CADESUser DocumentationCADES Cloud User GuideLaunch a VM Instance


Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s (ORNL’s) Compute and Data Environment for Science (CADES) provides eligible customers with an OpenStack cloud computing solution with customizable virtual machines (VM). This resource, called "CADES Cloud,” enables customers in science and technology directorates to leverage self-service portals to rapidly request these VMs for production, testing, and development. These CADES cloud services are available at no cost to ORNL researchers.

Launch a VM: Quick-Start

Creating and launching a VM Instance is one of the first steps to utilizing your cloud allocation. When launching a VM, you will choose a name for your Instance, which network it will utilize (internal or external), which operating system you would like to run (CentOS or Ubuntu), and which VM flavor (size and specifications) you need for your application.

The following is meant to be used as a minimum-detail quick guide to launching a VM. You may find, at the end of the process, that the VM you have created isn't quite right for your needs. The great thing about using these OpenStack VMs is that you can delete it and start over so that you may change the specifications.

Requesting your CADES Cloud Allocation

Before you begin, have you requested your CADES Cloud allocation?

If you have, skip to Creating and launching a VM Instance.

If not, do the following steps to request your allocation:

First setup your UserID:

  • ORNL STAFF: ORNL staff obtain access to CADES through their UCAMS ID by activating it in the XCAMS system that controls CADES access.
    • To active your UCAMS ID as your CADES user ID, visit and click on "I need an account"
    • Then, after accepting the user agreement, click on activate your XCAMS account and complete the required steps
  • NON-ORNL STAFF: If you are not a member of ORNL's staff but are collaborating with ORNL's staff, create an XCAMS account and ID to use for CADES access
    • To do this visit and click on "I need an account" and complete the required steps
    • You will also need access to the external login nodes, so go to and follow the instructions to request an account
    • This request is reviewed and may take up to five business days for approval
    • Approval is contingent on having a valid ORNL staff host

Next setup your Access:

  • Navigate to The preceding link will pre-fill a request for CADES Birthright Cloud and SHPC Condo resources
  • Enter your email address (use the ORNL email if available) and click continue
  • Review the XCAMS user agreement, and select Agree
  • Enter your USER ID (UCAMS ID if you are ORNL Staff; XCAMS ID if you are not ORNL staff)
  • Enter your password
  • Click Submit to complete the XCAMS request An activation notice will be dispatched to your email address when your resources are ready for use

Creating and launching a VM Instance

  • Navigate to the web interface at
  • Log in with your UCAMS/XCAMS credentials
    • Domain: ornl
    • Username: Your UCAMS/XCAMS ID
    • Password: Your UCAMS/XCAMS password
  • Navigate to ProjectComputeInstances
    • Click the Launch Instance button, and fill out each section of the resulting dialog (shown in the next sections)

What follows is a series of tabs (along the left of the Horizon "Launch Instance" dialog screen). Fill out the information as it pertains to each tab. You may move freely between tabs without losing progress.

  • Details Tab
    • Instance Name – This name can contain up to 15 alphanumeric characters and a hyphen. No special characters are permitted, and the host names are case sensitive
    • Availability Zone – "nova" is the default zone
    • Count – The number of instances to start up at once. If creating multiple Instances, the Instance names will be numerated (instance-1, instance-2, instance-3, and so on)
  • Source Tab
    • Select Boot Source – Set this to Image
    • Create New Volume – Two options:
      • Yes: This creates a virtual disk on CADES's central storage (recommended). This type of storage is referred to as a "cinder volume."
      • No: A virtual disk is created on a hypervisor; this disk is not persistent when the VM is deleted. This type of storage is referred to as an "ephemeral volume." The size of the volume can be increased, by migrating the instance to a larger flavor size, which can be done yourself without CADES assistance
    • Delete Volume on Instance Delete – Set to No if data should persist between Instance restarts
    • Volume Size – Must be greater than or equal to the flavor size and fit within your allocation quota
      ⚠ Increasing the size of a root volume later will require contacting CADES support
      📝 Note: It is recommended to size the root volume appropriate to your needs, keeping in mind that small root volumes are typically used. Additional volumes (for data, logs, etc.) can be attached to an instance, detached and attached to a new VM, etc. A best practice recommendation is for root volumes to contain only the OS
    • Device Name – This should almost always be the default, vda
    • Choose from the available options by clicking the + next to the desired image
  • Flavor Tab
    • Choose the flavor which provides the desired CPU and memory and click + to add it to your allocation
  • Networks Tab
    • Choose one of two routable network configurations, and click + to add it to your allocation
      • general_extnetwork1, - Available from outside ORNL. However, outward-facing services (e.g., SSH, web server) will require ORNL firewall exceptions)
      • general_intnetwork1, - Internal to ORNL
  • Network Ports Tab
    • No user input required. Skip this tab
  • Security Groups Tab
    • No user input required for standard SSH access. Skip this tab
  • Key Pair Tab
    ⚠ If you skip this step, the instance will not allow you to log in! See here for more information
    📝 Note: Before deciding between Option 1 or Option 2, you should check your local machine for an existing key pair (instructions)
    • Option 1: Create a new key pair for this instance
      • Click the + Create Key Pair button
      • Enter a name for your new key pair in the resulting dialog
      • Click Create Key Pair to associate this new key pair to your Instance
      • The private key will be downloaded to your local machine as a .pem file
      • On your local machine, place the .pem file in the ~/.ssh/ directory (instructions)
    • Option 2: Use available key pair for this Instance
      • Choose the desired key pair, and click + to associate it with your VM Instance
  • Configuration Tab
    • No user input required. Skip this tab
  • Metadata Tab
    • No user input required. Skip this tab

Click Launch Instance when you have completed all required sections.

Congratulations! A new instance will be launched. Once fully provisioned, the status will change to "Running," and you can access your VM Instance using SSH (instructions).

Getting Help

If at any point you feel stuck and need some help figuring out your next move, please contact the CADES support team at

More Details About Launching a VM

  1. Log in to Horizon, name your VM
  2. Choose a flavor, image, and boot source
  3. Set up a security group
  4. Configure a key pair for accessing the VM

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