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A tool for quickly provisioning environments on AWS for use with classes and performance labs.

Project description

Cloudlab Overview

Cloudlab allows you to quickly provision a lab environment on AWS. It attempts to strike a good balance between configurability and ease of use.

Cloudlab provisions a single /24 subnet in its own VPC on AWS and supports deploying up to 154 hosts into that subnet.

The number of hosts, the region, and instance type can be specified. Only EBS instance types are supported. All instances (hosts) will have an Amazon assigned public IP address and DNS name. Each host will also have private ip addresses which will be assigned sequentially starting with and proceeding through Knowing the IP addresses before provisioning makes it easier to construct clusters.

Hosts will have the ability to connect to each other on any port using their private IP addresses. All hosts can also create outbound connections to the internet. Inbound connections are limited to a list of ports which can be specified at the time of provisioning. Hosts will allow inbound connections from outside the private network only on a limited list of ports that can be defined. All hosts allow inbound connections from anywhere on port 22.

Each environment provisioned with cloudlab will have its own ssh key which will be shared by all the hosts.

All hosts will run Amazon Linux 2, which is a yum based distribution derived from Ubuntu.

Hosts can be accessed via ssh using the provided key and "ec2-user" (e.g. ssh -i my-lab-key.pem ec2-user@


Cloudlab requires python 3. It can be installed using pip.

pip install cloudlab

Installing cloudlab will install the aws cli if it is not already there.

Next you will need to configure the aws cli with your AWS access key and secret access key so that it can access your account. Cloudlab uses the the aws cli and will have whatever privileges your cli has. You can either configure it with your root credentials or create a new IAM user and provide those credentials. If you create a new IAM user, it will need the following permissions.

    "Version": "2012-10-17",
    "Statement": [
            "Action": [
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Resource": "*"

If your aws cli is not already configured, provide your credentials using the command below. They will be stored under the ".aws" folder in your home directory. Note that you will be prompted to provide a region but this is only a default. You can use cloudlab to deploy into any region.

aws configure  # follow the prompts ...


Create a file called "cloudlab_config.yaml" in the current directory and edit it to describe the environment(s) you would like to provision. An example is given below.

  region: us-east-2
  instance_count: 3
  instance_type: m4.large
    - 80     #there is no need to specify 22 , it is open by default
    - 8080

Create an environment ...

cloudlab mkenv envdir

"envdir" should be an absolute or relative path. The basename(envdir) will be used as the name of the environment and must be unique.

The "envdir" directory will be created. The process will fail if the directory already exists.

An Ansible inventory file containing both the public and private ip addresses will be written into "envdir" to faciliate managing the environment with Ansible playbooks

cloudlab rmenv envdir

Will destroy a previously created environment.

Project details

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