Island Installation

The island installation assumes an Internet connected VM which will be bootstrapped and become an install node. The install node will be migrated into a network-isolated environment and the ECS deployment will then proceed from the install node.


Listed below are all necessary components for a successful ECS Community Edition installation. If they are not met the installation will likely fail.

Hardware Requirements

The installation process is designed to be performed from either a dedicated installation node. However, it is possible, if you so choose, for one of the ECS data nodes to double as the install node. The install node will bootstrap the ECS data nodes and configure the ECS instance. When the process is complete, the install node may be safely destroyed. Both single node and multi-node deployments require only a single install node.

The technical requirements for the installation node are minimal, but reducing available CPU, memory, and IO throughput will adversely affect the speed of the installation process:

  • 1 CPU Core
  • 2 GB Memory
  • 10 GB HDD
  • CentOS 7 Minimal installation (ISO- and network-based minimal installs are equally supported)

The minimum technical requirements for each ECS data node are:

  • 4 CPU Cores
  • 16 GB Memory
  • 16 GB Minimum system block storage device
  • 104 GB Minimum additional block storage device in a raw, unpartitioned state.
  • CentOS 7 Minimal installation (ISO- and network-based minimal installs are equally supported)

The recommended technical requirements for each ECS data node are:

  • 8 CPU Cores
  • 64GB RAM
  • 16GB root block storage
  • 1TB additional block storage
  • CentOS 7.4 Minimal installation

For multi-node installations each data node must fulfill these minimum qualifications. The installer will do a pre-flight check to ensure that the minimum qualifications are met. If they are not, the installation will not continue.

Environmental Requirements

The following environmental requirements must also be met to ensure a successful installation:

  • Network: All nodes, including install node and ECS data node(s), must exist on the same IPv4 subnet. IPv6 networking may work, but is neither tested nor supported for ECS Community Edition at this time.
  • Remote Access: Installation is coordinated via Ansible and SSH. However, public key authentication during the initial authentication and access configuration is not yet supported. Therefore, password authentication must be enabled on all nodes, including install node and ECS data node(s). This is a known issue and will be addressed in a future release
  • OS: CentOS 7 Minimal installation (ISO- and network-based minimal installs are equally supported)

All-in-One Single-Node Deployments

A single node can successfully run the installation procedure on itself. To do this simply input the node’s own IP address as the installation node as well as the data node in the deploy.yml file.

1. Getting Started

It is recommended to use a non-root administrative user account with sudo privileges on the install node when performing the deployment. Deploying from the root account is supported, but not recommended.

Before data store nodes can be created, the install node must be prepared. If acquiring the software via the GitHub repository, run:

  1. cd $HOME
  2. sudo yum install -y git
  3. git clone

If the repository is being added to the machine via usb drive, scp, or some other file-based means, please copy the archive into $HOME/ and run:

  • for .zip archive unzip
  • for .tar.gz archive tar -xzvf ECS-CommunityEdition.tar.gz

If the directory created when unarchiving the release .zip or tarball has a different name than ECS-CommunityEdition, then rename it with the following command:

  1. mv <directory name> ECS-CommunityEdition

This will help the documentation make sense as you proceed with the deployment.

2. Creating The Deployment Map (deploy.yml)

Installation requires the creation of a deployment map. This map is represented in a YAML configuration file called deploy.yml.

Below are steps for creating a basic deploy.yml. All fields indicated below are required for a successful installation.

  1. From the $HOME/ECS-CommunityEdition directory, run the commmand: cp docs/design/reference.deploy.yml deploy.yml

  2. Edit the file with your favorite editor on another machine, or use vi deploy.yml on the install node. Read the comments in the file and review the examples in the examples/ directory.

  3. Top-level deployment facts (facts:)

    1. Enter the IP address of the install node into the install_node: field.
    2. Enter into the management_clients: field the CIDR address/mask of each machine or subnet that will be whitelisted in node’s firewalls and allowed to communicate with ECS management API.
    • is exactly the IP address.
    • is the entire /24 subnet.
    • represents the entire Internet.
  4. SSH login details (ssh_defaults:)

    1. If the SSH server is bound to a non-standard port, enter that port number in the ssh_port: field, or leave it set at the default (22).
    2. Enter the username of a user permitted to run commands as UID 0/GID 0 (“root”) via the sudo command into the ssh_username: field. This must be the same across all nodes.
    3. Enter the password for the above user in the ssh_password: field. This will only be used during the initial public key authentication setup and can be changed after. This must be the same across all nodes.
  5. Node configuration (node_defaults:)

    1. Enter the DNS domain for the ECS installation. This can simply be set to localdomain if you will not be using DNS with this ECS deployment.
    2. Enter each DNS server address, one per line, into dns_servers:. This can be what’s present in /etc/resolv.conf, or it can be a different DNS server entirely. This DNS server will be set to the primary DNS server for each ECS node.
    3. Enter each NTP server address, one per line, into ntp_servers:.
  6. Storage Pool configuration (storage_pools:)

    1. Enter the storage pool name:.
    2. Enter each member data node’s IP address, one per line, in members:.
    3. Under options:, enter each block device reserved for ECS, one per line, in ecs_block_devices:. All member data nodes of a storage pool must be identical.
  7. Virtual Data Center configuration (virtual_data_centers:)

    1. Enter each VDC name:.
    2. Enter each member Storage Pool name, one per line, in members:
  8. Optional directives, such as those for Replication Groups and users, may also be configured at this time.

  9. When you have completed the deploy.yml to your liking, save the file and exit the vi editor.

  10. Move on to Bootstrapping

These steps quickly set up a basic deploy.yml file

More on deploy.yml

If you need to make changes to your deploy.yml after bootstrapping, there are two utilities for this.

  1. The videploy utility will update the installed deploy.yml file in place and is the preferred method.
  2. The update_deploy utility will update the installed deploy.yml file with the contents of a different deploy.yml file.

See the [utilties][utilities] document for more information on these and other ECS CE utilities.

For more information on deploy.yml, please read the reference guide found here.

3. Bootstrapping the install node (

The bootstrap script configures the installation node for ECS deployment and downloads the required Docker images and software packages that all other nodes in the deployment will need for successful installation.

Once the deploy.yml file has been created, the installation node must be bootstrapped. To do this cd into the ECS-CommunityEdition directory and run ./ -c deploy.yml. Be sure to add the -g flag if building the ECS deployment in a virtual environment and the -y flag if you’re okay accepting all defaults.

The bootstrap script accepts many flags. If your environment uses proxies, including MitM SSL proxies, custom nameservers, or a local Docker registry or CentOS mirror, you may want to indicate that on the command line.

 -h, --help
    Display this help text and exit
    Display build environment help and exit
    Display version information and exit

[General Options]
 -y / -n
    Assume YES or NO to any questions (may be dangerous).
 -v / -q
    Be verbose (also show all logs) / Be quiet (only show necessary output)
 -c <FILE>
    If you have a deploy.yml ready to go, give its path to this arg.

[Platform Options]
 --ssh-private-key <id_rsa | id_ed25519>
 --ssh-public-key < |>
    Import SSH public key auth material and use it when authenticating to remote nodes.
 -o, --override-dns <NS1,NS2,NS*>
    Override DHCP-configured nameserver(s); use these instead. No spaces! Use of -o is deprecated, please use --override-dns.
 -g, --vm-tools
    Install virtual machine guest agents and utilities for QEMU and VMWare. VirtualBox is not supported at this time. Use of -g is deprecated, please use --vm-tools.
 -m, --centos-mirror <URL>
    Use the provided package <mirror> when fetching packages for the base OS (but not 3rd-party sources, such as EPEL or Debian-style PPAs). The mirror is specified as '<host>:<port>'. This option overrides any mirror lists the base OS would normally use AND supersedes any proxies (assuming the mirror is local), so be warned that when using this option it's possible for bootstrapping to hang indefinitely if the mirror cannot be contacted. Use of -m is deprecated, please use --centos-mirror.

[Docker Options]
 -r, --registry-endpoint REGISTRY
    Use the Docker registry at REGISTRY instead of DockerHub. The connect string is specified as '<host>:<port>[/<username>]'. You may be prompted for your credentials if authentication is required. You may need to use -d (below) to add the registry's cert to Docker. Use of -r is deprecated, please use --registry-endpoint.

 -l, --registry-login
    After Docker is installed, login to the Docker registry to access images which require access authentication. This will authenticate with Dockerhub unless --registry-endpoint is also used. Use of -l is deprecated, please use --registry-login.

 -d, --registry-cert <FILE>
    [Requires --registry-endpoint] If an alternate Docker registry was specified with -r and uses a cert that cannot be resolved from the anchors in the local system's trust store, then use -d to specify the x509 cert file for your registry.

[Proxies & Middlemen]
 -p, --proxy-endpoint <PROXY>
    Connect to the Internet via the PROXY specified as '[user:pass@]<host>:<port>'. Items in [] are optional. It is assumed this proxy handles all protocols.  Use of -p is deprecated, please use --proxy-endpoint.
 -k, --proxy-cert <FILE>
    Install the certificate in <file> into the local trust store. This is useful for environments that live behind a corporate HTTPS proxy.  Use of -k is deprecated, please use --proxy-cert.
 -t, --proxy-test-via <HOSTSPEC>
    [Requires --proxy-endpoint] Test Internet connectivity through the PROXY by connecting to HOSTSPEC. HOSTSPEC is specified as '<host>:<port>'. By default '' is used. Unless access to Google is blocked (or vice versa), there is no need to change the default.

 Install VM guest agents and use SSH public key auth keys in the .ssh/ directory.
    $ bash --vm-tools --ssh-private-key .ssh/id_rsa --ssh-public-key .ssh/

 Quietly use nlanr.peer.local on port 80 and test the connection using EMC's webserver.
    $ bash -q --proxy-endpoint nlanr.peer.local:80 -proxy-test-via

 Assume YES to all questions. Use the CentOS mirror at http://cache.local/centos when fetching packages. Use the Docker registry at registry.local:5000 instead of DockerHub, and install the x509 certificate in certs/reg.pem into Docker's trust store so it can access the Docker registry.
    $ bash -y --centos-mirror http://cache.local/centos --registry-endpoint registry.local:5000 --registry-cert certs/reg.pem

The bootstrapping process has completed when the following message appears:

> All done bootstrapping your install node.
> To continue (after reboot if needed):
>     $ cd /home/admin/ECS-CommunityEdition
> If you have a deploy.yml ready to go (and did not use -c flag):
>     $ sudo cp deploy.yml /opt/emc/ecs-install/
> If not, check out the docs/design and examples directory for references.
> Once you have a deploy.yml, you can start the deployment
> by running:
> [WITH Internet access]
>     $ step1
>   [Wait for deployment to complete, then run:]
>     $ step2
> [WITHOUT Internet access]
>     $ island-step1
>   [Migrate your install node into the isolated environment and run:]
>     $ island-step2
>   [Wait for deployment to complete, then run:]
>     $ island-step3

After the installation node has successfully bootstrapped you will likely be prompted to reboot the machine. If so, then the machine MUST be rebooted before continuing to Step 4.

4. Deploying ECS Nodes (island-step1)

Once the deploy.yml file has been correctly written and the install node rebooted if needed, then the next step is to simply run island-step1.

After the installer initializes, the EMC ECS license agreement will appear on the screen. Press q to close the screen and type yes to accept the license and continue or no to abort the process. The install cannot continue until the license agreement has been accepted.

The first thing the installer will do is create an artifact cache of base operating system packages and the ECS software Docker image. The installer will stop after this step.

5. Migrate the Install Node

At this time, please shut down the install node VM and migrate it into your isolated environment.

Once the install node has been migrated into your island, you can begin deploying ECS by running island-step2. The next tasks the installer will perform are: configuring the ECS nodes, performing a pre-flight check to ensure ECS nodes are viable deployment targets, distributing the artifact cache to ECS nodes, installing necessary packages, and finally deploying the ECS software and init scripts onto ECS nodes.

6. Deploying ECS Topology (island-step3)

If you would prefer to manually configure your ECS topology, you may skip this step entirely.

Once island-step2 has completed, you may then direct the installer to configure the ECS topology by running island-step3. Once island-step3 has completed, your ECS will be ready for use.

Assuming all went well, you now have a functioning ECS Community Edition instance and you may now proceed with your test efforts.