It's been a long time coming but the all-new CloudLaunch service is out of beta and, today, has been made the default portal for launching Galaxy (and other applications) on cloud computing infrastructures. It is available at https://launch.usegalaxy.org/.
The new launcher has a large number of new features, some of the most notable ones are summarized here:
- Native multi-cloud support: built on CloudBridge, this implementation of CloudLaunch has native support for multiple cloud providers, paving a path for using Galaxy on any of those clouds in a consistent, robust fashion. At the moment, this includes Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and OpenStack. Support for the Google Compute Engine is forthcoming.
- A catalog of applications: Just like multple clouds, it is now possible to browse a catalog of applications (think Galaxy flavors each tailored for a specific type of analysis) and launch them in a consistent fashion on the supported cloud providers.
- Credentials management: Recall searching your inbox or a text file somewhere for those access and secret keys to be able to copy them into the appropriate fields before launching your instances? The new CloudLaunch allows you to store your credentials right there and simply choose which credentials you'd like to use for a given launch. The keys are stored in encrypted fields in the database and can only be read by the server process. Keep in mind that for security reasons, we will periodically expire (i.e., delete) all stored keys so make sure to keep a copy and do not rely on the CloudLaunch server as a persistent key store.
- Deployment management capabilities: After you have launched your application, the new CloudLaunch will perform periodic health checks making sure the application is still active and report that status on the My appliances page. You also have the option to delete a deployment right from CloudLaunch.
- REST API: last but not least - the new CloudLaunch is 100% driven with a REST API. This allows you to build on top of it and integrate available features into your own application or extend the existing capabilities. It also has a command-line client: https://github.com/CloudVE/cloudlaunch-cli
These are just a few most visible features available. There are many more lurking under the hood (e.g., ability to add your own applications with a completely custom UI) so go ahead and explore, use it, and let us know where it falls short.
This new CloudLaunch application replaces the old launcher whose life began in 2011 but the technological evolution prompted for a more flexible solution going forward. The old launcher will still be available at https://old.launch.usegalaxy.org.