SoftNAS® for 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 can leverage flexible Elastic IP addresses or Virtual 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.
And 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 to Amazon's affordable, redundant S3 storage.
The Amazon EC2 cloud computing environment, which will be referred to simply as EC2 hereinafter, 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 also be covered briefly.
This section provides concepts that may be helpful for the first-time Amazon EC2 customer along with useful guidelines for making decisions about how to configure SoftNAS® for best results in the EC2 computing environment.