Eucalyptus

Getting Started with EucaLobo

Initial Setup

In my previous post, I described the story behind EucaLobo, a graphical interface for managing workloads on AWS and Eucalyptus clouds through a <cliche>single pane of glass</cliche>. The tool is built using Javascript and the XUL framework allowing it to be used on Linux, Windows, and Mac for the following APIs:

  • EC2
  • EBS
  • S3
  • IAM
  • CloudWatch
  • AutoScaling
  • Elastic Load Balancing

To get started download the binary for your platform:

Once installation is complete and EucaLobo starts for the first time you will be prompted to enter an endpoint. My esteemed colleague Tony Beckham has created a great intro video showing how to create and edit credentials and endpoints. The default values have been set to the Eucalyptus Community Cloud, a free and easy way to get started using Eucalyptus and clouds in general. This is a great resource for users who want to get a feel for Eucalyptus without an upfront hardware investment.

Enter the following details if you have your own cloud or would like to use AWS:

After entering an endpoint, the next modal dialog will request that you enter your credentials:

  • Name: Alias for these credentials
  • Access Key
  • Secret Key
  • Default Endpoint: Endpoint to use when these credentials are activated
  • Security Token: Unnecessary for most operations

Any number of endpoints and credentials can be added which makes EucaLobo ideal for users who leverage multiple clouds (both public and private). Once you have loaded up at least one endpoint and credential set, you need to:

  1. Go to the “Manage Credentials” tab
  2. Select a credential in the top pane
  3. Click the “Activate” button

You are now ready to start poking around the services available through EucaLobo. All services are listed on the left pane of the interface. Clicking on the name of the tabs will take you to the implementation of that functionality. The ElasticWolf team did a great job of making an intuitive and simple interface to navigate. As an enhancement, which I hope to get upstream soon, I have added labels to all buttons in the UI so that it is clear which operations will be executed.

Cool Features

Portability

ElasticWolf leverages the XUL framework which enables developers to write their application once and deploy it on Mac/Linux/Windows or any platform that supports Firefox. This level of portability is great to cover a large number of users with minimal effort. So far I have not found any bugs that are platform specific.

Multi-cloud

EucaLobo makes it easy to quickly change endpoints and credentials. My common use cases for this feature are:

  • Switching only endpoints – Switching regions in AWS
  • Switching both endpoint+credentials: – Verifying Eucalyptus behavior after testing in the same interface as AWS
  • Switching only credentials – Use different users to validate IAM behavior

multi-cloud

IAM Canned policies

One of the great workflows inherited from ElasticWolf is the ability to use pre-canned policies when associating a policy to users and groups.

canned-policy

Security features

You may be thinking that adding cloud credentials to an application and leaving it open on your desktop is too risky. You would be absolutely correct. To combat this risk, you can set an inactivity timer that will either exit the application or require the user to enter a preset password. The granularity of the timer can be set to as low as 1 minute.

security

S3 advanced features

One of the most powerful features in the S3 API is the ability to lock down (or open up) S3 entities (objects and buckets) using an ACL policy language. Unfortunately, the S3 ACL API is not the most user friendly. With the ACL implementation in EucaLobo, you can choose to share a file publically or share with only 1 or more individual users.

s3-acls

CloudWatch Graphs

The reason I began my efforts to get ElasticWolf working with Eucalyptus was in order to use it as an interface to the newly developed CloudWatch API in Eucalyptus. EucaLobo makes it extremely easy to visualize the usage of each of your instance, volumes, load balancers, and AutoScaling groups.

cloudwatch

Conclusion

EucaLobo has been extremely useful for me during the testing of Eucalyptus 3.3, as well as for managing my home private cloud and AWS accounts. I hope that others can find it as useful and useable as I have. With what I have learned during the development of EucaLobo, I hope to refork ElasticWolf  so that I can make a smaller patch upstream for enabling Eucalyptus Cloud support.

Please dont hesitate to provide feedback in the form of comments on this blog, on Github as issues, or on IRC at the #eucalyptus-qa channel of Freenode. As always pull requests are welcome: https://github.com/viglesiasce/EucaLobo

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2 thoughts on “Getting Started with EucaLobo

  1. Pingback: The Journey to EucaLobo | Testing Clouds at 128bpm

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