It has never been easier to use LINBIT®’s suite of storage and high availability (HA) tools in AWS. LINBIT recently added a free to use AMI listing to the AWS Marketplace based on the latest Ubuntu LTS release with LINBIT’s Ubuntu Personal Package Archive (PPA) preconfigured and LINBIT’s packages preinstalled.
What’s in the Box?
Out of the box you’ll get the latest Ubuntu LTS with the following LINBIT software preinstalled:
- DRBD® kernel module for block device replication
- LINSTOR® for provisioning DRBD devices
- DRBD Reactor for cluster resource management and HA
DRBD enables AWS users to replicate block storage (EBS volumes) across availability zones (AZ). This gives you peace of mind in knowing a replica of your volume is in not one, but many AWS data centers. Having an exact replica of your volume in a different AZ assures you that you can access your data even if an AZ becomes unavailable, without having to rely on EBS volume migrations which may not be possible during an AZ outage.
DRBD Reactor can be configured as a cluster resource manager, enabling automatic failover of services between AZs based on DRBD’s quorum status. DRBD Reactor can use the Open Cluster Framework (OCF) resource agents – should sound familiar to Pacemaker users – which include management and monitoring agents for many applications and services (including Amazon Elastic IPs). If the application you’re after doesn’t have a resource agent, you can also use systemd units to start and stop applications. DRBD Reactor also exposes Prometheus metrics for monitoring DRBD’s performance and health.
LINSTOR provides a single interface for creating and managing DRBD devices across your cluster nodes. It also exposes an API that LINBIT’s drivers for various other software platforms use, like Kubernetes, OpenStack, or others, to create replicated block storage on demand. LINSTOR can natively ship backups and snapshots of your volumes into S3 as a part of a backup or DR plan. It also exposes Prometheus metrics for monitoring cluster health and usage statistics.
Where Do I Sign Up?
You can subscribe to this free product on the AWS Marketplace by following this link: https://aws.amazon.com/marketplace/pp/prodview-hoepgtcmdjgjy
NOTE: While it’s free to use LINBIT’s AMI, AWS EC2 charges are still applicable. That said, LINBIT’s software has a very small footprint in terms of resource utilization and should be able to cluster similarly light applications on EC2 instances falling within Amazon’s “Free Tier” if your account qualifies.
How Do I Launch It?
You can launch LINBIT’s AMI straight from the AWS Marketplace. If you do this, you’ll have the option to use the recommended security group settings, which include all the rules for a functional LINSTOR, DRBD, and DRBD Reactor cluster. Just be sure you place each instance in a different AZ (subnet), and use your VPC’s subnet as the source for your security group rules. You’ll also want to add an additional EBS volume to each instance that LINSTOR or DRBD can use for its backing storage.
Or, if you’re familiar with Terraform, you can use my example Terraform manifest after adjusting some variables for your AWS region to launch three nodes into different AZs behind a bastion host, or just use the example as reference to craft your own manifests.
What if I Need Help?
If you need help getting started or if you’d like to talk to LINBIT about a project you need support for, you can always reach out directly through LINBIT.com. You can also join the LINBIT community on Slack for community support. Feedback is always welcome on any channel.