Tag Archives: Amazon RDS

AWS Week in Review – February 6, 2023

Post Syndicated from Marcia Villalba original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/aws-week-in-review-february-6-2023/

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!

If you are looking for a new year challenge, the Serverless Developer Advocate team launched the 30 days of Serverless. You can follow the hashtag #30DaysServerless on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram or visit the challenge page and learn a new Serverless concept every day.

Last Week’s Launches
Here are some launches that got my attention during the previous week.

AWS SAM CLIv1.72 added the capability to list important information from your deployments.

  • List the URLs of the Amazon API Gateway or AWS Lambda function URL.
    $ sam list endpoints
  • List the outputs of the deployed stack.
    $ sam list outputs
  • List the resources in the local stack. If a stack name is provided, it also shows the corresponding deployed resources and the ids.
    $ sam list resources

Amazon RDSNow supports increasing the allocated storage size when creating read replicas or when restoring a database from snapshots. This is very useful when your primary instances are near their maximum allocated storage capacity.

Amazon QuickSight Allows you to create Radar charts. Radar charts are a way to visualize multivariable data that are used to plot one or more groups of values over multiple common variables.

AWS Systems Manager AutomationNow integrates with Systems Manager Change Calendar. Now you can reduce the risks associated with changes in your production environment by allowing Automation runbooks to run during an allowed time window configured in the Change Calendar.

AWS AppConfigIt announced its integration with AWS Secrets Manager and AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS). All sensitive data retrieved from Secrets Manager via AWS AppConfig can be encrypted at deployment time using an AWS KMS customer managed key (CMK).

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

Other AWS News
Some other updates and news that you may have missed:

AWS Cloud Clubs – Cloud Clubs are peer-to-peer user groups for students and young people aged 18–28. In these clubs, you can network, attend career-building events, earn benefits like AWS credits, and more. Learn more about the clubs in your region in the AWS student portal.

Get AWS Certified: Profesional challenge – You can register now for the certification challenge. Prepare for your AWS Professional Certification exam and get a 50 percent discount for the certification exam. Learn more about the challenge on the official page.

Podcast Charlas Técnicas de AWS – If you understand Spanish, this podcast is for you. Podcast Charlas Técnicas is one of the official AWS podcasts in Spanish, and every other week, there is a new episode. The podcast is for builders, and it shares stories about how customers implemented and learned AWS services, how to architect applications, and how to use new services. You can listen to all the episodes directly from your favorite podcast app or at AWS Podcasts en Español.

AWS Open-Source News and Updates – This is a newsletter curated by my colleague Ricardo to bring you the latest open-source projects, posts, events, and more.

Upcoming AWS Events
Check your calendars and sign up for these AWS events:

AWS re:Invent recaps – We had a lot of announcements during re:Invent. If you want to learn them all in your language and in your area, check the re: Invent recaps. All the upcoming ones are posted on this site, so check it regularly to find an event nearby.

AWS Innovate Data and AI/ML edition – AWS Innovate is a free online event to learn the latest from AWS experts and get step-by-step guidance on using AI/ML to drive fast, efficient, and measurable results.

  • AWS Innovate Data and AI/ML edition for Asia Pacific and Japan is taking place on February 22, 2023. Register here.
  • Registrations for AWS Innovate EMEA (March 9, 2023) and the Americas (March 14, 2023) will open soon. Check the AWS Innovate page for updates.

You can find details on all upcoming events, in-person or virtual, here.

That’s all for this week. Check back next Monday for another Week in Review!

— Marcia

Building a Cloud in the Cloud: Running Apache CloudStack on Amazon EC2, Part 2

Post Syndicated from Sheila Busser original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/building-a-cloud-in-the-cloud-running-apache-cloudstack-on-amazon-ec2-part-2/

This blog is written by Mark Rogers, SDE II – Customer Engineering AWS.

In part 1, I showed you how to run Apache CloudStack with KVM on a single Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instance. That simple setup is great for experimentation and light workloads. In this post, things will get a lot more interesting. I’ll show you how to create an overlay network in your Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) that allows CloudStack to scale horizontally across multiple EC2 instances. This same method could work with other hypervisors, too.

If you haven’t read it yet, then start with part 1. It explains why this network setup is necessary. The same prerequisites apply to both posts.

Making things easier

I wrote some scripts to automate the CloudStack installation and OS configuration on CentOS 7. You can customize them to meet your needs. I also wrote some AWS CloudFormation templates you can copy in order to create a demo environment. The README file has more details.

The scalable method

Our team started out using a single EC2 instance, as described in my last post. That worked at first, but it didn’t have the capacity we needed. We were limited to a couple of dozen VMs, but we needed hundreds. We also needed to scale up and down as our needs changed. This meant we needed the ability to add and remove CloudStack hosts. Using a Linux bridge as a virtual subnet was no longer adequate.

To support adding hosts, we need a subnet that spans multiple instances. The solution I found is Virtual Extensible LAN (VXLAN). It’s lightweight, easy to configure, and included in the Linux kernel. VXLAN creates a layer 2 overlay network that abstracts away the details of the underlying network. It allows machines in different parts of a network to communicate as if they’re all attached to the same simple network switch.

Another example of an overlay network is an Amazon VPC. It acts like a physical network, but it’s actually a layer on top of other networks. It’s networks all the way down. VXLAN provides a top layer where CloudStack can sit comfortably, handling all of your VM needs, blissfully unaware of the world below it.

An overlay network comes with some big advantages. The biggest improvement is that you can have multiple hosts, allowing for horizontal scaling. Having more hosts not only gives you more computing power, but also lets you do rolling maintenance. Instead of putting the database and file storage on the management server, I’ll show you how to use Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS) and Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) for scalable and reliable storage.

EC2 Instances

Let’s start with three Amazon EC2 instances. One will be a router between the overlay network and your Amazon VPC, the second one will be your CloudStack management server, and the third one will be your VM host. You’ll also need a way to connect to your instances, such as a bastion host or a VPN endpoint.

Three EC2 instances are connected to an AWS subnet. There's an overlay network that spans all three instances.The router instance connects the overlay network to the AWS subnet. The management instance contains the CloudStack management service, which is attached to the overlay network. The host instance contains the CloudStack agent and some VMs, all of which are connected to the overlay network.VXLAN must send and receive multicast traffic. Only Nitro instances can be multicast senders. As you plan, look at the list of Nitro instance types.

The router won’t need much computing power, but it will need enough network bandwidth to meet your needs. If you put Amazon EFS in the same subnet as your instances, then they’ll communicate with it directly, thereby reducing the load on the router. Decide how much network throughput you want, and then pick a suitable Nitro instance type.

After creating the router instance, configure AWS to use it as a router. Stop source/destination checking in the instance’s network settings. Then update the applicable AWS route tables to use the router as the target for the overlay network. The router’s security group needs to allow ingress to the CloudStack UI (TCP port 8080) and any services you plan to offer from VMs.

For the management server, you’ll want a Nitro instance type. It’s going to use more CPU than your router, so plan accordingly.

In addition to being a Nitro type, the host instance must also be a metal type. Metal instances have hardware virtualization support, which is needed by KVM. If you have a new AWS account with a low on-demand vCPU limit, then consider starting with an m5zn.metal, which has 48 vCPUs. Otherwise, I suggest going directly to a c5.metal because it provides 96 vCPUs for a similar price. There are bigger types available depending on your compute needs, budget, and vCPU limit. If your account’s on-demand vCPU limit is too low, then you can file a support ticket to have it raised.

Networking

All of the instances should be on a dedicated subnet. Sharing the subnet with other instances can cause communication issues. For an example, refer to the following figure. The subnet has an instance named TroubleMaker that’s not on the overlay network. If TroubleMaker sends a request to the management instance’s overlay network address, then here’s what happens:

  1. The request goes through the AWS subnet to the router.
  2. The router forwards the request via the overlay network.
  3. The CloudStack management instance has a connection to the same AWS subnet that TroubleMaker is on. Therefore, it responds directly instead of using the router. This isn’t the return path that AWS is expecting, so the response is dropped.

This diagram depicts the steps described in the previous paragraph.

If you move TroubleMaker to a different subnet, then the requests and responses will all go through the router. That will fix the communication issues.

The instances in the overlay network will use special interfaces that serve as VXLAN tunnel endpoints (VTEPs). The VTEPs must know how to contact each other via the underlay network. You could manually give each instance a list of all of the other instances, but that’s a maintenance nightmare. It’s better to let the VTEPs discover each other, which they can do using multicast. You can add multicast support using AWS Transit Gateway.

Here are the steps to make VXLAN multicasts work:

  1. Enable multicast support when you create the transit gateway.
  2. Attach the transit gateway to your subnet.
  3. Create a transit gateway multicast domain with IGMPv2 support enabled.
  4. Associate the multicast domain with your subnet.
  5. Configure the eth0 interface on each instance to use IGMPv2. The following sample code shows how to do this.
  6. Make sure that your instance security groups allow ingress for IGMP queries (protocol 2 traffic from 0.0.0.0/32) and VXLAN traffic (UDP port 4789 from the other instances).

CloudStack VMs must connect to the same bridge as the VXLAN interface. As mentioned in the previous post, CloudStack cares about names. I recommend giving the interface a name starting with “eth”. Moreover, this naming convention tells CloudStack which bridge to use, thereby avoiding the need for a dummy interface like the one in the simple setup.

The following snippet shows how I configured the networking in CentOS 7. You must provide values for these variables:

  • $overlay_host_ip_address, $overlay_netmask, and $overlay_gateway_ip: Use values for the overlay network that you’re creating.
  • $dns_address: I recommend using the base of the VPC IPv4 network range, plus two. You shouldn’t use 169.654.169.253 because CloudStack reserves link-local addresses for its own use.
  • $multicast_address: The multicast address that you want VXLAN to use. Pick something in the multicast range that won’t conflict with anything else. I recommend choosing from the IPv4 local scope (239.255.0.0/16).
  • $interface_name: The name of the interface VXLAN should use to communicate with the physical network. This is typically eth0.

A couple of the steps are different for the router instance than for the other instances. Pay attention to the comments!

yum install -y bridge-utils net-tools

# IMPORTANT: Omit the GATEWAY setting on the router instance!
cat << EOF > /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-cloudbr0
DEVICE=cloudbr0
TYPE=Bridge
ONBOOT=yes
BOOTPROTO=none
IPV6INIT=no
IPV6_AUTOCONF=no
DELAY=5
STP=no
USERCTL=no
NM_CONTROLLED=no
IPADDR=$overlay_host_ip_address
NETMASK=$overlay_netmask
DNS1=$dns_address
GATEWAY=$overlay_gateway_ip
EOF

cat << EOF > /sbin/ifup-local
#!/bin/bash
# Set up VXLAN once cloudbr0 is available.
if [[ \$1 == "cloudbr0" ]]
then
    ip link add ethvxlan0 type vxlan id 100 dstport 4789 group "$multicast_address" dev "$interface_name"
    brctl addif cloudbr0 ethvxlan0
    ip link set up dev ethvxlan0
fi
EOF

chmod +x /sbin/ifup-local

# Transit Gateway requires IGMP version 2
echo "net.ipv4.conf.$interface_name.force_igmp_version=2" >> /etc/sysctl.conf
sysctl -p

# Enable IPv4 forwarding
# IMPORTANT: Only do this on the router instance!
echo 'net.ipv4.ip_forward=1' >> /etc/sysctl.conf
sysctl -p

# Restart the network service to make the changes take effect.
systemctl restart network

Storage

Let’s look at storage. Create an Amazon RDS database using the MySQL 8.0 engine, and set a master password for CloudStack’s database setup tool to use. Refer to the CloudStack documentation to find the MySQL settings that you’ll need. You can put the settings in an RDS parameter group. In case you’re wondering why I’m not using Amazon Aurora, it’s because CloudStack needs the MyISAM storage engine, which isn’t available in Aurora.

I recommend Amazon EFS for file storage. For efficiency, create a mount target in the subnet with your EC2 instances. That will enable them to communicate directly with the mount target, thereby bypassing the overlay network and router. Note that the system VMs will use Amazon EFS via the router.

If you want, you can consolidate your CloudStack file systems. Just create a single file system with directories for each zone and type of storage. For example, I use directories named /zone1/primary, /zone1/secondary, /zone2/primary, etc. You should also consider enabling provisioned throughput on the file system, or you may run out of bursting credits after booting a few VMs.

One consequence of the file system’s scalability is that the amount of free space (8 exabytes) will cause an integer overflow in CloudStack! To avoid this problem, reduce storage.overprovisioning.factor in CloudStack’s global settings from 2 to 1.

When your environment is ready, install CloudStack. When it asks for a default gateway, remember to use the router’s overlay network address. When you add a host, make sure that you use the host’s overlay network IP address.

Cleanup

If you used my CloudFormation template, delete the stack and remove any route table entries you added.

If you didn’t use CloudFormation, here are the things to delete:

  1. The CloudStack EC2 instances
  2. The Amazon RDS database and parameter group
  3. The Amazon EFS file system
  4. The transit gateway multicast domain subnet association
  5. The transit gateway multicast domain
  6. The transit gateway VPC attachment
  7. The transit gateway
  8. The route table entries that you created
  9. The security groups that you created for the instances, database, and file system

Conclusion

The approach I shared has many steps, but they’re not bad when you have a plan. Whether you need a simple setup for experiments, or you need a scalable environment for a data center migration, you now have a path forward. Give it a try, and comment here about the things you learned. I hope you find it useful and fun!

“Apache”, “Apache CloudStack”, and “CloudStack” are trademarks of the Apache Software Foundation.

Building a Cloud in the Cloud: Running Apache CloudStack on Amazon EC2, Part 1

Post Syndicated from Sheila Busser original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/building-a-cloud-in-the-cloud-running-apache-cloudstack-on-amazon-ec2-part-1/

This blog is written by Mark Rogers, SDE II – Customer Engineering AWS.

How do you put a cloud inside another cloud? Some features that make Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) secure and wonderful also make running CloudStack difficult. The biggest obstacle is that AWS and CloudStack both want to manage network resources. Therefore, we must keep them out of each other’s way. This requires some steps that aren’t obvious, and it took a long time to figure out. I’m going to share what I learned, so that you can navigate the process more easily.

Apache CloudStack is an open-source platform for deploying and managing virtual machines (VMs) and the associated network and storage infrastructure. You would normally run it on your own hardware to create your own cloud. But there can be advantages to running it inside of an Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC), including how it could help you migrate out of a data center. It’s a great way to create disposable environments for experiments or training. Furthermore, it’s a convenient way to test-drive the new CloudStack support in Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) Anywhere. In my case, I needed to create development and test environments for a project that uses the CloudStack API. The environments needed to be shared and scalable. Our build pipelines were already in AWS, so it made sense to put the new environments there, too.

CloudStack can work with a number of hypervisors. The instructions in this article will use Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) on Linux. KVM will manage the VMs at a low level, and CloudStack will manage KVM.

Prerequisites

Most of the information in this article should be applicable to a range of CloudStack versions. I targeted CloudStack 4.14 on CentOS 7. I also tested CloudStack versions 4.16 and 4.17, and I recommend them.

The official CentOS 7 x86_64 HVM image works well. If you use a different Linux flavor or version, then you might have to modify some of the implementation details.

You’ll need to know the basics of CloudStack. The scope of this article is making CloudStack and AWS coexist peacefully. Once CloudStack is running, I’m assuming that you’ll handle things from there.  Refer to the AWS documentation and CloudStack documentation for information on security and other best practices.

Making things easier

I wrote some scripts to automate the installation. You can run them on EC2 instances with CentOS 7, and they’ll do all the installation and OS configuration for you. You can use them as they are, or customize them to meet your needs. I also wrote some AWS CloudFormation templates you can copy in order to create a demo environment. The README file has more details.

Amazon EC2 instance types

KVM requires hardware virtualization support. Most EC2 instances are VMs that don’t support nested virtualization. To get access to the bare hardware, you need a metal instance type.

I like c5.metal because it’s one of the least expensive metal types, and has a low cost per vCPU. It has 96 vCPUs and 192 GiB of memory. If you run 20 VMs on it, with 4 CPU cores and 8 GiB of memory each, then you’d still have 16 vCPUs and 32 GiB to share between the operating system, CloudStack, and MySQL. Using CloudStack’s overprovisioning feature, you could fit even more VMs if they’re running light loads.

Networking

The biggest challenge is the network. AWS knows which IP and MAC addresses should exist, and it knows the machines to which they should belong. It blocks any traffic that doesn’t fit its idea of how the network should behave. Simultaneously, CloudStack assumes that any IP or MAC address it invents should work just fine. When CloudStack assigns addresses to VMs on an AWS subnet, their network traffic gets blocked.

You could get around this by enabling network address translation (NAT) on the instance running CloudStack. That’s a great solution if it fits your needs, but it makes it hard for other machines in your Amazon VPC to contact your VMs. I recommend a different approach.

Although AWS restricts what you can do with its layer 2 network, it’s perfectly happy to let you run your own layer 3 router. Your EC2 instance can act as a router to a new virtual subnet that’s outside of the jurisdiction of AWS. The instance integrates with AWS just like a VPN appliance, routing traffic to wherever it needs to go. CloudStack can do whatever it wants in the virtual subnet, and everybody’s happy.

What do I mean by a virtual subnet? This is a subnet that exists only inside the EC2 instance.  It consists of logical network interfaces attached to a Linux bridge. The entire subnet exists inside a single EC2 instance. It doesn’t scale well, but it’s simple. In my next post, I’ll cover a more complicated setup with an overlay network that spans multiple instances to allow horizontal scaling.

The simple way

The simple way is to put everything in one EC2 instance, including the database, file storage, and a virtual subnet. Because everything’s stored locally, allocate enough disk space for your needs. 500 GB will be enough to support a few basic VMs. Create or select a security group for your instance that gives users access to the CloudStack UI (TCP port 8080). The security group should also allow access to any services that you’ll offer from your VMs.

EC2 instance summary info showing 1 instance, CentOS 7 (x86_64) AMI, c5.metal instance type, a security group name, and a 500 GiB volume

When you have your instance, configure AWS to treat it as a router.

  1. Go to Amazon EC2 in the AWS Management Console.
  2. Select your instance, and stop source/destination checking.

In the EC2 Actions menu, select Networking, then Change source/destination check.

3. Update the subnet route tables.

a. Go to the VPC settings, and select Route Tables.

b. Identify the tables for subnets that need CloudStack access.

c. In each of these tables, add a route to the new virtual subnet. The route target should be your EC2 instance.

4. Depending on your network needs, you may also need to add routes to transit gateways, VPN endpoints, etc.

Because everything will be on one server, creating a virtual subnet is simply a matter of creating a Linux bridge. CloudStack must find a network adapter attached to the bridge. Therefore, add a dummy interface with a name that CloudStack will recognize.

A single EC2 instance contains the CloudStack management service, the CloudStack agent, a dummy network interface, several virtual machines, and a router. All of those things are connected to each other by a virtual subnet that exists inside the instance. The instance's elastic network interface is connected between the router and the Amazon VPC.The following snippet shows how I configure networking in CentOS 7. You must provide values for the variables $virutal_host_ip_address and $virtual_netmask to reflect the virtual subnet that you want to create. For $dns_address, I recommend the base of the VPC IPv4 network range, plus two. You shouldn’t use 169.654.169.253 because CloudStack reserves link-local addresses for its own use.

yum install -y bridge-utils net-tools

# The bridge must be named cloudbr0.

cat << EOF > /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-cloudbr0
DEVICE=cloudbr0
TYPE=Bridge
ONBOOT=yes
BOOTPROTO=none
IPV6INIT=no
IPV6_AUTOCONF=no
DELAY=5
STP=yes
USERCTL=no
NM_CONTROLLED=no
IPADDR=$virtual_host_ip_address
NETMASK=$virtual_netmask
DNS1=$dns_address
EOF

# Create a dummy network interface.
cat << EOF > /etc/sysconfig/modules/dummy.modules
#!/bin/sh
/sbin/modprobe dummy numdummies=1
/sbin/ip link set name ethdummy0 dev dummy0
EOF

chmod +x /etc/sysconfig/modules/dummy.modules
/etc/sysconfig/modules/dummy.modules

cat << EOF > /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-ethdummy0
TYPE=Ethernet
BOOTPROTO=none
NAME=ethdummy0
DEVICE=ethdummy0
ONBOOT=yes
BRIDGE=cloudbr0
NM_CONTROLLED=no
EOF

# Turn the instance into a router

echo 'net.ipv4.ip_forward=1' >> /etc/sysctl.conf
sysctl -p

# Must kill dhclient or the network service won't restart properly.
# A reboot would also work, if you’d rather do that.

pkill dhclient
systemctl restart network

CloudStack must know which IP addresses to use for inter-service communication. It will select by resolving the machine’s fully qualified domain name (FQDN) to an address. The following commands will make it to choose the right one. You must provide a value for $virtual_host_ip_address.

hostnamectl set-hostname cloudstack.localdomain

echo "$virtual_host_ip_address cloudstack.localdomain" >> 
/etc/hosts

You can finish the setup by following the Quick Installation Guide.

Remember that CloudStack is only directly connected to your virtual network. The EC2 instance is the router that connects the virtual subnet to the Amazon VPC. When you’re configuring CloudStack, use your instance’s virtual subnet address as the default gateway.

Use the EC2 instance's virtual subnet IP address as the default gateway in CloudStack. In this example, the virtual subnet is 10.100.0.0/16, and the instance's address in that subnet is 10.100.0.1. CloudStack then uses 10.100.0.1 as the default gateway.

To access CloudStack from your workstation, you’ll need a connection to your VPC. This can be through a client VPN or a bastion host. If you use a bastion, its subnet needs a route to your virtual subnet, and you’ll need an SSH tunnel for your browser to access the CloudStack UI. The UI is at http://x.x.x.x:8080/client/, where x.x.x.x is your CloudStack instance’s virtual subnet address. Note that CloudStack’s console viewer won’t work if you’re using an SSH tunnel.

If you’re just experimenting with CloudStack, then I suggest saving money by stopping your instance when it isn’t needed. The safe way to do that is:

  1. Disable your zone in the CloudStack UI.
  2. Put the primary storage into maintenance mode.
  3. Wait for the switch to maintenance mode to be complete.
  4. Stop the EC2 instance.

When you’re ready to turn everything back on, simply reverse those steps. If you have any virtual routers in CloudStack, then you may need to start those, too.

Cleanup

If you used my CloudFormation template, then delete the stack and remove any route table entries you added. If you didn’t use CloudFormation, then terminate the EC2 instance, delete the security group you created for it, and remove any route table entries that you added.

Conclusion

Getting CloudStack to run on AWS isn’t so bad. The hardest part is simply knowing how. The setup explained here is great for small installations, but it can only scale vertically. In my next post, I’ll show you how to create an installation that scales horizontally. Instead of using a virtual subnet that exists in a single EC2 instance, we’ll build an overlay network that spans multiple instances. It will use more components and features, including some that might be new to you. I hope you find it interesting!

Now that you can create a simple setup, give it a try! I hope you have fun and learn something new along the way. Comment with the results of your experiments.

“Apache”, “Apache CloudStack”, and “CloudStack” are trademarks of the Apache Software Foundation.

AWS Week in Review – December 19, 2022

Post Syndicated from Sébastien Stormacq original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/aws-week-in-review-december-19-2022/

We are half way between the re:Invent conference and the end-of-year holidays, and I did expect the cadence of releases and news to slow down a bit, but nothing is further away from reality. Our teams continue to listen to your feedback and release new capabilities and incremental improvements.

This week, many items caught my attention. Here is my summary.

The AWS Pricing Calculator for Amazon EC2 is getting a redesign to provide you with a simplified, consistent, and efficient calculator to estimate costs. It also added a way to bulk estimate costs for EC2 instances, EC2 Dedicated Hosts, and Amazon EBS services. Try it for yourself today.

AWS Pricing Calculator

Amazon CloudWatch Metrics Insights alarms now enables you to trigger alarms on entire fleets of dynamically changing resources (such as automatically scaling EC2 instances) with a single alarm using standard SQL queries. For example, you can now write a query like this to collect data about CPU utilization over your entire dynamic fleet of EC2 instances.

SELECT AVG(CPUUtilization) FROM SCHEMA("AWS/EC2", InstanceId)

AWS Amplify is a command line tool and a set of libraries to help you to build web and mobile applications connected to a cloud backend. We released Amplify Library for Android 2.0, with improvements and simplifications for user authentication. The team also released Amplify JavaScript library version 5, with improvements for React and React Native developers, such as a new notifications channel, also known as in-app messaging, that developers can use to display contextual messages to their users based on their behavior. The Amplify JavaScript library has also received improvements to reduce the overall bundle size and installation size.

Amazon Connect added granular access control based on resource tags for routing profiles, security profiles, users, and queues. It also adds bulk import for user hierarchy tags. This allows you to use attribute-based access control policies for Amazon Connect resources.

Amazon RDS Proxy now supports PostgreSQL major version 14. RDS Proxy is a fully managed, highly available database proxy for Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) that makes applications more scalable, more resilient to database failures, and more secure. It is typically used by serverless applications that can have a large number of open connections to the database server and may open and close database connections at a high rate, exhausting database memory and compute resources.

AWS Gateway Load Balancer endpoints now support Ipv6 addresses. You can now send IPv6 traffic through Gateway Load Balancers and its endpoints to distribute traffic flows to dual stack appliance targets.

Amazon Location Service now provides Open Data Maps maps, in addition to ESRI and Here maps. I also noticed that Amazon is a core member of the new Overture Maps Foundation, officially hosted by the Linux Foundation. The mission of the Overture Maps Foundation is to power new map products through openly available datasets that can be used and reused across applications and businesses. The program is driven by Amazon Web Services (AWS), Facebook’s parent company Meta, Microsoft, and Dutch mapping company TomTom.

AWS Mainframe Modernization is a set of managed tools providing infrastructure and software for migrating, modernizing, and running mainframe applications. It is now available in three additional AWS Regions and supports AWS CloudFormation, AWS PrivateLink, AWS Key Management Service.

X in Y. Jeff started this section a while ago to list the expansion of new services and capabilities to additional Regions. I noticed 11 Regional expansions this week:

Other AWS News
This week, I also noticed these AWS news items:

Amazon SageMaker turned 5 years old 🎉🎂. You can read the initial blog post we published at the time. To celebrate the event, the Amazon Science published this article where AWS’s Vice President Bratin Saha reflects on the past and future of AWS’s machine learning tools and AI services.

The security blog published a great post about the Cedar policy language. It explains how Amazon Verified Permissions provides a pre-built, flexible permissions system that you can use to build permissions based on both ABAC and RBAC in your applications. Cedar policy language is also at the heart of Amazon Verified Access I blogged about during re:Invent.

And just like every week, my most excellent colleague Ricardo published the open source newsletter.

Upcoming AWS Events
Check your calendars and sign up for these AWS events:

AWS re:Invent recaps in your area. During the re:Invent week, we had lots of new announcements, and in the next weeks, you can find in your area a recap of all these launches. All the events will be posted on this site, so check it regularly to find an event nearby.

AWS re:Invent keynotes, leadership sessions, and breakout sessions are available on demand. I recommend that you check the playlists and find the talks about your favorite topics in one collection.

AWS Summits season will restart in Q2 2023. The dates and locations will be announced here.

Stay Informed
That is my selection for this week! Heads up – the Week in Review will be taking a short break for the end of the year, but we’ll be back with regular updates starting on January 9, 2023. To better keep up with all of this news, do not forget to check out the following resources:

— seb
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!

Architecting your security model in AWS for legacy application migrations

Post Syndicated from Irfan Saleem original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/architecture/architecting-your-security-model-in-aws-for-legacy-application-migrations/

Application migrations, especially from legacy/mainframe to the cloud, are done in phases that sometimes span multiple years. Each phase migrates a set of applications, data, and other resources to the cloud. During the transition phases, applications might require access to both on-premises and cloud-based resources to perform their function. While working with our customers, we observed that the most common resources that applications require access to are databases, file storage, and shared services.

This blog post includes architecture guidelines for setting up access to commonly used resources by building a security model in Amazon Web Services (AWS). As you move your legacy applications to the cloud, you can apply Zero Trust concepts and security best practices according to your security needs. With AWS, you can build strong identity and access management with centralized control and set up and manage guardrails and fine-grained access controls for your workforce and applications.

In large organizations, on-premises applications rely on mainframe-based security services, an Identity Provider (IdP) platform, or a combination of both.

  • A mainframe-based control facility enables on-premises applications to:
    • Identify and verify users.
    • Establish an authority (authorize users and backend programs to access protected resources) through privileges defined in the control facility.
    • The backend programs use a unique identifier (or surrogate key) and run under the authority defined by the privileges assigned to the unique identifier.This security mechanism needs to be transformed into a role-based security model in AWS as applications are moved to the cloud. You assign permissions to a role, which is assumed by an application to get access to resources in AWS, similar to an authority defined in the legacy environment.
  • An IdP platform (such as Octa or Ping Identify) provides capabilities such as centralized access management and identity federation using SAML 2.0 or OpenID Connect (OIDC), that builds a system of trust between on-premises IdP and AWS. Once the federation is set up, on-premises applications can access AWS resources using AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) roles, as explained in the next section.

Setting up a scalable security model in AWS

Figure 1 shows an on-premises environment where enterprise identity management is integrated with the mainframe and provides authentication and authorization to applications running off the mainframe. Generally, mainframe-based security controls (users, resources, and profiles) are replicated to the enterprise identity platform and are kept in sync through a change data capture process.

Access to AWS resources from on-premises

Figure 1. Access to AWS resources from on-premises

To enable your on-premises applications to access AWS resources, the applications need valid AWS credentials for making AWS API requests. Avoid using long-term access keys (such as those associated with IAM users) because they remain valid until you remove them. The following two methods can be used to assume an IAM role and get temporary security credentials to gain access to the AWS resources:

  • SAML based Identity federation – AWS supports identity federation with SAML. It allows federated access to users and applications in your organization by assuming an IAM role created for SAML federation to get temporary credentials. This method is helpful:
    • If your application needs to restrict access to AWS resources based on logged in users. You can define attribute mapping and additional attributes as required.
    • If your application uses a service account to manage AWS resource access, regardless of who is logged in.
  • IAM Roles Anywhere – Your on-premises applications will exchange X.509 certificates so that they can assume a role and get temporary credentials. This method is helpful if your application needs access to an AWS resource based on a service account.

In both of these cases, authenticated requests assume an IAM role, get temporary security credentials, and perform certain actions using AWS command line interface (CLI) and AWS SDKs. The IAM role has attached permissions for AWS resources such as Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon DynamoDB, and Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS).

The temporary credentials expire when the session expires. By default, the session duration is one hour; you can request longer duration and session refresh.

To understand better, let’s consider the use case in Figure 2, where on-premises applications need access to AWS resources.

Access to resources that are created or already migrated to AWS from on-premises

Figure 2. Access to resources that are created or already migrated to AWS from on-premises

Applications can get temporary security credentials through SAML or IAM Roles Anywhere as explained earlier. The next sections explain setting up access to the resources in Figure 2 using temporary credentials.

1. Amazon S3

On-premises applications can access Amazon S3 using the REST API or the AWS SDK to perform certain actions (such as GetObjects or ListObjects):

2. Amazon RDS and Amazon Aurora

AWS Secrets Manager helps you store credentials for Amazon RDS and Amazon Aurora. You can also set up automatic rotation of your database secrets to meet your security and compliance needs. Applications can retrieve secrets using AWS SDKs and AWS CLI.

Additional configuration values can be stored in AWS Systems Manager Parameter Store, which provides secure, hierarchical storage for configuration data management such as passwords, database strings and license codes as parameter values rather than hard coding them in the code.

To access Amazon RDS and Amazon Aurora:

    • You can launch Amazon RDS DB instances into a virtual private cloud (VPC). A client application can access DB instance through the internet or through the private network only using an established connection from on-premises to the AWS environment.
    • On-premises applications can connect to a relational database using a database driver such as Java Database Connectivity (JDBC). The application can retrieve database connection details (such as database URL, port, or credentials) from AWS Secrets Manager and AWS Systems Manager Parameter Store  through API calls and can use them for the database connection.
    • Database admins can access AWS Management Console through an assumed role and can have access to database credentials from AWS Secrets Manager in order to connect directly with the database. For certain administration tasks (such as cluster setup, backup, recovery, maintenance, and management), they will need access to the Amazon RDS management console.
    • Amazon RDS also provides IAM database authentication option for MariaDB, MySQL, and PostgreSQL. You can authenticate without a password when you connect to a DB instance. Instead, you use an authentication token. For more information, go to IAM database authentication.

3. Amazon DynamoDB

Applications can use temporary credentials to invoke certain actions using AWS SDKs for DynamoDB. You can create a VPC endpoint for DynamoDB to access DynamoDB with no exposure to the public internet, then restrict access further by using VPC endpoint and IAM policies.

Conclusion

This blog helps you architect an application security model in AWS to provide on-premises access to commonly used resources in AWS.

You can apply security best practices and Zero Trust concepts as you move your legacy applications to the cloud. With AWS, you can build identity and access management with centralized and fine-grained access controls for your workforce and applications.

Start building your security model on AWS:

AWS Week in Review – December 12, 2022

Post Syndicated from Marcia Villalba original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/aws-week-in-review-december-12-2022/

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!

The world is asynchronous, is what Werner Vogels, Amazon CTO, reminded us during his keynote last week at AWS re:Invent. At the beginning of the keynote, he showed us how weird a synchronous world would be and how everything in nature is asynchronous. One example of an event-driven application he showcased during his keynote is Serverlesspresso, a project my team has been working on for the last year. And last week, we announced Serverlesspresso extensions, a new program that lets you contribute to Serverlesspresso and learn how event-driven applications can be extended.

Last Week’s Launches
Here are some launches that got my attention during the previous week.

Amazon SageMaker Studio now supports fine-grained data access control with AWS LakeFormation when accessing data through Amazon EMR. Now, when you connect to EMR clusters to SageMaker Studio notebooks, you can choose what runtime IAM role you want to connect with, and the notebooks will only access data and resources permitted by the attached runtime role.

Amazon Lex has now added support for Arabic, Cantonese, Norwegian, Swedish, Polish, and Finnish. This opens new possibilities to create chat bots and conversational experiences in more languages.

Amazon RDS Proxy now supports creating proxies in Amazon Aurora Global Database primary and secondary Regions. Now, building multi-Region applications with Amazon Aurora is simpler. RDS proxy sits between your application and the database pool and shares established database connections.

Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP launched many new features. First, it added the support for Nitro-based encryption of data in transit. It also extended NVMe read cache support to Single-AZ file systems. And it added four new features to ease the use of the service: easily assign a snapshot policy to your volumes, easily create data protection volumes, configure volumes so their tags are automatically copied to the backups, and finally, add or remove VPC route tables for your existing Multi-AZ file systems.

I would also like to mention two launches that happened before re:Invent but were not covered on the News Blog:

Amazon EventBridge Scheduler is a new capability from Amazon EventBridge that allows you to create, run, and manage scheduled tasks at scale. Using this new capability, you can schedule one-time or recurrent tasks across 270 AWS services.

AWS IoT RoboRunner is now generally available. Last year at re:Invent Channy wrote a blog post introducing the preview for this service. IoT RoboRunner is a robotic service that makes it easier to build and deploy applications for fleets of robots working seamlessly together.

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

Other AWS News
Some other updates and news that you may have missed:

I would like to recommend this really interesting Amazon Science article about federated learning. This is a framework that allows edge devices to work together to train a global model while keeping customers’ data on-device.

Podcast Charlas Técnicas de AWS – If you understand Spanish, this podcast is for you. Podcast Charlas Técnicas is one of the official AWS podcasts in Spanish, and every other week there is a new episode. Today the final episode for season three launched, and in it, we discussed many of the re:Invent launches. You can listen to all the episodes directly from your favorite podcast app or at AWS Podcasts en español.

AWS open-source news and updates–This is a newsletter curated by my colleague Ricardo to bring you the latest open-source projects, posts, events, and more.

Upcoming AWS Events
Check your calendars and sign up for these AWS events:

AWS Resiliency Hub Activation Day is a half-day technical virtual session to deep dive into the features and functionality of Resiliency Hub. You can register for free here.

AWS re:Invent recaps in your area. During the re:Invent week, we had lots of new announcements, and in the next weeks you can find in your area a recap of all these launches. All the events will be posted on this site, so check it regularly to find an event nearby.

AWS re:Invent keynotes, leadership sessions, and breakout sessions are available on demand. I recommend that you check the playlists and find the talks about your favorite topics in one collection.

That’s all for this week. Check back next Monday for another Week in Review!

— Marcia

New – Trusted Language Extensions for PostgreSQL on Amazon Aurora and Amazon RDS

Post Syndicated from Channy Yun original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/new-trusted-language-extensions-for-postgresql-on-amazon-aurora-and-amazon-rds/

PostgreSQL has become the preferred open-source relational database for many enterprises and start-ups with its extensible design for developers. One of the reasons developers use PostgreSQL is it allows them to add database functionality by building extensions with their preferred programming languages.

You can already install and use PostgreSQL extensions in Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL-Compatible Edition and Amazon Relational Database Service for PostgreSQL. We support more than 85 PostgreSQL extensions in Amazon Aurora and Amazon RDS, such as the pgAudit extension for logging your database activity. While many workloads use these extensions, we heard our customers asking for flexibility to build and run the extensions of their choosing for their PostgreSQL database instances.

Today, we are announcing the general availability of Trusted Language Extensions for PostgreSQL (pg_tle), a new open-source development kit for building PostgreSQL extensions. With Trusted Language Extensions for PostgreSQL, developers can build high-performance extensions that run safely on PostgreSQL.

Trusted Language Extensions for PostgreSQL provides database administrators control over who can install extensions and a permissions model for running them, letting application developers deliver new functionality as soon as they determine an extension meets their needs.

To start building with Trusted Language Extensions, you can use trusted languages such as JavaScript, Perl, and PL/pgSQL. These trusted languages have safety attributes, including restricting direct access to the file system and preventing unwanted privilege escalations. You can easily install extensions written in a trusted language on Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL-Compatible Edition 14.5 and Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL 14.5 or a newer version.

Trusted Language Extensions for PostgreSQL is an open-source project licensed under Apache License 2.0 on GitHub. You can comment or suggest items on the Trusted Language Extensions for PostgreSQL roadmap and help us support this project across multiple programming languages, and more. Doing this as a community will help us make it easier for developers to use the best parts of PostgreSQL to build extensions.

Let’s explore how we can use Trusted Language Extensions for PostgreSQL to build a new PostgreSQL extension for Amazon Aurora and Amazon RDS.

Setting up Trusted Language Extensions for PostgreSQL
To use pg_tle with Amazon Aurora or Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL, you need to set up a parameter group that loads pg_tle in the PostgreSQL shared_preload_libraries setting. Choose Parameter groups in the left navigation pane in the Amazon RDS console and Create parameter group to make a new parameter group.

Choose Create after you select postgres14 with Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL in the Parameter group family and pg_tle in the Group Name. You can select aurora-postgresql14 for an Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL-Compatible cluster.

Choose a created pgtle parameter group and Edit in the Parameter group actions dropbox menu. You can search shared_preload_library in the search box and choose Edit parameter. You can add your preferred values, including pg_tle, and choose Save changes.

You can also do the same job in the AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI).

$ aws rds create-db-parameter-group \
  --region us-east-1 \
  --db-parameter-group-name pgtle \
  --db-parameter-group-family aurora-postgresql14 \
  --description "pgtle group"

$ aws rds modify-db-parameter-group \
  --region us-east-1 \
  --db-parameter-group-name pgtle \
  --parameters "ParameterName=shared_preload_libraries,ParameterValue=pg_tle,ApplyMethod=pending-reboot"

Now, you can add the pgtle parameter group to your Amazon Aurora or Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL database. If you have a database instance called testing-pgtle, you can add the pgtle parameter group to the database instance using the command below. Please note that this will cause an active instance to reboot.

$ aws rds modify-db-instance \
  --region us-east-1 \
  --db-instance-identifier testing-pgtle \
  --db-parameter-group-name pgtle-pg \
  --apply-immediately

Verify that the pg_tle library is available on your Amazon Aurora or Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL instance. Run the following command on your PostgreSQL instance:

SHOW shared_preload_libraries;

pg_tle should appear in the output.

Now, we need to create the pg_tle extension in your current database to run the command:

 CREATE EXTENSION pg_tle;

You can now create and install Trusted Language Extensions for PostgreSQL in your current database. If you create a new extension, you should grant the pgtle_admin role to your primary user (e.g., postgres) with the following command:

GRANT pgtle_admin TO postgres;

Let’s now see how to create our first pg_tle extension!

Building a Trusted Language Extension for PostgreSQL
For this example, we are going to build a pg_tle extension to validate that a user is not setting a password that’s found in a common password dictionary. Many teams have rules around the complexity of passwords, particularly for database users. PostgreSQL allows developers to help enforce password complexity using the check_password_hook.

In this example, you will build a password check hook using PL/pgSQL. In the hook, you can check to see if the user-supplied password is in a dictionary of 10 of the most common password values:

SELECT pgtle.install_extension (
  'my_password_check_rules',
  '1.0',
  'Do not let users use the 10 most commonly used passwords',
$_pgtle_$
  CREATE SCHEMA password_check;
  REVOKE ALL ON SCHEMA password_check FROM PUBLIC;
  GRANT USAGE ON SCHEMA password_check TO PUBLIC;

  CREATE TABLE password_check.bad_passwords (plaintext) AS
  VALUES
    ('123456'),
    ('password'),
    ('12345678'),
    ('qwerty'),
    ('123456789'),
    ('12345'),
    ('1234'),
    ('111111'),
    ('1234567'),
    ('dragon');
  CREATE UNIQUE INDEX ON password_check.bad_passwords (plaintext);

  CREATE FUNCTION password_check.passcheck_hook(username text, password text, password_type pgtle.password_types, valid_until timestamptz, valid_null boolean)
  RETURNS void AS $$
    DECLARE
      invalid bool := false;
    BEGIN
      IF password_type = 'PASSWORD_TYPE_MD5' THEN
        SELECT EXISTS(
          SELECT 1
          FROM password_check.bad_passwords bp
          WHERE ('md5' || md5(bp.plaintext || username)) = password
        ) INTO invalid;
        IF invalid THEN
          RAISE EXCEPTION 'password must not be found on a common password dictionary';
        END IF;
      ELSIF password_type = 'PASSWORD_TYPE_PLAINTEXT' THEN
        SELECT EXISTS(
          SELECT 1
          FROM password_check.bad_passwords bp
          WHERE bp.plaintext = password
        ) INTO invalid;
        IF invalid THEN
          RAISE EXCEPTION 'password must not be found on a common password dictionary';
        END IF;
      END IF;
    END
  $$ LANGUAGE plpgsql SECURITY DEFINER;

  GRANT EXECUTE ON FUNCTION password_check.passcheck_hook TO PUBLIC;

  SELECT pgtle.register_feature('password_check.passcheck_hook', 'passcheck');
$_pgtle_$
);

You need to enable the hook through the pgtle.enable_password_check configuration parameter. On Amazon Aurora and Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL, you can do so with the following command:

$ aws rds modify-db-parameter-group \
    --region us-east-1 \
    --db-parameter-group-name pgtle \
    --parameters "ParameterName=pgtle.enable_password_check,ParameterValue=on,ApplyMethod=immediate"

It may take several minutes for these changes to propagate. You can check that the value is set using the SHOW command:

SHOW pgtle.enable_password_check;

If the value is on, you will see the following output:

 pgtle.enable_password_check
-----------------------------
 on

Now you can create this extension in your current database and try setting your password to one of the dictionary passwords and observe how the hook rejects it:

CREATE EXTENSION my_password_check_rules;

CREATE ROLE test_role PASSWORD '123456';
ERROR:  password must not be found on a common password dictionary

CREATE ROLE test_role;
SET SESSION AUTHORIZATION test_role;
SET password_encryption TO 'md5';
\password
-- set to "password"
ERROR:  password must not be found on a common password dictionary

To disable the hook, set the value of pgtle.enable_password_check to off:

$ aws rds modify-db-parameter-group \
    --region us-east-1 \
    --db-parameter-group-name pgtle \
    --parameters "ParameterName=pgtle.enable_password_check,ParameterValue=off,ApplyMethod=immediate"

You can uninstall this pg_tle extension from your database and prevent anyone else from running CREATE EXTENSION on my_password_check_rules with the following command:

DROP EXTENSION my_password_check_rules;
SELECT pgtle.uninstall_extension('my_password_check_rules');

You can find more sample extensions and give them a try. To build and test your Trusted Language Extensions in your local PostgreSQL database, you can build from our source code after cloning the repository.

Join Our Community!
The Trusted Language Extensions for PostgreSQL community is open to everyone. Give it a try, and give us feedback on what you would like to see in future releases. We welcome any contributions, such as new features, example extensions, additional documentation, or any bug reports in GitHub.

To learn more about using Trusted Language Extensions for PostgreSQL in the AWS Cloud, see the Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL-Compatible Edition and Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL documentation.

Give it a try, and please send feedback to AWS re:Post for PostgreSQL or through your usual AWS support contacts.

Channy

New – Fully Managed Blue/Green Deployments in Amazon Aurora and Amazon RDS

Post Syndicated from Channy Yun original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/new-fully-managed-blue-green-deployments-in-amazon-aurora-and-amazon-rds/

When updating databases, using a blue/green deployment technique is an appealing option for users to minimize risk and downtime. This method of making database updates requires two database environments—your current production environment, or blue environment, and a staging environment, or green environment. You must then keep these two environments in sync with each other so you may safely test and upgrade your changes to production.

Amazon Aurora and Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) customers can use database cloning and promotable read replicas to help self-manage a blue/green deployment. However, self-managing a blue/green deployment can be costly and complex to build and manage. As a result, customers sometimes delay implementing database updates, choosing availability over the benefits that they would gain from updating their databases.

Today, we are announcing the general availability of Amazon RDS Blue/Green Deployments, a new feature for Amazon Aurora with MySQL compatibility, Amazon RDS for MySQL, and Amazon RDS for MariaDB that enables you to make database updates safer, simpler, and faster.

With just a few steps, you can use Blue/Green Deployments to create a separate, synchronized, fully managed staging environment that mirrors the production environment. The staging environment clones your production environment’s primary database and in-Region read replicas. Blue/Green Deployments keep these two environments in sync using logical replication.

In as fast as a minute, you can promote the staging environment to be the new production environment with no data loss. During switchover, Blue/Green Deployments blocks writes on blue and green environments so that the green catches up with the blue, ensuring no data loss. Then, Blue/Green Deployments redirects production traffic to the newly promoted staging environment, all without any code changes to your application.

With Blue/Green Deployments, you can make changes, such as major and minor version upgrades, schema modifications, and operating system or maintenance updates, to the staging environment without impacting the production workload.

Getting Started with Blue/Green Deployments for MySQL Clusters
You can start updating your databases with just a few clicks in the AWS Management Console. To get started, simply select the database that needs to be updated in the console and click Create Blue/Green Deployment under the Actions dropdown menu.

You can set a Blue/Green Deployment identifier and the attributes of your database to be modified, such as the engine version, DB cluster parameter group, and DB parameter group for green databases. To use a Blue/Green Deployment in your Aurora MySQL DB cluster, you should turn on binary logging, changing the value for the binlog_format parameter from OFF to MIXED in the DB cluster parameter group.

When you choose Create Blue/Green Deployment, it creates a new staging environment and runs automated tasks to prepare the database for production. Note, you will be charged the cost of the green database, including read replicas and DB instances in Multi-AZ deployments, and any other features such as Amazon RDS Performance Insights that you may have enabled on green.

You can also do the same job in the AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI). To perform an engine version upgrade, simply add a targetEngineVersion parameter and specify the engine version you’d like to upgrade to. This parameter works with both minor and major version upgrades, and it accepts short versions like 5.7 for Amazon Aurora MySQL-Compatible.

$ aws rds create-blue-green-deployment \
--blue-green-deployment-name my-bg-deployment \
--source arn:aws:rds:us-west-2:1234567890:db:my-aurora-mysql \
--target-engine-version 5.7 \
--region us-west-2 \

After creation is complete, you now have a staging environment that is ready for test and validation before promoting it to be the new production environment.

When testing and qualification of changes are complete, you can choose Switch over in the Actions dropdown menu to promote the staging environment marked as Green to be the new production system.

Now you are nearly ready to switch over your green databases to production. Check the settings of your green databases to verify that they are ready for the switchover. You may also set a timeout setting to determine the maximum time limit for your switchover. If Blue/Green Deployments’ switchover guardrails detect that it would take longer than the specified duration, then the switchover is canceled, and no changes are made to the environments. We recommend that you identify times of low or moderate production traffic to initiate a switchover.

After switchover, Blue/Green Deployments does not delete your old production environment. You may access it for additional validations and performance/regression testing, if needed. Please note that it is your responsibility to delete the old production environment when you no longer need it. Standard billing charges apply on old production instances until you delete them.

Now Available
Amazon RDS Blue/Green Deployments is available today on Amazon Aurora with MySQL Compatibility 5.6 or higher, Amazon RDS for MySQL major version 5.6 or higher, and Amazon RDS for MariaDB 10.2 and higher in all AWS commercial Regions, excluding China, and AWS GovCloud Regions.

To learn more, read the Amazon Aurora MySQL Developer Guide or the Amazon RDS for MySQL User Guide. Give it a try, and please send feedback to AWS re:Post for Amazon RDS or through your usual AWS support contacts.

Channy

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!

Danilo

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 [email protected]

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 [email protected] 10.0.0.0/16

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

Conclusion

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

AWS Week in Review – October 24, 2022

Post Syndicated from Channy Yun original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/aws-week-in-review-october-24-2022/

Last week, we announced plans to launch the AWS Asia Pacific (Bangkok) Region, which will become our third AWS Region in Southeast Asia. This Region will have three Availability Zones and will give AWS customers in Thailand the ability to run workloads and store data that must remain in-country.

In the Works – AWS Region in Thailand
With this big news, AWS announced a 190 billion baht (US 5 billion dollars) investment to drive Thailand’s digital future over the next 15 years. It includes capital expenditures on the construction of data centers, operational expenses related to ongoing utilities and facility costs, and the purchase of goods and services from Regional businesses.

Since we first opened an office in Bangkok in 2015, AWS has launched 10 Amazon CloudFront edge locations, a highly secure and programmable content delivery network (CDN) in Bangkok. In 2020, we launched AWS Outposts, a family of fully managed solutions delivering AWS infrastructure and services to virtually any on-premises or edge location for a truly consistent hybrid experience in Thailand. This year, we also plan the upcoming launch of an AWS Local Zone in Bangkok, which will enable customers to deliver applications that require single-digit millisecond latency to end users in Thailand.

Photo courtesy of Conor McNamara, Managing Director, ASEAN at AWS

The new AWS Region in Thailand is also part of our broader, multifaceted investment in the country, covering our local team, partners, skills, and the localization of services, including Amazon Transcribe, Amazon Translate, and Amazon Connect.

Many Thailand customers have chosen AWS to run their workloads to accelerate innovation, increase agility, and drive cost savings, such as 2C2P, CP All Plc., Digital Economy Promotion Agency, Energy Response Co. Ltd. (ENRES), PTT Global Public Company Limited (PTT), Siam Cement Group (SCG), Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University, The Stock Exchange of Thailand, Papyrus Studio, and more.

For example, Dr. Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon.com, introduced the story of Papyrus Studio, a large film studio and one of the first customers in Thailand.

“Customer stories like Papyrus Studio inspire us at AWS. The cloud can allow a small company to rapidly scale and compete globally. It also provides new opportunities to create, innovate, and identify business opportunities that just aren’t possible with conventional infrastructure.”

For more information on how to enable AWS and get support in Thailand, contact our AWS Thailand team.

Last Week’s Launches
My favorite news of last week was to launch dark mode as a beta feature in the AWS Management Console. In Unified Settings, you can choose between three settings for visual mode: Browser default, Light, and Dark. Browser default applies the default dark or light setting of the browser, dark applies the new built-in dark mode, and light maintains the current look and feel of the AWS console. Choose your favorite!

Here are some launches that caught my eye for web, mobile, and IoT application developers:

New AWS Amplify Library for Swift – We announce the general availability of Amplify Library for Swift (previously Amplify iOS). Developers can use Amplify Library for Swift via the Swift Package Manager to build apps for iOS and macOS (currently in beta) platforms with Auth, Storage, Geo, and more features.

The Amplify Library for Swift is open source on GitHub, and we deeply appreciate the feedback we have gotten from the community. To learn more, see Introducing the AWS Amplify Library for Swift in the AWS Front-End Web & Mobile Blog or Amplify Library for Swift documentation.

New Amazon IVS Chat SDKs – Amazon Interactive Video Service (Amazon IVS) now provides SDKs for stream chat with support for web, Android, and iOS. The Amazon IVS stream chat SDKs support common functions for chat room resource management, sending and receiving messages, and managing chat room participants.

Amazon IVS is a managed, live-video streaming service using the broadcast SDKs or standard streaming software such as Open Broadcaster Software (OBS). The service provides cross-platform player SDKs for playback of Amazon IVS streams you need to make low-latency live video available to any viewer around the world. Also, it offers Chat Client Messaging SDK. For more information, see Getting Started with Amazon IVS Chat in the AWS documentation.

New AWS Parameters and Secrets Lambda Extension – This is new extension for AWS Lambda developers to retrieve parameters from AWS Systems Manager Parameter Store and secrets from AWS Secrets Manager. Lambda function developers can leverage this extension to improve their application performance as it decreases the latency and the cost of retrieving parameters and secrets.

Previously, you had to initialize either the core library of a service or the entire service SDK inside a Lambda function for retrieving secrets and parameters. Now you can simply use the extension. To learn more, see AWS Systems Manager Parameter Store documentation and AWS Secrets Manager documentation.

New FreeRTOS Long Term Support Version – We announce the second release of FreeRTOS Long Term Support (LTS) – FreeRTOS 202210.00 LTS. FreeRTOS LTS offers a more stable foundation than standard releases as manufacturers deploy and later update devices in the field. This release includes new and upgraded libraries such as AWS IoT Fleet Provisioning, Cellular LTE-M Interface, coreMQTT, and FreeRTOS-Plus-TCP.

All libraries included in this FreeRTOS LTS version will receive security and critical bug fixes until October 2024. With an LTS release, you can continue to maintain your existing FreeRTOS code base and avoid any potential disruptions resulting from FreeRTOS version upgrades. To learn more, see the FreeRTOS announcement.

Here is some news on performance improvement and increasing capacity:

Up to 10X Improving Amazon Aurora Snapshot Exporting Speed – Amazon Aurora MySQL-Compatible Edition for MySQL 5.7 and 8.0 now speed up to 10x faster snapshot exports to Amazon S3. The performance improvement is automatically applied to all types of database snapshot exports, including manual snapshots, automated system snapshots, and snapshots created by the AWS Backup service. For more information, see Exporting DB cluster snapshot data to Amazon S3 in the Amazon Aurora documentation.

3X Increasing Amazon RDS Read Capacity – Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) for MySQL, MariaDB, and PostgreSQL now supports 15 read replicas per instance, including up to 5 cross-Region read replicas, delivering up to 3x the previous read capacity. For more information, see Working with read replicas in the Amazon RDS documentation.

2X Increasing AWS Snowball Edge Compute Capacity – The AWS Snowball Edge Compute Optimized device doubled the compute capacity up to 104 vCPUs, doubled the memory capacity up to 416GB RAM, and is now fully SSD with 28TB NVMe storage. The updated device is ideal when you need dense compute resources to run complex workloads such as machine learning inference or video analytics at the rugged, mobile edge such as trucks, aircraft or ships.  You can get started by ordering a Snowball Edge device on the AWS Snow Family console.

2X Increasing Amazon SQS FIFO Default Quota – Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS) announces the increase of default quota up to 6,000 transactions per second per API action. It is double the previous 3,000 throughput quota for a high throughput mode for FIFO (first in, first out) queues in all AWS Regions where Amazon SQS FIFO queue is available. For a detailed breakdown of default throughput quotas per Region, see Quotas related to messages in the Amazon SQS documentation.

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 other news items that you may find interesting:

22 New or Updated Open Datasets on AWS – We released 22 new or updated datasets, including Amazonia-1 imagery, Bitcoin and Ethereum data, and elevation data over the Arctic and Antarctica. The full list of publicly available datasets is on the Registry of Open Data on AWS and is now also discoverable on AWS Data Exchange.

Sustainability with AWS Partners (ft. AWS On Air) – This episode covers a broad discipline of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues across all regions, organization types, and industries. AWS Sustainability & Climate Tech provides a comprehensive portfolio of AWS Partner solutions built on AWS that address climate change events and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

AWS Open Source News and Updates #131 – This newsletter covers latest open-source projects such as Amazon EMR Toolkit for VS Code, a VS Code Extension to make it easier to develop Spark jobs on EMR and AWS CDK For Discourse, sample codes that demonstrates how to create a full environment for Discourse, etc. Remember to check out the Open source at AWS keep up to date with all our activity in open source by following us on @AWSOpen.

Upcoming AWS Events
Check your calendars and sign up for these AWS events:

AWS re:Invent 2022 Attendee Guide – Browse re:Invent 2022 attendee guides, curated by AWS Heroes, AWS industry teams, and AWS Partners. Each guide contains recommended sessions, tips and tricks for building your agenda, and other useful resources. Also, seat reservations for all sessions are now open for all re:Invent attendees. You can still register for AWS re:Invent either offline or online.

AWS AI/ML Innovation Day on October 25 – Join us for this year’s AWS AI/ML Innovation Day, where you’ll hear from Bratin Saha and other leaders in the field about the great strides AI/ML has made in the past and the promises awaiting us in the future.

AWS Container Day at Kubecon 2022 on October 25–28 – Come join us at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2022, where we’ll be hosting AWS Container Day Featuring Kubernetes on October 25 and educational sessions at our booth on October 26–28. Throughout the event, our sessions focus on security, cost optimization, GitOps/multi-cluster management, hybrid and edge compute, and more.

You can browse all upcoming in-person, and virtual events.

That’s all for this week. Check back next Monday for another Week in Review!

— Channy

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!

How Shiji Group created a global guest profile store on AWS

Post Syndicated from Maximilian Schellhorn original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/architecture/how-shiji-group-created-a-global-guest-profile-store-on-aws/

Shiji Group provides global software solutions for the hospitality industry. The Shiji Enterprise Platform enables customers to manage large hotel property portfolios using software as a service (SaaS). Among functionalities such as reservations, housekeeping, finance, and integrations with external systems, the guest profile is a key aspect of the system. Besides personal information (such as name and address) and billing details, the guest profile can include room preferences and entertainment options.

A property portfolio can span multiple hotels across the globe, and each hotel location can offer better customer service by consolidating data. Once the guest gives their cross-border data processing consent (CBDPC), profile information can be shared between properties. This provides a centralized and seamless experience for the hotel guest no matter which hotel in the portfolio was chosen.

In the following blog post, you will explore the architecture of the guest profile store that replicates the profile across multiple geographic areas. We will review the single Region design first and its infrastructure components and architectural patterns. We will then show the evolution to a multi-Region architecture.

Single Region architecture with CQRS

The ability to find relevant guest profile data fast is essential in the day-to-day hospitality business. Therefore, the following architecture uses the command query responsibility segregation (CQRS) pattern to provide high scalability and rich full-text search capabilities without sacrificing performance. With CQRS, write requests (commands) are targeting a different service than read requests (queries). This allows systems to store an item (such as a profile) in a search-optimized format for serving reads, while providing a simple schema for writes.

The microservices for the guest profile architecture are operated as containers on Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS). The write model of the guest profile is stored in an Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) PostgreSQL database. A separate read model uses Amazon OpenSearch Service. For interservice communication, Shiji runs a self-managed Apache Kafka cluster on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2).

The following diagram provides a walk through the single Region architecture:

Single Region architecture with CQRS

Figure 1. Single Region architecture with CQRS

  1. The front desk employee creates the Guest Profile upon first interaction with the hotel guest (name, address, billing, and room preferences).
  2. The request is routed to the Kong API Management Solution that is running in an Amazon EKS Kubernetes cluster. It acts as the single entry-point to the system. It identifies the type of request by parsing the URL and forwarding write requests to the profile-write-model-service.
  3. The service validates the request. It stores the data and ProfileCreated event in the PostgreSQL database, Amazon RDS.
  4. A change data capture (CDC) mechanism publishes the ProfileCreated event to an Apache Kafka Local Profiles topic.
  5. The profile-read-model-service subscribes to the Local Profiles topic and stores the profile in an optimized read format in Amazon OpenSearch. Whenever the hotel performs a guest profile search, results will now be provided via the profile-read-model-service.

Multi-Region networking setup

Shiji operates in multiple AWS Regions to provide low latency, regulatory requirements, and resilience across the globe. The previously presented single Region architecture can be replicated to multiple AWS Regions (eu-central-1 and ap-southeast-1, for example). Hotels with a given property portfolio that operate in the same Region can reuse the profile store of the Shiji Enterprise Platform. However, hotels that are being operated in a different AWS Region can be interconnected as well.

This is achieved by providing an AWS Transit Gateway in a separate networking account that connects the different Regions with a VPC attachment:

Multi-Region networking setup

Figure 2. Multi-Region networking setup

The account segregation provides an additional layer of flexibility to add further Regions in the future.

Multi-Region event replication

Upon first arrival, guests can choose to sign a cross-border-data processing consent (CBDPC). This permits the hotel to share the profile information globally. If accepted, the profile-write-model-service creates an additional ProfileCreated event that gets published to a GlobalProfilesEU Apache Kafka topic. This topic is accessible for subscribers in the target Region, which replicates relevant profiles into the local database as follows.

A replicator-service in the target Region (ap-souteast-1) is now able to subscribe to the GlobalProfileEU topic in (eu-central-1), via the established network connection from the previous section. It republishes the event to a local ReplicatedProfiles topic that the profile-write-model-service subscribes to and saves to the local database:

Event replication

Figure 3. Event replication

Putting it all together: The multi-Region guest profile store

The following diagram combines all the components from the previous sections. It provides an end-to-end look at the multi-Region guest profile architecture. Due to the event driven nature of the system, the architecture can be extended without changing the initial flow outlined in the single Region design.

Multi-Region guest profile architecture

Figure 4. Multi-Region guest profile architecture

  1. If the hotel guest signed a cross-border data processing consent (CBDPC), the ProfileCreated event will also be published to a Global Profiles topic.
  2. The replicator-service in the target Region (for example, ap-southeast-1) subscribes to the Global Profiles topic of the source Region (for example, eu-central-1). It then publishes the event to its local Replicated Profiles topic.
  3. The profile-write-model-service in the target Region subscribes to the Replicated Profiles topic and records the item in the Amazon RDS PostgreSQL database with information about the source Region. This will initiate the local replication similar to the single Region design, and therefore creates a consistent experience between both Regions.

Conclusion and outlook

In this blog post, we showed how Shiji built a modern multi-Region microservice architecture on AWS. You have learned about patterns such as CQRS, which provide a scalable solution for both read and write traffic. We’ve also shown what is needed to interconnect two physically separated Regions. With cross-border data processing consent (CBDPC), you have seen how the ownership of guest data can be secured and utilized. The single Region architecture already provided a solid baseline for this solution architecture. The event-driven nature of the system permitted us to add additional functionality for the final multi-Region architecture.

The ability to manage a global guest profile within the main system as well as at the property itself is a huge advantage for enterprise hotel companies. It permits hotels to deliver a unified experience to their guests no matter where the guest is within the hotel or on their journey. Food preferences, spa, room, and more, can all be managed from a single guest profile. This centralized information hasn’t been possible within the hotel’s property management system (PMS) until recently.

Visit Shiji Enterprise Platform for more information.

How ZS created a multi-tenant self-service data orchestration platform using Amazon MWAA

Post Syndicated from Manish Mehra original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/big-data/how-zs-created-a-multi-tenant-self-service-data-orchestration-platform-using-amazon-mwaa/

This is post is co-authored by Manish Mehra, Anirudh Vohra, Sidrah Sayyad, and Abhishek I S (from ZS), and Parnab Basak (from AWS). The team at ZS collaborated closely with AWS to build a modern, cloud-native data orchestration platform.

ZS is a management consulting and technology firm focused on transforming global healthcare and beyond. We leverage our leading-edge analytics, plus the power of data, science, and products, to help our clients make more intelligent decisions, deliver innovative solutions, and improve outcomes for all. Founded in 1983, ZS has more than 12,000 employees in 35 offices worldwide.

ZAIDYNTM by ZS is an intelligent, cloud-native platform that helps life sciences organizations shape the future. Its analytics, algorithms, and workflows empower people, transform processes, and unlock real value. Designed to learn and grow with our clients, the platform is modular, future-ready, and fueled by global connectivity. And as more people engage, share, and build, our platform gets smarter—helping organizations fuel discovery, connect with customers, deliver treatments, and improve lives. ZAIDYN is helping companies of all sizes gain fluency in the full spectrum of life sciences so they can move faster, together through its Data & Analytics, Customer Engagement, Field Performance and Clinical Development offerings.

ZAIDYN Data & Analytics apps provide business users with self-service tools to innovate and scale insights delivery across the enterprise. ZAIDYN Data Hub (a part of the Data & Analytics product category) provides self-service options for guided workflows, data connectors, quality checks, and more. The elastic data processing offered by AWS helps prioritize processing speeds.

Data Hub customers wanted a one-stop solution for managing their data pipelines. A solution that does not require end users to gain additional knowledge about the nitty-gritties of the tool, one which is easy for users to get onboarded on, thereby increasing the demand for data orchestration capabilities within the application. A few of the sophisticated asks like start and stop of workflows, maintaining history of past runs, and providing real-time status updates for individual tasks of the workflow became increasingly important for end clients. We needed a mature orchestration tool, which led us to Amazon Managed Workflows for Apache Airflow (Amazon MWAA).

Amazon MWAA is a managed orchestration service for Apache Airflow that makes it easier to set up and operate end-to-end data pipelines in the cloud at scale.

In this post, we share how ZS created a multi-tenant self-service data orchestration platform using Amazon MWAA.

Why we chose Amazon MWAA

Choosing the right orchestration tool was critical for us because we had to ensure that the service was operationally efficient and cost-effective, provided high availability, had extensive features to support our business cases, and yet was easy to adapt for our end-users (data engineers). We evaluated and experimented among Amazon MWAA, Azkaban on Amazon EMR, and AWS Step Functions before project initiation.

The following benefits of Amazon MWAA convinced us to adopt it:

  • AWS managed service – With Amazon MWAA, we don’t have to manage the underlying infrastructure for scalability and availability to maintain quality of service. The built-in autoscaling mechanism of Amazon MWAA automatically increases the number of Apache Airflow workers in response to running and queued tasks, and disposes of extra workers when there are no more tasks queued or running. The default environment is already built for high availability with multiple Airflow schedulers and workers, and the metadata database distributed across multiple Availability Zones. We also evaluated hosting open-source Airflow on our ZS infrastructure. However, due to infrastructure maintenance overhead and the high investment needed to make and maintain it at production grade, we decided to drop that option.
  • Security – With Amazon MWAA, our data is secure by default because workloads run in our own isolated and secure cloud environment using Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC), and data is automatically encrypted using AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS). We can control role-based authentication and authorization for Apache Airflow’s user interface via AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), providing users single sign-on (SSO) access for scheduling and viewing workflow runs.
  • Compatibility and active community support – Amazon MWAA hosts the same open-source Apache Airflow version without any forks. The open-source community for Apache Airflow is very active with multiple commits, files changes, issue resolutions, and community advice.
  • Language and connector support – The flow definitions for Apache Airflow are based on Python, which is easy for our engineers to adapt. An extensive list of features and connectors is available out of the box in Amazon MWAA, including connectors for Hive, Amazon EMR, Livy, and Kubernetes. We needed to run all our Data Hub jobs (ingestion, applying custom rules and quality checks, or exporting data to third-party systems) on Amazon EMR. The necessary Amazon EMR operators are already available as a part of the Amazon-provided package for Airflow (apache-airflow-providers-amazon), which we could supplement rather than construct one from the ground up.
  • Cost – Cost was the most important aspect for us when adopting Amazon MWAA. Amazon MWAA is useful for those who are running thousands of tasks in the prod environment, which is why we decided to the make the Amazon MWAA environment multi-tenant such that the cost can be shared among clients. With our large Amazon MWAA environment, we only pay for what we use, with no minimum fees or upfront commitments. We estimated paying less than $1,000 per month, combined for our environment usage and additional worker instance pricing, yet achieve the scale of being able to run 200 concurrent tasks running 3 hours per day over 10 concurrent workers. This meant reduced operational costs and engineering overhead while meeting the on-demand monitoring needs of end-to-end data pipeline orchestration.

Solution overview

The following diagram illustrates the solution architecture.

We have a common control tier account where we host our software as a service application (Data Hub) on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances. Each client has their own version of this application deployed on this shared infrastructure. Amazon MWAA is also hosted in the same common control tier account. The control tier account has connectivity with tenant-specific AWS accounts. This is to maintain strong physical isolation of client data by segregating the AWS accounts for each client. Each client-specific account hosts EMR clusters where data processing takes place. When a processing job is complete, data may reside on Amazon EMR (an HDFS cluster) or on Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), an EMRFS cluster, depending on configuration. The DAG files generated by our Data Hub application contain metadata of the processes, and don’t contain any sensitive client information. When a job is submitted from Data Hub, the API request contains tenant-specific information needed to pull up the corresponding AWS connection details, which are stored as Airflow connection objects. These connection details are consumed by our custom implementation of Airflow EMR step operators (add and watch) to perform operations on the tenant EMR clusters.

Because the data orchestration capability is an application offering, the client teams create their processes on the Data Hub UI and don’t have access to the underlying Amazon MWAA environment.

The following screenshot shows how an end-user can configure Data Hub process on the application UI.

How Data Hub processes map to Amazon MWAA DAGs

Data Hub processes map to Amazon MWAA DAGs as follows:

  • Each process in Data Hub corresponds to a DAG in Amazon MWAA, and each component is a task (denoted by Sn​) that is submitted as a step on the client EMR clusters.
  • The application generates the DAG file dynamically and updates it on the S3 bucket linked to the Amazon MWAA environment.
  • Parsing dedicated structures representing a given process and submitting or tracking the Amazon EMR steps is abstracted from the end-user. Dynamic DAG generation is responsible for using the latest version of the underlying components and helps in managing the DAG schedule.
  • Some Airflow tasks are created as a part of the DAG, which take care of interacting with the application APIs to ensure that the required metadata is captured in a separate Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) database instance.

A user can trigger a given process to run from the Data Hub UI or can schedule it to run at a specified time. Because a single Amazon MWAA environment is responsible for the data orchestration needs of multiple clients, our DAG decode logic ensures that the correct EMR cluster ID and Airflow connection ID are picked up at runtime. The configs responsible for storing these details are placed and updated on the S3 buckets via an automated deployment pipeline. A dedicated connection ID is created per client in Airflow, which is then utilized in our custom implementation of EmrAddStepsOperator. The connection ID captures the Region and role ARN to be assumed to interact with the EMR cluster in the client account. These cross-account roles have access to limited resources in each client account, following the principle of least privilege.

Generating a DAG from a process defined on Data Hub UI

Our front-end application is built using Angular (version 11) and uses a third-party library that facilitates drag-and-drop of components from the left pane on a canvas. Components are stitched together with connections defining dependencies to form a process. This process is translated by our custom engine to generate a dynamic Airflow DAG. A sample DAG generated from the preceding example process defined on the UI looks like the following figure.

We wrap the DAG by PEntry and PExit Python operators, and for each of the components on the Data Hub UI, we create two tasks: Cn and Wn.

The relevant terms for this solution are as follows:

  • PEntry​ – The Python operator used to insert an entry in the RDS database that the process run has started via API call.​
  • Cn– The ZS custom implementation of EMRAddStepsOperator used to submit a job (Data Hub component) on a running EMR cluster.​ This is followed by an API call to insert an entry in the database that the component job has started.​
  • Wn– The custom implementation of Airflow Watcher (EmrStepSensor), which checks the status of the step from our metadata database.​
  • PExit​ – The Python operator used to update an entry in the RDS database (more of a finally block) via API call.​

Lessons learned during the implementation

When implementing this solution, we learned the following:

  • We faced challenges in being able to consistently predict when a DAG will be parsed and made available in the Airflow UI in Amazon MWAA after the DAG file is synced to the linked S3 bucket. Depending on how complex the DAG is, it could happen within seconds or several minutes. Due to the lack of availability of an API or AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI) command to ascertain this, we put in some blanket restrictions (delay) on user operations from our UI to overcome this limitation.
  • Within Airflow, data pipelines are represented by DAGs, and these DAGs change over time as business needs evolve. A key challenge faced by Airflow users is looking at how a DAG was run in the past, and when it was replaced by a newer version of the DAG. This is because within Airflow (as of this writing), only the current (latest) version of the DAG is represented within the user interface, without any reference to prior versions of the DAG. To overcome this limitation, we implemented a backend way of generating a DAG from the available metadata, and use it to version control over runs.
  • Airflow CLI commands when invoked in DAGs always return an HTTP 200 response. You can’t solely rely on the HTTP response code to ascertain the status of commands. We applied additional parsing logic (particularly to analyze the errors on failure) to determine the true status of commands.
  • Airflow doesn’t have a command to gracefully stop a DAG that is currently running. You can stop a DAG (unmark as running) and clear the task’s state or even delete it in the UI. The actual running tasks in the executor won’t stop, but might be stopped if the executor realizes that it’s not in the database anymore.

Conclusion

Amazon MWAA sets up Apache Airflow for you using the same Apache Airflow user interface and open-source code. With Amazon MWAA, you can use Airflow and Python to create workflows without having to manage the underlying infrastructure for scalability, availability, and security. Amazon MWAA automatically scales its workflow run capacity to meet your needs, and is integrated with AWS security services to help provide you with fast and secure access to your data. In this post, we discussed how you can build a bridge tenancy isolation model with a central Amazon MWAA orchestrating task against independent infrastructure stacks in dedicated accounts deployed for each of your tenants. Through a custom UI, you can enable self-service workflow runs via Airflow dynamic DAGs using the power and flexibility of Python. This enables you to achieve economies of scale and operational efficiency while meeting your regulatory, security, and cost considerations.


About the Authors

Manish Mehra is a Software Architect, working with the SD group in ZS. He has more than 11 years of experience working in banking, gaming, and life science domains. He is currently looking into the architecture of the Data & Analytics product category of the ZAIDYN Platform. He has expertise in full-stack application development and building robust, scalable, enterprise-grade big data applications.

Anirudh Vohra is a Director of Cloud Architecture, working within the Cloud Center of Excellence space at ZS. He is passionate about being a developer advocate for internal engineering teams, also designing and building cloud platforms and abstractions to empower developers and troubleshoot complex systems.

Abhishek I S is Associate Cloud Architect at ZS Associates working within the Cloud Centre of Excellence space. He has diverse experience ranging from application development to cloud engineering. Currently, he is primarily focusing on architecture design and automation for the cloud-native solutions of various ZS products.

Sidrah Sayyad is an Associate Software Architect at ZS working within the Software Development (SD) group. She has 9 years of experience, which includes working on identity management, infrastructure management, and ETL applications. She is passionate about coding and helps architect and build applications to achieve business outcomes.

Parnab Basak is a Solutions Architect and a Serverless Specialist at AWS. He specializes in creating new solutions that are cloud native using modern software development practices like serverless, DevOps, and analytics. Parnab was closely involved with the engagement with ZS, providing architectural guidance as well as helping the team overcome technical challenges during the implementation.

AWS Week in Review – August 29, 2022

Post Syndicated from Antje Barth original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/aws-week-in-review-august-29-2022/

I’ve just returned from data and machine learning (ML) conferences in Los Angeles and San Francisco, California. It’s been great to chat with customers and developers about the latest technology trends and use cases. This past week has also been packed with launches at AWS.

Last Week’s Launches
Here are some launches that got my attention during the previous week:

Amazon QuickSight announces fine-grained visual embedding. You can now embed individual visuals from QuickSight dashboards in applications and portals to provide key insights to users where they’re needed most. Check out Donnie’s blog post to learn more, and tune into this week’s The Official AWS Podcast episode.

Sample Web App with a Visual

Sample Web App with a Visual

Amazon SageMaker Automatic Model Tuning is now available in the Europe (Milan), Africa (Cape Town), Asia Pacific (Osaka), and Asia Pacific (Jakarta) Regions. In addition, SageMaker Automatic Model Tuning now reuses SageMaker Training instances to reduce start-up overheads by 20x. In scenarios where you have a large number of hyperparameter evaluations, the reuse of training instances can cumulatively save 2 hours for every 50 sequential evaluations.

Amazon RDS now supports setting up connectivity between your RDS database and EC2 compute instance in one click. Amazon RDS automatically sets up your VPC and related network settings during database creation to enable a secure connection between the EC2 instance and the RDS database.

In addition, Amazon RDS for Oracle now supports managed Oracle Data Guard Switchover and Automated Backups for replicas. With the Oracle Data Guard Switchover feature, you can reverse the roles between the primary database and one of its standby databases (replicas) with no data loss and a brief outage. You can also now create Automated Backups and manual DB snapshots of an RDS for Oracle replica, which reduces the time spent taking backups following a role transition.

Amazon Forecast now supports what-if analyses. Amazon Forecast is a fully managed service that uses ML algorithms to deliver highly accurate time series forecasts.  You can now use what-if analyses to quantify the potential impact of business scenarios on your demand forecasts.

AWS Asia Pacific (Jakarta) Region now supports additional AWS services and EC2 instance types – Amazon SageMaker, AWS Application Migration Service, AWS Glue, Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS (ROSA), and Amazon EC2 X2idn and X2iedn instances are now available in the Asia Pacific (Jakarta) Region.

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 news, blog posts, and fun code competitions you may find interesting:

Scaling AI and Machine Learning Workloads with Ray on AWS – This past week, I attended Ray Summit in San Francisco, California, and had great conversations with the community. Check out this blog post to learn more about AWS contributions to the scalability and operational efficiency of Ray on AWS.

Ray on AWS

New AWS Heroes – It’s great to see both new and familiar faces joining the AWS Heroes program, a worldwide initiative that acknowledges individuals who have truly gone above and beyond to share knowledge in technical communities. Get to know them in the blog post!

DFL Bundesliga Data ShootoutDFL Deutsche Fußball Liga launched a code competition, powered by AWS: the Bundesliga Data Shootout. The task: Develop a computer vision model to classify events on the pitch. Join the competition as an individual or in a team and win prizes.

Become an AWS GameDay World Champion – AWS GameDay is an interactive, team-based learning experience designed to put your AWS skills to the test by solving real-world problems in a gamified, risk-free environment. Developers of all skill levels can get in on the action, to compete for worldwide glory, as well as a chance to claim the top prize: an all-expenses-paid trip to AWS re:Invent Las Vegas 2022!

Learn more about the AWS Impact Accelerator for Black Founders from one of the inaugural members of the program in this blog post. The AWS Impact Accelerator is a series of programs designed to help high-potential, pre-seed start-ups led by underrepresented founders succeed.

Upcoming AWS Events
Check your calendars and sign up for these AWS events:

AWS SummitAWS Global Summits – AWS Global Summits are free events that bring the cloud computing community together to connect, collaborate, and learn about AWS.

Registration is open for the following in-person AWS Summits that might be close to you in August and September: Canberra (August 31), Ottawa (September 8), New Delhi (September 9), and Mexico City (September 21–22), Bogotá (October 4), and Singapore (October 6).

AWS Community DayAWS Community DaysAWS Community Day events are community-led conferences that deliver a peer-to-peer learning experience, providing developers with a venue for them to acquire AWS knowledge in their preferred way: from one another.

In September, the AWS community will host events in the Bay Area, California (September 9) and in Arlington, Virginia (September 30). In October, you can join Community Days in Amersfoort, Netherlands (October 3), in Warsaw, Poland (October 14), and in Dresden, Germany (October 19).

That’s all for this week. Check back next Monday for another Week in Review! And maybe I’ll see you at the AWS Community Day here in the Bay Area!

Antje

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!

AWS Week in Review – August 8, 2022

Post Syndicated from Steve Roberts original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/aws-week-in-review-august-8-2022/

As an ex-.NET developer, and now Developer Advocate for .NET at AWS, I’m excited to bring you this week’s Week in Review post, for reasons that will quickly become apparent! There are several updates, customer stories, and events I want to bring to your attention, so let’s dive straight in!

Last Week’s launches
.NET developers, here are two new updates to be aware of—and be sure to check out the events section below for another big announcement:

Tiered pricing for AWS Lambda will interest customers running large workloads on Lambda. The tiers, based on compute duration (measured in GB-seconds), help you save on monthly costs—automatically. Find out more about the new tiers, and see some worked examples showing just how they can help reduce costs, in this AWS Compute Blog post by Heeki Park, a Principal Solutions Architect for Serverless.

Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) released updates for several popular database engines:

  • RDS for Oracle now supports the April 2022 patch.
  • RDS for PostgreSQL now supports new minor versions. Besides the version upgrades, there are also updates for the PostgreSQL extensions pglogical, pg_hint_plan, and hll.
  • RDS for MySQL can now enforce SSL/TLS for client connections to your databases to help enhance transport layer security. You can enforce SSL/TLS by simply enabling the require_secure_transport parameter (disabled by default) via the Amazon RDS Management console, the AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI), AWS Tools for PowerShell, or using the API. When you enable this parameter, clients will only be able to connect if an encrypted connection can be established.

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) expanded availability of the latest generation storage-optimized Is4gen and Im4gn instances to the Asia Pacific (Sydney), Canada (Central), Europe (Frankfurt), and Europe (London) Regions. Built on the AWS Nitro System and powered by AWS Graviton2 processors, these instance types feature up to 30 TB of storage using the new custom-designed AWS Nitro System SSDs. They’re ideal for maximizing the storage performance of I/O intensive workloads that continuously read and write from the SSDs in a sustained manner, for example SQL/NoSQL databases, search engines, distributed file systems, and data analytics.

Lastly, there’s a new URL from AWS Support API to use when you need to access the AWS Support Center console. I recommend bookmarking the new URL, https://support.console.aws.amazon.com/, which the team built using the latest architectural standards for high availability and Region redundancy to ensure you’re always able to contact AWS Support via the console.

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’s some other news items and customer stories that you may find interesting:

AWS Open Source News and Updates – Catch up on all the latest open-source projects, tools, and demos from the AWS community in installment #123 of the weekly open source newsletter.

In one recent AWS on Air livestream segment from AWS re:MARS, discussing the increasing scale of machine learning (ML) models, our guests mentioned billion-parameter ML models which quite intrigued me. As an ex-developer, my mental model of parameters is a handful of values, if that, supplied to methods or functions—not billions. Of course, I’ve since learned they’re not the same thing! As I continue my own ML learning journey I was particularly interested in reading this Amazon Science blog on 20B-parameter Alexa Teacher Models (AlexaTM). These large-scale multilingual language models can learn new concepts and transfer knowledge from one language or task to another with minimal human input, given only a few examples of a task in a new language.

When developing games intended to run fully in the cloud, what benefits might there be in going fully cloud-native and moving the entire process into the cloud? Find out in this customer story from Return Entertainment, who did just that to build a cloud-native gaming infrastructure in a few months, reducing time and cost with AWS services.

Upcoming events
Check your calendar and sign up for these online and in-person AWS events:

AWS Storage Day: On August 10, tune into this virtual event on twitch.tv/aws, 9:00 AM–4.30 PM PT, where we’ll be diving into building data resiliency into your organization, and how to put data to work to gain insights and realize its potential, while also optimizing your storage costs. Register for the event here.

AWS SummitAWS Global Summits: These free events bring the cloud computing community together to connect, collaborate, and learn about AWS. Registration is open for the following AWS Summits in August:

AWS .NET Enterprise Developer Days 2022 – North America: Registration for this free, 2-day, in-person event and follow-up 2-day virtual event opened this past week. The in-person event runs September 7–8, at the Palmer Events Center in Austin, Texas. The virtual event runs September 13–14. AWS .NET Enterprise Developer Days (.NET EDD) runs as a mini-conference within the DeveloperWeek Cloud conference (also in-person and virtual). Anyone registering for .NET EDD is eligible for a free pass to DeveloperWeek Cloud, and vice versa! I’m super excited to be helping organize this third .NET event from AWS, our first that has an in-person version. If you’re a .NET developer working with AWS, I encourage you to check it out!

That’s all for this week. Be sure to check back next Monday for another Week in Review roundup!

— Steve
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!

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.

Danilo

How Munich Re Automation Solutions Ltd built a digital insurance platform on AWS

Post Syndicated from Sid Singh original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/architecture/how-munich-re-automation-solutions-ltd-built-a-digital-insurance-platform-on-aws/

Underwriting for life insurance can be quite manual and often time-intensive with lots of re-keying by advisers before underwriting decisions can be made and policies finally issued. In the digital age, people purchasing life insurance want self-service interactions with their prospective insurer. People want speed of transaction with time to cover reduced from days to minutes. While this has been achieved in the general insurance space with online car and home insurance journeys, this is not always the case in the life insurance space. This is where Munich Re Automation Solutions Ltd (MRAS) offers its customers, a competitive edge to shrink the quote-to-fulfilment process using their ALLFINANZ solution.

ALLFINANZ is a cloud-based life insurance and analytics solution to underwrite new life insurance business. It is designed to transform the end consumer’s journey, delivering everything they need to become a policyholder. The core digital services offered to all ALLFINANZ customers include Rulebook Hub, Risk Assessment Interview delivery, Decision Engine, deep analytics (including predictive modeling capabilities), and technical integration services—for example, API integration and SSO integration.

Current state architecture

The ALLFINANZ application began as a traditional three-tier architecture deployed within a datacenter. As MRAS migrated their workload to the AWS cloud, they looked at their regulatory requirements and the technology stack, and decided on the silo model of the multi-tenant SaaS system. Each tenant is provided a dedicated Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) that holds network and application components, fully isolated from other primary insurers.

As an entry point into the ALLFINANZ environment, MRAS uses Amazon Route 53 to route incoming traffic to the appropriate Amazon VPC. The routing relies on a model where subdomains are assigned to each tenant, for example the subdomain allfinanz.tenant1.munichre.cloud is the subdomain for tenant 1. The diagram below shows the ALLFINANZ architecture. Note: not all links between components are shown here for simplicity.

Current high-level solution architecture for the ALLFINANZ solution

Figure 1. Current high-level solution architecture for the ALLFINANZ solution

  1. The solution uses Route 53 as the DNS service, which provides two entry points to the SaaS solution for MRAS customers:
    • The URL allfinanz.<tenant-id>.munichre.cloud allows user access to the ALLFINANZ Interview Screen (AIS). The AIS can exist as a standalone application, or can be integrated with a customer’s wider digital point-of -sale process.
    • The URL api.allfinanz.<tenant-id>.munichre.cloud is used for accessing the application’s Web services and REST APIs.
  2. Traffic from both entry points flows through the load balancers. While HTTP/S traffic from the application user access entry point flows through an Application Load Balancer (ALB), TCP traffic from the REST API clients flows through a Network Load Balancer (NLB). Transport Layer Security (TLS) termination for user traffic happens at the ALB using certificates provided by the AWS Certificate Manager.  Secure communication over the public network is enforced through TLS validation of the server’s identity.
  3. Unlike application user access traffic, REST API clients use mutual TLS authentication to authenticate a customer’s server. Since NLB doesn’t support mutual TLS, MRAS opted for a solution to pass this traffic to a backend NGINX server for the TLS termination. Mutual TLS is enforced by using self-signed client and server certificates issued by a certificate authority that both the client and the server trust.
  4. Authenticated traffic from ALB and NGINX servers is routed to EC2 instances hosting the application logic. These EC2 instances are hosted in an auto-scaling group spanning two Availability Zones (AZs) to provide high availability and elasticity, therefore, allowing the application to scale to meet fluctuating demand.
  5. Application transactions are persisted in the backend Amazon Relational Database Service MySQL instances. This database layer is configured across multi-AZs, providing high availability and automatic failover.
  6. The application requires the capability to integrate evidence from data sources external to the ALLFINANZ service. This message sharing is enabled through the Amazon MQ managed message broker service for Apache Active MQ.
  7. Amazon CloudWatch is used for end-to-end platform monitoring through logs collection and application and infrastructure metrics and alerts to support ongoing visibility of the health of the application.
  8. Software deployment and associated infrastructure provisioning is automated through infrastructure as code using a combination of Git, Amazon CodeCommit, Ansible, and Terraform.
  9. Amazon GuardDuty continuously monitors the application for malicious activity and delivers detailed security findings for visibility and remediation. GuardDuty also allows MRAS to provide evidence of the application’s strong security posture to meet audit and regulatory requirements.

High availability, resiliency, and security

MRAS deploys their solution across multiple AWS AZs to meet high-availability requirements and ensure operational resiliency. If one AZ has an ongoing event, the solution will remain operational, as there are instances receiving production traffic in another AZ. As described above, this is achieved using ALBs and NLBs to distribute requests to the application subnets across AZs.

The ALLFINANZ solution uses private subnets to segregate core application components and the database storage platform. Security groups provide networking security measures at the elastic network interface level. MRAS restrict access from incoming connection requests to ranges of IP addresses by attaching security groups to the ALBs. Amazon Inspector monitors workloads for software vulnerabilities and unintended network exposure. AWS WAF is integrated with the ALB to protect from SQL injection or cross-site scripting attacks on the application.

Optimizing the existing workload

One of the key benefits of this architecture is that now MRAS can standardize the infrastructure configuration and ensure consistent versioning of the workload across tenants. This makes onboarding new tenants as simple as provisioning another VPC with the same infrastructure footprint.

MRAS are continuing to optimize their architecture iteratively, examining components to modernize to cloud-native components and evolving towards the pool model of multi-tenant SaaS architecture wherever possible. For example, MRAS centralized their per-tenant NAT gateway deployment to a centralized outbound Internet routing design using AWS Transit Gateway, saving approximately 30% on their overall NAT gateway spend.

Conclusion

The AWS global infrastructure has allowed MRAS to serve more than 40 customers in five AWS regions around the world. This solution improves customers’ experience and workload maintainability by standardizing and automating the infrastructure and workload configuration within a SaaS model, compared with multiple versions for the on-premise deployments. SaaS customers are also freed up from the undifferentiated heavy lifting of infrastructure operations, allowing them to focus on their business of underwriting for life insurance.

MRAS used the AWS Well-Architected Framework to assess their architecture and list key recommendations. AWS also offers Well-Architected SaaS Lens and AWS SaaS Factory Program, with a collection of resources to empower and enable insurers at any stage of their SaaS on AWS journey.

AWS Week In Review – July 11, 2022

Post Syndicated from Sébastien Stormacq original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/aws-week-in-review-july-11/

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!

In France, we know summer has started when you see the Tour de France bike race on TV or in a city nearby. This year, the tour stopped in the city where I live, and I was blocked on my way back home from a customer conference to let the race pass through.

It’s Monday today, so let’s make another tour—a tour of the AWS news, announcements, or blog posts that captured my attention last week. I selected these as being of interest to IT professionals and developers: the doers, the builders that spend their time on the AWS Management Console or in code.

Last Week’s Launches
Here are some launches that got my attention during the previous week:

Amazon EC2 Mac M1 instances are generally available – this new EC2 instance type allows you to deploy Mac mini computers with M1 Apple Silicon running macOS using the same console, API, SDK, or CLI you are used to for interacting with EC2 instances. You can start, stop them, assign a security group or an IAM role, snapshot their EBS volume, and recreate an AMI from it, just like with Linux-based or Windows-based instances. It lets iOS developers create full CI/CD pipelines in the cloud without requiring someone in your team to reinstall various combinations of macOS and Xcode versions on on-prem machines. Some of you had the chance the enter the preview program for EC2 Mac M1 instances when we announced it last December. EC2 Mac M1 instances are now generally available.

AWS IAM Roles Anywhere – this is one of those incremental changes that has the potential to unlock new use cases on the edge or on-prem. AWS IAM Roles Anywhere enables you to use IAM roles for your applications outside of AWS to access AWS APIs securely, the same way that you use IAM roles for workloads on AWS. With IAM Roles Anywhere, you can deliver short-term credentials to your on-premises servers, containers, or other compute platforms. It requires an on-prem Certificate Authority registered as a trusted source in IAM. IAM Roles Anywhere exchanges certificates issued by this CA for a set of short-term AWS credentials limited in scope by the IAM role associated to the session. To make it easy to use, we do provide a CLI-based signing helper tool that can be integrated in your CLI configuration.

A streamlined deployment experience for .NET applications – the new deployment experience focuses on the type of application you want to deploy instead of individual AWS services by providing intelligent compute recommendations. You can find it in the AWS Toolkit for Visual Studio using the new “Publish to AWS” wizard. It is also available via the .NET CLI by installing AWS Deploy Tool for .NET. Together, they help easily transition from a prototyping phase in Visual Studio to automated deployments. The new deployment experience supports ASP.NET Core, Blazor WebAssembly, console applications (such as long-lived message processing services), and tasks that need to run on a schedule.

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

Other AWS News
This week, I also learned from these blog posts:

TLS 1.2 to become the minimum TLS protocol level for all AWS API endpointsthis article was published at the end of June, and it deserves more exposure. Starting in June 2022, we will progressively transition all our API endpoints to TLS 1.2 only. The good news is that 95 percent of the API calls we observe are already using TLS 1.2, and only five percent of the applications are impacted. If you have applications developed before 2014 (using a Java JDK before version 8 or .NET before version 4.6.2), it is worth checking your app and updating them to use TLS 1.2. When we detect your application is still using TLS 1.0 or TLS 1.1, we inform you by email and in the AWS Health Dashboard. The blog article goes into detail about how to analyze AWS CloudTrail logs to detect any API call that would not use TLS 1.2.

How to implement automated appointment reminders using Amazon Connect and Amazon Pinpoint this blog post guides you through the steps to implement a system to automatically call your customers to remind them of their appointments. This automated outbound campaign for appointment reminders checked the campaign list against a “do not call” list before making an outbound call. Your customers are able to confirm automatically or reschedule by speaking to an agent. You monitor the results of the calls on a dashboard in near real time using Amazon QuickSight. It provides you with AWS CloudFormation templates for the parts that can be automated and detailed instructions for the manual steps.

Using Amazon CloudWatch metrics math to monitor and scale resources AWS Auto Scaling is one of those capabilities that may look like magic at first glance. It uses metrics to take scale-out or scale-in decisions. Most customers I talk with struggle a bit at first to define the correct combination of metrics that allow them to scale at the right moment. Scaling out too late impacts your customer experience while scaling out too early impacts your budget. This article explains how to use metric math, a way to query multiple Amazon CloudWatch metrics, and use math expressions to create new time series based on these metrics. These math metrics may, in turn, be used to trigger scaling decisions. The typical use case would be to mathematically combine CPU, memory, and network utilization metrics to decide when to scale in or to scale out.

How to use Amazon RDS and Amazon Aurora with a static IP address – in the cloud, it is better to access network resources by referencing their DNS name instead of IP addresses. IP addresses come and go as resources are stopped, restarted, scaled out, or scaled in. However, when integrating with older, more rigid environments, it might happen, for a limited period of time, to authorize access through a static IP address. You have probably heard that scary phrase: “I have to authorize your IP address in my firewall configuration.” This new blog post explains how to do so for Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) database. It uses a Network Load Balancer and traffic forwarding at the Linux-kernel level to proxy your actual database server.

Amazon S3 Intelligent-Tiering significantly reduces storage costs – we estimate our customers saved up to $250 millions in storage costs since we launched S3 Intelligent-Tiering in 2018. A recent blog post describes how Amazon Photo, a service that provides unlimited photo storage and 5 GB of video storage to Amazon Prime members in eight marketplaces world-wide, uses S3 Intelligent-Tiering to significantly save on storage costs while storing hundreds of petabytes of content and billions of images and videos on S3.

Upcoming AWS Events
Check your calendars and sign up for these AWS events:

AWS re:Inforce is the premier cloud security conference, July 26-27. This year it is hosted at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, Massachusetts, USA. The conference agenda is available and there is still time to register.

AWS Summit Chicago, August 25, at McCormick Place, Chicago, Illinois, USA. You may register now.

AWS Summit Canberra, August 31, at the National Convention Center, Canberra, Australia. Registrations are already open.

That’s all for this week. Check back next Monday for another tour of AWS news and launches!

— seb

Data warehouse and business intelligence technology consolidation using AWS

Post Syndicated from Bappaditya Datta original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/architecture/data-warehouse-and-business-intelligence-technology-consolidation-using-aws/

Organizations have been using data warehouse and business intelligence (DWBI) workloads to support business decision making for many years. These workloads are brought to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform to utilize the benefit of AWS cloud. However, these workloads are built using multiple vendor tools and technologies, and the customer faces the burden of administrative overhead.

This post provides architectural guidance to consolidate multiple DWBI technologies to AWS Managed Services to help reduce the administrative overhead, bring operational ease, and business efficiency. Two scenarios are explored:

  1. Upstream transactional databases are already on AWS
  2. Upstream transactional databases are present at on-premise datacenter

Challenges faced by an organization

Organizations are engaged in managing multiple DWBI technologies due to acquisitions, mergers, and the lift-and-shift of workloads. These workloads use extract, transform, and load (ETL) tools to read relational data from upstream transactional databases, process it, and store it in a data warehouse. Thereafter, these workloads use business intelligence tools to generate valuable insight and present it to users in form of reports and dashboards.

These DWBI technologies are generally installed and maintained on their own server. Figure 1 demonstrates the increased the administrative overhead for the organization but also creates challenges in maintaining the team’s overall knowledge.

DWBI workload with multiple tools

Figure 1. DWBI workload with multiple tools

Therefore, organizations are looking to consolidate technology usage and continue supporting important business functions.

Scenario 1

As we know, three major functions of DWBI workstream are:

  • ETL data using a tool
  • Store/manage the data in a data warehouse
  • Generate information from the data using business intelligence

Each of these functions can be performed efficiently using an AWS service. For example, AWS Glue can be used for ETL, Amazon Redshift for data warehouse, and Amazon QuickSight for business intelligence.

With the use of mentioned AWS services, organizations will be able to consolidate their DWBI technology usage. Organizations also will be able to quickly adapt to these services, as their engineering team can more easily use their DWBI knowledge with these services. For example, using SQL knowledge in AWS Glue jobs with SprakSQL, in Amazon Redshift queries, and in Amazon QuickSight dashboards.

Figure 2 demonstrates the redesigned the architecture of Figure 1 using AWS services. In this architecture, ETL functions are consolidated in AWS Glue. An AWS Glue crawler is used to auto-catalogue the source and target table metadata; then, AWS Glue ETL jobs use these catalogues to read data from source and write to target (data warehouse). AWS Glue jobs also apply necessary transformations (such as join, filter, and aggregate) to the data before writing. Additionally, an AWS Glue trigger is used to schedule the job executions. Alternatively, AWS Managed Workflows for Apache Airflow can be used to schedule jobs.

Consolidated workload with source on AWS

Figure 2. Consolidated workload with source on AWS

Similarly, data warehousing function is consolidated with Amazon Redshift. Amazon Redshift is used to store and organize enriched data and also enforce appropriate data access control for both workloads and users.

Lastly, business intelligence functions are consolidated using Amazon QuickSight. It used to create necessary dashboards that source data from Amazon Redshift and apply complex business logic to produce necessary charts and graphs needed for business insights. It is also used to implement necessary access restrictions to dashboards and data.

Scenario 2

In situation where source databases are in on-premises datacenter, the overall solution will be similar to Scenario 1, with an additional step to move the data continually from on-premise database to an Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) bucket. The data movement can be efficiently handled by AWS Database Migration Service (AWS DMS).

To make the source database accessible to AWS DMS, a connection needs to established between the AWS cloud and on-premise network. Based on performance and throughput needs, the organization can choose either AWS Direct Connect service or AWS Site-to-Site VPN service to securely move the data. For the purpose of this discussion, we are considering AWS Direct Connect.

In Figure 3, AWS DMS task is used to perform a full-load followed by change data capture to continuously move the data to an S3 bucket. In this scenario, AWS Glue is used to catalogue and read the data from S3 bucket. The remaining portion of the dataflow is the same as the one mentioned in Scenario 1.

Consolidated workload with source at datacenter

Figure 3. Consolidated workload with source at datacenter

Scaling

Both of the updated architectures provide necessary scaling:

  • Auto scaling feature can be used to scale-up or -down AWS Glue ETL job resources
  • Concurrency scaling feature can be used to support virtually unlimited concurrent users and queries in Amazon Redshift
  • Amazon QuickSight resources (web server, Amazon QuickSight engine, and SPICE) are auto scaled by design

Security, monitoring, and auditing

Also, the updated architectures provide necessary security by using access control, data encryption at-rest and in transit, monitoring, and auditing.

Additionally, both Amazon Redshift and Amazon QuickSight provides their own authentication and access controls. Therefore, a user can be a local user or a federated one. With the help of these authentications, an organization will be able to control access to data in Amazon Redshift and also access to the dashboard in Amazon QuickSight.

Conclusion

In this blog post, we discussed how AWS Glue, Amazon Redshift, and Amazon QuickSight can be used to consolidate DWBI technologies. We also have discussed how an architecture can help an organization build a scalable, secure workload with auto scaling, access control, log monitoring and activity auditing.

Ready to get started?

AWS Week in Review – June 27, 2022

Post Syndicated from Danilo Poccia original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/aws-week-in-review-june-27-2022/

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!

It’s the beginning of a new week, and I’d like to start with a recap of the most significant AWS news from the previous 7 days. Last week was special because I had the privilege to be at the very first EMEA AWS Heroes Summit in Milan, Italy. It was a great opportunity of mutual learning as this community of experts shared their thoughts with AWS developer advocates, product managers, and technologists on topics such as containers, serverless, and machine learning.

Participants at the EMEA AWS Heroes Summit 2022

Last Week’s Launches
Here are the launches that got my attention last week:

Amazon Connect Cases (available in preview) – This new capability of Amazon Connect provides built-in case management for your contact center agents to create, collaborate on, and resolve customer issues. Learn more in this blog post that shows how to simplify case management in your contact center.

Many updates for Amazon RDS and Amazon AuroraAmazon RDS Custom for Oracle now supports Oracle database 12.2 and 18c, and Amazon RDS Multi-AZ deployments with one primary and two readable standby database instances now supports M5d and R5d instances and is available in more Regions. There is also a Regional expansion for RDS Custom. Finally, PostgreSQL 14, a new major version, is now supported by Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL-Compatible Edition.

AWS WAF Captcha is now generally available – You can use AWS WAF Captcha to block unwanted bot traffic by requiring users to successfully complete challenges before their web requests are allowed to reach resources.

Private IP VPNs with AWS Site-to-Site VPN – You can now deploy AWS Site-to-Site VPN connections over AWS Direct Connect using private IP addresses. This way, you can encrypt traffic between on-premises networks and AWS via Direct Connect connections without the need for public IP addresses.

AWS Center for Quantum Networking – Research and development of quantum computers have the potential to revolutionize science and technology. To address fundamental scientific and engineering challenges and develop new hardware, software, and applications for quantum networks, we announced the AWS Center for Quantum Networking.

Simpler access to sustainability data, plus a global hackathon – The Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative catalog of datasets is now searchable and discoverable through AWS Data Exchange. As part of a new collaboration with the International Research Centre in Artificial Intelligence, under the auspices of UNESCO, you can use the power of the cloud to help the world become sustainable by participating to the Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative Global Hackathon.

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 couple of takeaways from the Amazon re:MARS conference:

Amazon CodeWhisperer (preview) – Amazon CodeWhisperer is a coding companion powered by machine learning with support for multiple IDEs and languages.

Synthetic data generation with Amazon SageMaker Ground TruthGenerate labeled synthetic image data that you can combine with real-world data to create more complete training datasets for your ML models.

Some other updates you might have missed:

AstraZeneca’s drug design program built using AWS wins innovation award – AstraZeneca received the BioIT World Innovative Practice Award at the 20th anniversary of the Bio-IT World Conference for its novel augmented drug design platform built on AWS. More in this blog post.

Large object storage strategies for Amazon DynamoDB – A blog post showing different options for handling large objects within DynamoDB and the benefits and disadvantages of each approach.

Amazon DevOps Guru for RDS under the hoodSome details of how DevOps Guru for RDS works, with a specific focus on its scalability, security, and availability.

AWS open-source news and updates – A newsletter curated by my colleague Ricardo to bring you the latest open-source projects, posts, events, and more.

Upcoming AWS Events
It’s AWS Summits season and here are some virtual and in-person events that might be close to you:

On June 30, the AWS User Group Ukraine is running an AWS Tech Conference to discuss digital transformation with AWS. Join to learn from many sessions including a fireside chat with Dr. Werner Vogels, CTO at Amazon.com.

That’s all from me for this week. Come back next Monday for another Week in Review!

Danilo