share (Z:, /mnt/Workspace) for that is snapshotted 30-days running, every 24h interval.

We will provide a script that will copy all your files/folders in those locations to a location that will be accessible for you (and everybody else in that Workspace) after the migration.

Of course, feel free to copy/move files that you deem important as well. Always remember, by default VMs are not backed up. Meaning if the VM breaks down beyond recovery, all that data is lost.

Instructions on how to move/copy your data

Any application installed in a VM under your own profile will be lost

Especially on Windows VMs there are two options to install applications. Directly under your own profile and as admin. In most cases, installing as admin is preferred for this means that other users have access to the same applications and configurations.

There is nothing we can do prior or after migration to recover applications not installed as admin. The only option is to reinstall.

Take note of all your applications. If you have installed applications not as admin, secure config files etc. on the Workspace Share (z: or /mnt/workspace).

Linux users

During the extensive testing we have done with migrating Linux VMs we found that sometimes the exactly configured Workspaces can result in unexplained problems. anDREa is used to, and will never do differently, to communicate transparently. So, without sugar coating, we believe that of the 60 Linux VMs we need to migrate that:

- Most will migrate with the same ‘headaches’ as Windows VMs with respect to files, folders, and applications bound to a specific user profile

- Some Linux VMs will play up, but with manual intervention by the migration team can be moved successfully

- A couple Linux VMs will be unrecoverable, we will make sure you get clean Linux VMs, where needed/appreciated the Support Team and/or anDREa will help to get those Linux VMs with the required applications up and running again.