Instant Cloud Setup
As noted previously, cloud configuration is done via the Instant Cloud Manager. The client program requests that a cloud machine be launched, but the Instant Cloud Manager determines exactly how to respond to that request.
One essential concept when configuring your Instant Cloud license is the notion of a cloud pool. Pools allow you to create multiple configurations within a single cloud license. For example, you may set up one pool for jobs in the US and another for jobs in Europe, or one for short-running jobs and another for long-running jobs, or one for single-machine jobs and another for distributed parallel jobs. For each of the available cloud configuration options (which will be discussed below), you can select different values for different pools. Every license always has a default pool, which comes pre-configured with what we consider to be reasonable default values. Thus, you always have the option of ignoring cloud pools and simply using the default pool if you don't need multiple configurations.
The main things that a user may want to configure on the Instant Cloud website are the idle shutdown time, the number of machines to launch, the number of distributed workers to launch, the machine region, and the machine type. These can take different values in different pools.
The idle shutdown time is a vital concept in the Instant Cloud. When a client program requests a cloud server, it takes some time (typically less than 2 minutes) to launch that server. Rather than forcing client programs to incur this delay each time they run, the Gurobi Instant Cloud leaves a server running until is has been idle for the specified idle shutdown time. In this way, later client programs may find a cloud server already available. You can set this to a small value if you want your server to shut down immediately after your job finishes, or to a very large value if you want your server to always be available.
Another configuration option is the number of machines associated with the pool. Gurobi Compute Server automatically handles queuing and load balancing between servers, so launching multiple machines allows you to distribute the work of many simultaneous client programs among them. A pool can also be configured to launch any number of distributed workers, if you want to use distributed computing.
Cloud machines can be launched in multiple geographic regions, including the US, Europe, Asia, and South America. You should visit the website to see the full list. We offer several options for machine type, although we've chosen what we believe is the best general-purpose machine for running Gurobi as the default, so you are unlikely to want to change this setting.