Welcome to the fat solutionlab!

The FAQ

What do you want to know?

Welcome to the fat solutionlab!

What is the fat solutionlab?

The fat solutionlab is a big light switch in front of Amazon's Cloud. If you wish to start a computer there and work on it, Amazon's console was the tool you needed to use. It gives you a lot of options of configuration, but it is very complex and demands quite some technical know-how. The fat solutionlab makes access to the Cloud easier and automates many aspects, so that any user can start a computer in the Cloud, independently from personal level of technical knowledge.

I am an administrator and know my way around the AWS console - is the fat solutionlab of any use for me?

Yes! The fat solutionlab doesn't only make access easier, it also automates a lot of the features, like the creation and restoration of backups. In addition, it brings many new features to the table, which AWS does not offer to the extent the fat solutionlab does. This includes time controlled starting and stopping of instances or managing any amount of users in user groups, handing out rights to users individually.

I am undecided, can I take a look at the fat solutionlab first and try it out?

Of course. You can simply register and gain access free of charge to try it out. After registering, we will contact you within 24 hours and provide you with a testing instance in the Cloud. So you can find out for yourself how easy access to the Cloud via the fat solutionlab is.

If you already know which kind of instance you would like to test or which use cases interest you, feel free to mail us before you register. In that case we are happy to provide you with a tailor-made test account. All test access is free of charge, of course.

If I choose the fat solutionlab, what about the costs?

Our default pricing model is very simple: Considering the costs for the instances themselves, you deal with AWS directly without our interference. For every activated fat solutionlab user, you pay 1 €uro per day, if this is a user of your company. For every external user within the fat solutionlab, you pay 2 €uro per day. This pricing model does not fit well for all our clients, so we offer alternative ways of pricing. Contact us, we find the fairest and most suitable model for your usage needs! In addition, we offer special conditions for institutions of public education like schools and universities.

How does fat IT solutions handle the billing of the fat solutionlab?

If you decide to use the fat solutionlab, we will send you a monthly usage report and a bill. The usage report gives you a detailed overview of all cost-relevant information. You can see there which of your users were activated at which days of the month. The cost of the instances themselves are charged directly via AWS, as usual.

I would like to use the fat solutionlab in international business cases, are there multiple language versions?

Yes! Presently, the user interface of the fat solutionlab is available in English and German language. If you have need for another language version, contact us!

Can fat IT solutions access my instances?

Whether an administrator can access the instances themselves and the data on them depends on the settings you choose. In case of windows instances, the transmission of the windows password can be supressed, on Linux instances, the ssh settings can be configured in a manner that fat IT solutions has no knowledge of the keys.

Can I import instances that already exist at AWS into the fat solutionlab?

Yes, this is not a problem. If you have your own AWS-account, you deposit the access data within the fat solutionlab. This allows the fat solutionlab to understand whether there are already instances and can integrate them into the fat solutionlab UI, if you so desire.

Can I remove instances from the fat solutionlab without deleting them at AWS?

This is possible. Using the right "Remove from Lab" you can remove instances from the fat solutionlab, so that those can only be controlled via the AWS console. But careful: If you select "Destroy instance" in the fat solutionlab, the instance will be deleted from the lab and at AWS as well.

Which operating systems does the fat solutionlab provide?

As the fat solutionlab offers access to the Cloud of the Amazon Web Services, all operating systems that are available there are available via the fat solutionlab as well. This means a broad variety of windows versions and Linux distributions. For more details visit the site of AWS.

How many instance templates are available to me?

Each instance template that you can access via the AWS console can also bei integrated into the fat solutionlab. Apart from that, there is no further limitation.

How do I create a new instance as a normal user?

As a normal user, you can only create an instance by yourself if your administrator has enabled Self Service for you. In this case, you can view all instances that are available to you in "My Instances" and choose one there. You can also see here if your administrator has limited the amount of instances that you may own simultaneously.

If you have created an instance, you simply select "Start". After the instance has been started, you see a button named "Access", with which you can access the computer directly and work on it.

I am administrator - how can I create a new instance?

Within the fat solutionlab, your available templates are displayed in "instances" -> "instance templates". There you can select the desired amount and can define several additional settings.

E.g., you may choose users or user groups, which shall receive the selected instance. Furthermore you set certain rights for the selected users, such as "Start", "Stop", "Create backup" et. al. or set the schedule to define, when the instance is available to your users.

As an administrator, can I retrace what happens to "my" instances?

All actions regarding instances via the fat solutionlab are displayed in a log. There you can read up on when an instance was created or deleted, when key settings were changed or when which users accessed the instance. You will not, however, gain information about the data on the instance itself this way. In order to be informed about what is happening on the instance, you have to access them directly, given you do have the rights to do so.

Does the fat solutionlab support creating private Clouds?

Yes, you can create a so-called "Virtual Private Cloud" (VPC), a term and construct coined by Amazon. You can select various instances, assign roles and IP addresses to them and choose your gateway. The fat solutionlab allows you to manage any number of VPCs. Deploying VPCs to different users is also possible. In this manner you could, for example, quickly hand a VPC to each member of a training, using a configuration you had prepared beforehand.

Which extended options are available to me regarding instance templates?

In addition to the settings that are equivalent to those Amazon provides, you have several other options at your disposal. They include the shutdown after a set period of inactivity or the automated deletion of an instance after shutdown Furthermore you can add a description, which can be displayed to users who have been given the right "Show description" This may be a good place to present instance specific passwords or various other information that you wish to share with all or certain selected users.

What is this exactly, "Self Service"?

If you want that your users can create instances without a need for you to deploy them manually, you should activate Self Service.

As an administrator, you can select certain users or user groups, which will be able to access certain instance templates chosen by you. Those users may create the respective instance without you needing to interfere.

However, you are able to set limitations to this. You may set a maximum amount of instances a user may have at the same time. Or you may define that an instance which has been acquired via Self Service may only be available for a certain amount of time and shall be deleted after that.

What is it about those vouchers?

For a start, vouchers can make it easier for your users to register at the fat solutionlab, because they shorten the registration process. But in addition you may configure that after a successful registration a user may automatically gain access to one or more instances, which are only being deployed at registration. Read more about that here.

Can I manage disks or create backups with the fat solutionlab

Yes, you can find this in the applications menu under Disk Management. There you pick an instance or disk and can create a backup in the "Backups" tab. You may decide whether you want to run the backup while the instance is running or whether you prefer to shut down the instance for the time of the backup, which usually speeds up the process significantly. If the instance is stopped anyway, this decision is rendered moot, of course.

As an administrator, how can I limit or enlarge indivdual users' access to instances?

The fat solutionlab uses the so called rights to help you control what your users can or can't do. Whenever you grant a user access to an instance, you assign certain rights. This process can also be automated, e.g. if you want to hand all users of a group identical rights to identical instances.

The available rights cover various aspects of using and managing instances like starting, stopping, activating the termination protection, creating backups or even editing the basic settings of an instance. Presently, there are about 30 different rights available in the fat solutionlab which allow you to to manage with precision, what a specific user may or may not do with a given instance.

What are user groups?

User groups allow you to organize different users in groups and manage them simulataneously. User groups may freely be renamed and users may be added or removed at will by an administrator.

Your advantage with this approach is that you can manage a large amounts of users and instances at the same time on group level. Thus it is easily possible to start all instances of a group simultaneously. And it is easier to keep track of your users if they are organized in groups, especially, if you manage a lot of users.

You can, for example, choose that all newly registered users are assigned to a certain group or you can make self service, which has been described above, available to groups of your choosing.

I have many users - is there a search?

Yes. In the users' overview you can search for a user name or an e-mail address of your users. Moreso, you can use predefined shortcuts to search for e.g. all users with a running instance or all active users of your fat solutionlab-client.

I have a lot of users, who shall use the fat solutionlab. Do I have to enter them all manually?

No. The fat solutionlab enables you to import users and create users automatically. The feature can be found in "Users" -> "Import" To do so, all you need is the respective data in a csv-file, which can be created by Excel or other tools.

If I deactivate a user, does this mean she is deleted beyond retrieval?

No! Deactivating a user means nothing more than this user will not be included in future bills and, of course, cannot log into the fat solutionlab anymore. You can reactivate an inactive user at any time. If you wish to delete a user for good, you can do so as well.

I cannot log in anymore / I forgot my password - what can I do?

If you cannot log in anymore, usually one out of two cases apply:

1.) The combination of username and password is could not be found.

2.) Your account has been deactivated. If this is the case, an error message will inform you so when you try to log in.

In both cases, please contact your administrator or send us an e-mail.