Wallets are the means through which you finance your workspaces in Research Cloud. So "wallet" is the Research Cloud-term for an existing budget.
You may have obtained a budget through a NWO grant, or as a contract between your institution and SURF.
Based on these contracts, you can launch workspaces in the corresponding clouds.
However, contracts are something that exists outside of Research Cloud. Inside Research Cloud, wallets are the reference to these contracts.
Once you have a wallet registered on your name in Research Cloud, you will be able to use it when creating a workspace.
When starting a workspace in the Research Cloud portal, you will see a list of the wallets that are available to you.
Along with that you will be able to see how different choices of cloud provider and size can affect the remaining credit in your wallet.
When you have launched a workspace, the attached wallet will start being debited for the usage that the workspace makes.
Managing budgets and wallets
On the "Wallet" tab of the Research Cloud portal you can see an overview of your wallets.
Each wallet is represented by one tile.
You can expand each tile and see a graphic representation of the usage of the wallet.
Actually, you may also see that one wallet can be fed by more than one budgets.
Each budget shows its own usage graph.
That way, you can tell how much budget is left and how long you can continue to work before you may be out of budget.
Contracts vs. wallets
When we make a contract available to be used in Research Cloud, that contract provides a certain amount of credits. We can then create individual personal wallets that will draw from that pool of credits. The contract "owner" can set a maximum on how many of those credits should be assigned to an individual wallet.
A wallet is always personal. However, contracts may entitle a group of people to work together, and a contract has always one responsible person to it. When a Research Cloud user requests a wallet through the portal, we always contact the responsible person to validate and approve the new wallet.
For some projects it is tedious to request and approve all wallets by hand. We have equipped ResearchCloud to allow for automatic wallet issuing, if desired.
As administrator of the CO you can send a ticket via https://servicedesk.surf.nl if you want your collaboration to be ready for the "project wallet" approach.
Then you can allow members to receive project-wallets by adding them to the collaboration's "src_co_wallet" group, in the SRAM portal.
You can read more about the project wallet group, here.