Additional info and terminology

The information below includes different management systems, terminology, and general information that you will need to get started with your project. Reading through these should give you an understanding of how to control and manage your cloud project, as well as boost your current knowledge of the Catalyst Cloud and how it functions.


Everything you do on the Catalyst Cloud is in a project. Use projects to separate the different things you work on. For example, have a project for each organisation you work with, or one for each branch of your organisation. Something done in one project cannot effect any other projects.

You can change which project you’re working in on the dashboard, with the dropdown in the top left corner.

Information on how to invite new people to your project can be found here.


The Catalyst Cloud provides an isolated and multi-tenanted approach to creating workspaces. These workspaces are typically referred to as a project but for historical reasons you may also see them referred to as a tenant or a tenancy.

Finding my project ID

Every project on the Catalyst Cloud has a project name (a user friendly name) and a project id (an auto-generated UUID). There are a number of ways to find your project ID and name.

Via the Dashboard

The project ID and name can be found on the API Access panel by clicking on the View Credentials button.

Via the CLI

If you are using the OpenStack command line interface you have most likely sourced an openrc file, as explained in Installation on Linux and Mac. If this is the case, you can find your project ID by issuing the following command:


$ echo $OS_Project_NAME

Alternatively, you can use the openstack configuration show command:

$ openstack configuration show -c auth.project_id -f value

$ openstack configuration show -c auth.project_name -f value

Creating new projects

You can request the creation of more projects via the Support Requests panel.

Changing project

Via the dashboard

On the dashboard, you can change which project you are working on using the dropdown on the top left corner.


Via the CLI

The command line interface picks up the project configuration from the $OS_PROJECT_NAME and $OS_PROJECT_ID environment variables.

To define these variable:

export OS_PROJECT_NAME="project-name"

If a project ID is specified, the project name is not used. If only the project name is specified, the CLI will perform a lookup for the name to find the ID.

Alternatively you can use the --os-project-name and --os-project-id options to specify the project on each call.


Both of these variables are set when your source your project from an RC file in the command line.

Project access

The person who signed up to the Catalyst Cloud gets by default the Project Administrator role.

As a project administrator or moderator, you can invite and remove people from your projects using the Project Users Panel.

Project isolation

While projects are inherently secure, it is considered better to use multiple projects where it’s feasible to do so. For example, it is sensible and useful to separate production workloads from development and testing environments, if only to help mitigate the possibility of human error impacting your business.


The Catalyst Cloud is delivered out of three data centres across New Zealand. On the dashboard, you can specify which data centre to host your resources in depending on your needs, with the dropdown in the top left corner. Each region is completely independent and isolated (each with their own control plane), providing fault tolerance and geographic diversity.


Please visit our website for more information about our national infrastructure:

Region Code


PCI DSS certified?

ISO 27001 certified?


NZ Porirua 1


In progress


NZ Wellington 2


In progress


NZ Hamilton 1




We encourage customers to use Porirua as their primary region, as it has the greatest capacity of all our regions.

Selecting a region

Via the dashboard

The web dashboard has a region selector dropbox on the top left corner. It indicates the current region you are connected to and allows you to easily switch to another region.


Via the CLI

The command line interface picks up the region configuration from the $OS_REGION_NAME environment variable. To define the variable:

export OS_REGION_NAME="region-code"

The easiest way to get this information set is to download the RC file for your project from the drop down tab at the top right of the dashboard; and use it as your source file while working on the command line. The RC file sets a number of variables like OS_REGION_NAME. There is a comprehensive tutorial on how to configure the CLI in our documentation

Alternatively you can use the --os-region-name option to specify the region on each call.

Via the APIs

The API request you use to authenticate with the Catalyst Cloud allows you to scope a token on a given region. The token can then be used to interact with the API endpoints of the other services hosted in the same region.

Data traffic between regions

The connectivity between compute instances hosted on different regions takes place over either our wide area network (WAN) or the Internet, when allowed by your security groups and network configuration.

Contrary to data traffic within a given region, there are data transfer costs applicable to data traffic between regions.

Data replication

With the exception of multi-region object storage service, resources are not replicated automatically across regions unless you do so. This provides users the flexibility to introduce replication where required and to fail-over resources independently when needed.

Availability zones

The Catalyst Cloud does not use availability zones as a construct for high-availability within regions. Instead, it uses server groups with anti-affinity polices to ensure compute instances are scheduled in different physical servers.

For more information, please refer to the Using server affinity for HA section of the documentation.


The Catalyst Cloud provides customers with a quota mechanism to protect them from accidentally launching too many resources. This helps prevent unexpected and significant costs being invoiced to our customers. In fact, every cloud provider has a similar mechanism, but most do not expose this information to their customers.

We allow customers to see their current per region quota on the overview page of the dashboard. Quotas are a soft cap that can be changed at any time according to your needs. A quota change may be requested via the Quota Management panel.

Catalyst may give you a call if you are about to exceed your quota and ask you whether you would like us to pro-actively increase the quota for you.

Quota management

The Current Quotas block provides a view of the current quota limits that are applied to each region in the current project. It also shows the available Pre-approved Quota Sizes that can be selected and the actions that can be taken for the quota in each region.


By clicking on the View Size action on the Quota Sizes table it is possible to see a breakdown of the limits for each resource within that quota band.


Finally the Previous Quota Changes gives a historical view of any quota adjustments that have been made within the current project.


Updating a quota

To change the current quota limit for a given region, click on the Update Quota action, the following form will be displayed


Select the new quota value and click submit


If your requested change does not fall into the - category the Previous Quota Changes area will display a message showing the current state of your request.


For pre-approved and accepted changes the display will update to show the new Current Quota Size next to the appropriate region and the Previous Quota Changes will


Pre-approved vs requires approval

Pre-approved changes do not require any intervention from Catalyst to be actioned and include any changes that would be a step down in quota size or any single step up to the next size tier.

Pre-approved sizes changes can be made as follows:

  • for a decrease in quota size, no approval is necessary and this can be done multiple times in the current 30 day time period.

  • for an increase in quota size, one pre-approved change can be made within the current 30 day time period. All subsequent increases, regardless of whether they would normally be pre-approved, will require approval from the Catalyst Cloud team.


Quota limits do not apply to object storage usage at this time.

Getting support

If you experience issues with the Catalyst Cloud, please check to see if the problem(s) are covered further on in this documentation. If no solution is found you will need to raise a support request with the support dropdown in the top right corner of the dashboard.

If you are an organisation with more complex support needs, you may want to consider our premium support.


Status page

Our status page shows the state of our services in each region and also informs you about planned maintenance. The status page can be found here:

Support requests

Raising a support request

If you need help, you can raise a support request with Catalyst via the Support Requests panel.

Most requests are resolved within one business day. If you would like faster response times or additional support, please consider purchasing one of our premium support packages. Our target response times for priority one incidents are listed on the premium support page.

Contacting your account manager

Customers that have a premium support contract from Catalyst have a technical account manager. You should have received the contact details for your account manager when you applied for premium support.

Contacting a solutions architect

Premium support customers have access to cloud solution architects who can provide guidance on the best way to implement your applications on the cloud. Please contact your account manager to arrange a discussion with a cloud solutions architect.


Catalyst provides training on how to use the Catalyst Cloud in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Upcoming training sessions can be found at

You can also request training to be delivered on your premises or customised for the needs of your team. Please contact Catalyst to discuss your needs:


Catalyst Cloud uses natural names for its services. For example, we call our compute service “compute”, instead of Nova or EC2.

If you have previous cloud computing or OpenStack experience, the table below describes how our services map back to OpenStack code-names and other cloud providers.



Amazon AWS

Identity and Access Control









Block Storage



Object Storage



Load Balancer





Cloud Formation



Cloud Watch





Please note that functionality between cloud providers differs. The table above is only intended to map the broader domain space of each cloud service, as opposed to specific features.

Now that you understand the basics of the Catalyst Cloud, lets dive into a hands on example using the web dashboard!

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