EGI Cloud Compute is one of the most visited and the most demanded services from the EOSC Portal since its announcement in late 2018. With 37 orders for 2019 and 28 orders from Jan to Apr 2020 coming from the EOSC, it is essential to provide users with comprehensive documentation that guides them to get access and understand the possibilities of the services, and with tools that facilitate making the most of the service features.
In order to improve the support for both new and existing users, we have extensively reviewed all the previous documentation available in the EGI wiki and migrated to a new documentation platform: Read the Docs. Read the Docs is a popular hosting platform for documentation of Open Source projects that automatically builds documentation from source code repositories for online and offline consumption. All the EGI Cloud documentation is now generated from a GitHub repository that enables treating documentation as code, opening the door to better tracking of changes, tagging versions of the documents, and introducing automatic checks. GitHub also enables anyone to contribute to the documentation following a pull-request collaborative system where all changes of documentation are reviewed and discussed to ensure good quality and consistent documents are made available to our users.
The new documentation covers from the basics and how to get started with the service to advanced topics like execution of containers, management of Virtual Machine images, usage of GPGPUs or pre-baked proven to work recipes to deploy commonly used solutions on research use cases. It also includes a FAQ and technical architecture section for those users interested in the internal details of the service. Alongside the user documentation, we have also reviewed and migrated the provider documentation to Read the Docs for those cloud resource centers interested in joining the federation.
Besides the revamped documentation, we have created egicli, a new Command Line Interface (CLI) tool for easing the usage of the federated providers of the EGI Cloud. This python-based utility can be easily installed into any operating system using standard python tools or can be just run as docker container available in DockerHub. egicli integrates Check-in authentication with resource discovery using GOCDB into a simple interface so you can get information about the different federation providers without the need of crafting or remembering complicated API calls to separate endpoints. It also helps in getting a working environment to interact with the individual OpenStack APIs so users familiar with OpenStack can get quickly started with the service.
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