How to run a Boinc server on AWS.

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#1 How to run a Boinc server on AWS.

Post by Alez » Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:07 am

How to set up a cloud server on AWS to run a boinc project

first off though you need an account with you're credit card and a phone call to verify account.

Log into your AWS Management Console Home.
select EC2 from the Amazon web services menu ( 2nd on the left )
this takes you to your EC2 dashboard.
Up on the top right hand side next to your name select the region you want. Currently N. Virginia is by far the cheapest.

On the LHS list select Spot Requests.
select Request Spot Instances button.
next you have to choose an AMI. Choose Ubuntu Server 12.04.2 LTS 64 bit. ( if you are familiar with other linux I guess you can choose that if you want but then your on your own. Windows servers cost more to run and for Boinc you don't need to even know Linux so not worth the money.)
Choose the Instance type. In this case C1 High-CPU Extra Large(c1.xlarge). This is the best value for money for doing Boinc as it gives you an 8 core Xeon
Next choose how much you want to pay. Currently lowest is $0.070 / hr. When cost goes above AWS will delete your instance so pick a sensible price. Normally $0.080 - $0.090 will do the trick. Go higher if you don't want it deleted.
Tick Persistent Request? If you tick this when your server is deleted and the price drops again a new image will be created. Unticked then your server is run once only.
Choose an availability zone or leave as No preference. ( Zone 1d) is deleted the most often, but thats no guarantee.
select continue
next you configure your instance detail...
for SIMAP paste the following below into the user data box. Replace the xxxxxxx with the weak authenticator key for your account available on your account details page in your Simap account. If you wanted to run more than one project then add a second - boinccmd --project_attach http etc below the first. Doing this will mean that if your AMI is deleted it will start again without you having to do anything.


- boinc-client

- echo Attaching to BOINC project
- boinccmd --project_attach xxxxxxx

leave everything else as is and select continue

leave the next page about storage device configuration ( ephemeral devices etc ) as is. Select continue.

On the next page create a key pair and store on your computer. You only have to do this once as you can use the

same key over and over for multiple instances. You could proceed without it but for security best to do it.

select continue
Configure firewall. ( your not storing sensitive data so unless you really want to just select default. If you want to configure just follow the wizard ) Again same as key pair a configuration will be remembered so it's a do once deal.

select continue
you now get to review and change if your not happy.

select submit
a spot request will now be launched. Close the pop up box.
give it a few minutes and then hit refresh. Your instance should now be visible.
once the status says fulfilled your in business.
select instance on the LHS and it will show your running server.
click on the name of your server ( empty ) and change to whatever you want. Handy if you are running more than 1 server on more than 1 project

The next post will tell you how to monitor your instance....
easy !!!!
Last edited by Alez on Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Alez » Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:28 am

There are multiple ways to check your instance is running.

On Simap in your account view computers and the instance will show by it's domain name and the last time it

conected to simap. Quick and easy to see it's there.

in your EC2 dashboard you can tick the instance and view some simple graphs under the monitoring tab ( cpu utilization, data in / out etc.)

If you really want to control it then tick your instance select the action button and select connect.
in the ssh launch client type in the path of where you stored your private key ( once only after that remembered ) and also tick save key location in browser cache.

launch ssh client

add host fingerprint

a Linux terminal is now open to your server.

command TOP will show you running apps etc. Q will leave it.

boinc can be controlled using the boinccmd tool. instruction here.

the usual ones used are

boinccmd --project update uploads and downloads work to simap ( change URL for appropriate project. URL is found in your account under get stat to your phone or something similar )

boinccmd --get_messages ( boinccmd equivilent of advanced log )

boinccmd --get_simple_gui_info ( reports which units are running % complete etc.)

On dashboard Under your name select Account activity to view you bill etc. ( 6 hr delay usually ) The cores are cheap as chips but be warned the I/O charges are where they make the money and after the first 2 million it's easy to rack up $200 bills !! you have been warned.
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Post by Megacruncher » Thu Sep 05, 2013 10:41 am

Awesome. I will try this tonight. :D
Willie the Megacruncher

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