How to configure redmine service via terraform with persistent storage on amazon ECS

First of all, I have very little experience of AWS and terraform, so it can be obviously for them who have enough experience, but it definitely saved me a lot of time if I found article like that early.

It wasn’t simple to figure out how to run redmine container on ECS.
The main problem was – persistent storage. Redmine suppose that it have persistent disk storage which remain the same between service restarts. If you have your docker host it’s simply to map hipervisor’s directory inside of the container, but when your docker nodes can be added and removed dynamically you can lost data on disk which was generated by app.
Amazon provide few ways to have persistent storage such as S3, EBS or EFS.

By nature S3 is a storage which accessibly over http, so if your app haven’t integration with S3 API it can’t be used (except when you mount S3 via fuse fs for example).
EBS is a remote block storage, so you need to connect block device to docker host, mount it and map inside container before you will be able to use it.
EFS by nature is just a NFS.

I wanted to find solution which will be most natural as possible. I wanted to keep docker and redmine image untouched (ie avoid of additional plugins/scripts/packages installation). So, I decided not to use S3, because it need something like s3fs to make S3 storage available for redmine.
I decided not to use EBS, because I’ve found reports when EBS stuck attached to host and can’t be re-attached to another host until initial host reboots.
EFS looked perfect, it could be mounted from different hosts, it kept data during application/hypervisor life cycles. Moreover, even if I didn’t find a simple way to use EFS, only thing I needed was nfs-common package.

I was lucky, because at the Aug of 2018 amazon announced support of docker volumes and docker volumes plugins, docker itself can mount NFS inside containers since version 17.06 (I couldn’t found it in the change log, but if you google it, you will found a lot of references to that). So, it was exactly what I wanted, I faced only with one cons – lack of documentation. I needed to use terraform for redmine configuration and its documentation didn’t specify how to exactly pass driver_opts to docker volume configuration, so here is solution:

First you need to specify mount point in task-definition.json

"mountPoints":[
     {
       "sourceVolume": "redmine_storage",
       "containerPath": "/usr/src/redmine/files"
     }
 ]

And here is volume block from from terraform code for volume specification:

volume {
    name = "redmine_storage"
    docker_volume_configuration {
        scope         = "task"
        driver      = "local"
        driver_opts = {
            "type" = "nfs"
            "device" = "${var.efs_dns}:/"
            "o" = "addr=${var.efs_dns},nfsvers=4.1,rsize=1048576,wsize=1048576,hard,timeo=600,retrans=2"
        }
 }
}

That’s all.
Code above is a part of redmine module, which have input variable efs_dns , so you can put your EFS address here if you configured it manually.

PS
Here you can find redmine S3 plugin, but I wanted to migrate existing redmine, so it looked like a lot of work, because I needed to modify rdemine’s DB and put files on S3 in manner which that plugin expects, so I decided that S3 not an option.

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