Creating a SoftNAS® on AWS

As a first time user, the primary goals are simply to see the product in action, to determine its capabilities, and then to determine the requirements. This document will focus on providing you a functional instance, sharing a CIFS volume, deployable in a private VPC. It will also provide the additional steps to create a 2nd virtual machine and configure high availability, if you so choose. This basic setup will allow you to test the key features of SoftNAS®, while providing a baseline for your production requirements. 

SoftNAS® for AWS Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) is a virtual cloud storage appliance, providing trusted, commercial-grade NAS capabilities for EC2 cloud business computing workloads. EC2 workloads include web servers, SaaS applications, SQL database servers, Exchange servers, Windows Remote Desktop Servers, Citrix XenApp servers, etc. SoftNAS® for EC2 provides the flexible, full-featured storage capabilities for trusted cloud computing applications. 

SoftNAS® for EC2 leverages flexible Elastic IP addresses, making it fast and easy to fail over across availability zones and regions (i.e., different data centers). It's also straightforward to quickly replicate a SoftNAS® instance from one availability zone to other geographic regions, so that data is always available and performs well for geographically local users and communities. 
Because SoftNAS® for EC2 uses Elastic Block Storage (EBS) for raw data storage, backup and restore operations are fast and easy using EBS Volume Snapshots

S3 Storage

As of SoftNAS 5.2.0, S3 Storage is now being transitioned into Support Only mode for existing deployments. 

Advanced features of the SoftNAS product are not in scope for this Getting Started Guide, however, the setup presented here will provide a strong foundation for a deployment including these advanced features.


The Amazon EC2 cloud computing environment, which will be referred to simply as EC2 in this guide, is a robust, powerful virtualization and computing system with many options and capabilities. For our purposes here, we will focus on installing SoftNAS® and configuring it for basic use. Additional options exist for increasing performance and throughput, for database and other, more demanding applications, which will be covered briefly. 

In an Amazon EC2 or other cloud computing environment, SoftNAS® provides the network storage backbone needed for business-critical cloud applications.

SoftNAS® for EC2 leverages EBS (Elastic Block Storage) as its underlying block storage devices. Multiple EBS devices are then organized into RAID configurations, increasing performance and throughput, and providing the ability to recover from underlying physical disk failures that can occur with EBS. SoftNAS® provides the most durable, highest performance NAS solution available for Amazon EC2. 

Product and Installation Options

SoftNAS® provides the following applicable products: 

  • SoftNAS®
  • SoftNAS® BYOL (Bring Your Own License)

Contact Buurst for more information on BYOL licenses.


Availability

SoftNAS is currently available on all AWS regions including GovCloud. 

SoftNAS is not available in the China regions at this time.


The basic deployment of SoftNAS takes approximately 15 to 30 minutes depending on the user's experience level with the Amazon Web Services, use of the EC2 Console along with other infrastructure needs.  Once SoftNAS is deployed and the StorageCenter Administrative Interface is launched, the process of creating and configuring volumes as well as establishing a High Availability configuration is straightforward with ample wizards to assist in the process. The complete deployment vastly depends upon the complexity of the final configuration being build so it is important to conduct adequate planning prior to commencing with the creation process.

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SoftNAS® SoftNAS®  solves many problems, including: bulk data transfers, Lift & Shift of applications and data to the cloud, saving customers money on expensive cloud storage costs and data integration and digital transformation.
Subscribe via AWS Marketplace. Embedded in platform subscription or BYOL available from Buurst.
SoftNAS BYOLSoftNAS offers a bring your own license option for flexibility.

Planning Your Instance

There are numerous considerations when creating any storage solution, and SoftNAS® is no exception. Dependent on the use case, the expected performance levels, the platform you select, and much more, one configuration of SoftNAS will look much different from the next. For the purposes of a basic Proof of Concept (POC), many of these elements might seem irrelevant, but they are not. For a POC to be of value, it must provide insight into not only the product but also what you intend to use it for. If your POC is not designed to provide you a baseline of the functionality you expect in a production environment, then it may be a wasted exercise. 

To ensure your instance meets your needs, the following considerations are key:

  • Instance Size – What performance characteristics do you require? A great deal of RAM to handle large-scale data storage? Processing power (vCPU) to handle encryption or compression?

  • Storage – What performance characteristics do you require from your storage? Is it an infrequently accessed archive? Is it a database serving a demanding application?

  • Network/Throughput – do you require a great deal of throughput? Does your use case require constant and immediate access to the data in question?

  • Security – Should data be encrypted? Do you wish to restrict access to a specific IP or IP range? What traffic do you wish to allow?

  • Type of High Availability - Will you be leveraging SoftNAS' SNAP HA functionality, or is this a stand-alone deployment?

In order to assist you during the creation of the POC, we will be providing information on the key considerations listed above as they arise in the creation process.

Availability

SoftNAS is currently available on all AWS regions including GovCloud. 

SoftNAS is not available in the China regions at this time.