Tag Archives: Amazon ElastiCache

AWS Weekly Roundup: New capabilities in Amazon Bedrock, AWS Amplify Gen 2, Amazon RDS and more (May 13, 2024)

Post Syndicated from Abhishek Gupta original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/aws-weekly-roundup-new-capabilities-in-amazon-bedrock-aws-amplify-gen-2-amazon-rds-and-more-may-13-2024/

AWS Summit is in full swing around the world, with the most recent one being AWS Summit Singapore! Here is a sneak peek of the AWS staff and ASEAN community members at the Developer Lounge booth. It featured AWS Community speakers giving lightning talks on serverless, Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS), security, generative AI, and more.

Last week’s launches
Here are some launches that caught my attention. Not surprisingly, a lot of interesting generative AI features!

Amazon Titan Text Premier is now available in Amazon Bedrock – This is the latest addition to the Amazon Titan family of large language models (LLMs) and offers optimized performance for key features like Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG) on Knowledge Bases for Amazon Bedrock, and function calling on Agents for Amazon Bedrock.

Amazon Bedrock Studio is now available in public previewAmazon Bedrock Studio offers a web-based experience to accelerate the development of generative AI applications by providing a rapid prototyping environment with key Amazon Bedrock features, including Knowledge Bases, Agents, and Guardrails.

Amazon Bedrock Studio

Agents for Amazon Bedrock now supports Provisioned Throughput pricing model – As agentic applications scale, they require higher input and output model throughput compared to on-demand limits. The Provisioned Throughput pricing model makes it possible to purchase model units for the specific base model.

MongoDB Atlas is now available as a vector store in Knowledge Bases for Amazon Bedrock – With MongoDB Atlas vector store integration, you can build RAG solutions to securely connect your organization’s private data sources to foundation models (FMs) in Amazon Bedrock.

Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL supports pgvector 0.7.0 – You can use the open-source PostgreSQL extension for storing vector embeddings and add retrieval-augemented generation (RAG) capability in your generative AI applications. This release includes features that increase the number of dimensions of vectors you can index, reduce index size, and includes additional support for using CPU SIMD in distance computations. Also Amazon RDS Performance Insights now supports the Oracle Multitenant configuration on Amazon RDS for Oracle.

Amazon EC2 Inf2 instances are now available in new regions – These instances are optimized for generative AI workloads and are generally available in the Asia Pacific (Sydney), Europe (London), Europe (Paris), Europe (Stockholm), and South America (Sao Paulo) Regions.

New Generative Engine in Amazon Polly is now generally available – The generative engine in Amazon Polly is it’s most advanced text-to-speech (TTS) model and currently includes two American English voices, Ruth and Matthew, and one British English voice, Amy.

AWS Amplify Gen 2 is now generally availableAWS Amplify offers a code-first developer experience for building full-stack apps using TypeScript and enables developers to express app requirements like the data models, business logic, and authorization rules in TypeScript. AWS Amplify Gen 2 has added a number of features since the preview, including a new Amplify console with features such as custom domains, data management, and pull request (PR) previews.

Amazon EMR Serverless now includes performance monitoring of Apache Spark jobs with Amazon Managed Service for Prometheus – This lets you analyze, monitor, and optimize your jobs using job-specific engine metrics and information about Spark event timelines, stages, tasks, and executors. Also, Amazon EMR Studio is now available in the Asia Pacific (Melbourne) and Israel (Tel Aviv) Regions.

Amazon MemoryDB launched two new condition keys for IAM policies – The new condition keys let you create AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) policies or Service Control Policies (SCPs) to enhance security and meet compliance requirements. Also, Amazon ElastiCache has updated it’s minimum TLS version to 1.2.

Amazon Lightsail now offers a larger instance bundle – This includes 16 vCPUs and 64 GB memory. You can now scale your web applications and run more compute and memory-intensive workloads in Lightsail.

Amazon Elastic Container Registry (ECR) adds pull through cache support for GitLab Container Registry – ECR customers can create a pull through cache rule that maps an upstream registry to a namespace in their private ECR registry. Once rule is configured, images can be pulled through ECR from GitLab Container Registry. ECR automatically creates new repositories for cached images and keeps them in-sync with the upstream registry.

AWS Resilience Hub expands application resilience drift detection capabilities – This new enhancement detects changes, such as the addition or deletion of resources within the application’s input sources.

For a full list of AWS announcements, be sure to keep an eye on the What’s New at AWS page.

Other AWS news
Here are some additional projects and blog posts that you might find interesting.

Building games with LLMs – Check out this fun experiment by Banjo Obayomi to generate Super Mario levels using different LLMs on Amazon Bedrock!

Troubleshooting with Amazon Q –  Ricardo Ferreira walks us through how he solved a nasty data serialization problem while working with Apache Kafka, Go, and Protocol Buffers.

Getting started with Amazon Q in VS Code – Check out this excellent step-by-step guide by Rohini Gaonkar that covers installing the extension for features like code completion chat, and productivity-boosting capabilities powered by generative AI.

AWS open source news and updates – My colleague Ricardo writes about open source projects, tools, and events from the AWS Community. Check out Ricardo’s page for the latest updates.

Upcoming AWS events
Check your calendars and sign up for upcoming AWS events:

AWS Summits – Join free online and in-person events that bring the cloud computing community together to connect, collaborate, and learn about AWS. Register in your nearest city: Bengaluru (May 15–16), Seoul (May 16–17), Hong Kong (May 22), Milan (May 23), Stockholm (June 4), and Madrid (June 5).

AWS re:Inforce – Explore 2.5 days of immersive cloud security learning in the age of generative AI at AWS re:Inforce, June 10–12 in Pennsylvania.

AWS Community Days – Join community-led conferences that feature technical discussions, workshops, and hands-on labs led by expert AWS users and industry leaders from around the world: Turkey (May 18), Midwest | Columbus (June 13), Sri Lanka (June 27), Cameroon (July 13), Nigeria (August 24), and New York (August 28).

Browse all upcoming AWS led in-person and virtual events and developer-focused events.

That’s all for this week. Check back next Monday for another Weekly Roundup!

— Abhishek

This post is part of our Weekly Roundup series. Check back each week for a quick roundup of interesting news and announcements from AWS!

Amazon ElastiCache Serverless for Redis and Memcached is now available

Post Syndicated from Channy Yun original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/amazon-elasticache-serverless-for-redis-and-memcached-now-generally-available/

Today, we are announcing the availability of Amazon ElastiCache Serverless, a new serverless option that allows customers to create a cache in under a minute and instantly scale capacity based on application traffic patterns. ElastiCache Serverless is compatible with two popular open-source caching solutions, Redis and Memcached.

You can use ElastiCache Serverless to operate a cache for even the most demanding workloads without spending time in capacity planning or requiring caching expertise. ElastiCache Serverless constantly monitors your application’s memory, CPU, and network resource utilization and scales instantly to accommodate changes to the access patterns of workloads it serves. You can create a highly available cache with data automatically replicated across multiple Availability Zones and up to 99.99 percent availability Service Level Agreement (SLA) for all workloads, which saves you time and money.

Customers wanted to get radical simplicity to deploy and operate a cache. ElastiCache Serverless offers a simple endpoint experience abstracting the underlying cluster topology and cache infrastructure. You can reduce application complexity and have more operational excellence without handling reconnects and rediscovering nodes.

With ElastiCache Serverless, there are no upfront costs, and you pay for only the resources you use. You pay for the amount of cache data storage and ElastiCache Processing Units (ECPUs) resources consumed by your applications.

Getting started with Amazon ElastiCache Serverless
To get started, go to the ElastiCache console and choose Redis caches or Memcached caches in the left navigation pane. ElastiCache Serverless supports engine versions of Redis 7.1 or higher and Memcached 1.6 or higher.

For example, in the case of Redis caches, choose Create Redis cache.

You see two deployment options: either Serverless or Design your own cache to create a node-based cache cluster. Choose the Serverless option, the New cache method, and provide a name.

Use the default settings to create a cache in your default VPC, Availability Zones, service-owned encryption key, and security groups. We will automatically set recommended best practices. You don’t have to enter any additional settings.

If you want to customize default settings, you can set your own security groups, or enable automatic backups. You can also set maximum limits for your compute and memory usage to ensure your cache doesn’t grow beyond a certain size. When your cache reaches the memory limit, keys with a time to live (TTL) are evicted according to the least recently used (LRU) logic. When your compute limit is reached, ElastiCache will throttle requests, which will lead to elevated request latencies.

When you create a new serverless cache, you can see the details of settings for connectivity and data protection, including an endpoint and network environment.

Now, you can configure the ElastiCache Serverless endpoint in your application and connect using any Redis client that supports Redis in cluster mode, such as redis-cli.

$ redis-cli -h channy-redis-serverless.elasticache.amazonaws.com --tls -c -p 6379
set x Hello
get x

You can manage the cache using AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI) or AWS SDKs. For more information, see Getting started with Amazon ElastiCache for Redis in the AWS documentation.

If you have an existing Redis cluster, you can migrate your data to ElastiCache Serverless by specifying the ElastiCache backups or Amazon S3 location of a backup file in a standard Redis rdb file format when creating your ElastiCache Serverless cache.

For a Memcached cache, you can create and use a new serverless cache in the same way as Redis.

If you use ElastiCache Serverless for Memcached, there are significant benefits of high availability and instant scaling because they are not natively available in the Memcached engine. You no longer have to write custom business logic, manage multiple caches, or use a third-party proxy layer to replicate data to get high availability with Memcached. Now you can get up to 99.99 percent availability SLA and data replication across multiple Availability Zones.

To connect to the Memcached endpoint, run the openssl client and Memcached commands as shown in the following example output:

$ /usr/bin/openssl s_client -connect channy-memcached-serverless.cache.amazonaws.com:11211 -crlf 
set a 0 0 5
get a
VALUE a 0 5

For more information, see Getting started with Amazon ElastiCache Serverless for Memcached in the AWS documentation.

Scaling and performance
ElastiCache Serverless scales without downtime or performance degradation to the application by allowing the cache to scale up and initiating a scale-out in parallel to meet capacity needs just in time.

To show ElastiCache Serverless’ performance we conducted a simple scaling test. We started with a typical Redis workload with an 80/20 ratio between reads and writes with a key size of 512 bytes. Our Redis client was configured to Read From Replica (RFR) using the READONLY Redis command, for optimal read performance. Our goal is to show how fast workloads can scale on ElastiCache Serverless without any impact on latency.

As you can see in the graph above, we were able to double the requests per second (RPS) every 10 minutes up until the test’s target request rate of 1M RPS. During this test, we observed that p50 GET latency remained around 751 microseconds and at all times below 860 microseconds. Similarly, we observed p50 SET latency remained around 1,050 microseconds, not crossing the 1,200 microseconds even during the rapid increase in throughput.

Things to know

  • Upgrading engine version – ElastiCache Serverless transparently applies new features, bug fixes, and security updates, including new minor and patch engine versions on your cache. When a new major version is available, ElastiCache Serverless will send you a notification in the console and an event in Amazon EventBridge. ElastiCache Serverless major version upgrades are designed for no disruption to your application.
  • Performance and monitoring – ElastiCache Serverless publishes a suite of metrics to Amazon CloudWatch, including memory usage (BytesUsedForCache), CPU usage (ElastiCacheProcessingUnits), and cache metrics, including CacheMissRate, CacheHitRate, CacheHits, CacheMisses, and ThrottledRequests. ElastiCache Serverless also publishes Amazon EventBridge events for significant events, including cache creation, deletion, and limit updates. For a full list of available metrics and events, see the documentation.
  • Security and compliance – ElastiCache Serverless caches are accessible from within a VPC. You can access the data plane using AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM). By default, only the AWS account creating the ElastiCache Serverless cache can access it. ElastiCache Serverless encrypts all data at rest and in-transit by transport layer security (TLS) encrypting each connection to ElastiCache Serverless. You can optionally choose to limit access to the cache within your VPCs, subnets, IAM access, and AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS) key for encryption. ElastiCache Serverless is compliant with PCI-DSS, SOC, and ISO and is HIPAA eligible.

Now available
Amazon ElastiCache Serverless is now available in all commercial AWS Regions, including China. With ElastiCache Serverless, there are no upfront costs, and you pay for only the resources you use. You pay for cached data in GB-hours, ECPUs consumed, and Snapshot storage in GB-months.

To learn more, see the ElastiCache Serverless page and the pricing page. Give it a try, and please send feedback to AWS re:Post for Amazon ElastiCache or through your usual AWS support contacts.


ITS adopts microservices architecture for improved air travel search engine

Post Syndicated from Sushmithe Sekuboyina original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/architecture/its-adopts-microservices-architecture-for-improved-air-travel-search-engine/

Internet Travel Solutions, LLC (ITS) is a travel management company that develops and maintains smart products and services for the corporate, commercial, and cargo sectors. ITS streamlines travel bookings for companies of any size around the world. It provides an intuitive consumer site with an integrated view of your travel and expenses.

ITS had been using monolithic architectures to host travel applications for years. As demand grew, applications became more complex, difficult to scale, and challenging to update over time. This slowed down deployment cycles.

In this blog post, we will explore how ITS improved speed to market, business agility, and performance, by modernizing their air travel search engine. We’ll show how they refactored their monolith application into microservices, using services such as Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS)Amazon ElastiCache for Redis, and AWS Systems Manager.

Building a microservices-based air travel search engine

Typically, when a customer accesses the search widget on the consumer site, they select their origin, destination, and travel dates. Then, flights matching these search criteria are displayed. Data is retrieved from the backend database, and multiple calls are made to the Global Distribution System and external partner’s APIs, which typically takes 10-15 seconds. ITS then uses proprietary logic combined with business policies to curate the best results for the user. The existing monolith system worked well for normal workloads. However, when the number of concurrent user requests increased, overall performance of the application degraded.

In order to enhance the user experience, significantly accelerate search speed, and advance ITS’ modernization initiative, ITS chose to restructure their air travel application into microservices. The key goals in rearchitecting the application are:

  • To break down search components into logical units
  • To reduce database load by serving transient requests through memory-based storage
  • To decrease application logic processing on ITS’ side to under 3 seconds

Overview of the solution

To begin, we decompose our air travel search engine into microservices (for example, search, list, PriceGraph, and more). Next, we containerize the application to simplify and optimize system utilization by running these microservices using AWS Fargate, a serverless compute option on Amazon ECS.

Every search call processes about 30-60 MB of data in varying formats from different data stores. We use a new JSON-based data format to streamline varying data formats and store this data in Amazon ElastiCache for Redis, an in-memory data store that provides sub-millisecond latency and data structure flexibility. Additionally, some of the static data used by our air travel search application was moved to Amazon DynamoDB for faster retrieval speeds.

ITS’ microservice architecture, using AWS

Figure 1. ITS’ microservice architecture, using AWS

ITS’ modernized architecture has several benefits beyond reducing operational expenses (OpEx). Some of these advantages include:

  • Agility. This architecture streamlines development, testing, and deploying changes on individual components, leading to faster iterations and shorter time-to-market (TTM).
  • Scalability. The managed scaling feature of AWS Fargate eliminates the need to worry about cluster autoscaling when setting up capacity providers. Amazon ECS actively oversees the task lifecycle and health status, responding to unexpected occurrences like crashes or freezes by initiating tasks as necessary to fulfill our service demands. This capability enhances resource utilization, ensures business continuity, and lowers overall total cost of ownership (TCO), letting the application owner focus on business needs.
  • Improved performance. Integrating Amazon ElastiCache for Redis with Amazon ECS on AWS Fargate to cache frequently accessed data significantly improves search response times and lowers load on backend services.
  • Centralized configuration management. Decoupling configuration parameters like database connection, strings, and environment variables from application code by integrating AWS Systems Manager Parameter Store, also provides consistency across tasks.

Results and metrics

ITS designed this architecture, tested, and implemented it in their production environment. ITS benchmarked this solution against their monolith application under varying factors for four months and noticed a significant improvement in air travel search speeds and overall performance. Here are the results:

Single User Non-cloud airlist page round trip (RT) Cloud airlist page RT
Leg 1 Leg 2 Leg 1 Leg 2
Test 1 29 secs 17 secs 11 secs 2 secs
Test 2 24 secs 11 secs 11.8 secs 1 sec
Test 3 24 secs 12 secs 14 secs 1 sec

Table 1. Monolithic versus modernized architecture response times

Searching round trip (RT) flights in the old system resulted in an average runtime of 27 seconds for the first leg, and 12 seconds for the return leg. With the new system, the average time is 12 seconds for the first leg and 1.3 seconds for the return leg. This is a combined improvement of 72%

Note that this time includes the trip time for our calls to reach an external vendor and receive inventory back. This usually ranges from 6 to 17 seconds, depending on the third-party system performance. Leg 2 performance for our new system is significantly faster (between 1-2 seconds). This is because search results are served directly from the Amazon ElastiCache for Redis in-memory datastore, rather than querying backend databases. This decreases load on the database, enabling it to handle more complex and resource-intensive operations efficiently.

Table 2 shows the results of endurance tests:

Endurance Test Cloud airlist page RT
Leg 1 Leg 2
50 Users in 10 minutes 14.01 secs 4.48 secs
100 Users in 15 minutes 14.47 secs 13.31 secs

Table 2. Endurance test

Table 3 shows the results of spike tests:

Spike Test Cloud airlist page RT
Leg 1 Leg 2
10 Users 12.34 secs 9.41 secs
20 Users 11.97 secs 10.55 secs
30 Users 15 secs 7.75 secs

Table 3. Spike test


In this blog post, we explored how Internet Travel Solutions, LLC (ITS) is using Amazon ECS on AWS Fargate, Amazon ElastiCache for Redis, and other services to containerize microservices, reduce costs, and increase application performance. This results in a vastly improved search results speed. ITS overcame many technical complexities and design considerations to modernize its air travel search engine.

To learn more about refactoring monolith application into microservices, visit Decomposing monoliths into microservices. If you are interested in learning more about Amazon ECS on AWS Fargate, visit Getting started with AWS Fargate.

Let’s Architect! Leveraging SQL databases on AWS

Post Syndicated from Luca Mezzalira original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/architecture/lets-architect-leveraging-sql-databases-on-aws/

SQL databases in Amazon Web Services (AWS), using services like Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) and Amazon Aurora, offer software architects scalability, automated management, robust security, and cost-efficiency. This combination simplifies database management, improves performance, enhances security, and allows architects to create efficient and scalable software systems.

In this post, we introduce caching strategies and continue with real case studies that use services like Amazon ElastiCache or Amazon MemoryDB in real workloads where customers share the reasoning behind their approaches. It’s very important to understand the context for leveraging a specific solution or pattern, and these resources answer many commonly asked questions.

Build scalable multi-tenant databases with Amazon Aurora

For software architects and developers, striking the right balance between operational complexity and cost efficiency is a perpetual challenge. Often, provisioning a separate database for each workload is the gold standard, offering unmatched isolation and granular operational controls. However, it’s not always the most cost-effective or operationally manageable approach. Through a real-world success story, we explore how Aurora played a pivotal role in helping VMware Aria Cost, powered by CloudHealth, consolidate a staggering 166 self-managed MySQL databases onto 62 Aurora clusters.

Take me to this re:Invent 2022 video!

A migration process to move a MySQL database from self-managed to fully managed with Amazon Aurora

A migration process to move a MySQL database from self-managed to fully managed with Amazon Aurora

Amazon RDS Blue/Green Deployments, Optimized Writes & Optimized Reads

Amazon RDS Blue/Green Deployments revolutionizes the way you handle database updates, ensuring safety and simplicity, often achieving rapid updates in just a minute, with zero data loss. Meanwhile, Amazon RDS Optimized Writes turbocharges write transaction throughput by as much as double, without any additional extra cost. Amazon RDS Optimized Reads steps in to deliver a significant boost to database performance, processing queries up to 50% faster.

Discover how to leverage these capabilities of Amazon RDS in this one-hour video from re:Invent 2022.

Take me to this re:Invent 2022 video!

Amazon RDS Blue/Green Deployments in action

Amazon RDS Blue/Green Deployments in action

Designing a DR strategy on Amazon RDS for SQL Server

In the world of mission-critical workloads, the importance of a robust disaster recovery (DR) strategy cannot be overstated. It’s the lifeline that ensures databases stay operational, even in the face of unexpected events. Discover the intricacies of crafting a dependable, cross-Region DR strategy tailored to Amazon RDS for SQL Server.

In this AWS Developers session, we uncover the best practices for efficiently managing and monitoring these cross-Region read replicas. From proactive monitoring to fine-tuning, you’ll gain the insights needed to keep your DR strategy finely tuned.

Take me to this AWS Developers video!

How to design a DR strategy using Amazon RDS

How to design a DR strategy using Amazon RDS

Deep dive into Amazon Aurora and its innovations

Aurora represents a paradigm shift in relational databases, boasting an architecture that decouples computational processes from data storage. It introduces advanced features, such as Global Database and low-latency read replicas, redefining the landscape of database management.

This modern database service excels in performance, scalability, and high availability on a large scale, offering compatibility with both MySQL and PostgreSQL open-source editions. Additionally, it provides an array of developer tools tailored for serverless and machine learning-driven applications.

This re:Invent 2022 session is an in-depth exploration of some of Aurora’s most compelling features, including Aurora Serverless v2 and Global Database. We also share the most recent innovations aimed at enhancing performance, scalability, and security while streamlining operational processes.

Take me to this re:Invent 2022 video!

A glance of one of the features of Amazon Aurora Global Database

A glance of one of the features of Amazon Aurora Global Database

See you next time!

Thanks for joining us today to explore leveraging SQL databases! We’ll see you in two weeks when we talk about batch processing workloads.

To find all the blogs from this series, check out the Let’s Architect! list of content on the AWS Architecture Blog.

Let’s Architect! Leveraging in-memory databases

Post Syndicated from Luca Mezzalira original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/architecture/lets-architect-leveraging-in-memory-databases/

In-memory databases play a critical role in modern computing, particularly in reducing the strain on existing resources, scaling workloads efficiently, and minimizing the cost of infrastructure. The advanced performance capabilities of in-memory databases make them vital for demanding applications characterized by voluminous data, real-time analytics, and rapid response requirements.

In this edition of Let’s Architect!, we are introducing caching strategies and, further, examining case studies that use Amazon Web Services (AWS), like Amazon ElastiCache or Amazon MemoryDB for Redis, in real workloads where customers share the reasoning behind their approaches. It is very important understanding the context for leveraging a specific solution or pattern, and many common questions can be answered with these resources.

Caching challenges and strategies

Many services built at Amazon rely on caching systems in the background to speed up performance, deal with low latency requirements, and avoid overloading on source databases and other microservices. Operating caches and adding caches into our systems may present complex challenges in terms of monitoring, data consistency, and load on the other components of the system. Indeed, a cache can give big benefits, but it’s also a new component to run and keep healthy. Furthermore, engineers may need to use empirical methods to choose the cache size, expiration policy, and eviction policy: we always have to perform tests and use the metrics to tune the setup.

With this Amazon Builder’s Library resource, you can learn strategies for using caching in your architecture and best practices directly from Amazon’s engineers.

Take me to this Amazon Builder’s Library article!

Strategies applied in Amazon applications at scale, explained and contextualized by Amazon engineers

Strategies applied in Amazon applications at scale, explained and contextualized by Amazon engineers

How Yahoo cost optimizes their in-memory workloads with AWS

Discover how Yahoo effectively leverages the power of Amazon ElastiCache and data tiering to process an astounding 1.3 million advertising data events per second, all while generating savings of up to 50% on their overall bill.

Data tiering is an ingenious method to scale up to hundreds of terabytes of capacity by intelligently managing data. It achieves this by automatically shifting the least-recently accessed data between RAM and high-performance SSDs.

In this video, you will gain insights into how data tiering operates and how you can unlock ultra-fast speeds and seamless scalability for your workloads in a cost-efficient manner. Furthermore, you can also learn how it’s implemented under the hood.

Take me to this re:Invent 2022 video!

A snapshot of how Yahoo architecture leverages Amazon ElastiCache

A snapshot of how Yahoo architecture leverages Amazon ElastiCache

Use MemoryDB to build real-time applications for performance and durability

MemoryDB is a robust, durable database marked by microsecond reads, low single-digit millisecond writes, scalability, and fortified enterprise security. It guarantees an impressive 99.99% availability, coupled with instantaneous recovery without any data loss.

In this session, we explore multiple use cases across sectors, such as Financial Services, Retail, and Media & Entertainment, like payment processing, message brokering, and durable session store applications. Moreover, through a practical demonstration, you can learn how to utilize MemoryDB to establish a microservices message broker for a Media & Entertainment application.

Take me to this AWS Online Tech Talks video!

A sample use case for retail application

A sample use case for retail application

Samsung SmartThings powers home automation with Amazon MemoryDB

MemoryDB offers the kind of ultra-fast performance that only an in-memory database can deliver, curtailing latency to microseconds and processing 160+ million requests per second —without data loss. In this re:Invent 2022 session, you will understand why Samsung SmartThings selected MemoryDB as the engine to power the next generation of their IoT device connectivity platform, one that processes millions of events every day.

You can also discover the intricate design of MemoryDB and how it ensures data durability without compromising the performance of in-memory operations, thanks to the utilization of a multi-AZ transactional log. This session is an enlightening deep-dive into durable, in-memory data operations.

Take me to this re:Invent 2022 video!

The architecture leveraged by Samsung SmartThings using Amazon MemoryDB for Redis

The architecture leveraged by Samsung SmartThings using Amazon MemoryDB for Redis

Amazon ElastiCache: In-memory datastore fundamentals, use cases and examples

In this edition of AWS Online Tech Talks, explore Amazon ElastiCache, a managed service that facilitates the seamless setup, operation, and scaling of widely used, open-source–compatible, in-memory datastores in the cloud environment. This service positions you to develop data-intensive applications or enhance the performance of your existing databases through high-throughput, low-latency, in-memory datastores. Learn how it is leveraged for caching, session stores, gaming, geospatial services, real-time analytics, and queuing functionalities.

This course can help cultivate a deeper understanding of Amazon ElastiCache, and how it can be used to accelerate your data processing while maintaining robustness and reliability.

Take me to this AWS Online Tech Talks course!

A free training course to increase your skills and leverage better in-memory databases

A free training course to increase your skills and leverage better in-memory databases

See you next time!

Thanks for joining us to discuss in-memory databases! In 2 weeks, we’ll talk about SQL databases.

To find all the blogs from this series, visit the Let’s Architect! list of content on the AWS Architecture Blog.

Reference guide to build inventory management and forecasting solutions on AWS

Post Syndicated from Jason Dalba original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/big-data/reference-guide-to-build-inventory-management-and-forecasting-solutions-on-aws/

Inventory management is a critical function for any business that deals with physical products. The primary challenge businesses face with inventory management is balancing the cost of holding inventory with the need to ensure that products are available when customers demand them.

The consequences of poor inventory management can be severe. Overstocking can lead to increased holding costs and waste, while understocking can result in lost sales, reduced customer satisfaction, and damage to the business’s reputation. Inefficient inventory management can also tie up valuable resources, including capital and warehouse space, and can impact profitability.

Forecasting is another critical component of effective inventory management. Accurately predicting demand for products allows businesses to optimize inventory levels, minimize stockouts, and reduce holding costs. However, forecasting can be a complex process, and inaccurate predictions can lead to missed opportunities and lost revenue.

To address these challenges, businesses need an inventory management and forecasting solution that can provide real-time insights into inventory levels, demand trends, and customer behavior. Such a solution should use the latest technologies, including Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, cloud computing, and machine learning (ML), to provide accurate, timely, and actionable data. By implementing such a solution, businesses can improve their inventory management processes, reduce holding costs, increase revenue, and enhance customer satisfaction.

In this post, we discuss how to streamline inventory management forecasting systems with AWS managed analytics, AI/ML, and database services.

Solution overview

In today’s highly competitive business landscape, it’s essential for retailers to optimize their inventory management processes to maximize profitability and improve customer satisfaction. With the proliferation of IoT devices and the abundance of data generated by them, it has become possible to collect real-time data on inventory levels, customer behavior, and other key metrics.

To take advantage of this data and build an effective inventory management and forecasting solution, retailers can use a range of AWS services. By collecting data from store sensors using AWS IoT Core, ingesting it using AWS Lambda to Amazon Aurora Serverless, and transforming it using AWS Glue from a database to an Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) data lake, retailers can gain deep insights into their inventory and customer behavior.

With Amazon Athena, retailers can analyze this data to identify trends, patterns, and anomalies, and use Amazon ElastiCache for customer-facing applications with reduced latency. Additionally, by building a point of sales application on Amazon QuickSight, retailers can embed customer 360 views into the application to provide personalized shopping experiences and drive customer loyalty.

Finally, we can use Amazon SageMaker to build forecasting models that can predict inventory demand and optimize stock levels.

With these AWS services, retailers can build an end-to-end inventory management and forecasting solution that provides real-time insights into inventory levels and customer behavior, enabling them to make informed decisions that drive business growth and customer satisfaction.

The following diagram illustrates a sample architecture.

With the appropriate AWS services, your inventory management and forecasting system can have optimized collection, storage, processing, and analysis of data from multiple sources. The solution includes the following components.

Data ingestion and storage

Retail businesses have event-driven data that requires action from downstream processes. It’s critical for an inventory management application to handle the data ingestion and storage for changing demands.

The data ingestion process is typically triggered by an event such as an order being placed, kicking off the inventory management workflow, which requires actions from backend services. Developers are responsible for the operational overhead of trying to maintain the data ingestion load from an event driven-application.

The volume and velocity of data can change in the retail industry each day. Events like Black Friday or a new campaign can create volatile demand in what is required to process and store the inventory data. Serverless services designed to scale to businesses’ needs help reduce the architectural and operational challenges that are driven from high-demand retail applications.

Understanding the scaling challenges that occur when inventory demand spikes, we can deploy Lambda, a serverless, event-driven compute service, to trigger the data ingestion process. As inventory events occur like purchases or returns, Lambda automatically scales compute resources to meet the volume of incoming data.

After Lambda responds to the inventory action request, the updated data is stored in Aurora Serverless. Aurora Serverless is a serverless relational database that is designed to scale to the application’s needs. When peak loads hit during events like Black Friday, Aurora Serverless deploys only the database capacity necessary to meet the workload.

Inventory management applications have ever-changing demands. Deploying serverless services to handle the ingestion and storage of data will not only optimize cost but also reduce the operational overhead for developers, freeing up bandwidth for other critical business needs.

Data performance

Customer-facing applications require low latency to maintain positive user experiences with microsecond response times. ElastiCache, a fully managed, in-memory database, delivers high-performance data retrieval to users.

In-memory caching provided by ElastiCache is used to improve latency and throughput for read-heavy applications that online retailers experience. By storing critical pieces of data in-memory like commonly accessed product information, the application performance improves. Product information is an ideal candidate for a cached store due to data staying relatively the same.

Functionality is often added to retail applications to retrieve trending products. Trending products can be cycled through the cache dependent on customer access patterns. ElastiCache manages the real-time application data caching, allowing your customers to experience microsecond response times while supporting high-throughput handling of hundreds of millions of operations per second.

Data transformation

Data transformation is essential in inventory management and forecasting solutions for both data analysis around sales and inventory, as well as ML for forecasting. This is because raw data from various sources can contain inconsistencies, errors, and missing values that may distort the analysis and forecast results.

In the inventory management and forecasting solution, AWS Glue is recommended for data transformation. The tool addresses issues such as cleaning, restructuring, and consolidating data into a standard format that can be easily analyzed. As a result of the transformation, businesses can obtain a more precise understanding of inventory, sales trends, and customer behavior, influencing data-driven decisions to optimize inventory management and sales strategies. Furthermore, high-quality data is crucial for ML algorithms to make accurate forecasts.

By transforming data, organizations can enhance the accuracy and dependability of their forecasting models, ultimately leading to improved inventory management and cost savings.

Data analysis

Data analysis has become increasingly important for businesses because it allows leaders to make informed operational decisions. However, analyzing large volumes of data can be a time-consuming and resource-intensive task. This is where Athena come in. With Athena, businesses can easily query historical sales and inventory data stored in S3 data lakes and combine it with real-time transactional data from Aurora Serverless databases.

The federated capabilities of Athena allow businesses to generate insights by combining datasets without the need to build ETL (extract, transform, and load) pipelines, saving time and resources. This enables businesses to quickly gain a comprehensive understanding of their inventory and sales trends, which can be used to optimize inventory management and forecasting, ultimately improving operations and increasing profitability.

With Athena’s ease of use and powerful capabilities, businesses can quickly analyze their data and gain valuable insights, driving growth and success without the need for complex ETL pipelines.


Inventory forecasting is an important aspect of inventory management for businesses that deal with physical products. Accurately predicting demand for products can help optimize inventory levels, reduce costs, and improve customer satisfaction. ML can help simplify and improve inventory forecasting by making more accurate predictions based on historical data.

SageMaker is a powerful ML platform that you can use to build, train, and deploy ML models for a wide range of applications, including inventory forecasting. In this solution, we use SageMaker to build and train an ML model for inventory forecasting, covering the basic concepts of ML, the data preparation process, model training and evaluation, and deploying the model for use in a production environment.

The solution also introduces the concept of hierarchical forecasting, which involves generating coherent forecasts that maintain the relationships within the hierarchy or reconciling incoherent forecasts. The workshop provides a step-by-step process for using the training capabilities of SageMaker to carry out hierarchical forecasting using synthetic retail data and the scikit-hts package. The FBProphet model was used along with bottom-up and top-down hierarchical aggregation and disaggregation methods. We used Amazon SageMaker Experiments to train multiple models, and the best model was picked out of the four trained models.

Although the approach was demonstrated on a synthetic retail dataset, you can use the provided code with any time series dataset that exhibits a similar hierarchical structure.

Security and authentication

The solution takes advantage of the scalability, reliability, and security of AWS services to provide a comprehensive inventory management and forecasting solution that can help businesses optimize their inventory levels, reduce holding costs, increase revenue, and enhance customer satisfaction. By incorporating user authentication with Amazon Cognito and Amazon API Gateway, the solution ensures that the system is secure and accessible only by authorized users.

Next steps

The next step to build an inventory management and forecasting solution on AWS would be to go through the Inventory Management workshop. In the workshop, you will get hands-on with AWS managed analytics, AI/ML, and database services to dive deep into an end-to-end inventory management solution. By the end of the workshop, you will have gone through the configuration and deployment of the critical pieces that make up an inventory management system.


In conclusion, building an inventory management and forecasting solution on AWS can help businesses optimize their inventory levels, reduce holding costs, increase revenue, and enhance customer satisfaction. With AWS services like IoT Core, Lambda, Aurora Serverless, AWS Glue, Athena, ElastiCache, QuickSight, SageMaker, and Amazon Cognito, businesses can use scalable, reliable, and secure technologies to collect, store, process, and analyze data from various sources.

The end-to-end solution is designed for individuals in various roles, such as business users, data engineers, data scientists, and data analysts, who are responsible for comprehending, creating, and overseeing processes related to retail inventory forecasting. Overall, an inventory management and forecasting solution on AWS can provide businesses with the insights and tools they need to make data-driven decisions and stay competitive in a constantly evolving retail landscape.

About the Authors

Jason D’Alba is an AWS Solutions Architect leader focused on databases and enterprise applications, helping customers architect highly available and scalable solutions.

Navnit Shukla is an AWS Specialist Solution Architect, Analytics, and is passionate about helping customers uncover insights from their data. He has been building solutions to help organizations make data-driven decisions.

Vetri Natarajan is a Specialist Solutions Architect for Amazon QuickSight. Vetri has 15 years of experience implementing enterprise business intelligence (BI) solutions and greenfield data products. Vetri specializes in integration of BI solutions with business applications and enable data-driven decisions.

Sindhura Palakodety is a Solutions Architect at AWS. She is passionate about helping customers build enterprise-scale Well-Architected solutions on the AWS platform and specializes in Data Analytics domain.

AWS Week in Review – November 21, 2022

Post Syndicated from Danilo Poccia original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/aws-week-in-review-november-21-2022/

This post is part of our Week in Review series. Check back each week for a quick roundup of interesting news and announcements from AWS!

A new week starts, and the News Blog team is getting ready for AWS re:Invent! Many of us will be there next week and it would be great to meet in person. If you’re coming, do you know about PeerTalk? It’s an onsite networking program for re:Invent attendees available through the AWS Events mobile app (which you can get on Google Play or Apple App Store) to help facilitate connections among the re:Invent community.

If you’re not coming to re:Invent, no worries, you can get a free online pass to watch keynotes and leadership sessions.

Last Week’s Launches
It was a busy week for our service teams! Here are the launches that got my attention:

AWS Region in Spain – The AWS Region in Aragón, Spain, is now open. The official name is Europe (Spain), and the API name is eu-south-2.

Amazon Athena – You can now apply AWS Lake Formation fine-grained access control policies with all table and file format supported by Amazon Athena to centrally manage permissions and access data catalog resources in your Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) data lake. With fine-grained access control, you can restrict access to data in query results using data filters to achieve column-level, row-level, and cell-level security.

Amazon EventBridge – With these additional filtering capabilities, you can now filter events by suffix, ignore case, and match if at least one condition is true. This makes it easier to write complex rules when building event-driven applications.

AWS Controllers for Kubernetes (ACK) – The ACK for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is now generally available and lets you provision and manage EC2 networking resources, such as VPCs, security groups and internet gateways using the Kubernetes API. Also, the ACK for Amazon EMR on EKS is now generally available to allow you to declaratively define and manage EMR on EKS resources such as virtual clusters and job runs as Kubernetes custom resources. Learn more about ACK for Amazon EMR on EKS in this blog post.

Amazon HealthLake – New analytics capabilities make it easier to query, visualize, and build machine learning (ML) models. Now HealthLake transforms customer data into an analytics-ready format in near real-time so that you can query, and use the resulting data to build visualizations or ML models. Also new is Amazon HealthLake Imaging (preview), a new HIPAA-eligible capability that enables you to easily store, access, and analyze medical images at any scale. More on HealthLake Imaging can be found in this blog post.

Amazon RDS – You can now transfer files between Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) for Oracle and an Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS) file system. You can use this integration to stage files like Oracle Data Pump export files when you import them. You can also use EFS to share a file system between an application and one or more RDS Oracle DB instances to address specific application needs.

Amazon ECS and Amazon EKS – We added centralized logging support for Windows containers to help you easily process and forward container logs to various AWS and third-party destinations such as Amazon CloudWatch, S3, Amazon Kinesis Data Firehose, Datadog, and Splunk. See these blog posts for how to use this new capability with ECS and with EKS.

AWS SAM CLI – You can now use the Serverless Application Model CLI to locally test and debug an AWS Lambda function defined in a Terraform application. You can see a walkthrough in this blog post.

AWS Lambda – Now supports Node.js 18 as both a managed runtime and a container base image, which you can learn more about in this blog post. Also check out this interesting article on why and how you should use AWS SDK for JavaScript V3 with Node.js 18. And last but not least, there is new tooling support to build and deploy native AOT compiled .NET 7 applications to AWS Lambda. With this tooling, you can enable faster application starts and benefit from reduced costs through the faster initialization times and lower memory consumption of native AOT applications. Learn more in this blog post.

AWS Step Functions – Now supports cross-account access for more than 220 AWS services to process data, automate IT and business processes, and build applications across multiple accounts. Learn more in this blog post.

AWS Fargate – Adds the ability to monitor the utilization of the ephemeral storage attached to an Amazon ECS task. You can track the storage utilization with Amazon CloudWatch Container Insights and ECS Task Metadata endpoint.

AWS Proton – Now has a centralized dashboard for all resources deployed and managed by AWS Proton, which you can learn more about in this blog post. You can now also specify custom commands to provision infrastructure from templates. In this way, you can manage templates defined using the AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK) and other templating and provisioning tools. More on CDK support and AWS CodeBuild provisioning can be found in this blog post.

AWS IAM – You can now use more than one multi-factor authentication (MFA) device for root account users and IAM users in your AWS accounts. More information is available in this post.

Amazon ElastiCache – You can now use IAM authentication to access Redis clusters. With this new capability, IAM users and roles can be associated with ElastiCache for Redis users to manage their cluster access.

Amazon WorkSpaces – You can now use version 2.0 of the WorkSpaces Streaming Protocol (WSP) host agent that offers significant streaming quality and performance improvements, and you can learn more in this blog post. Also, with Amazon WorkSpaces Multi-Region Resilience, you can implement business continuity solutions that keep users online and productive with less than 30-minute recovery time objective (RTO) in another AWS Region during disruptive events. More on multi-region resilience is available in this post.

Amazon CloudWatch RUM – You can now send custom events (in addition to predefined events) for better troubleshooting and application specific monitoring. In this way, you can monitor specific functions of your application and troubleshoot end user impacting issues unique to the application components.

AWS AppSync – You can now define GraphQL API resolvers using JavaScript. You can also mix functions written in JavaScript and Velocity Template Language (VTL) inside a single pipeline resolver. To simplify local development of resolvers, AppSync released two new NPM libraries and a new API command. More info can be found in this blog post.

AWS SDK for SAP ABAP – This new SDK makes it easier for ABAP developers to modernize and transform SAP-based business processes and connect to AWS services natively using the SAP ABAP language. Learn more in this blog post.

AWS CloudFormation – CloudFormation can now send event notifications via Amazon EventBridge when you create, update, or delete a stack set.

AWS Console – With the new Applications widget on the Console home, you have one-click access to applications in AWS Systems Manager Application Manager and their resources, code, and related data. From Application Manager, you can view the resources that power your application and your costs using AWS Cost Explorer.

AWS Amplify – Expands Flutter support (developer preview) to Web and Desktop for the API, Analytics, and Storage use cases. You can now build cross-platform Flutter apps with Amplify that target iOS, Android, Web, and Desktop (macOS, Windows, Linux) using a single codebase. Learn more on Flutter Web and Desktop support for AWS Amplify in this post. Amplify Hosting now supports fully managed CI/CD deployments and hosting for server-side rendered (SSR) apps built using Next.js 12 and 13. Learn more in this blog post and see how to deploy a NextJS 13 app with the AWS CDK here.

Amazon SQS – With attribute-based access control (ABAC), you can define permissions based on tags attached to users and AWS resources. With this release, you can now use tags to configure access permissions and policies for SQS queues. More details can be found in this blog.

AWS Well-Architected Framework – The latest version of the Data Analytics Lens is now available. The Data Analytics Lens is a collection of design principles, best practices, and prescriptive guidance to help you running analytics on AWS.

AWS Organizations – You can now manage accounts, organizational units (OUs), and policies within your organization using CloudFormation templates.

For a full list of AWS announcements, be sure to keep an eye on the What’s New at AWS page.

Other AWS News
A few more stuff you might have missed:

Introducing our final AWS Heroes of the year – As the end of 2022 approaches, we are recognizing individuals whose enthusiasm for knowledge-sharing has a real impact with the AWS community. Please meet them here!

The Distributed Computing ManifestoWerner Vogles, VP & CTO at Amazon.com, shared the Distributed Computing Manifesto, a canonical document from the early days of Amazon that transformed the way we built architectures and highlights the challenges faced at the end of the 20th century.

AWS re:Post – To make this community more accessible globally, we expanded the user experience to support five additional languages. You can now interact with AWS re:Post also using Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, French, Japanese, and Korean.

For AWS open-source news and updates, here’s the latest newsletter curated by Ricardo to bring you the most recent updates on open-source projects, posts, events, and more.

Upcoming AWS Events
As usual, there are many opportunities to meet:

AWS re:Invent – Our yearly event is next week from November 28 to December 2. If you can’t be there in person, get your free online pass to watch live the keynotes and the leadership sessions.

AWS Community DaysAWS Community Day events are community-led conferences to share and learn together. Join us in Sri Lanka (on December 6-7), Dubai, UAE (December 10), Pune, India (December 10), and Ahmedabad, India (December 17).

That’s all from me for this week. Next week we’ll focus on re:Invent, and then we’ll take a short break. We’ll be back with the next Week in Review on December 12!


How Wego secured developer connectivity to Amazon Relational Database Service instances

Post Syndicated from Adriaan de Jonge original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/architecture/how-wego-secured-developer-connectivity-to-amazon-relational-database-service-instances/

How do you securely access Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) instances from a developer’s laptop? Online travel marketplace, Wego, shares their journey from bastion hosts in the public subnet to lightweight VPN tunnels on top of Session Manager, a capability of AWS Systems Manager, using temporary access keys.

In this post, we explore how developers get access to allow-listed resources in their virtual private cloud (VPC) directly from their workstation, by tunnelling VPN over secure shell (SSH), which, in turn, is tunneled over Session Manager.

Note: This blog post is not intended as a step-by-step, how-to guide. Commands stated here are for illustrative purposes and may need customization.

Wego’s architecture before starting this journey

In 2021, Wego’s developer connectivity architecture was based on jump hosts in a public subnet, as illustrated in Figure 1.

Original Wego architecture

Figure 1. Original Wego architecture

Figure 1 demonstrates a network architecture with both public and private subnets. The public subnet contains an Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instance that serves as jump host. The diagram illustrates a VPN tunnel between the developer’s desktop and the VPC.

In Wego’s previous architecture, the jump host was connected to the internet for terminal access through the secure shell (SSH) protocol, which accepts traffic at Port 22. Despite restrictions to the allowed source IP addresses, exposing Port 22 to the internet can increase the likeliness of a security breach; it is possible to spoof (mimic) an allowed IP address and attempt a denial of service attack.

Moving the jump host to a private subnet with Session Manager

Session Manager helps minimize the likeliness of a security breach. Figure 2 demonstrates how Wego moved the jump host from a public subnet to a private subnet. In this architecture, Session Manager serves as the main entry point for incoming network traffic.

Wego's new architecture using Session Manager

Figure 2. Wego’s new architecture using Session Manager

We will explore how developers connect to Amazon RDS directly from their workstation in this architecture.

Tunnel TCP traffic through Session Manager

Session Manager is best known for its terminal access capability, but it can also tunnel TCP connections. This is helpful if you want to access EC2 instances from your local workstation (Figure 3).

Tunneling TCP traffic over Session Manager

Figure 3. Tunneling TCP traffic over Session Manager

Here’s an example command to forward traffic from local host Port 8888 to an EC2 instance:

$ aws ssm start-session --target <instance-id> \
  --document-name AWS-StartPortForwardingSession \
  --parameters '{"portNumber":["8888"], "localPortNumber":["8888"]}'

This assumes the target EC2 instance is configured with AWS Systems Manager connectivity.

Tunnel SSH traffic over Session Manager

SSH is a protocol built on top of TCP; therefore, you can tunnel SSH traffic similarly (Figure 4).

Tunneling SSH traffic over Session Manager

Figure 4. Tunneling SSH traffic over Session Manager

To allow a short-hand notation for SSH over SSM, add the following configuration to the ~/.ssh/config configuration file:

host i-* mi-*
    ProxyCommand sh -c "aws ssm start-session --target %h \
        --document-name AWS-StartSSHSession \
        --parameters 'portNumber=%p'"

You can now connect to the EC2 instance over SSH with the following command:

ssh -i <key-file> <username>@<ec2-instance-id>

For example:

ssh -i my_key ec2-user@i-1234567890abcdef0

Ideally, your key-file is a short-lived credential, as recommended by the AWS Well-Architected Framework, as it narrows the window of opportunity for a security breach. However, it can be tedious to manage short-lived credentials. This is where EC2 Instance Connect comes to the rescue!

Replace SSH keys with EC2 Instance Connect

EC2 Instance Connect is available both on the AWS console and the command line. It makes it easier to work with short-lived keys. On the command line, it allows us to install our own temporary access credentials into a private EC2 instance for the duration of 60 seconds (Figure 5).

Connecting to SSH with temporary keys

Figure 5. Connecting to SSH with temporary keys

Ensure the EC2 instance connect plugin is installed on your workstation:

pip3 install ec2instanceconnectcli

This blog post assumes you are using Amazon Linux on the EC2 instance with all pre-requisites installed. Make sure your IAM role or user has the required permissions.

To generate a temporary SSH key pair, insert:

$ ssh-keygen -t rsa -f my_key
$ ssh-add my_key

To install the public key into the EC2 instance, insert:

$ aws ec2-instance-connect send-ssh-public-key \
  --instance-id <instance-id> \
  --instance-os-user <username> \
  --ssh-public-key <location ssh key public key> \
  --availability-zone <availabilityzone> \
  --region <region>

For example:

$ aws ec2-instance-connect send-ssh-public-key \
  --instance-id i-1234567890abcdef0 \
  --instance-os-user ec2-user \
  --ssh-public-key file://my_key.pub \
  --availability-zone ap-southeast-1b \
  --region ap-southeast-1

Connect to the EC2 instance within 60 seconds and delete the key after use.

Tunneling VPN over SSH, then over Session Manager

In this section, we adopt a third-party, open-source tool that is not supported by AWS, called sshuttle. sshuttle is a transparent proxy server that works as a VPN over SSH. It is based on Python and released under the LGPL 2.1 license. It runs across a wide range of Linux distributions and on macOS (Figure 6).

Tunneling VPN over SSH over Session Manager

Figure 6. Tunneling VPN over SSH over Session Manager

Why do we need to tunnel VPN over SSH, rather than using the earlier TCP over Session Manager? Keep in mind that the developer’s goal is to connect to Amazon RDS, not Amazon EC2. The SSM tunnel only works for connections to EC2 instances, not Amazon RDS.

A lightweight VPN solution, like sshuttle, bridges this gap by allowing you to forward traffic from Amazon EC2 to Amazon RDS. From the developer’s perspective, this works transparently, as if it is regular network traffic.

To install sshuttle, use one of the documented commands:

$ pip3 install sshuttle

To start sshuttle, use the following command pattern:

$ sshuttle -r <username>@<instance-id> <private CIDR range>

For example:

$ sshuttle -r ec2-user@i-1234567890abcdef0

Make sure the security group for the RDS DB instance allows network access from the jump host. You can now connect directly from the developer’s workstation to the RDS DB instance based on its IP address.

Advantages of this architecture

In this blog post, we layered a VPN over SSH that, in turn, is layered over Session Manager, plus we used temporary SSH keys.

Wego designed this architecture, and it was practical and stable for day-to-day use. They found that this solution runs at lower cost than AWS Client VPN and is sufficient for the use case of developers accessing online development environments.

Wego’s new architecture has a number of advantages, including:

  • More easily connecting to workloads in private and isolated subnets
  • Inbound security group rules are not required for the jump host, as Session Manager is an outbound connection
  • Access attempts are logged in AWS CloudTrail
  • Access control uses standard IAM policies, including tag-based resource access
  • Security groups and network access control lists still apply to “allow” or “deny” traffic to specific destinations
  • SSH keys are installed only temporarily for 60 seconds through EC2 Instance Connect


In this blog post, we explored Wego’s access patterns that can help you reduce your exposure to potential security attacks. Whether you adopt Wego’s full architecture or only adopt intermediary steps (like SSH over Session Manager and EC2 Instance Connect), reducing exposure to the public subnet and shortening the lifetime of access credentials can improve your security posture!

Further reading

Graviton Fast Start – A New Program to Help Move Your Workloads to AWS Graviton

Post Syndicated from Danilo Poccia original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/graviton-fast-start-a-new-program-to-help-move-your-workloads-to-aws-graviton/

With the Graviton Challenge last year, we helped customers migrate to Graviton-based EC2 instances and get up to 40 percent price performance benefit in as little as 4 days. Tens of thousands of customers, including 48 of the top 50 Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) customers, use AWS Graviton processors for their workloads. In addition to EC2, many AWS managed services can run their workloads on Graviton. For most customers, adoption is easy, requiring minimal code changes. However, the effort and time required to move workloads to Graviton depends on a few factors including your software development environment and the technology stack on which your application is built.

This year, we want to take it a step further and make it even easier for customers to adopt Graviton not only through EC2, but also through managed services. Today, we are launching AWS Graviton Fast Start, a new program that makes it even easier to move your workloads to AWS Graviton by providing step-by-step directions for EC2 and other managed services that support the Graviton platform:

  • Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) – EC2 provides the most flexible environment for a migration and can support many kinds of workloads, such as web apps, custom databases, or analytics. You have full control over the interpreted or compiled code running in the EC2 instance. You can also use many open-source and commercial software products that support the Arm64 architecture.
  • AWS Lambda – Migrating your serverless functions can be really easy, especially if you use an interpreted runtime such as Node.js or Python. Most of the time, you only have to check the compatibility of your software dependencies. I have shown a few examples in this blog post.
  • AWS Fargate – Fargate works best if your applications are already running in containers or if you are planning to containerize them. By using multi-architecture container images or images that have Arm64 in their image manifest, you get the serverless benefits of Fargate and the price-performance advantages of Graviton.
  • Amazon Aurora – Relational databases are at the core of many applications. If you need a database compatible with PostgreSQL or MySQL, you can use Amazon Aurora to have a highly performant and globally available database powered by Graviton.
  • Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) – Similarly to Aurora, Amazon RDS engines such as PostgreSQL, MySQL, and MariaDB can provide a fully managed relational database service using Graviton-based instances.
  • Amazon ElastiCache – When your workload requires ultra-low latency and high throughput, you can speed up your applications with ElastiCache and have a fully managed in-memory cache running on Graviton and compatible with Redis or Memcached.
  • Amazon EMR – With Amazon EMR, you can run large-scale distributed data processing jobs, interactive SQL queries, and machine learning applications on Graviton using open-source analytics frameworks such as Apache SparkApache Hive, and Presto.

Here’s some feedback we got from customers running their workloads on Graviton:

  • Formula 1 racing told us that Graviton2-based C6gn instances provided the best price performance benefits for some of their computational fluid dynamics (CFD) workloads. More recently, they found that Graviton3 C7g instances are 40 percent faster for the same simulations and expect Graviton3-based instances to become the optimal choice to run all of their CFD workloads.
  • Honeycomb has 100 percent of their production workloads running on Graviton using EC2 and Lambda. They have tested the high-throughput telemetry ingestion workload they use for their observability platform against early preview instances of Graviton3 and have seen a 35 percent performance increase for their workload over Graviton2. They were able to run 30 percent fewer instances of C7g than C6g serving the same workload and with 30 percent reduced latency. With these instances in production, they expect over 50 percent price performance improvement over x86 instances.
  • Twitter is working on a multi-year project to leverage Graviton-based EC2 instances to deliver Twitter timelines. As part of their ongoing effort to drive further efficiencies, they tested the new Graviton3-based C7g instances. Across a number of benchmarks representative of their workloads, they found Graviton3-based C7g instances deliver 20-80 percent higher performance compared to Graviton2-based C6g instances, while also reducing tail latencies by as much as 35 percent. They are excited to utilize Graviton3-based instances in the future to realize significant price performance benefits.

With all these options, getting the benefits of running all or part of your workload on AWS Graviton can be easier than you expect. To help you get started, there’s also a free trial on the Graviton-based T4g instances for up to 750 hours per month through December 31st, 2022.

Visit AWS Graviton Fast Start to get step-by-step directions on how to move your workloads to AWS Graviton.


Doing more with less: Moving from transactional to stateful batch processing

Post Syndicated from Tom Jin original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/big-data/doing-more-with-less-moving-from-transactional-to-stateful-batch-processing/

Amazon processes hundreds of millions of financial transactions each day, including accounts receivable, accounts payable, royalties, amortizations, and remittances, from over a hundred different business entities. All of this data is sent to the eCommerce Financial Integration (eCFI) systems, where they are recorded in the subledger.

Ensuring complete financial reconciliation at this scale is critical to day-to-day accounting operations. With transaction volumes exhibiting double-digit percentage growth each year, we found that our legacy transactional-based financial reconciliation architecture proved too expensive to scale and lacked the right level of visibility for our operational needs.

In this post, we show you how we migrated to a batch processing system, built on AWS, that consumes time-bounded batches of events. This not only reduced costs by almost 90%, but also improved visibility into our end-to-end processing flow. The code used for this post is available on GitHub.

Legacy architecture

Our legacy architecture primarily utilized Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) to group related financial events into stateful artifacts. However, a stateful artifact could refer to any persistent artifact, such as a database entry or an Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) object.

We found this approach resulted in deficiencies in the following areas:

  • Cost – Individually storing hundreds of millions of financial events per day in Amazon S3 resulted in high I/O and Amazon EC2 compute resource costs.
  • Data completeness – Different events flowed through the system at different speeds. For instance, while a small stateful artifact for a single customer order could be recorded in a couple of seconds, the stateful artifact for a bulk shipment containing a million lines might require several hours to update fully. This made it difficult to know whether all the data had been processed for a given time range.
  • Complex retry mechanisms – Financial events were passed between legacy systems using individual network calls, wrapped in a backoff retry strategy. Still, network timeouts, throttling, or traffic spikes could result in some events erroring out. This required us to build a separate service to sideline, manage, and retry problematic events at a later date.
  • Scalability – Bottlenecks occurred when different events competed to update the same stateful artifact. This resulted in excessive retries or redundant updates, making it less cost-effective as the system grew.
  • Operational support – Using dedicated EC2 instances meant that we needed to take valuable development time to manage OS patching, handle host failures, and schedule deployments.

The following diagram illustrates our legacy architecture.

Transactional-based legacy architecture

Evolution is key

Our new architecture needed to address the deficiencies while preserving the core goal of our service: update stateful artifacts based on incoming financial events. In our case, a stateful artifact refers to a group of related financial transactions used for reconciliation. We considered the following as part of the evolution of our stack:

  • Stateless and stateful separation
  • Minimized end-to-end latency
  • Scalability

Stateless and stateful separation

In our transactional system, each ingested event results in an update to a stateful artifact. This became a problem when thousands of events came in all at once for the same stateful artifact.

However, by ingesting batches of data, we had the opportunity to create separate stateless and stateful processing components. The stateless component performs an initial reduce operation on the input batch to group together related events. This meant that the rest of our system could operate on these smaller stateless artifacts and perform fewer write operations (fewer operations means lower costs).

The stateful component would then join these stateless artifacts with existing stateful artifacts to produce an updated stateful artifact.

As an example, imagine an online retailer suddenly received thousands of purchases for a popular item. Instead of updating an item database entry thousands of times, we can first produce a single stateless artifact that summaries the latest purchases. The item entry can now be updated one time with the stateless artifact, reducing the update bottleneck. The following diagram illustrates this process.

Batch visualization

Minimized end-to-end latency

Unlike traditional extract, transform, and load (ETL) jobs, we didn’t want to perform daily or even hourly extracts. Our accountants need to be able to access the updated stateful artifacts within minutes of data arriving in our system. For instance, if they had manually sent a correction line, they wanted to be able to check within the same hour that their adjustment had the intended effect on the targeted stateful artifact instead of waiting until the next day. As such, we focused on parallelizing the incoming batches of data as much as possible by breaking down the individual tasks of the stateful component into subcomponents. Each subcomponent could run independently of each other, which allowed us to process multiple batches in an assembly line format.


Both the stateless and stateful components needed to respond to shifting traffic patterns and possible input batch backlogs. We also wanted to incorporate serverless compute to better respond to scale while reducing the overhead of maintaining an instance fleet.

This meant we couldn’t simply have a one-to-one mapping between the input batch and stateless artifact. Instead, we built flexibility into our service so the stateless component could automatically detect a backlog of input batches and group multiple input batches together in one job. Similar backlog management logic was applied to the stateful component. The following diagram illustrates this process.

Batch scalability

Current architecture

To meet our needs, we combined multiple AWS products:

  • AWS Step Functions – Orchestration of our stateless and stateful workflows
  • Amazon EMR – Apache Spark operations on our stateless and stateful artifacts
  • AWS Lambda – Stateful artifact indexing and orchestration backlog management
  • Amazon ElastiCache – Optimizing Amazon S3 request latency
  • Amazon S3 – Scalable storage of our stateless and stateful artifacts
  • Amazon DynamoDB – Stateless and stateful artifact index

The following diagram illustrates our current architecture.

Current architecture

The following diagram shows our stateless and stateful workflow.


The AWS CloudFormation template to render this architecture and corresponding Java code is available in the following GitHub repo.

Stateless workflow

We used an Apache Spark application on a long-running Amazon EMR cluster to simultaneously ingest input batch data and perform reduce operations to produce the stateless artifacts and a corresponding index file for the stateful processing to use.

We chose Amazon EMR for its proven highly available data-processing capability in a production setting and also its ability to horizontally scale when we see increased traffic loads. Most importantly, Amazon EMR had lower cost and better operational support when compared to a self-managed cluster.

Stateful workflow

Each stateful workflow performs operations to create or update millions of stateful artifacts using the stateless artifacts. Similar to the stateless workflows, all stateful artifacts are stored in Amazon S3 across a handful of Apache Spark part-files. This alone resulted in a huge cost reduction, because we significantly reduced the number of Amazon S3 writes (while using the same amount of overall storage). For instance, storing 10 million individual artifacts using the transactional legacy architecture would cost $50 in PUT requests alone, whereas 10 Apache Spark part-files would cost only $0.00005 in PUT requests (based on $0.005 per 1,000 requests).

However, we still needed a way to retrieve individual stateful artifacts, because any stateful artifact could be updated at any point in the future. To do this, we turned to DynamoDB. DynamoDB is a fully managed and scalable key-value and document database. It’s ideal for our access pattern because we wanted to index the location of each stateful artifact in the stateful output file using its unique identifier as a primary key. We used DynamoDB to index the location of each stateful artifact within the stateful output file. For instance, if our artifact represented orders, we would use the order ID (which has high cardinality) as the partition key, and store the file location, byte offset, and byte length of each order as separate attributes. By passing the byte-range in Amazon S3 GET requests, we can now fetch individual stateful artifacts as if they were stored independently. We were less concerned about optimizing the number of Amazon S3 GET requests because the GET requests are over 10 times cheaper than PUT requests.

Overall, this stateful logic was split across three serial subcomponents, which meant that three separate stateful workflows could be operating at any given time.


The following diagram illustrates our pre-fetcher subcomponent.

Prefetcher architecture

The pre-fetcher subcomponent uses the stateless index file to retrieve pre-existing stateful artifacts that should be updated. These might be previous shipments for the same customer order, or past inventory movements for the same warehouse. For this, we turn once again to Amazon EMR to perform this high-throughput fetch operation.

Each fetch required a DynamoDB lookup and an Amazon S3 GET partial byte-range request. Due to the large number of external calls, fetches were highly parallelized using a thread pool contained within an Apache Spark flatMap operation. Pre-fetched stateful artifacts were consolidated into an output file that was later used as input to the stateful processing engine.

Stateful processing engine

The following diagram illustrates the stateful processing engine.

Stateful processor architecture

The stateful processing engine subcomponent joins the pre-fetched stateful artifacts with the stateless artifacts to produce updated stateful artifacts after applying custom business logic. The updated stateful artifacts are written out across multiple Apache Spark part-files.

Because stateful artifacts could have been indexed at the same time that they were pre-fetched (also called in-flight updates), the stateful processor also joins recently processed Apache Spark part-files.

We again used Amazon EMR here to take advantage of the Apache Spark operations that are required to join the stateless and stateful artifacts.

State indexer

The following diagram illustrates the state indexer.

State Indexer architecture

This Lambda-based subcomponent records the location of each stateful artifact within the stateful part-file in DynamoDB. The state indexer also caches the stateful artifacts in an Amazon ElastiCache for Redis cluster to provide a performance boost in the Amazon S3 GET requests performed by the pre-fetcher.

However, even with a thread pool, a single Lambda function isn’t powerful enough to index millions of stateful artifacts within the 15-minute time limit. Instead, we employ a cluster of Lambda functions. The state indexer begins with a single coordinator Lambda function, which determines the number of worker functions that are needed. For instance, if 100 part-files are generated by the stateful processing engine, then the coordinator might assign five part-files for each of the 20 Lambda worker functions to work on. This method is highly scalable because we can dynamically assign more or fewer Lambda workers as required.

Each Lambda worker then performs the ElastiCache and DynamoDB writes for all the stateful artifacts within each assigned part-file in a multi-threaded manner. The coordinator function monitors the health of each Lambda worker and restarts workers as needed.

Distributed Lambda architecture


We used Step Functions to coordinate each of the stateless and stateful workflows, as shown in the following diagram.

Step Function Workflow

Every time a new workflow step ran, the step was recorded in a DynamoDB table via a Lambda function. This table not only maintained the order in which stateful batches should be run, but it also formed the basis of the backlog management system, which directed the stateless ingestion engine to group more or fewer input batches together depending on the backlog.

We chose Step Functions for its native integration with many AWS services (including triggering by an Amazon CloudWatch scheduled event rule and adding Amazon EMR steps) and its built-in support for backoff retries and complex state machine logic. For instance, we defined different backoff retry rates based on the type of error.


Our batch-based architecture helped us overcome the transactional processing limitations we originally set out to resolve:

  • Reduced cost – We have been able to scale to thousands of workflows and hundreds of million events per day using only three or four core nodes per EMR cluster. This reduced our Amazon EC2 usage by over 90% when compared with a similar transactional system. Additionally, writing out batches instead of individual transactions reduced the number of Amazon S3 PUT requests by over 99.8%.
  • Data completeness guarantees – Because each input batch is associated with a time interval, when a batch has finished processing, we know that all events in that time interval have been completed.
  • Simplified retry mechanisms – Batch processing means that failures occur at the batch level and can be retried directly through the workflow. Because there are far fewer batches than transactions, batch retries are much more manageable. For instance, in our service, a typical batch contains about two million entries. During a service outage, only a single batch needs to be retried, as opposed to two million individual entries in the legacy architecture.
  • High scalability – We’ve been impressed with how easy it is to scale our EMR clusters on the fly if we detect an increase in traffic. Using Amazon EMR instance fleets also helps us automatically choose the most cost-effective instances across different Availability Zones. We also like the performance achieved by our Lambda-based state indexer. This subcomponent not only dynamically scales with no human intervention, but has also been surprisingly cost-efficient. A large portion of our usage has fallen within the free tier.
  • Operational excellence – Replacing traditional hosts with serverless components such as Lambda allowed us to spend less time on compliance tickets and focus more on delivering features for our customers.

We are particularly excited about the investments we have made moving from a transactional-based system to a batch processing system, especially our shift from using Amazon EC2 to using serverless Lambda and big data Amazon EMR services. This experience demonstrates that even services originally built on AWS can still achieve cost reductions and improve performance by rethinking how AWS services are used.

Inspired by our progress, our team is moving to replace many other legacy services with serverless components. Likewise, we hope that other engineering teams can learn from our experience, continue to innovate, and do more with less.

Find the code used for this post in the following GitHub repository.

Special thanks to development team: Ryan Schwartz, Abhishek Sahay, Cecilia Cho, Godot Bian, Sam Lam, Jean-Christophe Libbrecht, and Nicholas Leong.

About the Authors

Tom Jin is a Senior Software Engineer for eCommerce Financial Integration (eCFI) at Amazon. His interests include building large-scale systems and applying machine learning to healthcare applications. He is based in Vancouver, Canada and is a fan of ocean conservation.

Karthik Odapally is a Senior Solutions Architect at AWS supporting our Gaming Customers. He loves presenting at external conferences like AWS Re:Invent, and helping customers learn about AWS. His passion outside of work is to bake cookies and bread for family and friends here in the PNW. In his spare time, he plays Legend of Zelda (Link’s Awakening) with his 4 yr old daughter.

Creating a Multi-Region Application with AWS Services – Part 2, Data and Replication

Post Syndicated from Joe Chapman original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/architecture/creating-a-multi-region-application-with-aws-services-part-2-data-and-replication/

In Part 1 of this blog series, we looked at how to use AWS compute, networking, and security services to create a foundation for a multi-Region application.

Data is at the center of many applications. In this post, Part 2, we will look at AWS data services that offer native features to help get your data where it needs to be.

In Part 3, we’ll look at AWS application management and monitoring services to help you build, monitor, and maintain a multi-Region application.

Considerations with replicating data

Data replication across the AWS network can happen quickly, but we are still limited by the speed of light. For this reason, data consistency must be considered when building a multi-Region application. Generally speaking, the longer a physical distance is, the longer it will take the data to get there.

When building a distributed system, consider the consistency, availability, partition tolerance (CAP) theorem. This theorem states that an application can only pick 2 out of the 3, and tradeoffs should be considered.

  • Consistency – all clients always have the same view of data
  • Availability – all clients can always read and write data
  • Partition Tolerance – the system will continue to work despite physical partitions

CAP diagram

Achieving consistency and availability is common for single-Region applications. For example, when an application connects to a single in-Region database. However, this becomes more difficult with multi-Region applications due to the latency added by transferring data over long distances. For this reason, highly distributed systems will typically follow an eventual consistency approach, favoring availability and partition tolerance.

Replicating objects and files

To ensure objects are in multiple Regions, Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) can be set up to replicate objects across AWS Regions automatically with one-way or two-way replication. A subset of objects in an S3 bucket can be replicated with S3 replication rules. If low replication lag is critical, S3 Replication Time Control can help meet requirements by replicating 99.99% of objects within 15 minutes, and most within seconds. To monitor the replication status of objects, Amazon S3 events and metrics will track replication and can send an alert if there’s an issue.

Traditionally, each S3 bucket has its own single, Regional endpoint. To simplify connecting to and managing multiple endpoints, S3 Multi-Region Access Points create a single global endpoint spanning multiple S3 buckets in different Regions. When applications connect to this endpoint, it will route over the AWS network using AWS Global Accelerator to the bucket with the lowest latency. Failover routing is also automatically handled if the connectivity or availability to a bucket changes.

For files stored outside of Amazon S3, AWS DataSync simplifies, automates, and accelerates moving file data across Regions and accounts. It supports homogeneous and heterogeneous file migrations across Elastic File System (Amazon EFS), Amazon FSx, AWS Snowcone, and Amazon S3. It can even be used to sync on-premises files stored on NFS, SMB, HDFS, and self-managed object storage to AWS for hybrid architectures.

File and object replication should be expected to be eventually consistent. The rate at which a given dataset can transfer is a function of the amount of data, I/O bandwidth, network bandwidth, and network conditions.

Copying backups

Scheduled backups can be set up with AWS Backup, which automates backups of your data to meet business requirements. Backup plans can automate copying backups to one or more AWS Regions or accounts. A growing number of services are supported, and this can be especially useful for services that don’t offer real-time replication to another Region such as Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) and Amazon Neptune.

Figure 1 shows how these data transfer services can be combined for each resource.

Storage replication services

Figure 1. Storage replication services

Spanning non-relational databases across Regions

Amazon DynamoDB global tables provide multi-Region and multi-writer features to help you build global applications at scale. A DynamoDB global table is the only AWS managed offering that allows for multiple active writers in a multi-Region topology (active-active and multi-Region). This allows for applications to read and write in the Region closest to them, with changes automatically replicated to other Regions.

Global reads and fast recovery for Amazon DocumentDB (with MongoDB compatibility) can be achieved with global clusters. These clusters have a primary Region that handles write operations. Dedicated storage-based replication infrastructure enables low-latency global reads with a lag of typically less than one second.

Keeping in-memory caches warm with the same data across Regions can be critical to maintain application performance. Amazon ElastiCache for Redis offers global datastore to create a fully managed, fast, reliable, and secure cross-Region replica for Redis caches and databases. With global datastore, writes occurring in one Region can be read from up to two other cross-Region replica clusters – eliminating the need to write to multiple caches to keep them warm.

Spanning relational databases across Regions

For applications that require a relational data model, Amazon Aurora global database provides for scaling of database reads across Regions in Aurora PostgreSQL-compatible and MySQL-compatible editions. Dedicated replication infrastructure utilizes physical replication to achieve consistently low replication lag that outperforms the built-in logical replication database engines offer, as shown in Figure 2.

SysBench OLTP (write-only) stepped every 600 seconds on R4.16xlarge

Figure 2. SysBench OLTP (write-only) stepped every 600 seconds on R4.16xlarge

With Aurora global database, one primary Region is designated as the writer, and secondary Regions are dedicated to reads. Aurora MySQL supports write forwarding, which forwards write requests from a secondary Region to the primary Region to simplify logic in application code. Failover testing can happen by utilizing managed planned failover, which will change the active write cluster to another Region while keeping the replication topology intact. All databases discussed in this post employ eventual consistency when used across Regions, but Aurora PostgreSQL has an option to set the maximum a replica lag allowed with managed recovery point objective (managed RPO).

Logical replication, which utilizes a database engine’s built-in replication technology, can be set up for Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) for MariaDB, MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL, and Aurora databases. A cross-Region read replica will receive these changes from the writer in the primary Region. For applications built on RDS for Microsoft SQL Server, cross-Region replication can be achieved by utilizing the AWS Database Migration Service. Cross-Region replicas allow for quicker local reads and can reduce data loss and recovery times in the case of a disaster by being promoted to a standalone instance.

For situations where a longer RPO and recovery time objective (RTO) are acceptable, backups can be copied across Regions. This is true for all of the relational and non-relational databases mentioned in this post, except for ElastiCache for Redis. Amazon Redshift can also automatically do this for your data warehouse. Backup copy times will vary depending on size and change rates.

A purpose-built database strategy offers many benefits, Figure 3 forms a purpose-built global database architecture.

Purpose-built global database architecture

Figure 3. Purpose-built global database architecture


Data is at the center of almost every application. In this post, we reviewed AWS services that offer cross-Region data replication to get your data where it needs to be quickly. Whether you need faster local reads, an active-active database, or simply need your data durably stored in a second Region, we have a solution for you. In the 3rd and final post of this series, we’ll cover application management and monitoring features.

Ready to get started? We’ve chosen some AWS Solutions, AWS Blogs, and Well-Architected labs to help you!

Related posts

Using Amazon Aurora Global Database for Low Latency without Application Changes

Post Syndicated from Roneel Kumar original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/architecture/using-amazon-aurora-global-database-for-low-latency-without-application-changes/

Deploying global applications has many challenges, especially when accessing a database to build custom pages for end users. One example is an application using AWS Lambda@Edge. Two main challenges include performance and availability.

This blog explains how you can optimally deploy a global application with fast response times and without application changes.

The Amazon Aurora Global Database enables a single database cluster to span multiple AWS Regions by asynchronously replicating your data within subsecond timing. This provides fast, low-latency local reads in each Region. It also enables disaster recovery from Region-wide outages using multi-Region writer failover. These capabilities minimize the recovery time objective (RTO) of cluster failure, thus reducing data loss during failure. You will then be able to achieve your recovery point objective (RPO).

However, there are some implementation challenges. Most applications are designed to connect to a single hostname with atomic, consistent, isolated, and durable (ACID) consistency. But Global Aurora clusters provide reader hostname endpoints in each Region. In the primary Region, there are two endpoints, one for writes, and one for reads. To achieve strong  data consistency, a global application requires the ability to:

  • Choose the optimal reader endpoints
  • Change writer endpoints on a database failover
  • Intelligently select the reader with the most up-to-date, freshest data

These capabilities typically require additional development.

The Heimdall Proxy coupled with Amazon Route 53 allows edge-based applications to access the Aurora Global Database seamlessly, without  application changes. Features include automated Read/Write split with ACID compliance and edge results caching.

Figure 1. Heimdall Proxy architecture

Figure 1. Heimdall Proxy architecture

The architecture in Figure 1 shows Aurora Global Databases primary Region in AP-SOUTHEAST-2, and secondary Regions in AP-SOUTH-1 and US-WEST-2. The Heimdall Proxy uses latency-based routing to determine the closest Reader Instance for read traffic, and redirects all write traffic to the Writer Instance. The Heimdall Configuration stores the Amazon Resource Name (ARN) of the global cluster. It automatically detects failover and cross-Region on the cluster, and directs traffic accordingly.

With an Aurora Global Database, there are two approaches to failover:

  • Managed planned failover. To relocate your primary database cluster to one of the secondary Regions in your Aurora global database, see Managed planned failovers with Amazon Aurora Global Database. With this feature, RPO is 0 (no data loss) and it synchronizes secondary DB clusters with the primary before making any other changes. RTO for this automated process is typically less than that of the manual failover.
  • Manual unplanned failover. To recover from an unplanned outage, you can manually perform a cross-Region failover to one of the secondaries in your Aurora Global Database. The RTO for this manual process depends on how quickly you can manually recover an Aurora global database from an unplanned outage. The RPO is typically measured in seconds, but this is dependent on the Aurora storage replication lag across the network at the time of the failure.

The Heimdall Proxy automatically detects Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) / Amazon Aurora configuration changes based on the ARN of the Aurora Global cluster. Therefore, both managed planned and manual unplanned failovers are supported.

Solution benefits for global applications

Implementing the Heimdall Proxy has many benefits for global applications:

  1. An Aurora Global Database has a primary DB cluster in one Region and up to five secondary DB clusters in different Regions. But the Heimdall Proxy deployment does not have this limitation. This allows for a larger number of endpoints to be globally deployed. Combined with Amazon Route 53 latency-based routing, new connections have a shorter establishment time. They can use connection pooling to connect to the database, which reduces overall connection latency.
  2. SQL results are cached to the application for faster response times.
  3. The proxy intelligently routes non-cached queries. When safe to do so, the closest (lowest latency) reader will be used. When not safe to access the reader, the query will be routed to the global writer. Proxy nodes globally synchronize their state to ensure that volatile tables are locked to provide ACID compliance.

For more information on configuring the Heimdall Proxy and Amazon Route 53 for a global database, read the Heimdall Proxy for Aurora Global Database Solution Guide.

Download a free trial from the AWS Marketplace.


Heimdall Data, based in the San Francisco Bay Area, is an AWS Advanced ISV partner. They have AWS Service Ready designations for Amazon RDS and Amazon Redshift. Heimdall Data offers a database proxy that offloads SQL improving database scale. Deployment does not require code changes.

Disaster Recovery with AWS Managed Services, Part I: Single Region

Post Syndicated from Dhruv Bakshi original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/architecture/disaster-recovery-with-aws-managed-services-part-i-single-region/

This 3-part blog series discusses disaster recovery (DR) strategies that you can implement to ensure your data is safe and that your workload stays available during a disaster. In Part I, we’ll discuss the single AWS Region/multi-Availability Zone (AZ) DR strategy.

The strategy outlined in this blog post addresses how to integrate AWS managed services into a single-Region DR strategy. This will minimize maintenance and operational overhead, create fault-tolerant systems, ensure high availability, and protect your data with robust backup/recovery processes. This strategy replicates workloads across multiple AZs and continuously backs up your data to another Region with point-in-time recovery, so your application is safe even if all AZs within your source Region fail.

Implementing the single Region/multi-AZ strategy

The following sections list the components of the example application presented in Figure 1, which illustrates a multi-AZ environment with a secondary Region that is strictly utilized for backups. This example architecture refers to an application that processes payment transactions that has been modernized with AMS. We’ll show you which AWS services it uses and how they work to maintain the single Region/multi-AZ strategy.

Single Region/multi-AZ with secondary Region for backups

Figure 1. Single Region/multi-AZ with secondary Region for backups

Amazon EKS control plane

Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) runs the Kubernetes management infrastructure across multiple AZs to eliminate a single point of failure.

This means that if your infrastructure or AZ fails, it will automatically scale control plane nodes based on load, automatically detect and replace unhealthy control plane instances, and restart them across the AZs within the Region as needed.

Amazon EKS data plane

Instead of creating individual Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances, create worker nodes using an Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling group. Join the group to a cluster, and the group will automatically replace any terminated or failed nodes if an AZ fails. This ensures that the cluster can always run your workload.

Amazon ElastiCache

Amazon ElastiCache continually monitors the state of the primary node. If the primary node fails, it will promote the read replica with the least replication lag to primary. A replacement read replica is then created and provisioned in the same AZ as the failed primary. This is to ensure high availability of the service and application.

An ElastiCache for Redis (cluster mode disabled) cluster with multiple nodes has three types of endpoints: the primary endpoint, the reader endpoint and the node endpoints. The primary endpoint is a DNS name that always resolves to the primary node in the cluster.

Amazon Redshift

Currently, Amazon Redshift only supports single-AZ deployments. Although there are ways to work around this, we are focusing on cluster relocation. Parts II and III of this series will show you how to implement this service in a multi-Region DR deployment.

Cluster relocation enables Amazon Redshift to move a cluster to another AZ with no loss of data or changes to your applications. When Amazon Redshift relocates a cluster to a new AZ, the new cluster has the same endpoint as the original cluster. Your applications can reconnect to the endpoint and continue operations without modifications or loss of data.

Note: Amazon Redshift may also relocate clusters in non-AZ failure situations, such as when issues in the current AZ prevent optimal cluster operation or to improve service availability.

Amazon OpenSearch Service

Deploying your data nodes into three AZs with Amazon OpenSearch Service (formerly Amazon Elasticsearch Service) can improve the availability of your domain and increase your workload’s tolerance for AZ failures.

Amazon OpenSearch Service automatically deploys into three AZs when you select a multi-AZ deployment. This distribution helps prevent cluster downtime if an AZ experiences a service disruption. When you deploy across three AZs, Amazon OpenSearch Service distributes master nodes equally across all three AZs. That way, in the rare event of an AZ disruption, two master nodes will still be available.

Amazon OpenSearch Service also distributes primary shards and their corresponding replica shards to different zones. In addition to distributing shards by AZ, Amazon OpenSearch Service distributes them by node. When you deploy the data nodes across three AZs with one replica enabled, shards are distributed across the three AZs.

Note: For more information on multi-AZ configurations, please refer to the AZ disruptions table.

Amazon RDS PostgreSQL

Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) handles failovers automatically so you can resume database operations as quickly as possible.

In a Multi-AZ deployment, Amazon RDS automatically provisions and maintains a synchronous standby replica in a different AZ. The primary DB instance is synchronously replicated across AZs to a standby replica. If an AZ or infrastructure fails, Amazon RDS performs an automatic failover to the standby. This minimizes the disruption to your applications without administrative intervention.

Backing up data across Regions

Here is how the managed services back up data to a secondary Region:

  • Manage snapshots of persistent volumes for Amazon EKS with Velero. Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) stores these snapshots in an S3 bucket in the primary Region. Amazon S3 replicates these snapshots to an S3 bucket in another Region via S3 cross-Region replication.
  • Create a manual snapshot of Amazon OpenSearch Service clusters, which are stored in a registered repository like Amazon S3. You can do this manually or automate it via an AWS Lambda function, which automatically and asynchronously copy objects across Regions.
  • Use manual backups and copy API calls for Amazon ElastiCache to establish a snapshot and restore strategy in a secondary Region. You can manually back your data up to an S3 bucket or automate the backup via Lambda. Once your data is backed up, a snapshot of the ElastiCache cluster will be stored in an S3 bucket. Then S3 cross-Region replication will asynchronously copy the backup to an S3 bucket in a secondary Region.
  • Take automatic, incremental snapshots of your data periodically with Amazon Redshift and save them to Amazon S3. You can precisely control when snapshots are taken and can create a snapshot schedule and attach it to one or more clusters. You can also configure a cross-Region snapshot copy, which automatically copies your automated and manual snapshots to another Region.
  • Use AWS Backup to support AWS resources and third-party applications. AWS Backup copies RDS backups to multiple Regions on demand or automatically as part of a scheduled backup plan.

Note: You can add a layer of protection to your backups through AWS Backup Vault Lock and S3 Object Lock.


The single Region/multi-AZ strategy safeguards your workloads against a disaster that disrupts an Amazon data center by replicating workloads across multiple AZs in the same Region. This blog shows you how AWS managed services automatically fails over between AZs without interruption when experiencing a localized disaster, and how backups to a separate Region ensure data protection.

In the next post, we will discuss a multi-Region warm standby strategy for the same application stack illustrated in this post.

Related information

Offloading SQL for Amazon RDS using the Heimdall Proxy

Post Syndicated from Antony Prasad Thevaraj original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/architecture/offloading-sql-for-amazon-rds-using-the-heimdall-proxy/

Getting the maximum scale from your database often requires fine-tuning the application. This can increase time and incur cost – effort that could be used towards other strategic initiatives. The Heimdall Proxy was designed to intelligently manage SQL connections to help you get the most out of your database.

In this blog post, we demonstrate two SQL offload features offered by this proxy:

  1. Automated query caching
  2. Read/Write split for improved database scale

By leveraging the solution shown in Figure 1, you can save on development costs and accelerate the onboarding of applications into production.

Figure 1. Heimdall Proxy distributed, auto-scaling architecture

Figure 1. Heimdall Proxy distributed, auto-scaling architecture

Why query caching?

For ecommerce websites with high read calls and infrequent data changes, query caching can drastically improve your Amazon Relational Database Sevice (RDS) scale. You can use Amazon ElastiCache to serve results. Retrieving data from cache has a shorter access time, which reduces latency and improves I/O operations.

It can take developers considerable effort to create, maintain, and adjust TTLs for cache subsystems. The proxy technology covered in this article has features that allow for automated results caching in grid-caching chosen by the user, without code changes. What makes this solution unique is the distributed, scalable architecture. As your traffic grows, scaling is supported by simply adding proxies. Multiple proxies work together as a cohesive unit for caching and invalidation.

View video: Heimdall Data: Query Caching Without Code Changes

Why Read/Write splitting?

It can be fairly straightforward to configure a primary and read replica instance on the AWS Management Console. But it may be challenging for the developer to implement such a scale-out architecture.

Some of the issues they might encounter include:

  • Replication lag. A query read-after-write may result in data inconsistency due to replication lag. Many applications require strong consistency.
  • DNS dependencies. Due to the DNS cache, many connections can be routed to a single replica, creating uneven load distribution across replicas.
  • Network latency. When deploying Amazon RDS globally using the Amazon Aurora Global Database, it’s difficult to determine how the application intelligently chooses the optimal reader.

The Heimdall Proxy streamlines the ability to elastically scale out read-heavy database workloads. The Read/Write splitting supports:

  • ACID compliance. Determines the replication lag and know when it is safe to access a database table, ensuring data consistency.
  • Database load balancing. Tracks the status of each DB instance for its health and evenly distribute connections without relying on DNS.
  • Intelligent routing. Chooses the optimal reader to access based on the lowest latency to create local-like response times. Check out our Aurora Global Database blog.

View video: Heimdall Data: Scale-Out Amazon RDS with Strong Consistency

Customer use case: Tornado

Hayden Cacace, Director of Engineering at Tornado

Tornado is a modern web and mobile brokerage that empowers anyone who aspires to become a better investor.

Our engineering team was tasked to upgrade our backend such that it could handle a massive surge in traffic. With a 3-month timeline, we decided to use read replicas to reduce the load on the main database instance.

First, we migrated from Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL to Aurora for Postgres since it provided better data replication speed. But we still faced a problem – the amount of time it would take to update server code to use the read replicas would be significant. We wanted the team to stay focused on user-facing enhancements rather than server refactoring.

Enter the Heimdall Proxy: We evaluated a handful of options for a database proxy that could automatically do Read/Write splits for us with no code changes, and it became clear that Heimdall was our best option. It had the Read/Write splitting “out of the box” with zero application changes required. And it also came with database query caching built-in (integrated with Amazon ElastiCache), which promised to take additional load off the database.

Before the Tornado launch date, our load testing showed the new system handling several times more load than we were able to previously. We were using a primary Aurora Postgres instance and read replicas behind the Heimdall proxy. When the Tornado launch date arrived, the system performed well, with some background jobs averaging around a 50% hit rate on the Heimdall cache. This has really helped reduce the database load and improve the runtime of those jobs.

Using this solution, we now have a data architecture with additional room to scale. This allows us to continue to focus on enhancing the product for all our customers.

Download a free trial from the AWS Marketplace.


Heimdall Data, based in the San Francisco Bay Area, is an AWS Advanced Tier ISV partner. They have Amazon Service Ready designations for Amazon RDS and Amazon Redshift. Heimdall Data offers a database proxy that offloads SQL improving database scale. Deployment does not require code changes. For other proxy options, consider the Amazon RDS Proxy, PgBouncer, PgPool-II, or ProxySQL.

Toyota Connected and AWS Design and Deliver Collision Assistance Application

Post Syndicated from Srikanth Kodali original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/architecture/toyota-connected-and-aws-design-and-deliver-collision-assistance-application/

This post was cowritten by Srikanth Kodali, Sr. IoT Data Architect at AWS, and Will Dombrowski, Sr. Data Engineer at Toyota Connected

Toyota Connected North America (TC) is a technology/big data company that partners with Toyota Motor Corporation and Toyota Motor North America to develop products that aim to improve the driving experience for Toyota and Lexus owners.

TC’s Mobility group provides backend cloud services that are built and hosted in AWS. Together, TC and AWS engineers designed, built, and delivered their new Collision Assistance product, which debuted in early August 2021.

In the aftermath of an accident, Collision Assistance offers Toyota and Lexus drivers instructions to help them navigate a post-collision situation. This includes documenting the accident, filing an insurance claim, and transitioning to the repair process.

In this blog post, we’ll talk about how our team designed, built, refined, and deployed the Collision Assistance product with Serverless on AWS services. We’ll discuss our goals in developing this product and the architecture we developed based on those goals. We’ll also present issues we encountered when testing our initial architecture and how we resolved them to create the final product.

Building a scalable, affordable, secure, and high performing product

We used a serverless architecture because it is often less complex than other architecture types. Our goals in developing this initial architecture were to achieve scalability, affordability, security, and high performance, as described in the following sections.

Scalability and affordability

In our initial architecture, Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS) queues, Amazon Kinesis streams, and AWS Lambda functions allow data pipelines to run servers only when they’re needed, which introduces cost savings. They also process data in smaller units and run them in parallel, which allows data pipelines to scale up efficiently to handle peak traffic loads. These services allow for an architecture that can handle non-uniform traffic without needing additional application logic.


Collision Assistance can deliver information to customers via push notifications. This data must be encrypted because many data points the application collects are sensitive, like geolocation.

To secure this data outside our private network, we use Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS) as our delivery mechanism. Amazon SNS provides HTTPS endpoint delivery of messages coming to topics and subscriptions. AWS allows us to enable at-rest and/or in-transit encryption for all of our other architectural components as well.


To quantify our product’s performance, we review the “notification delay.” This metric evaluates the time between the initial collision and when the customer receives a push notification from Collision Assistance. Our ultimate goal is to have the push notification sent within minutes of a crash, so drivers have this information in near real time.

Initial architecture

Figure 1 presents our initial architecture implementation that aims to predict whether a crash has occurred and reduce false positives through the following data pipeline:

  1. The Kinesis stream receives vehicle data from an upstream ingestion service, as discussed in the Enhancing customer safety by leveraging the scalable, secure, and cost-optimized Toyota Connected Data Lake blog.
  2. A Lambda function writes lookup data to Amazon DynamoDB for every Kinesis record.
  3. This Lambda function decreases obvious non-crash data. It sends the current record (X) to Amazon SQS. If X exceeds a certain threshold, it will remain a crash candidate.
  4. Amazon SQS sets a delivery delay so that there will be more Kinesis/DynamoDB records available when X is processed later in the pipeline.
  5. A second Lambda function reads the data from the SQS message. It queries DynamoDB to find the Kinesis lookup data for the message before (X-1) and after (X+1) the crash candidate.
  6. Kinesis GetRecords retrieves X-1 and X+1, because X+1 will exist after the SQS delivery delay times out.
  7. The X-1, X, and X+1 messages are sent to the data science (DS) engine.
  8. When a crash is accurately predicted, these results are stored in a DynamoDB table.
  9. The push notification is sent to the vehicle owner. (Note: the push notification is still in ‘select testing phase’)
Diagram and description of our initial architecture implementation

Figure 1. Diagram and description of our initial architecture implementation

To be consistent with privacy best practices and reduce server uptime, this architecture uses the minimum amount of data the DS engine needs.

We filter out records that are lower than extremely low thresholds. Once these records are filtered out, around 40% of the data fits the criteria to be evaluated further. This reduces the server capacity needed by the DS engine by 60%.

To reduce false positives, we gather data before and after the timestamps where the extremely low thresholds are exceeded. We then evaluate the sensor data across this timespan and discard any sets with patterns of abnormal sensor readings or other false positive conditions. Figure 2 shows the time window we initially used.

Longitudinal acceleration versus time

Figure 2. Longitudinal acceleration versus time

Adjusting our initial architecture for better performance

Our initial design worked well for processing a few sample messages and achieved the desired near real-time delivery of the push notification. However, when the pipeline was enabled for over 1 million vehicles, certain limits were exceeded, particularly for Kinesis and Lambda integrations:

  • Our Kinesis GetRecords API exceeded the allowed five requests per shard per second. With each crash candidate retrieving an X-1 and X+1 message, we could only evaluate two per shard per second, which isn’t cost effective.
  • Additionally, the downstream SQS-reading Lambda function was limited to 10 records per second per invocation. This meant any slowdown that occurs downstream, such as during DS engine processing, could cause the queue to back up significantly.

To improve cost and performance for the Kinesis-related functionality, we abandoned the DynamoDB lookup table and the GetRecord calls in favor of using a Redis cache cluster on Amazon ElastiCache. This allows us to avoid all throughput exceptions from Kinesis and focus on scaling the stream based on the incoming throughput alone. The ElastiCache cluster scales capacity by adding or removing shards, which improves performance and cost efficiency.

To solve the Amazon SQS/Lambda integration issue, we funneled messages directly to an additional Kinesis stream. This allows the final Lambda function to use some of the better scaling options provided to Kinesis-Lambda event source integrations, like larger batch sizes and max-parallelism.

After making these adjustments, our tests proved we could scale to millions of vehicles as needed. Figure 3 shows a diagram of this final architecture.

Final architecture

Figure 3. Final architecture


Engineers across many functions worked closely to deliver the Collision Assistance product.

Our team of backend Java developers, infrastructure experts, and data scientists from TC and AWS built and deployed a near real-time product that helps Toyota and Lexus drivers document crash damage, file an insurance claim, and get updates on the actual repair process.

The managed services and serverless components available on AWS provided TC with many options to test and refine our team’s architecture. This helped us find the best fit for our use case. Having this flexibility in design was a key factor in designing and delivering the best architecture for our product.


Data Caching Across Microservices in a Serverless Architecture

Post Syndicated from Irfan Saleem original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/architecture/data-caching-across-microservices-in-a-serverless-architecture/

Organizations are re-architecting their traditional monolithic applications to incorporate microservices. This helps them gain agility and scalability and accelerate time-to-market for new features.

Each microservice performs a single function. However, a microservice might need to retrieve and process data from multiple disparate sources. These can include data stores, legacy systems, or other shared services deployed on premises in data centers or in the cloud. These scenarios add latency to the microservice response time because multiple real-time calls are required to the backend systems. The latency often ranges from milliseconds to a few seconds depending on size of the data, network bandwidth, and processing logic. In certain scenarios, it makes sense to maintain a cache close to the microservices layer to improve performance by reducing or eliminating the need for the real-time backend calls.

Caches reduce latency and service-to-service communication of microservice architectures. A cache is a high-speed data storage layer that stores a subset of data. When data is requested from a cache, it is delivered faster than if you accessed the data’s primary storage location.

While working with our customers, we have observed use cases where data caching helps reduce latency in the microservices layer. Caching can be implemented in several ways. In this blog post, we discuss a couple of these use cases that customers have built. In both use cases, the microservices layer is created using Serverless on AWS offerings. It requires data from multiple data sources deployed locally in the cloud or on premises. The compute layer is built using AWS Lambda. Though Lambda functions are short-lived, the cached data can be used by subsequent instances of the same microservice to avoid backend calls.

Use case 1: On-demand cache to reduce real-time calls

In this use case, the Cache-Aside design pattern is used for lazy loading of frequently accessed data. This means that an object is only cached when it is requested by a consumer, and the respective microservice decides if the object is worth saving.

This use case is typically useful when the microservices layer makes multiple real-time calls to fetch and process data. These calls can be greatly reduced by caching frequently accessed data for a short period of time.

Let’s discuss a real-world scenario. Figure 1 shows a customer portal that provides a list of car loans, their status, and the net outstanding amount for a customer:

  • The Billing microservice gets a request. It then tries to get required objects (for example, the list of car loans, their status, and the net outstanding balance) from the cache using an object_key. If the information is available in the cache, a response is sent back to the requester using cached data.
  • If requested objects are not available in the cache (a cache miss), the Billing microservice makes multiple calls to local services, applications, and data sources to retrieve data. The result is compiled and sent back to the requester. It also resides in the cache for a short period of time.
  • Meanwhile, if a customer makes a payment using the Payment microservice, the balance amount in the cache must be invalidated/deleted. The Payment microservice processes the payment and invokes an asynchronous event (payment_processed) with the respective object key for the downstream processes that will remove respective objects from the cache.
  • The events are stored in the event store.
  • The CacheManager microservice gets the event (payment_processed) and makes a delete request to the cache for the respective object_key. If necessary, the CacheManager can also refresh cached data. It can call a resource within the Billing service or it can refresh data directly from the source system depending on the data refresh logic.
Reducing latency by caching frequently accessed data on demand

Figure 1. Reducing latency by caching frequently accessed data on demand

Figure 2 shows AWS services for use case 1. The microservices layer (Billing, Payments, and Profile) is created using Lambda. The Amazon API Gateway is exposing Lambda functions as API operations to the internal or external consumers.

Suggested AWS services for implementing use case 1

Figure 2. Suggested AWS services for implementing use case 1

All three microservices are connected with the data cache and can save and retrieve objects from the cache. The cache is maintained in-memory using Amazon ElastiCache. The data objects are kept in cache for a short period of time. Every object has an associated TTL (time to live) value assigned to it. After that time period, the object expires. The custom events (such as payment_processed) are published to Amazon EventBridge for downstream processing.

Use case 2: Proactive caching of massive volumes of data

During large modernization and migration initiatives, not all data sources are colocated for a certain period of time. Some legacy systems, such as mainframe, require a longer decommissioning period. Many legacy backend systems process data through periodic batch jobs. In such scenarios, front-end applications can use cached data for a certain period of time (ranging from a few minutes to few hours) depending on nature of data and its usage. The real-time calls to the backend systems cannot deal with the extensive call volume on the front-end application.

In such scenarios, required data/objects can be identified up front and loaded directly into the cache through an automated process as shown in Figure 3:

  • An automated process loads data/objects in the cache during the initial load. Subsequent changes to the data sources (either in a mainframe database or another system of record) are captured and applied to the cache through an automated CDC (change data capture) pipeline.
  • Unlike use case 1, the microservices layer does not make real-time calls to load data into the cache. In this use case, microservices use data already cached for their processing.
  • However, the microservices layer may create an event if data in the cache is stale or specific objects have been changed by another service (for example, by the Payment service when a payment is made).
  • The events are stored in Event Manager. Upon receiving an event, the CacheManager initiates a backend process to refresh stale data on demand.
  • All data changes are sent directly to the system of record.
Eliminating real-time calls by caching massive data volumes proactively

Figure 3. Eliminating real-time calls by caching massive data volumes proactively

As shown in Figure 4, the data objects are maintained in Amazon DynamoDB, which provides low-latency data access at any scale. The data retrieval is managed through DynamoDB Accelerator (DAX), a fully managed, highly available, in-memory cache. It delivers up to a 10 times performance improvement, even at millions of requests per second.

Suggested AWS services for implementing use case 2

Figure 4. Suggested AWS services for implementing use case 2

The data in DynamoDB can be loaded through different methods depending on the customer use case and technology landscape. API Gateway, Lambda, and EventBridge are providing similar functionality as described in use case 1.

Use case 2 is also beneficial in scenarios where front-end applications must cache data for an extended period of time, such as a customer’s shopping cart.

In addition to caching, the following best practices can also be used to reduce latency and to improve performance within the Lambda compute layer:


The microservices architecture allows you to build several caching layers depending on your use case. In this blog, we discussed data caching within the compute layer to reduce latency when data is retrieved from disparate sources. The information from use case 1 can help you reduce real-time calls to your back-end system by saving frequently used data to the cache. Use case 2 helps you maintain large volumes of data in caches for extended periods of time when real-time calls to the backend system are not possible.

Disaster Recovery (DR) Architecture on AWS, Part IV: Multi-site Active/Active

Post Syndicated from Seth Eliot original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/architecture/disaster-recovery-dr-architecture-on-aws-part-iv-multi-site-active-active/

In my first blog post of this series, I introduced you to four strategies for disaster recovery (DR). My subsequent posts shared details on the backup and restore, pilot light, and warm standby active/passive strategies.

In this post, you’ll learn how to implement an active/active strategy to run your workload and serve requests in two or more distinct sites. Like other DR strategies, this enables your workload to remain available despite disaster events such as natural disasters, technical failures, or human actions.

DR strategies: Multi-site active/active

As we know from our now familiar DR strategies diagram (Figure 1), the multi-site active/active strategy will give you the lowest RTO (recovery time objective) and RPO (recovery point objective). However, this must be weighed against the potential cost and complexity of operating active stacks in multiple sites.

DR strategies

Figure 1. DR strategies

Implementing multi-site active/active

The architecture in Figure 2 shows you how to use AWS Regions as your active sites, creating a multi-Region active/active architecture. Only two Regions are shown, which is common, but more may be used. Each Region hosts a highly available, multi-Availability Zone (AZ) workload stack. In each Region, data is replicated live between the data stores and also backed up. This protects against disasters that include data deletion or corruption, since the data backup can be restored to the last known good state.

Multi-site active/active DR strategy

Figure 2. Multi-site active/active DR strategy

Traffic routing

Each regional stack serves production traffic. How you implement traffic routing determines which Region will receive a given request. Figure 2 shows Amazon Route 53, a highly available and scalable cloud Domain Name System (DNS), used for routing. Route 53 offers multiple routing policies. For example, the geolocation or latency routing policies are good choices for active/active deployments. For geolocation routing, you configure which Region a request goes to based on the origin location of the request. For latency routing, AWS automatically sends requests to the Region that provides the shortest round-trip time.

Your data governance strategy helps inform which routing policy to use. Geolocation routing lets you distribute requests in a deterministic way. This allows you to keep data for certain users within a specific Region, or you can control where write operations are routed to prevent contention. If optimizing for performance is your top priority, then latency routing is a good choice.

Read/write patterns

Read local/write local pattern

The Region to which a request is routed is called the “local Region” for that request. To maintain low latencies and reduce the potential for network error, serve all read and write requests from the local Region of your multi-Region active/active architecture.

I use Amazon DynamoDB for the example architecture in Figure 2. DynamoDB global tables replicate a table to multiple Regions. Writes to the table in any Region are replicated to other Regions within a second. This makes it a good choice when using the read local/write local pattern. However, there is the possibility of write contention if updates are made to the same item in different Regions at about the same time. To help ensure eventual consistency, DynamoDB global tables use a last writer wins reconciliation between concurrent updates. In this case, the data written by the first writer is lost. If your application cannot handle this and you require strong consistency, use another write pattern to avoid write contention.

Read local/write global pattern

With a write global pattern, you choose a Region to be the global write Region and only accept writes in that Region. DynamoDB global tables are still an excellent choice for replicating data globally; however, you must ensure that locally received write requests are re-directed to the global write Region.

Amazon Aurora is another good choice. When deployed as an Aurora global database, a primary cluster is deployed to your global write Region, and read-only instances (Aurora Replicas) are deployed to other AWS Regions. Data is replicated to these read-only instances with typical latency of under a second. Aurora global database write forwarding (available using Aurora MySQL-Compatible Edition) allows Aurora Replicas in the secondary cluster to forward write operations to the primary cluster in the global write Region. This way, you can treat the read-only replicas in all your Regions as if they were read/write capable. Using write forwarding, the request travels over the AWS network and not the public internet, reducing latency.

Amazon ElastiCache for Redis also can replicate data across Regions. For example, to store session data, you write to your global write Region and use Global Datastore to ensure that this data is available to be read from other Regions.

Read local/write partitioned pattern

For write-heavy workloads with users located around the world, your application may not be suited to incur the round trip to the global write Region with every write. Consider using a write partitioned pattern to mitigate this. With this pattern, each item or record is assigned a home Region. This can be done based on the Region it was first written to. Or it can be based on a partition key in the record (such as user ID) by pre-assigning a home Region for each value of this key. As shown in Figure 3, records for this user are assigned to the left AWS Region as their home Region. The goal is to try to map records to a home Region close to where most write requests will originate.

Read local/write partitioned pattern for multi-site active/active DR strategy

Figure 3. Read local/write partitioned pattern for multi-site active/active DR strategy

When the user in Figure 3 travels away from home, they will read local, but writes will be routed back to their home Region. Usually writes will not incur long round trips as they are expected to typically come from near the home Region. Since writes are accepted in all Regions (for records homed to that respective Region), DynamoDB global tables, which accept writes in all Regions, are a good choice here also.


With a multi-Region active/active strategy, if your workload cannot operate in a Region, failover will route traffic away from the impacted Region to healthy Region(s). You can accomplish this with Route 53 by updating the DNS records. Make sure you set TTL (time to live) on these records low enough so that DNS resolvers will reflect your changes quickly enough to meet your RTO targets. Alternatively, you can use AWS Global Accelerator for routing and failover. It does not rely on DNS. Global Accelerator gives you two static IP addresses. You then configure which Regions user traffic goes to based on traffic dials and weights you set.

If you’re using a write global pattern and the impacted Region is the global write Region, then a new Region needs to be promoted to be the new global write Region. If you’re using a write partitioned pattern, your workload must repartition so that the records homed in the impacted Region are assigned to one of the remaining Regions. Using write local, all Regions can accept writes. With no changes needed to the data storage layer, this pattern can have the fastest (near zero) RTO.


Consider the multi-site active/active strategy for your workload if you need DR with the quickest recovery time (lowest RTO) and least data loss (lowest RPO). Implementing it across Regions (multi-Region) is a good option if you are looking for the most separation and complete independence of your sites, or if you need to provide low latency access to the workload from users in globally diverse locations.

Also consider the trade-offs. Implementing and operating this strategy, particularly using multi-Region, can be more complicated and more expensive, than other DR strategies. When implementing multi-Region active/active in AWS, you have access to resources to choose the routing policy and the read/write pattern that is right for your workload.

Related information

New – Redis 6 Compatibility for Amazon ElastiCache

Post Syndicated from Channy Yun original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/new-redis-6-compatibility-for-amazon-elasticache/

After the last Redis 5.0 compatibility for Amazon ElastiCache, there has been lots of improvements to Amazon ElastiCache for Redis including upstream supports such as 5.0.6.

Earlier this year, we announced Global Datastore for Redis that lets you replicate a cluster in one region to clusters in up to two other regions. Recently we improved your ability to monitor your Redis fleet by enabling 18 additional engine and node-level CloudWatch metrics. Also, we added support for resource-level permission policies, allowing you to assign AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) principal permissions to specific ElastiCache resource or resources.

Today, I am happy to announce Redis 6 compatibility to Amazon ElastiCache for Redis. This release brings several new and important features to Amazon ElastiCache for Redis:

  • Managed Role-Based Access Control – Amazon ElastiCache for Redis 6 now provides you with the ability to create and manage users and user groups that can be used to set up Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) for Redis commands. You can now simplify your architecture while maintaining security boundaries by having several applications use the same Redis cluster without being able to access each other’s data. You can also take advantage of granular access control and authorization to create administration and read-only user groups. Amazon ElastiCache enhances the new Access Control Lists (ACL) introduced in open source Redis 6 to provide a managed RBAC experience, making it easy to set up access control across several Amazon ElastiCache for Redis clusters.
  • Client-Side Caching – Amazon ElastiCache for Redis 6 comes with server-side enhancements to deliver efficient client-side caching to further improve your application performance. Redis clusters now support client-side caching by tracking client requests and sending invalidation messages for data stored on the client. In addition, you can also take advantage of a broadcast mode that allows clients to subscribe to a set of notifications from Redis clusters.
  • Significant Operational Improvements – This release also includes several enhancements that improve application availability and reliability. Specifically, Amazon ElastiCache has improved replication under low memory conditions, especially for workloads with medium/large sized keys, by reducing latency and the time it takes to perform snapshots. Open source Redis enhancements include improvements to expiry algorithm for faster eviction of expired keys and various bug fixes.

Note that open source Redis 6 also announced support for encryption-in-transit, a capability that is already available in Amazon ElastiCache for Redis 4.0.10 onwards. This release of Amazon ElastiCache for Redis 6 does not impact Amazon ElastiCache for Redis’ existing support for encryption-in-transit.

In order to apply RBAC to a new or existing Redis 6 cluster, we first need to ensure you have a user and user group created. We’ll review the process to do this below.

Using Role-Based Access Control – How it works
An alternative to Authenticating Users with the Redis AUTH Command, Amazon ElastiCache for Redis 6 offers Role-Based Access Control (RBAC). With RBAC, you create users and assign them specific permissions via an Access String.

If you want to create, modify, and delete users and user groups, you will need to select to the User Management and User Group Management sections in the ElastiCache console.

ElastiCache will automatically configure a default user with user ID and user name “default”, and then you can add it or new created users to new groups in User Group Management.

If you want to change the default user with your own password and access setting, you need to create a new user with the username set to “default” and can then swap it with the original default user. We recommend using your own strong password for a default user.

The following example shows how to swap the original default user with another default that has a modified access string via AWS CLI.

$ aws elasticache create-user \
 --user-id "new-default-user" \
 --user-name "default" \
 --engine "REDIS" \
 --passwords "a-str0ng-pa))word" \ 
 --access-string "off +get ~keys*"

Create a user group and add the user you created previously.

$ aws elasticache create-user-group \
  --user-group-id "new-default-group" \
  --engine "REDIS" \
  --user-ids "default"

Swap the new default user with the original default user.

$ aws elasticache modify-user-group \
    --user-group-id "new-default-group" \
    --user-ids-to-add "new-default-user" \
    --user-ids-to-remove "default"

Also, you can modify a user’s password or change its access permissions using modify-user command, or remove a specific user using delete-user command. It will be removed from any user groups to which it belongs.

Similarly you can modify a user group by adding new users and/or removing current users using modify-user-group command, or delete a user group using delete-user-group command. Note that the user group itself, not the users belonging to the group, will be deleted.

Once you have created a user group and added users, you can assign the user group to a replication group, or migrate between Redis AUTH and RBAC. For more information, see the documentation in detail.

Redis 6 cluster for ElastiCache – Getting Started
As usual, you can use the ElastiCache Console, CLI, APIs, or a CloudFormation template to create to new Redis 6 cluster. I’ll use the Console, choose Redis from the navigation pane and click Create with the following settings:

Select “Encryption in-transit” checkbox to ensure you can see the “Access Control” options. You can select an option of Access Control either User Group Access Control List by RBAC features or Redis AUTH default user. If you select RBAC, you can choose one of the available user groups.

My cluster is up and running within minutes. You can also use the in-place upgrade feature on existing cluster. By selecting the cluster, click Action and Modify. You can change the Engine Version from 5.0.6-compatible engine to 6.x.

Now Available
Amazon ElastiCache for Redis 6 is now available in all AWS regions. For a list of ElastiCache for Redis supported versions, refer to the documentation. Please send us feedback either in the AWS forum for Amazon ElastiCache or through AWS support, or your account team.


Dream11: Scaling a Fantasy Sports Platform with 5M Daily Active Users

Post Syndicated from Annik Stahl original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/architecture/scaling-fantasy-sports-platform/

Founded in 2008, Dream11 is India’s leading sports-tech startup with a growing base of more than 45 million users playing multiple sports such as fantasy cricket, football, kabaddi, and basketball.

Dream11 uses Amazon Aurora with Amazon ElastiCache to serve 1 million concurrent users within 50ms response time, serving at an average 3 million requests per minute (rpm), which can surge to 3X in a 30-second time span. In this video, we’ll be shedding some light on our architecture, along with our battle plan to handle transactions without locking. We’ll also talk about the features of Aurora and ElastiCache that helped Dream11 to handle 5 million daily active users with 4X growth YoY.

For more content like this, subscribe to our YouTube channels This is My Architecture, This is My Code, and This is My Model, or visit the This is My Architecture on AWS, which has search functionality and the ability to filter by industry, language, and service.