by March 3, 2009 0 comments

We talked about deploying a cloud computing infrastructure using Eucalyptus
in our Jan 09 issue. If you read that article you must have noticed that
deploying Eucalyptus is not a child’s play. So, to make the deployment pain
free, we’ve developed the PCQLinux Cloud Computing Virtual Appliance. The beauty
of this appliance is that you can deploy it by just unpacking and inserting it
in HyperV. The rest of the deployment, including the installation of the cloud
nodes is taken care of automatically. And with the help of this appliance you
can deploy your own EC2 based cloud in a couple of hours. Let’s see how to use

Running the Appliance
The PCQLinux Cloud Computing Virtual Appliance is a HyperV appliance so it
will run on both Microsoft Virtual Server and MS HyperV. It will not work with
Microsoft VPC because it’s a 64-bt appliance and VPC doesn’t support 64-bit

First copy PCQCloud.vhd.bz2 to the machine running MS HyperV. Next, unpack it
using Winrar or any other uncompressing utility which supports BZip format. The
final extracted .vhd file will be around 7.5 GB so please make sure you have
enough disk space while uncompressing. And due to the large file size, the
unzipping process might take pretty long depending on the type of processors you
are using. So, I suggest you better go and grab a cup of coffee till the process
gets over!

Once it has been uncompressed, start the HyperV console and create a new
machine with atleast one GB of RAM and with one legacy network card. You can
start the creation wizard by going to Action  New  Virtual machine. Follow the
wizard and provide the necessary information required. Continue till the time
you see a window which asks you for connecting the virtual hard disk. In this
window, select the second option which says, ‘Use an existing virtual hard
disk.’ Now click on the browse button and provide the path of the PCQCloud.vhd
file. Continue till you reach the end of the wizard. Once the virtual machine is
created, right click and select the start the option to start the machine.

Your cloud’s node is now ready to rock. The appliance boots with a default IP
of and username is root and the password is pass@word1. The
appliance automatically starts a DHCP server on the network, so make sure you
don’t run it on a live production network without disabling the DHCP server.

Installing nodes
This is the time to install nodes over the network. For this, run the Rocks
command “insert-ether” from a terminal. It will open up a window with a list of
device types. Select the last option which says “vm-container” and hit enter. A
blank window will open. Boot up all nodes and make sure they all connect to the
cloud network and their boot preference is set to Network/PXE boot. Once you do
so, you will start seeing entries being added to the blank window of
“insert-ether”. You will see one entry each for the number of nodes you have

On the nodes, the remote installation will start automatically and the
complete installation will happen with some amount of manual intervention. You
can even have your nodes headless and see the installation screen remotely
through a VNC client with the host name of the nodes shown in the insert-ether

Once all the nodes are installed, reboot all your node machines. I don’t know
why, but I faced a lot of trouble in getting all nodes attached to the cloud
till the time I rebooted all of them. Once the reboot process has been done,
your EC2 enabled Eucalyptus cloud is up and running. This is the time to start
using it.

Adding images
Now your cluster is ready but you need some virtual machines to run on top
of it. For doing so, you have to upload some Linux OS images to it. For getting
your hands dirty, you can use a very tiny Linux image which is available from
Eucalyptus’ website. You can download it from http://eucalyptus.cs.
tgz. Once downloaded, untar and unzip it and run the following command:

#/opt/eucalyptus/usr/sbin/euca add_image –disk-image
ttylinux.img –kernel-image vmlinuz- –image-name ttylinux

And the image will be updated to the cloud.

Using the Cloud with Amazon’s EC2 client
If you are comfortable with Amazon’s EC2 client then you can just skip this
section. But if you are not, then read on. To start with, first get a client
machine, any Windows or Linux machine will do. But the process will vary a bit.
We did it on a Linux machine.

First download Amazon’s EC2 toolset and APIs from http://s3. Now unzip them. But before using the commands,
first generate and download a certificate for your cloud’s account, so that you
can authenticate the machine from the system that is running the EC2 client. To
do so, open the following link:

Change “ front. end” with the IP or FQDN of the Cloud’s
frontend. A login page will appear. Login using admin both as username and
password. Once you login for the first time to the Eucalyptus page, you will be
asked to change the Admin password. Change it and proceed, and you will see the
Admin page. Here, you can add more users and then login through them to get the
certificate or you can just download the Admin’s certificate to get started. To
download the Admin’s certificate, click on ‘Generate Certificate’ button on the
page. It will download a zipped file. Once downloaded, unzip it to ~/.euca

Now move EC2 Tools folder to opt and run the following commands to register
to EC2 and certificate paths, and the cloud’s website:

Things to note:
1. The
appliance file when uncompressed generates a 7.5GB VHD file, so make sure
you have enough space on your disk.

The virtual appliance should have atleast 1GB of disk space.

3. It should have atleast one legacy network

4. The appliance has DHCP server running by
default, so please make sure you don’t run this appliance on a live
production network.

5. If the nodes don’t remote boot. Run
#kroll eucalyptus >
#sh ./

and try again.

export EC2_HOME=/opt/ec2-api-tools-1.3-24159
export PATH=$PATH:$EC2_HOME/bin
export EC2_PRIVATE_KEY=~/.euca/euca2-*-pk.pem
export EC2_CERT=~/.euca/euca2-*-cert.pem
export EC2_URL=http://

Now, you will be able to run the following command to see how many cores you
have in your cloud and how many are free for you:

You need to create a private key, so that you can use it to connect to an
instance when you run them, through SSH. To do so, run: ec2-add-keypair
key >> key.private

Now run the following command to get the EMI identifier for the image/s you
have added: #ec2-describe-images

It will return a value like emi-xxxxxxx. Now run the following command to
start instances of the image on the cloud:
#ec2-run-instances emi-xxxxxxx -k key

And the Linux image will boot up on the cloud. You can access it through SSH.
But for that you will need its IP which you can get by running the following
command: #ec2-describe-instances

To connect to the image using SSH and the private key you just created, run
the following command: ssh -i key.private root@ip-addresses-of-the-image

And you are done with it. Wasn’t that simple!

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