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Amazon Web Services (AWS) Installation Overview

This section describes how to set up an Amazon AWS Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) which will support either a single instance or a high availability (HA) pairing of SoftNAS instances using SoftNAS SNAP HA™. SoftNAS SNAP HA™ for EC2 now supports the use of Virtual IPs, and is our best practice recommendation. Configuration with Elastic IPs is still fully supported.

The following is required:

  • Create the VPC in AWS.
  • Specify the IAM User for SoftNAS®
  • Create required subnets
  • Configure the routing tables.
  • Launch an Instance of SoftNAS® into the VPC.
  • Create and Associate the Required Elastic or Virtual IPs.
  • Set up SoftNAS® for HA.
The HA IAM Role is caps sensitive, and must be named SoftNAS_HA_IAM.

Creating the VPC

A VPC is a private, isolated section of the AWS cloud that can be set up in a variety of configurations.

  •  To create your VPC, log into the AWS console with your AWS credentials, and expand All Services (if not already open). Scroll down to Networking and Content Delivery.
  •  Select VPC.

  •  From the VPC Dashboard, click on Launch VPC Wizard.

  •  Select VPC with Public and Private Subnets as the configuration scenario. 
  •  Click on Select. The Create an Amazon Virtual Private Cloud screen is displayed.

Private subnet instances access the Internet via a Network Address Translation (NAT) instance in the public subnet. (Hourly charges for NAT instances apply.) 

You may not require NAT setup if setting up a Private instance using Virtual IPs. While not required for Private instances, there are some organization specific instances where set up of NAT is relevant.

Configure the IP CIDR block, Public and Private Subnets, and all other settings as appropriate.

  1. Provide a CIDR block for your VPC. The default can be kept, provided it does not conflict with other CIDR blocks within your organization. For this example, we will use 
  2. IPv6 CIDR block can be kept at the default of 'No IPv6 CIDR block' unless your use case necessitates an Amazon provided IPv6 CIDR block. 
  3. Provide an easily recognized VPC name.
  4.  Select an IPV4 CIDR block for your public subnet within the VPC range. In this example, we use
  5. Select a specific availability zone for your VPC public subnet.  Note the availability zone selected for future reference.
  6. Provide a name for your public subnet name. 
  7.  Select an IPV4 CIDR block for your private subnet within the VPC range. In this example, we use
  8. Select the same availability zone as the public subnet, for simplicity's sake. 
  9. Provide a name for the private subnet.
  10. Provide the elastic IP address for a NAT gateway.

Configuration Best Practices to Consider Now:

  • Select different availability zones when configuring the subnets for the greatest level of VPC redundancy.
  • Select the proper instance type for intended usage, including anticipated networking and storage needs.
  • Select a valid Key Pair that is secured and available for use.

Click on Create VPC. AWS will create a VPC with Public and Private subnets. 

If a NAT instance is not required for the local SoftNAS® deployment, delete the NAT instance and release any assigned Elastic IPs. Amazon hourly charges apply to NAT instances. 

Specify the IAM User for SoftNAS®

About Amazon IAM Users

AWS Identity and Access Management is a web service that enables Amazon Web Services (AWS) customers to manage users and user permissions in AWS. The service is targeted at organizations with multiple users or systems that use AWS products such as Amazon EC2, Amazon RDS, and the AWS Management Console. With IAM, centrally manage users, security credentials such as access keys, and permissions that control which AWS resources users can access. 

Create an AWS IAM User for SoftNAS®. This will allow SoftNAS® instances to use the credentials of the AWS IAM User when accessing the VPC. For a step-by-step guide to setting up your IAM user, see Creating the SoftNAS® IAM Role for AWS.

Creating a Subnet

Buurst's No Downtime Guarantee requires that each instance in an HA pairing must belong to a separate Availability zone or region for redundancy. For this reason, at least two subnets are required for your VPC, each in a different Availability Zone. The first can be the default public or private subnet created when setting up the VPC. The second can be created now. 

If you are going to assign additional subnets to your newly created VPC, it is important to log the VPC ID. The VPC ID can be found in Your VPCs from the VPC Dashboard.

  •  Select Subnets from the VPC Dashboard.
  •  Click Create Subnet.

  •  In Create Subnet, you will provide the following information to create each subnet:

    1. Name Tag: Provide a name for the subnet, ideally one that identifies it as a secondary public or private subnet, dependent on which you will be deploying into (this creates a key and value for the subnet). 
    2. VPC: Here you will specify the VPC ID of the VPC you wish this subnet associated with. (This will be the VPC ID you logged earlier)
    3. Availability Zone: Next you will specify an Availability Zone. This should be a separate availability zone from the default VPC public/private subnets.
    4. IPv4 CIDR block: The IPv4 CIDR block specifies an IP range for your instance. As we are creating two subnets, the CIDR block provided should be smaller than the CIDR block specified for the VPC. 
  •  Click Yes, Create when the information has been provided.

Associating Subnets to a Route Table

Once your subnets have been created, they need to be associated with the correct route table. If creating a private VPC HA deployment, the two private subnets just created will need to be associated with the NAT Gateway or private Route Table. If public, you will need to associate a second public subnet to the route table. In the below example, we will be associating private subnets to a private route table. However, the process is the same in either case. Simply be sure to select the correct route table, and associate the appropriate subnet. 

To determine or verify the correct route table to assign the private subnets to, select one of the two route tables associated with your VPC (Remember, this can be determined by checking the VPC ID). Click on the Routes tab. 

Scroll down to see the default route (identified by the IP address). If this route is associated with an internet gateway, this is the public route table.

Labelling the route table can help identify it at a glance.

Move to the second route table associated with the VPC if the first is associated with an internet gateway. The private route table to which we will associate the private subnets can be identified because the default route will be associated with the NAT Gateway.

After verifying the private route table (associated with the NAT Gateway),

  •  select this route table, and select the Subnet Associations tab. 
  •  Click Edit subnet associations.

  •  Select the two private subnets created earlier
  •  Click Save

If deploying into a public subnet, you would simply associate a second public subnet instead (This public subnet should have been created as described earlier in the Creating a Subnet section of this guide). 

Launch An Instance of SoftNAS® into the VPC

To launch an instance of SoftNAS® into the already-set-up VPC, the following is required:

  •  Select the appropriate SoftNAS® AMI from the Marketplace AMI section of EC2 services.
  •  Select at least the small instance.
  •  Configure the instance details.
  •  Launch instance into the subnet.
  •  Add an additional ethernet interface.
  •  Add storage as required.
  •  Tag the instance.
  •  Set up security groups.
  •  Select a key pair for SSH.

The above procedure is repeated to create a second SoftNAS® instance for HA.