iPlant Atmosphere has made a new user interface available which substantially increases the ability to manage images and instances. Some of the new features include:
- Users can edit existing images by adding tags, changing descriptions, etc. Previously, once an image was created, no changes were possible to even descriptive elements without launching the image and generating a brand new imaging request.
- It is now possible to modify the content of images by launching them, making your changes/additions, and then requesting a new image as a VERSION of the original. Once that "version" imaging is complete, you can choose to launch a particular named and tagged image, and then further choose which specific version you want. This reduces the proliferation of brand new whole images, all with different names.
- Active instances have new options such as "redeploy" (regenerate this running instance from scratch). In the past, one would have to destroy the instance and launch a brand new one to get back to the base image.
- Overall flow and navigation is much improved.
Please note that the above is not a comprehensive list of new features.
I've noticed over the last couple of weeks that new instance launches are continually failing. Resources are allocated and the image begins building, only to stall at the final deployment stages. After a time, the stall turns into an "active deployment error" and the launch must be reinitiated. I have also heard similar reports of this from other users.
Whereas technical support and response times were much improved early this year, I have personally experienced very poor response times. Upon filing a request for assistance for an "active deploy error" (one of 4 in the last 2 days), I did not even receive confirmation of my support ticket until about 10 hours later, and I'm still waiting for an actual response. Again, several users have reported to me that iPlant support response over the last couple of months has been abysmal - so much so they are actively seeking new alternatives.
iPlant is an extremely valuable and useful resource, and I certainly hope they get these problems rectified shortly.
I have finally received a message from Tech Support. Once I have a resolution, I will create a new post.