Aspera on Demand: How to setup a basic 2 node cluster in AWS

Summary

This article walks through the basics of setting up a two node cluster of Aspera Server on Demand in AWS.  These instructions can also be used for the Aspera Application Platform on Demand as well.  The two node cluster is important if you are interested to increase the redundancy of your Aspera transfer platform. Currently the best method for clustering leverages round robin DNS.  In my example, I use the DNS service that comes with AWS, Route 53.    This configuration will work well if you have just a few accounts that do not change often.  If you have many user accounts that are used to transfer to you often and they change frequently, then there are better options, such as Aspera Shares or Faspex, which manage users in the application layer.

 

Procedure

Here is the basic procedure we will follow in this article:

  1. Provision and configure two Aspera Server on Demand servers
  2. Configure Route 53

 

Pre-requisites

Please have the following prepared, in order to complete this process.

  1. Knowledge of how to use various AWS component (e.g. EC2, IAM roles, S3, Route 53).
  2. An Aspera Server on Demand or Application Platform on Demand entitlement

 

Details

Provision Aspera on Demand

If this is the first time you are provisioning Aspera on Demand, I recommend that you read through the getting started guide.  Here are the steps that we need to be accomplished.  In this example, we are using S3 as the shared storage.  The best way to access your shared storage via Aspera, is to leverage the IAM feature which is documented here.

  1. Boot up 2 instances of Aspera Server (or Application Platform) on Demand using IAM roles.
  2. Configure each server with an Elastic IP address
  3. Configure the user accounts that are required on your server, using the Aspera Console
  4. Configure the server with the identical settings (e.g. entitlement, bandwidth options, document root, transfer authorization, authorization tokens settings etc..)

NOTE: If you have many user accounts, you might want to consider Shares on Demand or Faspex on Demand.  Please contact your Aspera representative for this option.

Configure Route 53

This basic cluster uses round robin DNS, and in my example, I use Route 53 from Amazon.  The basic steps are as follows:

  1. Configure a new A Record Set (aka host entry) in Route 53 and point it to the two Elastic IP addresses

Discussion

Question:  Does this cluster support automatic fail over?  Answer: No.  This is just a basic 2 node cluster setup.

Question: Does this cluster replicate the configurations between each node?  Answer: No.  The configurations are static and need to be manually re-created or copied from one node to another.

Question:  What are the cluster options available for an elastic platform that grows and shrinks with usage?  Answer: Aspera is working on a cluster manager that can grow and shrink dynamically with usage.

 

Architecture Diagram

 

Basic cluster.png 

 

 

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