2.2. Configuring Required Infrastructure in Your AWS Account

Once we have an AWS Account setup, we need to perform some advance setup of resources on AWS. You will need to follow these steps even if you already had an AWS account as these are FireSim-specific.

2.2.1. Select a region

Head to the EC2 Management Console. In the top right corner, ensure that the correct region is selected. You should select one of: us-east-1 (N. Virginia), us-west-2 (Oregon), or eu-west-1 (Ireland), since F1 instances are only available in those regions.

Once you select a region, it’s useful to bookmark the link to the EC2 console, so that you’re always sent to the console for the correct region.

2.2.2. Key Setup

In order to enable automation, you will need to create a key named firesim, which we will use to launch all instances (Manager Instance, Build Farm, Run Farm).

To do so, click “Key Pairs” under “Network & Security” in the left-sidebar. Follow the prompts, name the key firesim, and save the private key locally as firesim.pem. You can use this key to access all instances from your local machine. We will copy this file to our manager instance later, so that the manager can also use it.

2.2.3. Check your EC2 Instance Limits

AWS limits access to particular instance types for new/infrequently used accounts to protect their infrastructure. You should make sure that your account has access to f1.2xlarge, f1.16xlarge, m4.16xlarge, and c4.4xlarge instances by looking at the “Limits” page in the EC2 panel, which you can access here. The values listed on this page represent the maximum number of any of these instances that you can run at once, which will limit the size of simulations (# of nodes) that you can run. If you need to increase your limits, follow the instructions on the Requesting Limit Increases page. To follow this guide, you need to be able to run one f1.2xlarge instance and two c4.4xlarge instances.

2.2.4. Start a t2.nano instance to run the remaining configuration commands

To avoid having to deal with the messy process of installing packages on your local machine, we will spin up a very cheap t2.nano instance to run a series of one-time aws configuration commands to setup our AWS account for FireSim. At the end of these instructions, we’ll terminate the t2.nano instance. If you happen to already have boto3 and the AWS CLI installed on your local machine, you can do this locally.

Launch a t2.nano by following these instructions:

  1. Go to the EC2 Management Console and click “Launch Instance”
  2. On the AMI selection page, select “Amazon Linux AMI…”, which should be the top option.
  3. On the Choose an Instance Type page, select t2.nano.
  4. Click “Review and Launch” (we don’t need to change any other settings)
  5. On the review page, click “Launch”
  6. Select the firesim key pair we created previously, then click Launch Instances.
  7. Click on the instance name and note its public IP address.

2.2.5. Run scripts from the t2.nano

SSH into the t2.nano like so:

ssh -i firesim.pem ec2-user@INSTANCE_PUBLIC_IP

Which should present you with something like:

Last login: Mon Feb 12 21:11:27 2018 from

       __|  __|_  )
       _|  (     /   Amazon Linux AMI

4 package(s) needed for security, out of 5 available
Run "sudo yum update" to apply all updates.
[[email protected] ~]$

On this machine, run the following:

aws configure
[follow prompts]

See https://docs.aws.amazon.com/cli/latest/userguide/tutorial-ec2-ubuntu.html#configure-cli-launch-ec2 for more about aws configure. You should specify the same region that you chose above (one of us-east-1, us-west-2, eu-west-1) and set the default output format to json.

Again on the t2.nano instance, do the following:

sudo yum -y install python-pip
sudo pip install boto3
wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/firesim/firesim/master/scripts/aws-setup.py
python aws-setup.py

This will create a VPC named firesim and a security group named firesim in your account.

2.2.6. Terminate the t2.nano

At this point, we are finished with the general account configuration. You should terminate the t2.nano instance you created, since we do not need it anymore (and it shouldn’t contain any important data).

2.2.7. Subscribe to the AWS FPGA Developer AMI

Go to the AWS Marketplace page for the FPGA Developer AMI. Click the button to subscribe to the FPGA Dev AMI (it should be free) and follow the prompts to accept the EULA (but do not launch any instances).

Now, hit next to continue on to setting up our Manager Instance.