Tuesday, March 5, 2013

EucaStart 2.0 Stage 5 - Install & Configure: Software Installation

As part of the EucaStart 2.0 engagement process, Eucalyptus Professional Services is providing detailed information on each stage of an IaaS cloud deployment in an open and transparent way for all to modify and implement. We hope this will help guide our users, customers and partners to setup successful IaaS cloud deployments.

This post will cover an overview of the Eucalyptus software installation which is a prerequisite to my last post on on “User Acceptance Testing”, which of course you can only do once you have your cloud up and running.

These topics are a work in progress, so we'd very much welcome your feedback and support if you would like to contribute.

Install the Operating System

Eucalyptus 3.2 works best on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 (RHEL6) or CentOS 6 x86_64 with the KVM hypervisor, as this is the platform in which all of our Quality Assurance is carried out on and is the officially supported platform for Eucalyptus subscribers. However, if you a user interested in running Eucalyptus on other distributions then there are certainly community supported options to do this as our engineers have worked hard on packaging the software and pushing it into Fedora 18 and in Debian Unstable (and Ubuntu).

If you are deploying a small number of systems you might choose to use the DVD media which is available from the CentOS site or the Red Hat Network (if you are using RHEL).

For larger deployments, a kickstart server is definitely the way to go. This will allow you to conduct automated network installations which should cut down the time it takes to install each system. At Eucalyptus Systems, we are avid fans of the Cobbler project. Cobbler makes installing servers a piece of cake, check it out!

Install Eucalyptus Software

1. Faststart

For Proof of Concept (PoC) installations of Eucalyptus across two or three systems you may want to shortcut manual package installation and perform the install via the quickstart DVD called FastStart. The aim of FastStart is to get you from zero to cloud in 30 minutes. This is accomplished by packaging Eucalyptus with a set topology along with the CentOS 6 media.

2. Package Installation

For production installations of Eucalyptus, a manual package installation is the preferred option. This allows for greater flexibility over which components of Eucalyptus you choose to install on each server. For example, you may choose to install the Cloud Controller and Walrus server on the same system or split them onto separate systems if you are heavy users of the S3 Object Storage.

The Eucalyptus Documentation team have produced a fantastic set of documentation that is very up-to-date and is the best guide for the package installation. It will take you from package installation through to setting up the eucalyptus.conf configuration file and starting the cloud services.

See the Eucalyptus Installation Guide for more information:

3. Configuration Management

Many companies and users that deploy Eucalyptus have already invested in a configuration management system such as Puppet, Chef or Ansible to allow them to manage infrastructure software. Configuration Management in a cloud environment can add complexity but allows for repeatable deployments and can be re-used to provide configuration for virtual instances that are launched within your cloud.

Both Eucalyptus Systems and the wider Eucalyptus community have written a set of modules for each of the configuration management tools mentioned above and continue to build on them to help deploy the Eucalyptus packages and configuration.

Puppet: https://github.com/eucalyptus/puppetlabs-eucalyptus
Chef (Knife Plugin): https://github.com/opscode/knife-eucalyptus
Ansible: http://lesterwade.wordpress.com/2013/01/09/deploying-workloads-to-ec2-eucalyptus-with-ansible/

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