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Using Azure

This is a step-by-step guide to deploy an Aptos validator and validator fullnode (VFN) using Microsoft Azure. Using this guide, the validator and VFN will be deployed on separate machines.


Before you begin, make sure to read and understand the Node Requirements. Similarly, make sure you have installed the Aptos CLI, Terraform, Kubernetes CLI, and Azure CLI. This guide assumes that you already have an Azure account setup.

Deployment steps

Default connection to mainnet
If you follow the default setup in this document, then your validator and VFN will be connected to the Aptos mainnet. To connect to a different Aptos network, such as testnet, make sure you download the correct genesis and waypoint files for the network you want to connect to. Similarly, you will need to modify the Terraform files to use the correct configurations (e.g., source, image_tag and chain_id).

  1. Create a working directory for your Aptos nodes, and pick a username for your nodes, e.g.,

    export WORKSPACE=mainnet
    export USERNAME=alice
    mkdir ~/$WORKSPACE
    cd ~/$WORKSPACE
  2. Create a blob storage container for storing the Terraform state on Azure, you can do this on the Azure UI or using the commands below:

    az group create -l <azure region> -n aptos-$WORKSPACE
    az storage account create -n <storage account name> -g aptos-$WORKSPACE -l <azure region> --sku Standard_LRS
    az storage container create -n <container name> --account-name <storage account name> --resource-group aptos-$WORKSPACE
  3. Create a Terraform file called in your working directory:

    cd ~/$WORKSPACE
  4. Modify the file to configure Terraform and create the Terraform module. See the example below:
    terraform {
      required_version = "~> 1.3.6"
      backend "azurerm" {
        resource_group_name  = <resource group name>
        storage_account_name = <storage account name>
        container_name       = <container name>
        key                  = "state/validator"
    module "aptos-node" {
      # Download the Terraform module from the aptos-core repository.
      source        = ""
      region        = <azure region>  # Specify the Azure region
      era           = 1  # Bump the era number to wipe the chain data
      chain_id      = 1  # Use 1 for mainnet, or different values for other networks.
      image_tag     = "mainnet" # Specify the image tag to use based on the network
      validator_name = "<Name of your validator>" # Specify the name of your validator

    For all customization options, see:

  5. Initialize Terraform in the $WORKSPACE directory where you created the file.

    terraform init

    This will download all the Terraform dependencies into the .terraform folder in your current working directory.

  6. Create a new Terraform workspace to isolate your environments, and see the list of workspaces.

    terraform workspace new $WORKSPACE
    # This command will list all workspaces
    terraform workspace list
  7. Apply the Terraform configuration.

    terraform apply

    This may take a while to finish (e.g., >20 minutes). Terraform will create all the resources on your cloud account.

  8. After terraform apply finishes, you can check if the resources have been created correctly, by running the following commands:

    • az aks get-credentials --resource-group aptos-$WORKSPACE --name aptos-$WORKSPACE: This command will configure access for your k8s cluster.
    • kubectl get pods: This command will output all pods in the cluster. You should see haproxy, the validator and the VFN (with the validator and VFN pod pending due to further action in later steps).
    • kubectl get svc: This command will output all services in the cluster. You should see the validator-lb and fullnode-lb, with an external IP for network connectivity.
  9. Next, we need to inject your node’s IP information into your environment. You can do this by running the following commands:

    export VALIDATOR_ADDRESS="$(kubectl get svc ${WORKSPACE}-aptos-node-0-validator-lb --output jsonpath='{.status.loadBalancer.ingress[0].hostname}')"
    export FULLNODE_ADDRESS="$(kubectl get svc ${WORKSPACE}-aptos-node-0-fullnode-lb --output jsonpath='{.status.loadBalancer.ingress[0].hostname}')"
  10. Now, generate the key pairs for your nodes in your working directory. You can do this by running the following command with the Aptos CLI:

    aptos genesis generate-keys --output-dir ~/$WORKSPACE/keys

    This will create 4 key files under ~/$WORKSPACE/keys directory:

    • public-keys.yaml: This file contains all public keys for your validator and VFN, as well as your account address.
    • private-keys.yaml: This file contains all private keys for your validator and VFN.
    • validator-identity.yaml: This file contains the public and private keys for your validator, as well as your account address.
    • validator-full-node-identity.yaml: This file contains the public and private keys for your VFN, as well as your account address.

    Backup your private keys
    Your private keys are important for you to establish ownership of your nodes. Never share your private keys with anyone, and make sure to backup private-keys.yaml somewhere safe.

  11. Next, you will need to set your validator configuration. This includes setting the validator and VFN host names, which may be IP addresses or DNS addresses. This can be done by running the following command:

    aptos genesis set-validator-configuration \
      --local-repository-dir ~/$WORKSPACE \
      --username $USERNAME \
      --owner-public-identity-file ~/$WORKSPACE/keys/public-keys.yaml \
      --validator-host $VALIDATOR_ADDRESS:6180 \
      --full-node-host $FULLNODE_ADDRESS:6182 \
      --stake-amount 100000000000000

    Configuring the validator will create two YAML files in the ~/$WORKSPACE/$USERNAME directory: owner.yaml and operator.yaml. These will be useful for connecting your nodes to the Aptos network (later).

  12. Download the following files by following the instructions on the Node Files pages. You will need to select the appropriate network (e.g., mainnet, testnet, devnet) and download the following files:

    • genesis.blob
    • waypoint.txt
  13. To recap, in your working directory (~/$WORKSPACE), you should have a list of files:

    • The Terraform files to install the aptos-node module.
    • keys folder containing:
      • public-keys.yaml: Public keys for both nodes.
      • private-keys.yaml: Private keys for both nodes.
      • validator-identity.yaml: Key and account information for the validator.
      • validator-full-node-identity.yaml: Key and account information for the VFN.
    • $username folder containing:
      • owner.yaml: The owner, operator and voter mappings.
      • operator.yaml: Validator and VFN operator information.
    • waypoint.txt: The waypoint for the genesis transaction on the network you are connecting to.
    • genesis.blob The genesis blob for the network you are connecting to.
  14. Finally, insert the genesis.blob, waypoint.txt and the identity files as secrets into the k8s cluster, by running the following command:

    kubectl create secret generic ${WORKSPACE}-aptos-node-0-genesis-e1 \
      --from-file=genesis.blob=genesis.blob \
      --from-file=waypoint.txt=waypoint.txt \
      --from-file=validator-identity.yaml=keys/validator-identity.yaml \

    Era numbers and dangling volumes
    The -e1 suffix in the command above refers to the era number. If you changed the era number, make sure it matches when creating the secrets.

    The era is a concept relevant only to Kubernetes deployments of an Aptos node. Changing the era provides an easy way to wipe your deployment’s state (e.g., blockchain data). However, this may lead to dangling persistent volumes. Confirm the existence of any dangling volumes with kubectl get pvc and delete any dangling volumes manually to minimize costs.

  15. Now, we should be able to see that all pods are running, including the validator and VFN. You can check this by executing the following command:

    kubectl get pods
    # Example output
    NAME                                        READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
    node1-aptos-node-0-fullnode-e9-0              1/1     Running   0          4h31m
    node1-aptos-node-0-haproxy-7cc4c5f74c-l4l6n   1/1     Running   0          4h40m
    node1-aptos-node-0-validator-0                1/1     Running   0          4h30m

Next steps
You have now completed setting up your validator and VFN using Azure. However, your nodes will not be able to connect to the Aptos network just yet.

Connecting to the Aptos Network

You have now completed setting up your validator and VFN using Azure. Proceed to Connect Nodes for the next steps.