Learn how to set up detachable persistent disk (PD) storage when running an interactive analysis app (Jupyter Notebook, RStudio, or Galaxy). To learn more about detachable persistent disks, see the overview article.
You can control how your persistent disk is set up when creating, modifying, or deleting your Cloud Environment.
Creating a new Cloud Environment
When you click on the Cloud Environment button, you should see configuration options for your environment in this popup. At the bottom is a box for entering the type and size of your persistent disk (PD).
Modifying an existing Cloud Environment
If you modify the configuration of an existing Cloud Environment, you'll see the Update button turn blue (active) at the bottom of the Cloud Environment configuration menu. After you click this button, your Cloud Environment will go through a brief downtime while Terra updates the Cloud Environment. Unless otherwise noted, your data will be preserved during this process.
Shrinking your PD can result in lost work
Decreasing your persistent disk will remove active code and any files on the PD. You could lose work if you choose to decrease the PD size in the middle of the analysis. Updating the PD with a smaller disk size will trigger a warning message to this effect:
Deleting a Cloud Environment
When you delete a Cloud Environment, you can choose whether to delete the PD as well.
Clicking Delete Environment in the Cloud Environment configuration menu will reveal the options shown below.
Default: Keep persistent disk
Selecting the default option, "Keep persistent disk, delete application and compute profile", will delete the VM after detaching the persistent disk. The files on the PD will be saved and you will continue to be charged for the PD.
The next time you spin up a cloud environment in this workspace, the PD may automatically be reattached, depending on the kind of VM you choose in the Cloud compute profile section of the Cloud Environment configuration menu.
- If you choose the standard VM it will automatically reattach the saved disk.
- If you choose a Spark mode, this storage will NOT reattach to that cloud environment because Spark and hail application configurations don't support the persistent disk feature. The PD will, however, be saved until the next time you choose the standard VM option and click “Create”.
If you don't want to save the contents of your detachable persistent disk, select the "Delete everything, including persistent disk" option. Just make sure you've moved anything you wish to keep from the Cloud Environment virtual machine (VM) to another location, such as your workspace bucket.
See How to transfer data between your Cloud Environment PD and workspace storage for instructions on how to move your files off of the PD before deleting it.
Delete the cloud environment, then the PD
Once you've deleted the Cloud Environment, you might decide that you no longer need to keep the files and data stored on the PD. If so, you can delete the PD in two ways:
- Go to your Cloud Environments page (see the section below). This will show you a summary table of your persistent disks and Cloud Environments. Each PD will have a Delete option in the Actions column.
- If you're spinning up a new Cloud Environment, you can click “Delete persistent disk” in the Cloud Environment configuration menu.
Note: You can't delete a persistent disk that's attached to a cloud environment without first deleting that environment. The option to delete the PD through either of these menus will be activated only after you've detached the disk by deleting the Environment first.
Viewing PD details in the Cloud Environment page
For persistent disk information (name in Google Cloud console, billing ID, workspace ID), go to your Cloud Environments page (main menu navigation > your name > "Cloud Environment" from the top left corner of any page in Terra). Then, click on the "View" link in the "Details" column for the disk you're interested in.
You can use this information when copying data from your Cloud Environment to another location in order to keep from losing work while deleting or modifying your persistent disk. For detailed instructions, see Saving data from an interactive environment to your workspace bucket.
A note about auto-syncing behavior
Auto syncing - when Terra frequently autosaves your notebook back to workspace storage - may affect files stored on the VM's persistent disk. When you use a notebook in a Terra workspace, the VM creates subdirectories named after the workspace in the directory where the PD is mounted, and the Terra auto-syncing feature regularly interacts with the notebooks in these subdirectories.
If you're storing anything on the VM's persistent disk that you don't want to be affected by the auto-syncing behavior - for example, notebooks that you would like to keep private - we recommend keeping these in a specifically named subdirectory that is not named after a workspace (such as