Connecting to your Instance

To connect to your SoftNAS® Instance is simple, provided you are on the same network as your virtual machine, or have a public facing IP address. For this proof of concept, the steps to create the public facing IP address you will need to connect were covered in Adding an Elastic IP.

After you have completed the steps shown in Adding an Elastic IP, you  will find the IP address of your instance in the EC2 dashboard, under Instances. Select your Instance, and look for the column labelled IPv4 public IP.

Open your browser, and type https:// <ip_of_your_instance>. A certificate warning is likely to appear – this is to be expected. This warning will be eliminated when you configure security certificates for your SoftNAS instance. However, this can wait for a production instance. Simply bypass the warning for the moment.

  • If using Google Chrome, select Advanced,  then the Proceed to <IP address> link.
  • If using Internet Explorer or Edge, simply click Continue to Website anyway (Not Recommended).
  • If using Firefox, select I Understand the Risks.

Once the certificate error is bypassed, a login screen will appear. 

The default username is ‘softnas’, and the password is the Instance ID. The Instance ID can be found in the EC2 Dashboard, under Instances. 

Enter the Instance ID and click Login.

Upon login, an End User License Agreement (EULA) will appear. Click I Agree.

You are now ready to configure your SoftNAS Instance.

Configuring Your Instance

Once connected to your instance, there are several common configuration steps which may or may not be required, depending on your use case. While not all of these steps are required (many of them are covered by default by configuration in AWS), you should at least be familiar with them, should they be required later. The Getting Started Checklist provides a guide to these tasks.

  1. The first of these tasks is Network Settings. For your AWS instance, network settings are taken care of during creation of the instance. One network interface handles the everyday traffic connecting you to your SoftNAS® on AWS instance. The second interface is leveraged automatically when configuring high availability through SnapReplicate™ and Snap HA™. 

    However, if adding additional network interfaces, or changing IP addresses, routing and gateways, hostnames or host addresses, this can be done via Network Configuration, in the Storage Administration pane under Settings.

  2. The default password provided to your instance is, as mentioned earlier, the instance ID of your SoftNAS® on AWS instance. This should be changed in a production environment, particularly if your AWS account is shared with co-workers. The instance ID is visible to anyone logged into the AWS account under which the instance is created.

    1. Changing your password is simple. From the Storage Administration pane, under Settings, select Change Passwords.

    2. Select the account\s you wish to change. SoftNAS recommends changing the default password for both the softnas and root users at a minimum. 

    3. Once the account you wish to change is selected, provide the new password. If handing the instance to a new administrator, check the box to Force user to change password at next login. This will allow the new softnas admin to select his own password. Click Change

  3. The third step is to ensure your instance is up to date. To update your SoftNAS Instance, expand Settings in the Storage Administration pane, and select Software Updates. If an update is available, the latest version will be listed, and you will see an option to Apply Update Now

    Click Apply Update Now to begin the update. To ensure customers are aware that downtime may occur, a confirmation prompt will appear. Click Yes to begin the upgrade. Be sure not to shut down the Virtual Machine or interrupt the upgrade process. Click Finish when prompted. This will trigger a reboot, requiring you to log back into your instance.

    Note: SoftNAS recommends reading the linked Release Notes. The Release Notes may contain information not only about the features and fixes, but also about whether the update will require downtime, allowing you to plan accordingly. This is not particularly relevant for a POC deployment, but important in a production scenario. 

    Note: Updating your software to obtain the latest features, security improvements and bug fixes is always recommended. SoftNAS takes this recommendation a step further, and has tied the latest updates to their No Downtime Guarantee. This ensures our clients are receiving the best version of our product and support to match.  To be eligible for the No Downtime Guarantee, the following minimum requirements must be met:

    • Software version must be or above.
    • Software updates must be applied within 30 days of availability.

  4. Next comes licensing your instance. In AWS, your SoftNAS instance on AWS will be automatically licensed, unless you select a BYOL (Bring Your Own License) AMI. If you do need to apply a license (you can obtain a free trial license by registering here) simply go to the Storage Administration pane, and select Licensing, under Settings

    Provide the license in the field provided, as well as organizational information. Your license will be sent to your registration email, and can also be found by logging into the SoftNAS portal.

  5. To ensure that SoftNAS support, and you as an administrator for your SoftNAS instance, have adequate information to troubleshoot your instance, it is important to provide a means of communication. For this reason, an email address must be supplied to which support reports and logs can be sent at scheduled intervals, or if there is a specific problem. 

    To establish a notification email, expand Settings in the Storage Administration pane, and select Administrator. Go to the Monitoring tab, and enter the email address you wish reports and logs to be sent to.

Note: Providing a notification email is a requirement. If you do not provide one during instance configuration, you will be required to provide one prior to configuring SnapReplicate™. 

Note: Support Reports and notifications will be sent to SoftNAS support automatically. The notification email is to ensure the administrator for the instance is kept apprised. 

Adding the Essentials License

If using a BYOL version of SoftNAS® Essentials, you may need to apply an Essentials license. Contact in order to obtain your Essentials license.

Once you have your license, log into your instance, and in the Storage Administration pane, expand Settings, and select Licensing.

Within the Licensing tab, enter your new license, as well as the registered license owner, and select Activate New License to apply it. 

If you are unable to activate your instance online for security purposes, you will be given an activation code allowing you to register manually. If you must activate manually, simply select Manual Activation, and apply the activation code. Click Activate New License, and your Essentials license will be applied.