A CloudShare Environment is a collection of one or more virtual machines (VMs) that are connected via one or more virtual networks. An Environment contains computing resources, operating systems, networking protocols and software, together with their memory states.
Each CloudShare Environment contains and manages completely segregated components, providing maximum security and flexibility.
Users can define the characteristics of a CloudShare Environment to serve a specific need, for example, to create an IT lab for a virtual classroom.
From an Environment you can create:
one or more Snapshots (up to five Snapshots for any Blueprint)
An Environment can have:
zero or more VMs, each with its own processor and memory specifications
zero or more External Resources
An Environment has exactly one:
Geographical Region for CloudShare
Geographical Region for External Resources
An Environment is created in the context of a Project using a specific template or Blueprint.
A Blueprint is a container for an Environment’s Snapshots. Any number of Environments can be created using a selected Blueprint. As described above, a Blueprint can contain up to five unique Snapshots.
A Snapshot is a complete replica of an Environment in its current state at the time the Snapshot is created. It includes a real-time backup of all Environment components mentioned above, as well as other configuration parameters. A Snapshot also includes current RAM and disk states, so that all services and applications that were active when the Snapshot was taken are preserved in their respective running states.
You can choose to create a Snapshot manually whenever a real-time backup of the Environment is required. (For convenience, CloudShare can also automatically take a Snapshot before an Environment is deleted.) When you create a Snapshot, you can assign it to the existing Blueprint, or use it to define a new Blueprint.
The latest Snapshot automatically becomes the default Snapshot used as the basis for new Environments, however you can manually assign an earlier Snapshot from the Blueprint as the default.
When more than five Snapshots are created, CloudShare deletes the earliest created Snapshot using a first-in, first-out (FIFO) queuing method.
The Default Snapshot is never deleted. If needed, you can re-assign another Snapshot to be the Default.
By maintaining these additional two structure levels — Blueprints and Snapshots — CloudShare supports complete modularity and flexibility for managing an Environment. For example, it enables you to use different instances of the same Environment for different audiences or regions, or to revert to a previously-saved Environment state.