Get Started with HashiCorp Consul and Vault on AWS with Our New AWS Quick Starts
We’re pleased to announce our latest AWS Quick Start reference deployments, Consul and Vault by HashiCorp, an AWS DevOps Competency Partner. We developed these Quick Starts in collaboration with HashiCorp, and we feel that these guides represent current best practices in Consul and Vault deployments. Consul and Vault are two very popular tools in the AWS Partner ecosystem, and we hope that these Quick Starts help alleviate some heavy lifting for AWS Customers and Partners who are getting started with these tools.
HashiCorp Consul on AWS
The first Quick Start I’d like to discuss is Consul, which is a solution for configuration and service discovery. Consul is a commonly used primitive for distributed systems, and it’s natively highly available and resilient to failure. Consul is a tool for discovering and configuring services in your infrastructure. To read more about Consul use cases, see our previous blog post about Consul and how it integrates with Amazon EC2 Container Service (ECS), or how AWS CodeDeploy and Consul can be used to confidently deploy applications within an application environment.
The AWS Quick Start for HashiCorp Consul deploys an Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) with private and public subnets (although you can use your pre-existing VPC), a cluster of 3 Consul servers in a multi-AZ configuration, and support for Auto Scaling to allow a dynamically sizeable number of clients.
The Quick Start creates public subnets with managed network address translation (NAT) gateways to allow outbound Internet access for resources in the private subnets. The Quick Start deploys NAT instances in regions where NAT gateways aren’t available.
Figure 1: Consul on AWS Architecture Diagram
In the private subnets, we create a consul seed instance for bootstrapping purposes, 3, 5, or 7 consul servers, as well as an autoscaling group for consul clients.
For details, download the Consul Quick Start deployment guide.
HashiCorp Vault on AWS
The AWS Quick Start for HashiCorp Vault is a natural addition to Consul, and the two tools are built to work together. Vault is a tool that manages passwords, tokens, and other secrets used in modern computing. We’ve configured Vault to use Consul as the persistence layer on the backend, which allows Vault to be deployed in a highly available fashion. Launching the Vault template for a new VPC automatically deploys Consul as well.
Figure 2: Vault on AWS Architecture Diagram
We’ve built a few integrations into the AWS platform for Vault, including Amazon CloudWatch alarms for memory utilization and CloudWatch logs for the Vault audit logs, and we’ve made sure to configure Amazon EC2 Auto Recovery on both Vault instances.
Once the Vault template is up and running, you should take a look at the deployment guide for next steps for configuring Vault. You’ll find the IP addresses for your Vault nodes in the “Outputs” section of the AWS CloudFormation console. You should log into one one of these IP addresses to begin configuration of the Vault server. Much of the configuration is very specific to your individual use case, so you’ll need to follow the guide and start by “unsealing” Vault. For details, download the Vault Quick Start deployment guide.
To learn more about Vault, visit the HashiCorp Vault website.
To learn more about Consul, visit the HashiCorp Consul website.