OpenLDAP Sandbox in the Clouds


I really enjoy OpenLDAP.  I think folks really don’t understand the power of OpenLDAP, concerning its robustness (i.e. use multiple back-ends), speed and efficiency.

I think its important to have sandboxes to test various technologies.  The “cloud” is the best place for this.  To test out the latest builds provided by OpenLDAP (via git), I created a cloud-init script that allows me to configure, build, and install an OpenLDAP sandbox environment in the cloud (on-premise and/or public).  This script has been tested on AWS and Eucalyptus using Ubuntu Precise 12.04 LTS.   This blog entry is a compliment to my past blog regarding overlays, MDB and OpenLDAP.

Lean Requirements – Script, Image, and Cloud

When thinking about this setup, there were three goals in mind:

  1. Ease of configuration – this is why cloud-init was used.  Its very powerful in regards to bootstrapping instances as they boot up.  You can use Puppet, Chef or others (e.g. Salt Stack, Juju, etc.), but I decided to go with cloud-init.  The script does the following:
    • Downloads all the prerequisites for building OpenLDAP from source, including euca2ools.
    • Downloads OpenLDAP using Git
    • Set up ephemeral storage to be the installation point for OpenLDAP (e.g. configuration, storage, etc.)
    • Adds information into /etc/rc.local to make sure ephemeral gets re-mounted on reboots of the instance, and hostname is set.
    • Configures, builds and installs OpenLDAP.
  2. Cloud image that is ready to go – Ubuntu has done a wonderful job with their cloud images.  They have made it really easy to access them on AWS. These images can be used on Eucalyptus as well.
  3. Public and Private Cloud Deployment – Since Eucalyptus follows the AWS EC2 API very closely, it makes it really easy to test on both AWS and Eucalyptus.

Now that the background has been covered a bit, the next section will cover deploying the sandbox on AWS and/or Eucalyptus.

Deploy the Sandbox

To set the sandbox setup, use the following steps:

  1. Make sure and have an account on AWS and/or Eucalyptus (and the correct AWS/Eucalyptus IAM policies are in place so that you can bundle, upload and register images to AWS S3 and Eucalyptus Walrus).
  2. Make sure you have access to a registered AMI/EMI that runs Ubuntu Precise 12.04 LTS.  *NOTE* If you are using AWS, you can just go to the Ubuntu Precise Cloud Image download page, and select the AMI in the region that you have access to.
  3. Download the openldap cloud-init recipe from Eucalyptus/recipes repository.
  4. Download and install the latest Euca2ools (I used  the command-line tool euca-run-instances to run these instances).
  5. After you have downloaded your credentials from AWS/Eucalyptus, define your global environments by either following the documentation for AWS EC2 or the documentation for Eucalyptus.
  6. Use euca-run-instances with the –user-data-file option to launch the instance:  

    euca-run-instances -k hspencer.pem ....
     --user-data-file cloud-init-openldap.config [AMI | EMI]

After the instance is launched, ssh into the instance, and you will see something similar to the following:

ubuntu@euca-10-106-69-149:~$ df -ah
Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/vda1 1.4G 1.2G 188M 86% /
proc 0 0 0 - /proc
sysfs 0 0 0 - /sys
none 0 0 0 - /sys/fs/fuse/connections
none 0 0 0 - /sys/kernel/debug
none 0 0 0 - /sys/kernel/security
udev 494M 12K 494M 1% /dev
devpts 0 0 0 - /dev/pts
tmpfs 200M 232K 199M 1% /run
none 5.0M 0 5.0M 0% /run/lock
none 498M 0 498M 0% /run/shm
/dev/vda2 8.0G 159M 7.5G 3% /opt/openldap

Your sandbox environment is now set up.  From here, just following the instructions in the OpenLDAP Administrator’s Guide on configuring your openldap server, or continue from the “Setup – OLC and MDB” section located in my previous blog.  *NOTE* As you configure your openldap server, make sure and use euca-authorize to control access to your instance.


OpenLDAP Sandbox in the Clouds