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G-BOX FAQs

WHAT IS A G-BOX?

G-BOX is a customizable cloud-based virtual machine (VM) for EO algorithm development, testing activities and post processing analyses, providing fast access to the datasets offered by the Copernicus Data and Information Access Services – DIAS. With high-speed network connections, proper resource flexibility, powerful hardware resources from the cloud and many EO datasets available on-line, G-BOX enables you to test and run your algorithms.

WHICH OPERATING SYSTEMS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE G-BOX VM?

You can choose CentOS 7 or Ubuntu 18.04.

HOW CAN I REQUEST A G-BOX VM?

You can request a G-BOX VM directly from the EarthConsole® WebApp.
Once you have registered and logged in, you can press the “G-BOX” Request VM button in the top left bar, click on the “Request your G-BOX” button on the left bar and select the desired template and fill the request form page. You can put additional notes on the Notes field and submit the request by pressing the “Submit request” button.

Note that in the service request form you are required to specify whether you want to request ESA sponsorship or not. Your selection will imply that you are choosing one of the following options:

Option 1 “Sponsorship Request via ESA NoR”

If you have a research, development or pre-commercial project, you may be eligible to submit a sponsoring request via the ESA NoR portal. If the sponsorship request will be approved, this would cover partially or totally the cost of the desired EarthConsole® service.
If you are not eligible to apply for a sponsorship via the NoR portal or in case of rejection, option n° 2 is always available.

Option 2 “Unsponsored Service Activation”

Following the request of the desired service via the EarthConsole® Webapp, we will send you a quotation of the service for your approval together with the instructions to proceed with the payment.

If the NoR Sponsorship Request or the quotation of the service will be approved, a new machine is created for you and you will be able to access it from the MY G-BOX page.

WHICH ARE THE SUPPORTED METHODS TO ACCESS THE G-BOX VM?

There are three supported methods to access the G-BOX VM:
• ssh (Secure Shell) connection for command line access (port 22 or 443)
• X2Go client for graphical desktop access (port 22 and 443)
• JupyterHub to create and edit Jupyter Notebooks via web browser (port 8080)

HOW CAN I GET THE CREDENTIALS AND IP ADDRESS OF MY G-BOX VM?

The username, password and IP address to connect to the VM, can be found on the EarthConsole® WebApp –> G-BOX –> MY G-BOX –> click on VM name.

HOW CAN I DISCOVER AND ACCESS EO DATA AVAILABLE ON THE G-BOX VM?

Earth Observation data are available on the G-BOX VM in the read-only folder /eodata. Here you can find Copernicus Sentinels and other EO data. To discover and search the data of your interest you can browse the Creodias data catalogue https://finder.creodias.eu/ performing queries on the collections with spatio-temporal and other criteria. The resulting datasets are directly accessible from the VM in the indicated paths under /eodata.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO CUSTOMISE THE G-BOX VM BY INSTALLING OR CONFIGURING ADDITIONAL SOFTWARE AND TOOLS?

The G-BOX VM is already equipped with the most common software and tools for Earth Observation data analysis and algorithm development (e.g. SNAP, Python, GDAL, qGIS, BRAT, Panoply, R, …).
Installation and configuration requests of additional software not provided by default or ad hoc customization of the environment, such as installation of ftp server, web server, firewall, etc., will be evaluated case-by-case to define the associated cost.

Under particular circumstances and for a limited period of time, users may obtain administrator privileges to carry out the needed customization autonomously under their responsibility. This option has no extra costs for the users but it is not recommended as the system is not guaranteed against system corruption: any subsequent intervention requested to the support team to fix or revert a damaged environment, if possible, will be accounted as a paid service.

HOW CAN I COPY FILES FROM/TO MY G-BOX TO/FROM MY LOCAL PC?

The easiest way to copy files is to use the SCP protocol. To do so, you just need your VM credentials, IP address and a SCP client.
For Windows, you can use the free WinSCP software.
For Linux and Mac, you can use the built-in scp software.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO INCREASE THE G-BOX VM RESOURCES (RAM, CPU, DISK)?

It is technically possible to increase the resources according to the available G-BOX Types. The cost of the VM will be updated accordingly and the difference will be due for the remaining period.

DOES EARTHCONSOLE G-BOX SERVICE KEEP A BACKUP COPY OF THE DATA AND SOFTWARE THAT THE USERS PRODUCE ON THE VM?

No, it doesn’t. We recommend users to backup periodically data, scripts and software of their interest, as they are not automatically backed up by EarthConsole.

MY MACHINE EXPIRED, IS MY DATA LOST?

After your machine expires, your data is still stored on the Cloud for a limited period (few days). If you need to access your data, send a request to the system administrator (using the Support form on the EarthConsole WebApp or via e-mail to support@earthconsole.eu). Please note that it is not guaranteed that data are accessible after the expiration date of the VM.

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