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.

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), ap-southeast-2 (Sydney), eu-central-1 (Frankfurt), eu-west-1 (Ireland), eu-west-2 (London), since F1 instances are only available in those regions. For the most current list of regions supporting F1 instance, see Amazon EC2 instance types by Region.

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.

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.

Double Check your EC2 Instance Limits

AWS limits access to particular instance types for new/infrequently used accounts to protect their infrastructure. You can learn more about how these limits/quotas work here.

You should make sure that your account has the ability to launch a sufficient number of instances to follow this guide by looking at the “Service Quotas” page in the AWS Console, which you can access here. Be sure that the correct region is selected once you open this page.

The values listed on this page represent the maximum number vCPUs of any of these instances that you can run at once, which will limit the size of simulations (e.g., number of parallel FPGAs) that you can run. If you need to increase your limits, follow the instructions below.

To complete this guide, you need to have the following limits:

  • Running On-Demand F instances: 64 vCPUs.

    • This is sufficient for 8 parallel FPGAs. Each 8 vCPUs = one FPGA.

  • Running On-Demand Standard (A, C, D, H, I, M, R, T, Z) instances: 24 vCPUs.

    • This is sufficient for one c5.4xlarge manager instance and one z1d.2xlarge build farm instance.

If you have insufficient limits, follow the instructions on the Requesting Limit Increases page.

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. In “Application and OS Images (Amazon Machine Image)”, use “Amazon Linux”, which should be the default.

  3. In “Instance type”, select t2.nano.

  4. In “Key pair (login)”, choose the firesim key pair we created previously.

  5. Click “Launch Instance” in the right-hand sidebar (we don’t need to change any other settings)

  6. Click on the instance ID and note the instance’s public IP address.

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:

   ,     #_
   ~\_  ####_        Amazon Linux 2023
  ~~  \_#####\
  ~~     \###|
  ~~       \#/ ___
   ~~       V~' '->
    ~~~         /
      ~~._.   _/
         _/ _/
[ec2-user@ip-172-31-85-76 ~]$

On this machine, run the following:

aws configure
[follow prompts]

Within the prompt, 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. You will need to generate an AWS access key in the “Security Credentials” menu of your AWS settings (as instructed in ). You should keep the AWS access key information in a safe place, so that you can refer to it again when setting up the manager instance. You can learn more about the aws configure command on the following page:

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

 sudo yum install -y python3-pip
 sudo python3 -m pip install boto3
 sudo python3 -m pip install --upgrade awscli
 chmod +x

The final command should print the following:

Creating VPC for FireSim...
Creating a subnet in the VPC for each availability zone...
Creating a security group for FireSim...

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

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).

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.