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AWS Cluster


This project provides a AWS Cloud Formation template that launches and configures a complete Usergrid installation on Amazon EC2 including Elasticsearch instances, Tomcat instances, Cassandra instances, Security Groups, a Load Balancer and DNS records.

Two parts:

  1. A Maven assembly that builds an installer tarball and uploads it to S3. The tarball includes scripts to install Oracle JDK, Cassandra, and Elasticsearch on the EC2 instances.

  2. A CloudFormation script ugcluster-cf.json that creates an auto-scaling cluster, security groups and some number of EC2 instances, The template includes a CloudInit script that runs scripts from the installer tarball to configure and start either Cassandra or on each instance.

Getting set-up

To setup our AWS account to use AWS Cluster here's what you need to do:

  • Create an AWS EC2 key pair. You will need this PEM file to login to your Cassandra instances.

  • Create an AWS S3 bucket for the AWS Cluster install bundle. e.g. Create an S3 bucket in your account with the name ug-cloudformation.

  • Setup a top-level domain name in the AWS Route 53 DNS service. The default value of usergrid.com will not work (unless you happen to own that domain name).

  • Upload the Oracle Java JDK to that same S3 bucket. Best practice is to use the Oracle Java JDK with Cassandra, so you must upload the JDK to the S3 bucket that we created above. The JDK must be named jdk-8u71-linux-x64.tar.gz. Java 8 is required by Usergrid 2.1.0 +.

  • Create an aws.properties file with your AWS credentials in the same directory as this README file. The file is git-ignored so you don't have to worry about accidentally committing it.

  • Deploy this the AWS Cluster assembly by running the Maven command mvn deploy in the same directory as this README file.

Building the Installation Tarball

First you need to build the Usergrid components: the Java SDK, the Stack and the Portal.

For example, here's how you would do that on a UNIX system (assuming that all Stack and Portal build pre-requisites are in place:

$ cd usergrid/sdks/java
$ mvn clean install

$ cd usergrid/stack
$ mvn -DskipTests=true clean install

$ cd usergrid/portal
$ ./build.sh

Next, change back to the deployment/aws directory and run Maven deploy:

$ cd usergrid/deployment/aws
$ mvn deploy

Maven will create the installation tarball and will copy it to your S3 bucket ug-cloudformation. You can find a copy of the tarball in the target directory: awscluster-1.0-SNAPSHOT.tgz.

Launching a new stack

Login to AWS Console and create a new CloudFormation stack. On the first screen, pick a short and simple name for your stack and choose the option to upload a template and upload the ugcluster-cf.json file in this very directory.

On the next screen, enter the number of DB and REST servers you wish to create, the replication factor and the instance type you wish to use. Check the "I acknowledge that this will create IAM resources" and then click Next, Next, Next to take defaults and start the stack.

Watch the EC2 console and see your instances come up. They will be tagged with the stack name that you provided.

Accessing your new stack

Assuming everything went well then you can access your stack at the DNS sub-domain and domain name that you specified in the configuration. For example, if you specified DNS domain usergrid.com and sub-domain test1 then you should be able to access Usergrid at http://test1.usergrid.com/.

Initializing your stack

First, visit the Database setup URL: http://<YOUR HOST NAME>/system/database/setup

When prompted to login use the username superuser and password test. If the operation is successful you should a message like the one below in your browser. If not, check your logs for clues about what went wrong.

	"action" : "cassandra setup",
	"status" : "ok",
	"timestamp" : 1379424622947,
	"duration" : 76

Next, visit the Superuser setup URL: http://<YOUR HOST NAME>/system/superuser/setup

You should not be prompted for login because you already logged into for the Database Setup. If setup works, you should see a message like this:

	"action" : "superuser setup",
	"status" : "ok",
	"timestamp" : 1379424667936,
	"duration" : 2

Now you're ready to get started using Usergrid.

Login to the Usergrid Console & get started

You should now be able to login to the Usergrid console and start configuring applications, users and more.

The Usergrid Portal's URL is http://<YOUR HOST NAME>/portal and you can login with username superuser and password test.

Exploring a Cassandra node

Take a look at your new cluster. Login to one of the instances and take a look at the Cassandra setup via nodetool ring and by looking at the following log file locations.

Log File Locations

/var/log/usergrid-bootstrap.log - log created as instance was created

/var/log/cassandra/* - the Cassandra log files

Exploring a Tomcat node

Take a look at your new cluster. Login to one of the instances and take a look at the Cassandra setup via nodetool ring and by looking at the following logs locations:

Log File Locations

/var/log/usergrid-bootstrap.log - log created as instance was created

/var/log/tomcat7/* - the Tomcat log files

How it works

Here's what happens when the stack is started.

CloudFormation reads the ugcluster-cf.json template and uses starts the EC2 instances that it specifies. There are two types of instances, Cassandra instances and REST instances.

When each Cassandra instance comes up CloudFormation runs the CloudInit script specified in ugcluster-cf.json and that script downloads the , sets up some environment scripts and calls the init_instance/init_db_server.sh script to complete the setup.

The init_instance/init_db_server.sh calls install_oraclejdk.sh to download the JDK from S3 and install it. The script then installs Tomcat and Cassandra. Next it uses Groovy scripts to configure Cassandra and wait for other Cassandra nodes to come alive.

When a REST instance comes up, it does the same things but it calls the init_rest_server.sh to install and configure Tomcat, wait for Cassandra nodes to become available and then setup the Usergrid Stack and Usergrid Portal webapps.