Basic Cluster Installation

This tutorial will guide you through the creation of a basic AWS cluster.


  • An AWS account
  • An AWS Access key ID and Secret access key
  • Instructions for setting up a new account and access keys - see AWS Account Setup

Account Setup

  1. Register for a new account at

  2. Select Register from the link at the bottom of the page.

  3. Read the Terms of Service and if you agree click Accept.

  4. Select a registration type. If the cloud service provider (CSP) account into which Critical Stack will be installed is owned by and paid for by a registered business, click the “Business” registration type. Otherwise, select “Individual”.

  5. After you fill our your user information click Register, you will receive a Welcome Email and a link to confirm your email.

  6. Login to your account at Critical Stack Developer Portal. In the Key Generator section, click Generate License button to produce a valid license key. Select Cloud as the *License Type since we are installing into AWS.

  7. After generating a license key, click the Go to Installer button at the top right of the page to run the Critical Stack installer in your AWS environment. By logging into the installer, the system will automatically link your account’s generated license key to your Critical Stack instance.


  1. There are two types of installations: Cloud and Local. For this walkthrough, we will be installing to AWS so select Cloud and your license key and click Proceed.

  2. Select your Cloud provider, AWS

  3. Enter your AWS Credentials to create and configure the required resources. It is strongly recommended you create a limited access role. You can use this sample JSON definition to create a policy for your user/group. Additional information for creating IAM Policies and generating keys can be found here

  4. Select your AWS Region for this cluster and click Proceed.

  5. You may add any optional Cluster Tags and click Proceed.

  6. If you want to customize the network settings you can add your own VPC CIDR and Subnets or use the default. Click on Proceed. Additional details on VPCs and Subnets can be found here.

  7. Choose what Instance Type you want for your master node. For detailed comparison EC2 instance types this guide is very helpful.

  8. Choose Public for the subnet type unless you are connecting to a private subnet with a VPN.

  9. Choose what type of Storage you want to use, either gp2 General Purpose SSD volume (balance of price and performance) or io1 Highest-Performance SSD volume (low-latency / high throughput workloads) and the storage size. Select Proceed.

  10. Review the cluster settings. If you need to make any changes you can use the Go Back button or click on a section header in the sidebar to make the desired changes. Note the access_key_id and secret_access_key will not be stored and is only showed for you convenience to verify. If everything looks correct, click CREATE CLUSTER.

  11. When you cluster is ready, select Download Assets to get the details about your environment.

Cluster Assets

The Cluster Assets page lists the Cluster information, PEM Key, and and Cluster Link. If you plan to ssh into the cluster nodes, you must download the PEM Key. You can come back to this page at any time if you need to access the cluster information.

  1. Create a cluster administrator login by clicking on the CREATE ADMIN button. You must complete this step to access the cluster, and this step can be completed only one time so note the password you choose.

  2. To access the Critical Stack cluster click the GO TO CLUSTER button or copy the url provided in the Cluster Link section.

  3. The Secure Orchestration Platform for the Enterprise