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AWS Chatwoot deployment guide

The following is reference HA architecture guide for deploying Chatwoot on AWS. For a cloud native deployment, use our helm charts with AWS Elastic Kubernetes Service(EKS).

Introduction

We will use the linux installation script to get a chatwoot instance up and running. Also instead of relying on redis, postgres and nginx installed in the same ec2, we will proceed to make use of managed aws services for the same viz Elasticache, RDS and ALB.

Prerequisites

  1. AWS account
  2. Domain to use with Chatwoot

Architecture

This guide will follow a standard 3-tier architecture on aws.

aws-architecture

Network

Create VPC

  1. Sign into AWS console and pick the region you are going to deploy.
  2. Navigate to the VPC console and create a new vpc for chatwoot. At the name tag, enter chatwoot-vpc and use the CIDR block 10.0.0.0/16.
  3. Leave the rest of the options as default and click on Create VPC.

aws-create-vpc

Subnets

Create two public and private subnets in the vpc we created. Make sure to have then in different AZ's and have non-overlapping CIDR ranges.

  1. Navigate to VPC > Subnets.

  2. Click on Create Subnet. Select the chatwoot-vpc we created before, name it as chatwoot-public-1, select an availability zone (for example, ap-south-1a) and the CIDR block as 10.0.0.0/24. aws-create-subnet

  3. Follow the same to create the remaining subnets.

NameTypeAvailability ZoneCIDR Block
chatwoot-public-1publicap-south-1a10.0.0.0/24
chatwoot-public-2publicap-south-1b10.0.1.0/24
chatwoot-private-1privateap-south-1a10.0.2.0/24
chatwoot-private-2privateap-south-1b10.0.3.0/24
  1. After creating all subnets, enable auto assign public ipv4 address for public subnets under Actions > Subnet Settings.

Internet Gateway

  1. Select Create Internet Gateway , name it as chatwoot-igw and click create.
  2. Select it from the internet gateways list, choose actions and then select Attach to VPC.
  3. Choose chatwoot-vpc and click attach.

aws-create-igw

NAT Gateway

Chatwoot app servers will be deployed in the private subnet. For them to access internet, we need to add NAT gateways to our public subnet and add a route from the private subnets.

  1. Navigate the VPC dashboard and select NAT gateways.

  2. Click Create NAT Gateway.

    1. Name it as chatwoot-nat-1.
    2. Select the chatwoot-public-1 subnet.
    3. Click on Allocate Elastic IP.
    4. Add additional tags as per your need.
    5. Click Create NAT gateway.

aws-create-nat

  1. Follow the same to create a second NAT gateway (chatwoot-nat-2) and choose the chatwoot-public-2 subnet.

Route tables

Route table controls the inbound and outbound access for a subnet.

Public Route table

We will create route tables so that our public subnets can reach the internet via the Internet gateway.

Navigate to the VPC dashboard and select Route Tables.

  1. Click Create route table.
  2. Use the name chatwoot-public-rt and choose the chatwoot-vpc under VPC.
  3. Click Create.

aws-create-rt

Next, we need to add a route to the internet gateway we created earlier(chatwoot-igw).

  1. Select the chatwoot-public-rt route table from the list and click on Edit routes > Add Route.
  2. Set the destination as 0.0.0.0/0 and choose the target as chatwoot-igw. Click on Save Changes.

Also,

  1. Select the chatwoot-public-rt route table from the list and click on Subnet Associations > Edit subnet associations.
  2. Select both the public subnets(chatwoot-public-1,chatwoot-public-2) and click save.

Private Route table

We will also create private route tables so that our private subnets can reach the internet via the NAT gateways.

  1. Follow the above guide and create two private route tables namely, chatwoot-private-a and chatwoot-private-b.
  2. Select the route tables one by one and add a route to the NAT gateway in their respective availability zone.
    1. For chatwoot-private-a, add a route to 0.0.0.0/0 and target as chatwoot-nat-1.
    2. For chatwoot-private-b, add a route to 0.0.0.0/0 and target as chatwoot-nat-2.

Also,

  1. Associate the private route tables with corresponding private subnets.
    1. For chatwoot-private-a, associate chatwoot-private-1 subnet.
    2. For chatwoot-private-b, associate chatwoot-private-2 subnet.

Application Load Balancer (ALB)

Create an application load balancer to recieve traffic on port 80 and 443, and distribute it across Chatwoot instances.

  1. Navigate to the EC2 section and choose Load Balancer section.
  2. Click Create Load Balancer.
    1. Choose Application Load Balancer.
    2. For the loadbalancer name, use chatwoot-loadbalancer.
    3. Select the scheme as internet-facing and IP address type as IPv4.
    4. For the network mapping section,
      1. Select the chatwoot-vpc.
      2. Select both the public subnets chatwoot-public-1 and chatwoot-public-2 under mapping section.
    5. For the Security group section,
      1. Create a new security group, chatwoot-loadbalancer-sg.
      2. Add rules to allow HTTP and HTTPS traffic from anywhere(0.0.0.0/0, ::/0).
      3. Also add rules to allow SSH traffic.
    6. For Listeners and routing section, create two listeners for both 80 and 443.
      1. Also create a target group, chatwoot-tg that will forward the requests to port 3000(Chatwoot listens on this port).
      2. Add a health check to the endpoint /api. This endpoint is not authenticated and should return the application version.
{
"version": "1.22.1",
"timestamp": "2021-12-06 16:07:39"
}
  1. Add any necessary tags and click create.

Also, add if you have your domain on Route53 and use ACM to generate a certifcate to use with ALB.

//TODO: expand more on the ACM part

Postgresql using AWS RDS

//TODO: expand rds section

Chatwoot uses Postgres as a DB layer and we will make use of Amazon RDS with a multi AZ option for reliablity.

RDS security group

  1. Navigate to EC2 > Security groups and create a new sg.
  2. Name it, chatwoot-rds-sg.
  3. Select the chatwoot-vpc and add an inbound rule for postgres port with source chatwoot-loadbalancer-sg.

RDS subnet group

  1. Navigate to RDS section and select subnet groups.
  2. Create chatwoot-rds-group and choose chatwoot-vpc.
  3. Select both az's and the private subnets.

RDS

  1. Select create database.
  2. Use standard create and choose the postgres engine.
  3. Use the production template, create a postgres master username and password.
  4. Enable Multi-AZ deployment.
  5. Select chatwoot-vpc and selecte the rds security group we created earlier.
  6. Enable password authentication.
  7. Click create.
  8. After the create is complete, note down the hostname, username and password. We will need this to configure Chatwoot.

Redis using AWS Elasticache

//TODO: expand redis section

  1. Follow similar steps like the rds to create a redis security group and subnet group.
  2. Create the redis cluster with multi-AZ option.

Creating Bastion servers

Create bastion servers in both public subnets. These servers will be used to ssh into chatwoots servers in private subnets.

  1. Navigate to EC2 dashboard and click launch instance.
  2. Use an Ubuntu 20.04 image with a t3.micro type.
  3. Choose chatwoot-vpc and subnet chatwoot-public-1.
  4. Name it as chatwoot-bastion-a.
  5. Add a new sg, chatwoot-bastion-sg and enable ssh access from anywhere.
  6. Leave the rest as defaults and click launch.
  7. Once the instance is up, try to SSH into the instance.

Repeat the same and create another bastion, chatwoot-bastion-b in the other AZ.

Install Chatwoot

  1. Navigate to EC2 section, and click on launch instance.
  2. Use an Ubuntu 20.04 image with a c5.xlarge instance type.
  3. Choose the chatwoot-vpc and select the private subnet chatwoot-private-1.
  4. Disable auto assign public IP and increase the storage of root vo lume to 60 GB.
  5. Add necessary tags. Set the Name tag to chatwoot.
  6. Select the loadbalancer security group and click launch.
  7. SSH into the bastion server and from there, ssh to the chatwoot instance we created.
  8. Switch to root user.
  9. Download the chatwoot linux installation script.
wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/chatwoot/chatwoot/master/deployment/setup_20.04.sh -O setup.sh
chmod 755 setup.sh
  1. Modify it remove the postgres, redis, letsencrypt and nginx section.
vi setup.sh
  1. Run the script.

    ./setup.sh master

Configure Chatwoot

// TODO: Expand with S3 for active storage and SES for Email.

  1. Once the installation is complete, switch to the chatwoot user and navigate to the chatwoot folder. Edit the .env file and replace the postgres and redis credentials with RDS and elasticache values.
sudo -i -u chatwoot
cd chatwoot
vi .env

  1. Run the db migration.
RAILS_ENV=production bundle exec rake db:prepare
  1. Also modify the other necessary environment variable for your chatwoot setup. Refer to https://www.chatwoot.com/docs/self-hosted/deployment/linux-vm#configure-the-required-environment-variables

Verify login

  1. Add this instance to the target group attached to the alb.
  2. Navigate to the your chatwoot domain to see if everything is working.

Create custom AMI

  1. If you are getting the onboarding page, complete the sign up and verify the installation.
  2. Voila !! Your chatwoot instance is up.
  3. If everything looks good, proceed to create an ami from this instance and name it as chatwoot-base-ami.

Auto Scaling Groups (ASG)

  1. Create a launch configuration using the above base image.
  2. Proceed to create an auto-scaling group from this launch config.
  3. Set the minimum and desired capcity to 2 and maximum to 4. Modify this as per your requirement.
  4. Create a scaling policy based on the CPU Utlization.
  5. At this point, we are good to terminate the instance we created earlier.
  6. Check the loadbalancer or target-group to verify if two new chatwoot instances have come up.
  7. That's it.

Monitoring

  1. Refer to https://www.chatwoot.com/docs/self-hosted/monitoring/apm-and-error-monitoring

Updating Chatwoot

  1. Login to one of the application servers and complete the update instructions. Run migrations if needed. Refer to https://www.chatwoot.com/docs/self-hosted/deployment/linux-vm#upgrading-to-a-newer-version-of-chatwoot
  2. Create a new ami and update the launch config.

Conclusion

This is a reference guideline to have an HA chatwoot architecture on AWS. Modify or build upon this to suit your requirements.