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Having selected your AMI, you will next choose an instance type.  We recommend starting with and have selected an instance size of r5.2xlarge in order to allow for a variety of deployment options, up to and including Platinum features. SoftNAS offers a sizing tool to help users find the right size for their individual workload, which can be found here:

https://www.softnas.com/wp/products/instance-size-recommendations/


Click Next: Configure Instance Details.

In Configure Instance Details, you will select the desired settings for your SoftNAS instance. 



  1. Select the number of instances. For now, select only 1.  If creating a highly available deployment, a second instance will be required, however, it will not be a carbon copy, as best practice dictates it should reside in a separate availability zone.

  2. Keep the default setting for Purchasing Zone. 
     
  3. Select the VPC created during the Project Planning stage. 
     
  4. Next, decide whether you are going to deploy into a public or private subnet.
    1. If public,  assign one of the two public subnets created after creating your VPC. Take note of the subnet used, as a separate public subnet will be used on the second instance in a highly available deployment.
    2. If private, select one of the two private subnets created and associated with the VPC.
       
  5. Auto-assign public IP creates a public-facing IP address, allowing you to connect to your SoftNAS instance immediately after launch. This can be kept as default. Note, however, that this feature will be disabled automatically when we create our second network interface. A second network interface is required for an HA deployment.

  6. Keep the Placement group at its default setting (not enabled).

  7. Capacity Reservation can remain at its default setting of Open.
     
  8. Here you will apply the IAM role created during Project Planning.



  9. Keep the default setting for CPU Option (Do not specify). 

  10. Shutdown Behavior can be kept at its default setting (Stop).

  11. Stop- Hibernate behavior can remain at default (not enabled).

  12. If this is a production environment, termination protection should be enabled. If not a production deployment, this can remain at its default setting of not enabled.

  13. SoftNAS recommends enabling Cloudwatch Monitoring.

  14. Keep the default shared hardware instance setting unless direct guidance for your particular use case has been provided.

  15. Keep the default setting, unless direct guidance for your particular use case has been provided.


You can also apply additional optional settings, such as shutdown behavior, protection against accidental termination, Cloudwatch monitoring, and EBS optimized instance (applied by default on SoftNAS Enterprise).

Scroll down the page, and you should see Network Interfaces. Create a second Network interface by clicking Add Device. (This is only optional if you are NOT creating a highly available pairing.)


Note: Depending on the region you are deploying into, Network Interfaces may not be available from the Instance Details step. If it is not, this step will have to be performed after the instance has been created. In this case, skip this step and after the instance is created, go to Adding a secondary NIC

Once the desired selections are made, click Next: Add Storage

In Add Storage, you can add new EBS volumes to your instance in advance. You can select volume type and size as well, within the limits of your instance size. Simply click Add New Volume for each volume you wish to add. 



EBS Volumes can also be added after launch, making this step entirely optional. The only required volume is the 30 GB root volume, provided by default. Click Next: Add Tags.

Tags are an optional feature, allowing you to quickly identify an instance or set of instances according to the tag provided. You can categorize your instance any number of ways, by environment, by purpose, by owner, etc. A tag consists of a key and an optional value.




As tags are optional, you can either provide a key and value, or simply click Next: Configure Security Group. 

For the purposes of high availability, only the default ports provided by SoftNAS' Amazon Machine Image are required. These default ports are SSH for connection to the image by Command Line Interface (CLI), and HTTPS for connection to the user interface via the browser. Other ports can be opened for specific use cases, but are unnecessary for a proof of concept.

SoftNAS highly recommends locking down both SSH and HTTPS access even further by specifying an IP address or IP range that the instance will accept traffic from. This range of IP addresses, or list of IP addresses should include the internal IP address of the current and target instance (when you know it). The list of accepted IP addresses should also include the IP address you are currently logging in from, or you may not be able to access your instance. 

Note:  For beginning users, it may be simpler to keep the default Security Group settings until Replication and HA are configured, and any additional Platinum features (if applicable) have been decided upon. Leaving Security Group configuration to the end ensures that you have all the information needed, such as IP addresses and protocols for your use case. Go to Configuring Security Groups if you need further guidance to make changes.





You have now completed the steps required to launch your instance. Click Review and Launch, and review your selections to make sure they match your needs. 



The final step before your instance launches is to create or assign a key pair. This key pair is used to connect with your instance via SSH. Without it, you will not have access to your SoftNAS Instance. The prompt to create or select an existing key pair appears automatically upon clicking Launch. Either select Create a new key pair, and provide a name, or if you have an existing key pair, select Choose an Existing key pair, then select the desired key pair from Key pair name, which becomes a dropdown. 

 

SoftNAS does NOT support proceeding without a key pair. If selecting an existing key pair, be sure you know where it can be found. If creating a new key pair, be sure you download the key pair to a known location. Download your key pair if you do not already have it, and click Launch Instances.

Return to the EC2 Dashboard, and select Instances. Your first SoftNAS Instance will appear.



If you have deployed into a private subnet, you have completed the configuration, provided you have configured Direct Connect, a VPN, or a NAT Instance to allow you access to the private network. You will connect to your instance by typing the private IP address assigned. If testing a single instance deployment, you can move to AWS Getting Started - Configuring Your Instance. If this is a high availability deployment, move to AWS Getting Started: Creating Your Second Instance for HA.

Adding an Elastic IP (Public Subnet)

If deploying into a public subnet, each instance will require a public Elastic IP. 
Because we added two network interfaces to the instance, be sure to associate the elastic IP address to the eth0 network interface. In the Instance details on the bottom half of the instances screen (after your instance has been selected), find your network interfaces and select eth0. Write down or copy the Interface ID.



To provide a public IP, the simplest method is to assign an elastic IP. To provide your instance with an elastic IP address, scroll down the left-hand menu of the EC2 Dashboard, and select Elastic IPs under Network & Security.

If none have yet been created, you will need to select Allocate New Address. Elastic IPs can be repurposed if not assigned to an existing instance.

 

Set the scope as VPC, and click Allocate




Record the IP address provided. Click Close.



Find the Elastic IP you just created, and select it from the available options. Either right-click the IP address, or click Actions. Select Associate Address.



As we provided two network interfaces to our instance, you will need to select Network Interface and provide the interface ID recorded earlier. Click Associate



If this association is successful, you will see the following message.



Your instance will now have a public-facing IP address, allowing you to connect to your new SoftNAS Instance.



Enter this IP address into your browser, and you are ready to configure your first instance. If testing a single instance deployment, you can move to AWS Getting Started - Configuring Your Instance. If this is a high availability deployment, move to AWS Getting Started: Creating Your Second Instance for HA.