AWS Elastic IP address and Aspera on Demand

Summary

This article describes how to use an Elastic IP (EIP) address with your Aspera on Demand Machine Image (AMI) for AWS.  This article is of particular interest to any uses of Aspera on Demand for web applications that use the Node API, such as Application Platform (3rd party), Shares and Faspex.

Details

Aspera on Demand can be used with an EIP address.  Depending on when you assign the elastic IP to your Aspera AMI (during boot, or after boot), you may need to make an adjustment to the Aspera server configuration so it works properly. 

Assigning EIP during initial boot

If you choose to setup your AMI with an EIP during the boot process, the Aspera on Demand initial boot will configure itself with the assigned EIP address.  This is the case, if you are using Amazon Cloud formation or if you manually choose the EIP in the early stage of the AMI boot process.

 

Assigning EIP after server is running

If you choose to associate an EIP with your AMI after the system is running, you will have to make one configuration change on your Aspera Server configuration file (/opt/aspera/etc/aspera.conf).  The aspera.conf file contains a <server_name>...</server_name> parameter, which the Aspera Server uses to tell connecting browser plug-in clients what hostname/IP should be used for FASP transfers with the server.  By default, the Aspera on Demand system will configure itself with it's public hostname.  The <server>...</server> section of the config file would look like this:

NOTE: Large sections are removed for clarity

<CONF version="2">

   ...

    <server>
        <server_name>ec2-34-204-142-109.us-west-2.compute.amazonaws.com</server_name>
    </server>
</CONF>

 

If you tried to transfer using the browser plug-in client, Connect, before fixing this setting, you would receive an error message that there is an SSH connection failure. The client is trying to connect to a host whose IP address has changed.  In our example above, you have already changed the public IP of the server via the EIP configuration, but the <server> ...</server> configuration is instructing the client to upload to the original hostname /IP address.  The client error message is shown here:

Screen Shot 2013-03-27 at 6.54.08 PM.png

 

To fix the issue, you need to edit the /opt/aspera/etc/aspera.conf file and set the <server_name>...</server_name> configuration to the recently assigned EIP.  You can also use a hostname here, but you are responsible to make sure it resolves to the correct IP.  A correctly configured IP address is shown here:

 

<CONF version="2">

   ...

    <server>
        <server_name>211.32.68.115</server_name>
    </server>
</CONF>

 

After you adjust the aspera.conf file, you will need to restart the asperanoded service, as shown below.  Once complete, the transfer should work successfully.

 

[root@ip-10-234-41-52 ~]# service asperanoded restart
Stopping ...
Aspera Node Server: asperanoded                [ OK ]
Starting ...
Aspera Node Server: asperanoded                [ OK ]
[root@ip-10-234-41-52 ~]#

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