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Configuring Amazon S3

S3 is a reliable, scalable cloud storage service provided by googles AWS platform. Using AWS, for some, may be a cost effective and faster way to store data outside of your usual hosting environment.

The following guide shows how to set up S3, alongside your Invision Community setup. Note that this guide is correct at the time of writing, and screens may vary from time to time on the AWS console. If you have not set one up already, please first of all ensure you have created an amazon AWS account. You can do this at the following location.

https://portal.aws.amazon.com/gp/aws/developer/registration/index.html

Creating an S3 bucket

When you first log into AWS, you will need to add an S3 storage service to your account. Using the search box provided, type in S3, and select the S3 service

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Finding S3 in AWS

Once you have selected the S3 service, you will be able to create a new S3 'Bucket'. A bucket is simply an area where you will store your data, within the S3 service. Click on create bucket to get started with its creation.

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Create a New Bucket

On the first screen you will be asked for a bucket name, and a region. Choose the region which is closest to the majority of your users, and give your bucket a name. The name can be anything you wish. In this example I have used 'myinvisionbucket'

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Choosing Name and Region

Once you have added the name and chosen your name, click on next. You will see the following configure options page. If you are unsure on what these are, please leave them on their default setting before clicking next again

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Configuration Options

Now we are at the permissions page. As we are storing items which must be accessible to public (they are viewable to people on the web in general) you need to deselect the "Block all public access" item.

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Ensuring Public Access

Select to state you acknowledge the items will become public, and click on next

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Agreement to Public Access

Finally, select "Create bucket" to create the new S3 bucket you will be using on your site

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Create Bucket

Your new bucket is new created and available for use on your site. You can proceed to set this up within the Admin CP of your site

Creating Credentials

Before we can go ahead an set up the storage method in our admin CP, we need to create a set of credentials to use with the S3 bucket. In order to do this, you need to visit the Identity and Access Management (IAM) settings page of your AWS account. You can find a direct link to this here

https://console.aws.amazon.com/iam/

Once here, we need to first create a group which has full access to your S3 location. Select Access Management -> Groups from the menu on the left. Then Click on "Create New Group"

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Creating a Group

Give it a group name, and then click next step. You will then be given a list of items to select from. Search for S3, click the checkbox at the side of "AmazonS3FullAccess" and click next.

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Policy Selection

You can now click on create group, which will take you back to the first page. On the left, under groups, you now need to click on users, and click "Add User"

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Create User

Give the user a name, select "Programmatic Access" then click "Next: Permissions"

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User Setup Screen

On the next screen you will see the name of the group you previously created.

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Select Group

Click the checkbox for this and Click "Next: Tags", then "Next: Review" and finally "Create User"

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Here you can see your Access ID, and Secret Access Key (click show). Copy these out somewhere so that you have these in the next steps.

 

Setting the storage method

In order to set up the new storage method, visit the following location within your Admin CP

System -> Overview -> Files -> Storage Settings -> Configurations

Once in this location, select to create a new storage method

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Creating New Storage Method

Once you have done this, select "Amazon S3" from the storage method options at the top of the page. We then need to set up an access key and add the information into your Admin CP as we go. The items in the image below are numbered corresponding to the descriptions below

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Storage Method Options

  1. The first item you need to add is a bucket name. This is the Bucket Name you used in the first step of this guide. In our example case, we used myinvisionbucket.
     
  2. The endpoint will be different depending on what you have set up as your region in previous steps. The link below this item will take you to the AWS help guides where you can find the end point name. First of all find this in the list. I have used Europe (Ireland), and therefore I need eu-west-1 for part of my endpoint URL

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    The 'Endpoint' you will enter is the following, where {yourRegion} is replaced with the region name you got above.

    s3.{yourRegion}.amazonaws.com

    So in our scenario, we will be using s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com
     
  3. The 3rd and final part of setting up the storage method, is to enter the access key and secret. These are the values you copied from creating your user in the previous stage of this guide. 
     

Choosing what to store

Now that you have created a new storage method connected to your S3 bucket, you can choose what you wish to store in amazon S3. Go to the following location to do this

System -> Overview -> Files -> Storage Settings

From here, use the dropdown on any of the items to change the storage method to your amazon S3 bucket. If there are items which exist already, a background task will be created to move these to the new location.

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Changing Storage Method

Edited by Marc Stridgen

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