Planning and prerequisites

Before attempting installation, you should begin by reviewing supported platforms, choosing backends for identity, storage, and scheduling, and decide how you will distribute Arvados services onto machines. You should also choose an Arvados Cluster ID, choose your hostnames, and aquire TLS certificates. It may be helpful to make notes as you go along using one of these worksheets: New cluster checklist for AWSNew cluster checklist for AzureNew cluster checklist for on premise SLURM

The Arvados storage subsystem is called “keep”. The compute subsystem is called “crunch”.

  1. Supported GNU/Linux distributions
  2. Choosing which components to install
  3. Identity provider
  4. Storage backend
  5. Container compute scheduler
  6. Hardware or virtual machines
  7. Arvados Cluster ID
  8. DNS and TLS

Supported GNU/Linux distributions

Distribution State Last supported version
CentOS 7 Supported Latest
Debian 10 (“buster”) Supported Latest
Debian 9 (“stretch”) Supported Latest
Ubuntu 18.04 (“bionic”) Supported Latest
Ubuntu 16.04 (“xenial”) Supported Latest
Ubuntu 14.04 (“trusty”) EOL 1.4.3
Debian 8 (“jessie”) EOL 1.4.3
Ubuntu 12.04 (“precise”) EOL 8ed7b6dd5d4df93a3f37096afe6d6f81c2a7ef6e (2017-05-03)
Debian 7 (“wheezy”) EOL 997479d1408139e96ecdb42a60b4f727f814f6c9 (2016-12-28)
CentOS 6 EOL 997479d1408139e96ecdb42a60b4f727f814f6c9 (2016-12-28)

Arvados packages are published for current Debian releases (until the EOL date), current Ubuntu LTS releases (until the end of standard support), and the latest version of CentOS.

Choosing which components to install

Arvados consists of many components, some of which may be omitted (at the cost of reduced functionality.) It may also be helpful to review the Arvados Architecture to understand how these components interact.

Core
Postgres database Stores data for the API server. Required.
API server Core Arvados logic for managing users, groups, collections, containers, and enforcing permissions. Required.
Keep (storage)
Keepstore Stores content-addressed blocks in a variety of backends (local filesystem, cloud object storage). Required.
Keepproxy Gateway service to access keep servers from external networks. Required to be able to use arv-put, arv-get, or arv-mount outside the private Arvados network.
Keep-web Gateway service providing read/write HTTP and WebDAV support on top of Keep. Required to access files from Workbench.
Keep-balance Storage cluster maintenance daemon responsible for moving blocks to their optimal server location, adjusting block replication levels, and trashing unreferenced blocks. Required to free deleted data from underlying storage, and to ensure proper replication and block distribution (including support for storage classes).
User interface
Single Sign On server Web based login to Workbench. Depends on identity provider. Not required for Google. Required for LDAP or standalone database.
Workbench, Workbench2 Primary graphical user interface for working with file collections and running containers. Optional. Depends on API server, SSO server, keep-web, websockets server.
Workflow Composer Graphical user interface for editing Common Workflow Language workflows. Optional. Depends on git server (arv-git-httpd).
Additional services
Websockets server Event distribution server. Required to view streaming container logs in Workbench.
Shell server Synchronize (create/delete/configure) Unix shell accounts with Arvados users. Optional.
Git server Arvados-hosted git repositories, with Arvados-token based authentication. Optional, but required by Workflow Composer.
Crunch (running containers)
crunch-dispatch-slurm Run analysis workflows using Docker containers distributed across a SLURM cluster. Optional if you wish to use Arvados for data management only.
Node Manager, arvados-dispatch-cloud Allocate and free cloud VM instances on demand based on workload. Optional, not needed for a static SLURM cluster (such as on-premise HPC).

Identity provider

Choose which backend you will use to authenticate users.

  • Google login to authenticate users with a Google account. Note: if you only use this identity provider, login can be handled by arvados-controller (recommended), and you do not need to install the Arvados Single Sign-On server (SSO).
  • LDAP login to authenticate users using the LDAP protocol, supported by many services such as OpenLDAP and Active Directory. Supports username/password authentication.
  • Standalone SSO server user database. Supports username/password authentication. Supports new user sign-up.

Storage backend

Choose which backend you will use for storing and retrieving content-addressed Keep blocks.

  • File systems storage, such as ext4 or xfs, or network file systems such as GPFS or Lustre
  • Amazon S3, or other object storage that supports the S3 API including Google Cloud Storage and Ceph.
  • Azure blob storage

You should also determine the desired replication factor for your data. A replication factor of 1 means only a single copy of a given data block is kept. With a conventional file system backend and a replication factor of 1, a hard drive failure is likely to lose data. For this reason the default replication factor is 2 (two copies are kept).

A backend may have its own replication factor (such as durability guarantees of cloud buckets) and Arvados will take this into account when writing a new data block.

Container compute scheduler

Choose which backend you will use to schedule computation.

  • On AWS EC2 and Azure, you probably want to use arvados-dispatch-cloud to manage the full lifecycle of cloud compute nodes: starting up nodes sized to the container request, executing containers on those nodes, and shutting nodes down when no longer needed.
  • For on-premise HPC clusters using slurm use crunch-dispatch-slurm to execute containers with slurm job submissions.
  • For single node demos, use crunch-dispatch-local to execute containers directly.

Hardware (or virtual machines)

Choose how to allocate Arvados services to machines. We recommend that each machine start with a clean installation of a supported GNU/Linux distribution.

For a production installation, this is a reasonable starting point:

Function Number of nodes Recommended specs
Postgres database, Arvados API server, Arvados controller, Git, Websockets, Container dispatcher 1 16+ GiB RAM, 4+ cores, fast disk for database
Single Sign-On (SSO) server 1 1 2 GiB RAM
Workbench, Keepproxy, Keep-web, Keep-balance 1 8 GiB RAM, 2+ cores
Keepstore servers 2 2+ 4 GiB RAM
Compute worker nodes 2 0+ Depends on workload; scaled dynamically in the cloud
User shell nodes 3 0+ Depends on workload

1 May be omitted when using Google login support in arvados-controller
2 Should be scaled up as needed
3 Refers to shell nodes managed by Arvados, that provide ssh access for users to interact with Arvados at the command line. Optional.

Note:

For a small demo installation, it is possible to run all the Arvados services on a single node. Special considerations for single-node installs will be noted in boxes like this.

Arvados Cluster ID

Each Arvados installation should have a cluster identifier, which is a unique 5-character lowercase alphanumeric string. Here is one way to make a random 5-character string:

~$ tr -dc 0-9a-z </dev/urandom | head -c5; echo

You may also use a different method to pick the cluster identifier. The cluster identifier will be part of the hostname of the services in your Arvados cluster. The rest of this documentation will refer to it as your ClusterID. Whenever ClusterID appears in a configuration example, replace it with your five-character cluster identifier.

DNS entries and TLS certificates

The following services are normally public-facing and require DNS entries and corresponding TLS certificates. Get certificates from your preferred TLS certificate provider. We recommend using Let’s Encrypt. You can run several services on same node, but each distinct hostname requires its own TLS certificate.

This guide uses the following hostname conventions. A later part of this guide will describe how to set up Nginx virtual hosts.

Function Hostname
Arvados API ClusterID.example.com
Arvados Git server git.ClusterID.example.com
Arvados Websockets endpoint ws.ClusterID.example.com
Arvados SSO Server auth.example.com
Arvados Workbench workbench.ClusterID.example.com
Arvados Workbench 2 workbench2.ClusterID.example.com
Arvados Keepproxy server keep.ClusterID.example.com
Arvados Keep-web server download.ClusterID.example.com
and
*.collections.ClusterID.example.com or
*--collections.ClusterID.example.com or
collections.ClusterID.example.com (see the keep-web install docs)

Note:

It is also possible to create your own certificate authority, issue server certificates, and install a custom root certificate in the browser. This is out of scope for this guide.


Previous: Arvados on Kubernetes Next: Arvados package repositories

The content of this documentation is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States licence.
Code samples in this documentation are licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0.