Test Driving SwiftStack (For Charity)

I posted an article yesterday about test driving the SwiftStack platform. At the time I neglected to mention that their PR folk are running a competition that has two benefits. Firstly, it gets people like me blogging about them and gets people like you reading about them. Secondly, they are running a competition (using a points system and tracking URLs, etc). My post triggered a $50 donation to my chosen charity (in this case, World Vision). The more people who read my original post, comment, cross-post on LinkedIn, etc, the more points that get earned by me. Obviously, I’m not interested in people leaving crap comments on my article just to try and help me get more points. But if you find the article useful or want to know more I’m always happy for comments to go up.

Between July 11 and August 11 (let’s assume this is US time) the points get tallied, and the lead blogger gets an extra $1000 donated to their charity of choice, with a runner-up getting $250 to their charity. Finally, one of the readers commenting on a post will be selected at random to receive a prize of their choice, costing $500 or less.

I was initially reluctant to commit to this competition, as things are hectic with my day job and I only have so many available cycles. I also don’t really go in for competitions so much. But this one feels a little different and it didn’t take me that long to put together an article on getting started. So, go back and check out my original article. If you like it, comment on it. If you like it a lot, post it to LinkedIn or retweet it with the #SwiftStackTrial hashtag. Or do both if you’re feeling super enthusiastic. Sure, you’re doing some work for tech marketing people. But for once, it feels like all this nonsense might actually put some real money in places where it should actually be going.

Test Driving SwiftStack

I’ve recently been doing some work with SwiftStack, and thought it might be handy to put together a how-to document for getting started with SwiftStack’s test drive functionality. There’s a bunch of reasonably simple steps, with pictures, so I’ve put them in a document that you can grab from here. But first, a few links that will come in handy:

  • Sign up for the SwiftStack trial here;
  • The SwiftStack Quick Start guide can be found here;
  • I left the Swift User creation process out of my document – but you can read about that here; and
  • An interesting guide to SwiftStack hardware considerations can be found here.

To do this trial I used my Ravello Systems provided vExpert account to provide compute and disk resources temporarily via Google’s cloud. Incidentally, if you need to use a private key with ssh on your Mac you need to be mindful of the permissions on your key file (this is no doubt old news for many of you).

Last login: Mon Jul 11 05:06:05 on ttys000
imac27:~ dan$ ssh -i /Users/dan/Downloads/Test1.pem ravello@centos63vanilla.ravcloud.com
The authenticity of host 'centos63vanilla.ravcloud.com (104.144.155.170)' can't be established.
RSA key fingerprint is SHA256:fAQIdjsC5X5d0c+J+Nj7dF9L3qqyzFYmPYkagKLWCCg.
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)? yes
Warning: Permanently added 'centos63vanilla.ravcloud.com,104.144.155.170' (RSA) to the list of known hosts.
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
@         WARNING: UNPROTECTED PRIVATE KEY FILE!          @
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
Permissions 0644 for '/Users/dan/Downloads/Test1.pem' are too open.
It is required that your private key files are NOT accessible by others.
This private key will be ignored.
Load key "/Users/dan/Downloads/Test1.pem": bad permissions
Permission denied (publickey,gssapi-keyex,gssapi-with-mic).

Note that you’ll need to modify the permissions on your key file to 600 to ensure that it is accepted.

imac27:~ dan$ chmod 600 /Users/dan/Downloads/Test1.pem
imac27:~ dan$ ssh -i /Users/dan/Downloads/Test1.pem ravello@centos63vanilla.ravcloud.com
[ravello@test1 ~]$ top

And you’re good to go.

I’ve written about SwiftStack before and was intrigued by the relative ease with which you could deploy Swift capability inside your DC. If you’re looking to deliver this kind of capability internally, I recommend looking into SwiftStack. The test drive is a snap to sign up for you, and if you follow the bouncing ball you’ll be up and running in no time.