How can I interact with my project?

In the previous section, we learned about the various services the Catalyst Cloud offers. Now we’ll learn about the various ways you can interact with these services.

The web dashboard

The cloud dashboard is a simple way to interact with The Catalyst Cloud. It is publicly available on the Internet and can be reached at: https://dashboard.cloud.catalyst.net.nz

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Our web dashboard is a great tool that we recommend you have a look at before progressing. You’ll notice on the left hand side the different tabs for services that are available to you as a user, services like our images, volumes and networking options. These are all explained in detail later, but getting used to the layout of the dashboard can give insight into their functionality too.

For more information on the Dashboard you can view it here

The command line interface

The command line interface (CLI) is a very powerful, efficient way to interact with Catalyst Cloud. To use the CLI you will need to:

  1. Install the OpenStack CLI.

  2. Tell the OpenStack CLI who you are, and which OpenStack cloud you want to connect to. This is typically done by sourcing a configuration file that sets environment variables to configure the CLI.

You can find instructions on how to install and set up the CLI here. After which, you may want to familiarise yourself with its functioning by following this tutorial to use it to deploy a compute instance.

For more in depth documentation, the official OpenStack Client documentation is the most thorough source of information. You can find it here.

Automation tools

To utilise the most valuable aspects of cloud computing, or to manage and orchestrate a cloud computing environment at scale, automation tools are invaluable. Because Catalyst Cloud is based on the world’s most popular open source cloud computing platform, OpenStack, many automation tools work with the Catalyst Cloud, or have plugins to work with the Catalyst Cloud.

Among our preferred automation tools are:

API access

Behind the scenes, all of the access methods to the Catalyst Cloud are just accessing the Catalyst Cloud APIs. They just provide convenient abstractions to do so. Every action you perform on the Catalyst Cloud can be performed via the APIs. This means that you can incorporate custom logic into your applications to modify your infrastructure. This is important for SaaS applications, or applications that otherwise need to scale to meet demand. To make this integration easier, the OpenStack community has developed a range of software development kits (SDKs) for numerous languages. You can find a list here.

Catalyst Cloud will accept API requests (including those from the Command Line Interface or Automation tools mentioned above) from anywhere on the Internet.

We limit the rate at which you can make API requests, to ensure that the service is accessable to everyone equally. If you make too many requests in a short amount of time, we will send back an HTTP error message indicating you have exceeded the limits. You may need to configure your software using the API to retry in response to this error message.


Now that you understand how you can access the Catalyst Cloud, there are a few small administrative concerns to be aware of before we continue.

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