Getting started with Scai on Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace

AWS Markeplace is a great place to get started with Scai in the cloud. Scai on AWS allows you to try and start using Scai without worrying about installation details. There are only a few steps to be made in order to have Scai up and running and ready to connect to your existing (AWS) data sources.

Finding Scai on AWS

Scai on AWS through the browser

You can easily find the Scai Platform on AWS by using a browser and navigating here (2 users) or here (10users). All Scai products come with a free trial of 14 days, so it's easy for you to try out Scai. To try out Scai, follow these steps:

  • click on Continue to Subscribe
  • subscribe to the software, by agreeing to the terms and conditions
  • then, click on the Continue to Configuration button from the upper-right section
  • on the next page, choose a region you would like to deploy the Scai Platform in.
    • choose a region that is close to your data sources for optimal performance
    • in most cases, you can leave the Fullfilment Option and Software Version unmodified
    • on this page you can also opt in for an annual subscription that will give you a discount over the regular price
  • once done, click on Continue to Launch
  • on this last page, choose Launch through EC2 as a Choose Action and then click Launch. You will then be redirected to the EC2 console, where you can continue launching and follow the steps in the Configuring Scai Instance section.

Scai on AWS through EC2 console

  • Launch a new instance from the EC2 console and search for Scai in the Marketplace section.
  • You will then find all the available Scai Platform products, such as Scai Platform for 2 users or Scai Platform for 10 users.
  • Select one of the products and then you will be prompted to subscribe to the software.
  • For all Scai products, you will get a 14 day trial
  • Once subscribed, you will be redirected to the page where you can configure the Scai Instance
  • Follow the steps in the Configuring Scai Instance section.

Configuring Scai Instance

Once on the configuration page for launching a new Scai instance, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Choose an Instance Type

    • Depending on how heavily you are planning to use Scai, you can choose different virtual machine types to run Scai on

      We recommend you to use at least a t3.small machine for 2 users or a t3.large machine for 10 users for optimal performance.

  2. Configure Instance Details

    • here, you will usually leave all details unmodified, unless you have explicit reasons to change the default configuration, e.g. place the Scai instance in a separate network.
  3. Add storage

    • Here, you need to create two volumes that need to be attached to the Scai instance.
    • The first one (Root) will contain the operating system of the instance and the Scai Platform binaries (files). For this volume 4GiB of General Purpose SSD (gp2) will be enough.
    • The second one (EBS on /dev/sdb) will contain all the metadata you create while using Scai. Think of the users, roles, dashboards or roles that you create within the Scai application. This volume will also contain all data that you store in the default SQL data source that Scai comes bundled with. In most cases, 4GiB of General Purpose SSD (gp2) should be enough for this volume too.
    • You can choose to encrypt the second volume to make sure that your data and metadata are private

    The second volume (/dev/sdb) should not be deleted on termination (when the Scai instance is deleted) because this contains all your configuration (users, roles, dashboards created, etc.). We recommend you regularly backup and take snapshots of this volume.

  4. Add tags: if needed, add tags to your Scai Installation. You can skip this step for now.

  5. Configure Security Group

    • The security group will restrict the access to the database instance, by only allowing a certain set of ports to be opened and only a set of IP addresses to access them. You can find more information about them here.
    • You will find that a default template of a security group is created on this page with some default ports (ports 22, 80 and 443) opened for SSH, http and https access. We recommend you to change the Source field for each of these ports to restrict the access only to the machine you are running on (My IP) or to a set of ips internal to your organization.. We recommend you to change the Source field for each of these ports to restrict the access only to the machine you are running on (My IP) or to a set of ips internal to your organization.
  6. Review and Launch: on this page you will see a summary of the options you have chosen and can then click on Launch.

  7. Once you click launch, you need to choose or create a SSH key pair that will allow you to access the Scai instance through SSH access. More information about AWS SSH key pairs can be found here.

Accessing the Scai interface

Once the state of your instance turns to Running, launch a browser tab and enter the url http(s)://<public dns name>.

Accessing the Scai interface through a secure connection

The SSL certificate used for https connections is self signed. Therefore, you need to add an exception into your browser to bypass any warnings or use other services/certificates to secure your connection to Scai.

Credentials

You will then be prompted to enter your Scai credentials. Initially, the user name will be admin and the default password will be the instance id. Both this instance id and the public dns name can be found in the description of your Amazon instance. We recommend you to immediately change the password for the default user by going to Settings -> Change password.

After you are logged in, follow the regular Getting Started guide.

Connecting Scai to Amazon Aurora or RDS databases

Once you have Scai up and running and an Aurora or RDS database in place, you can easily connect to it. Just follow these steps:

  1. go to the Aurora or RDS database information page and copy its public dns (endpoint) name
  2. go to Scai and then Data Sources -> Create New
  3. select the vendor that matches your Aurora or RDS database and give the data source an easy to remember name
  4. replace the [host] part of the jdbc url with the endpoint you copied in step 1
  5. make sure the port number is the same as the one the database is listening to
  6. replace the [database] part with the name of the database you created
  7. enter your credentials (user name and password) for the database connection
  8. next, we need to allow access to the Aurora or RDS database for the Scai instance
  9. we go to the EC2 console and find the Scai instance. Copy its private ip address.
  10. then go to the Aurora/RDS interface and edit its security groups
  11. add a new rule, allowing access from the private ip address copied in step 9
  12. then go back to Scai's interface. You are now able to connect to the Aurora/RDS database and start playing with Scai!

Updating Scai to a new version

To update to a new version:

  • first take your Scai instance down by terminating it
  • then you can find the (meta)data volume (/dev/sdb) persists after terminating the instance. Take a snapshot of this volume so that we can use it when starting our new instance
  • start a new Scai instance with the new version, as you would normally do and is described in Configuring Scai Instance.
  • When configuring the storage, make sure that the new (meta)data volume (/dev/sdb/) is created from the snapshot you have created
  • After you have updated to the new version of Scai and verified that all the (meta)data is preserved, you can archive/delete the previous volume.