Configuring ECS: Start Uploading Files in 5 Minutes!

Many times after an Elastic Cloud Storage ECS installation, the question that arises is, “Now, what do we do with this thing?” It’s understandable because an object-storage appliance is not like a SAN or a NAS array. You cannot just walk back to your cube and start archiving old documents to the ECS.

At least, not yet. ECS will have NFS support and some other tools in the near future that will enable just that.

But for now, a quick way to demo access to ECS is to use a freeware such as the “S3 Browser.”

To summarize the two-step process: Go through the ECS portal (GUI) to create a Namespace, and then use the S3 Browser to access ECS.

Step 1: Configure ECS 2.0 PortalECS GUI

There are a few easy steps to accomplish this.

  1. First, create a Storage Pool in the ECS portal by choosing the ECS nodes and giving that collection a name.
  2. Next, from the Virtual Data Center (VDC) tab on the left
      • Click on “Get VDC Access Key”. Copy the displayed key
      • Click on “New Virtual Data Center” and create a VDC using the above key and the IP addresses of all the ECS nodes.
  3. Then create a Replication Group using the newly created VDC and the Storage Pool.
  4. Now, create a Namespace using “root” and the Replication Group. Namespace is analogous to a “Tenant.” This is where buckets will be created.
      • At this point, you have an option of moving to the next step or creating a bucket. If you create a bucket, you will see that bucket after configuring the S3 browser. To create a bucket, go to the “Buckets” tab, choose the Namespace and the Replication Group that you just created, and give the bucket a name.
  5. Finally, go to Users, click on “Object Users” à “New Object users”; choose the Namespace for “root” and click on “Next to add Passwords”. In that next page, generate an S3 secret key for root and copy it to a text editor (to be later used within S3 Browser).

You’re done with ECS portal.

Step 2: Configure S3 Browser and Access ECS

Now, open the S3 Browser. Go to “Accounts” on the top left and choose “Add New Account”. There are four things that need to be filled out or chosen:

  1. Type in an Account name
  2. Under “Storage Type”, Choose S3 Compatible Storage
  3. In “REST Endpoint”, type in the IP Address of one of the ECS nodes along with the port of 9020 (9021 is for secure https). The format is <IP_address>:<port_number>. Note that, by default, S3 Browser uses http, and if you want to use https, go to Tools -> Options -> Connection and check the top option to use secure connection.
  4. Under “Access Key Id”, put in “root”
  5. Copy and paste the secret key from Step 1-E into the field for “Secret Access Key”.
  6. Save Changes and you should be good to go.
  7. Now you can click on “New bucket” in the main page and upload files to that bucket from your local drive. If you had created a bucket from within the ECS portal at the end of Step 1-D, you will now see the bucket listed here as well.

Here is an image of the configuration of S3 Browser with some annotations:Configuration

Hope you found that easy! Of course, after this demo, customers would use their real enterprise applications to access ECS using REST API and using different users, namespaces, secret keys etc., but the fundamentals are the same.

About the Author: Chris Kanthan