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Amazon Web Services

Page Index:
Instance Types
Firewall
Authentication
UDP Buffers
Network Speed
License Binding
Tech Note History
Oct302013Marketplace
Elastic IP
Feb062013EBS-Optimized
Oct132011Utilization
May042011Updated Firewall
Apr222011Changing Type
Mar232011Instance ID
Dec072010Choosing
Nov172010First Post

Amazon Web Services

ExpeDat and SyncDat software can be installed on AWS EC2 instances just like any other Linux or Windows system.

This article is about installing stand-alone DEI software on EC2 instances.  For information about our AMI backed AWS Marketplace offerings, see our AWS Marketplace page.

Choosing an Instance Type

High throughput can be achieved with any instance type, even a micro instance.  High throughput will be more reliable on instances with higher "Network Performance" ratings.  The Network Performance rating of an instance is more important than the number of compute units (ECUs).  If you find that network throughput is less than expected, try switching to an instance with a Network Performance rating of at least "High".

Data should be stored on an EBS (Elastic Block Storage) filesystem or local instance-store.  To achieve consistently high storage performance, provision your storage as an EBS-Optimized volume.

An EC2 instance may experience severe performance limitations for several hours after changing an instance type, or mounting a new EBS volume.

Amazon does not support direct file access to S3 buckets.  For accelerated access to S3, consider subscribing to the ExpeDat S3 Gateway.

CPU utilization can become a factor when handling large numbers of files or when inline compression is used.  Use the EC2 instance monitoring tools to observe CPU utilization during heavy use.  If 100% utilization is being reported, you may need an instance with more compute units (ECUs).  The number of compute units per core will have a greater effect on performance than the number of cores.

Always use the EC2 instance monitoring tools to determine CPU utilization.  Tools run within the virtual machine may not be accurate.

Performance will also be influenced by all of the factors which normally affect a computer system.  See the ExpeDat performance documentation for details.

Firewall

When installing servedat on EC2, you will need to open UDP port 8080 in the firewall.  This can be done by modifying the "Security Group" after the initial setup.

Security Group
  1. In the EC2 management console, click "Security Groups".
  2. Check the group assigned to your EC2 instance.
  3. In the frame below, select the "Inbound" tab.
  4. In the "Create a new rule" menu, select "Custom UDP rule".
  5. Enter a port range of "8080" (assuming you are using the default ExpeDat or SyncDat server port).
  6. Click "Add Rule".
  7. Click "Apply Rule Changes"

For general information about firewalls, see Tech Note 0002.

Linux System Authentication

The default Linux AMI does not assign a password to user accounts.  If you wish system users to authenticate to servedat, you must create a password for each.

While logged on as an administrative user, use the command "sudo passwd username".  For example, to create a password for the default user account:

sudo passwd ec2-user

For general information about system user authentication, see the servedat "System Authentication" manual page.

Linux UDP Buffers

The linux kernel limits UDP buffers to sizes which are not appropriate for modern high-speed networks.

If you install the servedat server, it will automatically correct the buffer sizes each time the service starts.

To permanently correct the UDP buffer limit, add the following lines to /etc/sysctl.conf:

net.core.wmem_max=1048576 net.core.rmem_max=1048576

See Tech Note 0024 for details.  Note that "/sbin/sysctl" is not in the path for the default "ec2-user" account, so you will need to explicitly type the full path of that command.

Network Speeds

Amazon does not guarantee any particular level of network speed, but the following guidelines generally apply:

  • EC2 instances rated for "High" Network Performance will provide more consistent performance.
  • EBS volumes which are configured as "EBS-Optimized" will provide more consistent performance.
  • The fastest speeds are between instances within the same AWS region.
  • Second fastest speeds are between instances in different AWS regions.
  • Speeds to the Internet are the slowest and most variable.

Performance will also be influenced by all of the factors which normally affect a computer system.  See the ExpeDat performance documentation for details.

License Binding

Traditional host identifiers and IP addresses are not persistent in EC2 and cannot be used for MTP license binding.  Instead, the following options are available for EC2 hosted software:

  • Instance ID  Each instance has an identifier in the form i-xxxxxxxx which is persistent across reboots, stop/start cycles, and type changes.  An instance ID remains constant so long as you do not terminate it.
  • Elastic IP  Each AWS account may hold one or more static, public IP addresses.  Binding to an Elastic IP address will allow the software to run on any EC2 instance which has been assigned that address.

AWS may change EC2 specifications at any time, and additional setup steps may be required when installing host-bound software on an EC2 instance.  Make sure to discuss EC2 details with your DEI representative prior to deployment.

As with any host-bound software, you may change the binding information should your infrastructure require it.  See the Migration instructions in Tech Note 0007 for details.