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Running Workflows on Amazon EC2 using Pegasus

This tutorial takes you step-by-step through the process of setting up your environment to run workflows on Amazon EC2 using Pegasus. We assume you are already familiar with Pegasus and have a workflow that already runs on a local cluster or grid site. This tutorial will show you how to make that workflow run on Amazon.

  1. Get an AWS account
    You need this before you can do anything
    Go to
    You will need a credit card. They bill monthly, and charge by the hour.
  2. Once you have an account get your security credentials
    You need these for authentication.
    Go to and click on "Your Account" -> "Security Credentials"
    In various locations on that page are several account IDs. Write these ones down:
      Access Key ID
      Secret Access Key
      AWS Account ID
    We will refer to these as: ACCESS_KEY, SECRET_KEY, and ACCOUNT_ID
  3. Create X.509 certificates
    These will be used to sign VM images later.
    On the same page click on X.509 certificates and "Create a new Certificate"
    You should get two files: a cert-.pem and a pk-.pem. They will have long names.
    Save those files somewhere on your machine.
    We will refer to these files as CERT.PEM and KEY.PEM
  4. Install Condor on your submit host
        This is part 1 of 2 of setting up your submit host
        You need to have a host outside the cloud running a Condor central
        manager. We will refer to this host as your "submit host". We
        assume that you have a submit host already if you are running
        First you need to install Condor. That is a bit involved, so we
        will skip most of it. Go to: to get
        more information about how to install a basic condor manager.
        Once you have a basic manager working we need to modify the
        configuration a bit.
        Edit your condor_config file and append to HOSTALLOW_WRITE:
            HOSTALLOW_WRITE = <what it was before>, *
        Now edit your condor_config.local and add:
            HIGHPORT = 41000
            LOWPORT = 40000
        Finally, restart Condor
        VERY IMPORTANT: The firewall on the submit host should be configured
        so that anything from * can connect to port
        9618, and ports 40000-41000. These ports are used by Condor.    
  5. Log into the Amazon Management Console
        This is a web application that lets you manage cloud resources.
        We will refer to this webapp as the "console", and we will refer to
        the links on the left side of the console as "areas".
        Go to:
        Click "Sign in to the AWS console"
        Change the region on the upper-left side of the console to "US East".
        IMPORTANT: When you use this make sure you stick to one Region (US East
        or US West). Most things in Amazon don't work across regions.
        VERY IMPORTANT: For this tutorial please use region "US East". Or you
        won't be able to find our public VM image.
  6. From the console create a keypair
        These are the credentials you use to log into worker nodes.
        Go to the "Key Pairs" area in the console
        Click "Create Key Pair"
        Call it "ec2-keypair" and click OK.
        It should popup a download box. Save the file.
        We will refer to this file as KEYPAIR.
  7. From the console create a security group
        This is how you authorize machines outside the cloud to access your nodes.
        We will assume your submit host is "", and that it has
        an IP of "". The security group we create here will give
        "" unrestricted access to your nodes.
        Go to the "Security Groups" area in the console
        Call your new group "", add a description, and create the group
        Click on the group and add three entries:
            Method    Protocol    From Port    To Port        Source (IP or Group)
            All           tcp           1                 65535
            All           udp          1                 65535
            All           icmp        -1                -1      
        Note that those are CIDR addresses, so don't forget the /32.
  8. Launch the Pegasus public image
        This is how you launch a virtual machine (or virtual cluster).
        We are going to use a pre-configured image developed specifically for
        Pegasus. It contains Pegasus, Condor, and Globus.
        Go to the "AMIs" area in the console.
        We are going to launch ami-06dd226f.
        Filter by "Public Images" and "CentOS" using the drop-downs, type
        "ami-06dd226f" into the text box and hit 'Refresh'. It may take a few seconds to give you a list.
        Select the one called "405596411149/centos-5.6-x86_64-cloud-tutorial" and click "Launch".
        A launch wizard will pop up.
        Select the number of instances (1 for now), and instance type (m1.large),
        then "Continue".
        On the "Advanced Instance Options" page add the following to "User Data"
        and hit "Continue" (note: should be replaced with your submit host):
            CONDOR_HOST =
        Next, on the tags page, enter a value, any value, for the Name tag and hit "Continue"
        Next, select the keypair you created earlier, and "Continue"
        Next, select the security group you created earlier and "Continue".
        On the last page click "Launch"
        VERY IMPORTANT: Select the security group and keypair you created
        earlier or else it won't work. Also, make sure you replace
        "" in the User Data with your submit host.
        ALSO IMPORTANT: The "User Data" is how you tell the image what to
        do. This will be copied directly into the Condor configuration file. You can
        define any extra configuration values you like, but you must specify at least
  9. Log into your node
        This is how you SSH to a node you launched.
        Go to the "Instances" area in the console.
        You should see the instance you just launched go from "pending"
        to "running". You may need to hit "Refresh" a couple times.
        When it says "running" click on it and get the "Public DNS"
        (call it PUBLIC_DNS).
        From your submit host ssh to the worker:
            $ ssh -i KEYPAIR root@PUBLIC_DNS
        VERY IMPORTANT: Make sure you log in from your submit host otherwise
        this won't work because the security group does not match.
  10. Check your submit host
        Make sure the workers showed up
        On your submit host run:
            $ condor_status
        You should see something that looks like this:
            Name               OpSys      Arch   State     Activity LoadAv Mem   ActvtyTime
            slot1@ec2-204-236- LINUX      X86_64 Unclaimed Idle     0.080  3843  0+00:00:04
            slot2@ec2-204-236- LINUX      X86_64 Unclaimed Idle     0.000  3843  0+00:00:05
                             Total Owner Claimed Unclaimed Matched Preempting Backfill
                X86_64/LINUX     2     0       0         2       0          0        0
                       Total     2     0       0         2       0          0        0
        If you don't see anything, then wait a few minutes. If you still don't
        see anything, then you need to debug Condor. Check the CollectorLog to
        see if the workers tried to connect. If it doesn't work contact:
  11. Run a test job
        Make sure the workers are usable
        Once the workers show up in condor_status you can test to make sure they
        will run jobs.
        Create a file called "vanilla.sub" on your submit host with this inside:
            universe = vanilla
            executable = /bin/hostname
            transfer_executable = false
            output = test_$(cluster).$(process).out
            error = test_$(cluster).$(process).err
            log = test_$(cluster).$(process).log
            requirements = (Arch == Arch) && (OpSys == OpSys) && (Disk != 0) && (Memory != 0)
            should_transfer_files = YES
            when_to_transfer_output = ON_EXIT
            copy_to_spool = false
            notification = NEVER
            queue 1
        Submit the test job:
            $ condor_submit vanilla.sub
        Check on the job:
            $ condor_q
        After a few minutes it should run. Then check the output:
            $ cat test_*.out
        You should see a hostname that looks like it came from Amazon.
  12. Modify the image and register a copy
        This is how you create your own custom image.
        At this point you can install whatever you want on the running worker
        node. You might want to install programs, libraries, and tools used
        by your workflow. If you don't want to install anything that's OK, you
        can complete this step without modifying the image.
        In the "Instances" area of the console click on the running instance
        and select "Instance Actions" -> "Create Image (EBS AMI)".
        Give it a name and a description and click "Create Image".
        In the AMIs area of the console clear all the filters (set to "Owned by
        Me", "All Platforms") and hit refresh. You should see a new image pop
        up. After some time the state should change from "pending" to
        "available". You may need to hit refresh a few times.
        IMPORTANT: The image could stay in "pending" status for a long time.
        However, if it is still pending after an hour something is wrong.
  13. Shut down your instance
        In the "Instances" area of the console click on the running instance
        and select "Instance Actions" -> "Terminate".
        VERY IMPORTANT: Amazon keeps charging until the status is "terminated".
  14. Configure pegasus
        Add an ec2 site to your sites.xml:
            <site handle="ec2" sysinfo="INTEL64::LINUX">
                <profile namespace="env" key="PEGASUS_HOME">/usr/local/pegasus/default</profile>
                <profile namespace="env" key="GLOBUS_LOCATION">/usr/local/globus/default</profile>
                <profile namespace="env" key="LD_LIBRARY_PATH">/usr/local/globus/default/lib</profile>
                <profile namespace="pegasus" key="bundle.stagein">1</profile>
                <profile namespace="pegasus" key="bundle.stageout">1</profile>
                <profile namespace="pegasus" key="transfer.proxy">true</profile>
                <profile namespace="pegasus" key="style">glidein</profile>
                <profile namespace="condor" key="universe">vanilla</profile>
                <profile namespace="condor" key="requirements">(Arch==Arch)&&(Disk!=0)&&(Memory!=0)&&(OpSys==OpSys)&&(FileSystemDomain!="")</profile>
                <lrc url="rls://"/>
                <gridftp url="gsiftp://" storage="" major="2" minor="4" patch="0"/>
                <jobmanager universe="vanilla" url="" major="2" minor="4" patch="3"/>
                <jobmanager universe="transfer" url="" major="2" minor="4" patch="3"/>
        Add the path to your proxy to the "local" site in sites.xml:
            <!-- This is needed so Pegasus can transfer the proxy to EC2 for gridftp -->
            <profile namespace="env" key="X509_USER_PROXY">/tmp/x509up_u724</profile>
        In your file, disable thirdparty transfer mode:
            # Comment-out the next line to run on site "ec2"
        If you installed your application code in the image, then modify your
        Transformation Catalog to include the new entries. (Tip: Make sure the
        sysinfo of your "ec2" site matches the new transformations you add to
        the TC)
  15. Plan your workflow
        Prepare your workflow to run on EC2.
        We assume you know how to do this already. Use "ec2" as the target site.
        If you run into any problems debug them before moving on to the next step.
        If you have problems contact:
  16. Launch a larger virtual cluster
        You will do basically the same thing you did to launch the first worker.
        This time you will start a virtual cluster with 2 nodes that has a shared
        GlusterFS file system mounted on "/shared". Instead of using the Pegasus
        image, use the new image you created earlier.
        In the "AMIs" area select your new image and click "Launch"
        Select 2 instances, m1.large.
        Set "User Data" to:
        VERY IMPORTANT: Don't just copy-paste the above, you need to replace
        "" with the actual DNS name of your submit host. Twice!
        IMPORTANT: See the Coord README for what the "User Data" means if you
        are interested in that sort of thing.
        Choose your keypair and security group as before and launch the cluster.
        Wait until you see the workers show up in condor_status before proceeding.
        You should see twice as many as you did last time. You may want to run
        your vanilla.sub test job again to make sure they work.
  17. Submit your workflow
        At this point you should submit your workflow.
        If you have problems contact:
        VERY IMPORTANT: You are virtually guaranteed to have problems at this
        point. Please contact us and we will help.
  18. Clean Up
        Hopefully your workflow will run to completion. When you are finished
        make sure you terminate any running instances in the "Instances" area
        of the console.
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