Tag Archives: announcements

Amazon Lex Introduces an Enhanced Console Experience and New V2 APIs

Post Syndicated from Martin Beeby original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/amazon-lex-enhanced-console-experience/

Today, the Amazon Lex team has released a new console experience that makes it easier to build, deploy, and manage conversational experiences. Along with the new console, we have also introduced new V2 APIs, including continuous streaming capability. These improvements allow you to reach new audiences, have more natural conversations, and develop and iterate faster.

The new Lex console and V2 APIs make it easier to build and manage bots focusing on three main benefits. First, you can add a new language to a bot at any time and manage all the languages through the lifecycle of design, test, and deployment as a single resource. The new console experience allows you to quickly move between different languages to compare and refine your conversations. I’ll demonstrate later how easy it was to add French to my English bot.

Second, V2 APIs simplify versioning. The new Lex console and V2 APIs provide a simple information architecture where the bot intents and slot types are scoped to a specific language. Versioning is performed at the bot level so that resources such as intents and slot types do not have to be versioned individually. All resources within the bot (language, intents, and slot types) are archived as part of the bot version creation. This new way of working makes it easier to manage bots.

Lastly, you have additional builder productivity tools and capabilities to give you more flexibility and control of your bot design process. You can now save partially completed work as you develop different bot elements as you script, test and tune your configuration. This provides you with more flexibility as you iterate through the bot development. For example, you can save a slot that refers to a deleted slot type. In addition to saving partially completed work, you can quickly navigate across the configuration without getting lost. The new Conversation flow capability allows you to maintain your orientation as you move across the different intents and slot types.

In addition to the enhanced console and APIs, we are providing a new streaming conversation API. Natural conversations are punctuated with pauses and interruptions. For example, a customer may ask to pause the conversation or hold the line while looking up the necessary information before answering a question to retrieve credit card details when providing bill payments. With streaming conversation APIs, you can pause a conversation and handle interruptions directly as you configure the bot. Overall, the design and implementation of the conversation is simplified and easy to manage. The bot builder can quickly enhance the conversational capability of virtual contact center agents or smart assistants.

Let’s create a new bot and explore how some of Lex’s new console and streaming API features provide an improved bot building experience.

Building a bot
I head over to the new V2 Lex console and click on Create bot to start things off.

I select that I want to Start with an example and select the MakeAppointment example.

Over the years, I have spoken at many conferences, so I now offer to review talks that other community members are producing. Since these speakers are often in different time zones, it can be complicated to organize the various appointments for the different types of reviews that I offer. So I have decided to build a bot to streamline the process. I give my bot the name TalkReview and provide a description. I also select Create a role with basic Amazon Lex permissions and use this as my runtime role.

I must add at least one language to my bot, so I start with English (GB). I also select the text-to-speech voice that I want to use should my bot require voice interaction rather than just text.

During the creation, there is a new button that allows me to Add another language. I click on this to add French (FR) to my bot. You can add languages during creation as I am doing here, or you can add additional languages later on as your bot becomes more popular and needs to work with new audiences.

I can now start defining intents for my bot, and I can begin the iterative process of building and testing my bot. I won’t go into all of the details of how to create a bot or show you all of the intents I added, as we have better tutorials that can show you that step-by-step, but I will point out a few new features that make this new enhanced console really compelling.

The new Conversation flow provides you with a visual flow of the conversation, and you can see how the sample utterances you provide and how your conversation might work in the real world. I love this feature because you can click on the various elements, and it will take you to where you can make changes. For example, I can click on the prompt What type of review would you like to schedule and I am taken to the place where I can edit this prompt.

The new console has a very well thought-out approach to versioning a bot. At anytime, on the Bot versions screen, I can click Create version, and it will take a snapshot of the state of the bot’s current configuration. I can then associate that with an alias. For example, in my application, I have an alias called Production. This Production alias is associated with Version 1. Still, at any time, I could switch it to use a different version or even roll back to a previous version if I discover problems.

The testing experience is now very streamlined. Once I have built the bot, I can click the test button on the bottom right hand of the screen and start speaking to the bot and testing the experience. You can also expand the Inspect window, which gives you details about the conversations state, and you can also explore the raw JSON inputs and outputs.

Things to know
Here are a couple of important things to keep in mind when you use the enhanced console

  • Integration with Amazon Connect – Currently, bots built in the new console cannot be integrated with Amazon Connect contact flows. We plan to provide this integration as part of the near-term roadmap. You can use the current console and existing APIs to create and integrate bots with Amazon Connect.
  • Pricing – You only pay for what you use. The charges remain the same for existing audio and text APIs, renamed as RecognizeUtterance and RecognizeText. For the new Streaming capabilities, please refer to the pricing detail here.
  • All existing APIs and bots will continue to be supported. The newly announced features are only available in the new console and V2 APIs.

Go Build
Lex enhanced console is available now, and you can start using it today. The enhanced experience and V2 APIs are available in all existing regions and support all current languages. So, please give this console a try and let us know what you think. To learn more, check out the documentation for the console and the streaming API.

Happy Building!
— Martin

re:Invent – New security sessions launching soon

Post Syndicated from Marta Taggart original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/security/reinvent-new-security-sessions-launching-soon/

Where did the last month go? Were you able to catch all of the sessions in the Security, Identity, and Compliance track you hoped to see at AWS re:Invent? If you missed any, don’t worry—you can stream all the sessions released in 2020 via the AWS re:Invent website. Additionally, we’re starting 2021 with all new sessions that you can stream live January 12–15. Here are the new Security, Identity, and Compliance sessions—each session is offered at multiple times, so you can find the time that works best for your location and schedule.

Protecting sensitive data with Amazon Macie and Amazon GuardDuty – SEC210
Himanshu Verma, AWS Speaker

Tuesday, January 12 – 11:00 AM to 11:30 AM PST
Tuesday, January 12 – 7:00 PM to 7:30 PM PST
Wednesday, January 13 – 3:00 AM to 3:30 AM PST

As organizations manage growing volumes of data, identifying and protecting your sensitive data can become increasingly complex, expensive, and time-consuming. In this session, learn how Amazon Macie and Amazon GuardDuty together provide protection for your data stored in Amazon S3. Amazon Macie automates the discovery of sensitive data at scale and lowers the cost of protecting your data. Amazon GuardDuty continuously monitors and profiles S3 data access events and configurations to detect suspicious activities. Come learn about these security services and how to best use them for protecting data in your environment.

BBC: Driving security best practices in a decentralized organization – SEC211
Apurv Awasthi, AWS Speaker
Andrew Carlson, Sr. Software Engineer – BBC

Tuesday, January 12 – 1:15 PM to 1:45 PM PST
Tuesday, January 12 – 9:15 PM to 9:45 PM PST
Wednesday, January 13 – 5:15 AM to 5:45 AM PST

In this session, Andrew Carlson, engineer at BBC, talks about BBC’s journey while adopting AWS Secrets Manager for lifecycle management of its arbitrary credentials such as database passwords, API keys, and third-party keys. He provides insight on BBC’s secrets management best practices and how the company drives these at enterprise scale in a decentralized environment that has a highly visible scope of impact.

Get ahead of the curve with DDoS Response Team escalations – SEC321
Fola Bolodeoku, AWS Speaker

Tuesday, January 12 – 3:30 PM to 4:00 PM PST
Tuesday, January 12 – 11:30 PM to 12:00 AM PST
Wednesday, January – 7:30 AM to 8:00 AM PST

This session identifies tools and tricks that you can use to prepare for application security escalations, with lessons learned provided by the AWS DDoS Response Team. You learn how AWS customers have used different AWS offerings to protect their applications, including network access control lists, security groups, and AWS WAF. You also learn how to avoid common misconfigurations and mishaps observed by the DDoS Response Team, and you discover simple yet effective actions that you can take to better protect your applications’ availability and security controls.

Network security for serverless workloads – SEC322
Alex Tomic, AWS Speaker

Thursday, January 14 -1:30 PM to 2:00 PM PST
Thursday, January 14 – 9:30 PM to 10:00 PM PST
Friday, January 15 – 5:30 AM to 6:00 AM PST

Are you building a serverless application using services like Amazon API Gateway, AWS Lambda, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Aurora, and Amazon SQS? Would you like to apply enterprise network security to these AWS services? This session covers how network security concepts like encryption, firewalls, and traffic monitoring can be applied to a well-architected AWS serverless architecture.

Building your cloud incident response program – SEC323
Freddy Kasprzykowski, AWS Speaker

Wednesday, January 13 – 9:00 AM to 9:30 AM PST
Wednesday, January 13 – 5:00 PM to 5:30 PM PST
Thursday, January 14 – 1:00 AM to 1:30 AM PST

You’ve configured your detection services and now you’ve received your first alert. This session provides patterns that help you understand what capabilities you need to build and run an effective incident response program in the cloud. It includes a review of some logs to see what they tell you and a discussion of tools to analyze those logs. You learn how to make sure that your team has the right access, how automation can help, and which incident response frameworks can guide you.

Beyond authentication: Guide to secure Amazon Cognito applications – SEC324
Mahmoud Matouk, AWS Speaker

Wednesday, January 13 – 2:15 PM to 2:45 PM PST
Wednesday, January 13 – 10:15 PM to 10:45 PM PST
Thursday, January 14 – 6:15 AM to 6:45 AM PST

Amazon Cognito is a flexible user directory that can meet the needs of a number of customer identity management use cases. Web and mobile applications can integrate with Amazon Cognito in minutes to offer user authentication and get standard tokens to be used in token-based authorization scenarios. This session covers best practices that you can implement in your application to secure and protect tokens. You also learn about new Amazon Cognito features that give you more options to improve the security and availability of your application.

Event-driven data security using Amazon Macie – SEC325
Neha Joshi, AWS Speaker

Thursday, January 14 – 8:00 AM to 8:30 AM PST
Thursday, January 14 – 4:00 PM to 4:30 PM PST
Friday, January 15 – 12:00 AM to 12:30 AM PST

Amazon Macie sensitive data discovery jobs for Amazon S3 buckets help you discover sensitive data such as personally identifiable information (PII), financial information, account credentials, and workload-specific sensitive information. In this session, you learn about an automated approach to discover sensitive information whenever changes are made to the objects in your S3 buckets.

Instance containment techniques for effective incident response – SEC327
Jonathon Poling, AWS Speaker

Thursday, January 14 – 10:15 AM to 10:45 AM PST
Thursday, January 14 – 6:15 PM to 6:45 PM PST
Friday, January 15 – 2:15 AM to 2:45 AM PST

In this session, learn about several instance containment and isolation techniques, ranging from simple and effective to more complex and powerful, that leverage native AWS networking services and account configuration techniques. If an incident happens, you may have questions like “How do we isolate the system while preserving all the valuable artifacts?” and “What options do we even have?”. These are valid questions, but there are more important ones to discuss amidst a (possible) incident. Join this session to learn highly effective instance containment techniques in a crawl-walk-run approach that also facilitates preservation and collection of valuable artifacts and intelligence.

Trusted connects for government workloads – SEC402
Brad Dispensa, AWS Speaker

Wednesday, January 13 – 11:15 AM to 11:45 AM PST
Wednesday, January 13 – 7:15 PM to 7:45 PM PST
Thursday, January 14 – 3:15 AM to 3:45 AM PST

Cloud adoption across the public sector is making it easier to provide government workforces with seamless access to applications and data. With this move to the cloud, we also need updated security guidance to ensure public-sector data remain secure. For example, the TIC (Trusted Internet Connections) initiative has been a requirement for US federal agencies for some time. The recent TIC-3 moves from prescriptive guidance to an outcomes-based model. This session walks you through how to leverage AWS features to better protect public-sector data using TIC-3 and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework (CSF). Also, learn how this might map into other geographies.

I look forward to seeing you in these sessions. Please see the re:Invent agenda for more details and to build your schedule.

If you have feedback about this post, submit comments in the Comments section below.

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Author

Marta Taggart

Marta is a Seattle-native and Senior Program Manager in AWS Security, where she focuses on privacy, content development, and educational programs. Her interest in education stems from two years she spent in the education sector while serving in the Peace Corps in Romania. In her free time, she’s on a global hunt for the perfect cup of coffee.

Optimizing AWS Lambda cost and performance using AWS Compute Optimizer

Post Syndicated from Chad Schmutzer original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/optimizing-aws-lambda-cost-and-performance-using-aws-compute-optimizer/

This post is authored by Brooke Chen, Senior Product Manager for AWS Compute Optimizer, Letian Feng, Principal Product Manager for AWS Compute Optimizer, and Chad Schmutzer, Principal Developer Advocate for Amazon EC2

Optimizing compute resources is a critical component of any application architecture. Over-provisioning compute can lead to unnecessary infrastructure costs, while under-provisioning compute can lead to poor application performance.

Launched in December 2019, AWS Compute Optimizer is a recommendation service for optimizing the cost and performance of AWS compute resources. It generates actionable optimization recommendations tailored to your specific workloads. Over the last year, thousands of AWS customers reduced compute costs up to 25% by using Compute Optimizer to help choose the optimal Amazon EC2 instance types for their workloads.

One of the most frequent requests from customers is for AWS Lambda recommendations in Compute Optimizer. Today, we announce that Compute Optimizer now supports memory size recommendations for Lambda functions. This allows you to reduce costs and increase performance for your Lambda-based serverless workloads. To get started, opt in for Compute Optimizer to start finding recommendations.

Overview

With Lambda, there are no servers to manage, it scales automatically, and you only pay for what you use. However, choosing the right memory size settings for a Lambda function is still an important task. Computer Optimizer uses machine-learning based memory recommendations to help with this task.

These recommendations are available through the Compute Optimizer console, AWS CLI, AWS SDK, and the Lambda console. Compute Optimizer continuously monitors Lambda functions, using historical performance metrics to improve recommendations over time. In this blog post, we walk through an example to show how to use this feature.

Using Compute Optimizer for Lambda

This tutorial uses the AWS CLI v2 and the AWS Management Console.

In this tutorial, we setup two compute jobs that run every minute in AWS Region US East (N. Virginia). One job is more CPU intensive than the other. Initial tests show that the invocation times for both jobs typically last for less than 60 seconds. The goal is to either reduce cost without much increase in duration, or reduce the duration in a cost-efficient manner.

Based on these requirements, a serverless solution can help with this task. Amazon EventBridge can schedule the Lambda functions using rules. To ensure that the functions are optimized for cost and performance, you can use the memory recommendation support in Compute Optimizer.

In your AWS account, opt in to Compute Optimizer to start analyzing AWS resources. Ensure you have the appropriate IAM permissions configured – follow these steps for guidance. If you prefer to use the console to opt in, follow these steps. To opt in, enter the following command in a terminal window:

$ aws compute-optimizer update-enrollment-status --status Active

Once you enable Compute Optimizer, it starts to scan for functions that have been invoked for at least 50 times over the trailing 14 days. The next section shows two example scheduled Lambda functions for analysis.

Example Lambda functions

The code for the non-CPU intensive job is below. A Lambda function named lambda-recommendation-test-sleep is created with memory size configured as 1024 MB. An EventBridge rule is created to trigger the function on a recurring 1-minute schedule:

import json
import time

def lambda_handler(event, context):
  time.sleep(30)
  x=[0]*100000000
  return {
    'statusCode': 200,
    'body': json.dumps('Hello World!')
  }

The code for the CPU intensive job is below. A Lambda function named lambda-recommendation-test-busy is created with memory size configured as 128 MB. An EventBridge rule is created to trigger the function on a recurring 1-minute schedule:

import json
import random

def lambda_handler(event, context):
  random.seed(1)
  x=0
  for i in range(0, 20000000):
    x+=random.random()

  return {
    'statusCode': 200,
    'body': json.dumps('Sum:' + str(x))
  }

Understanding the Compute Optimizer recommendations

Compute Optimizer needs a history of at least 50 invocations of a Lambda function over the trailing 14 days to deliver recommendations. Recommendations are created by analyzing function metadata such as memory size, timeout, and runtime, in addition to CloudWatch metrics such as number of invocations, duration, error count, and success rate.

Compute Optimizer will gather the necessary information to provide memory recommendations for Lambda functions, and make them available within 48 hours. Afterwards, these recommendations will be refreshed daily.

These are recent invocations for the non-CPU intensive function:

Recent invocations for the non-CPU intensive function

Function duration is approximately 31.3 seconds with a memory setting of 1024 MB, resulting in a duration cost of about $0.00052 per invocation. Here are the recommendations for this function in the Compute Optimizer console:

Recommendations for this function in the Compute Optimizer console

The function is Not optimized with a reason of Memory over-provisioned. You can also fetch the same recommendation information via the CLI:

$ aws compute-optimizer \
  get-lambda-function-recommendations \
  --function-arns arn:aws:lambda:us-east-1:123456789012:function:lambda-recommendation-test-sleep
{
    "lambdaFunctionRecommendations": [
        {
            "utilizationMetrics": [
                {
                    "name": "Duration",
                    "value": 31333.63587049883,
                    "statistic": "Average"
                },
                {
                    "name": "Duration",
                    "value": 32522.04,
                    "statistic": "Maximum"
                },
                {
                    "name": "Memory",
                    "value": 817.67049838188,
                    "statistic": "Average"
                },
                {
                    "name": "Memory",
                    "value": 819.0,
                    "statistic": "Maximum"
                }
            ],
            "currentMemorySize": 1024,
            "lastRefreshTimestamp": 1608735952.385,
            "numberOfInvocations": 3090,
            "functionArn": "arn:aws:lambda:us-east-1:123456789012:function:lambda-recommendation-test-sleep:$LATEST",
            "memorySizeRecommendationOptions": [
                {
                    "projectedUtilizationMetrics": [
                        {
                            "name": "Duration",
                            "value": 30015.113193697029,
                            "statistic": "LowerBound"
                        },
                        {
                            "name": "Duration",
                            "value": 31515.86878891883,
                            "statistic": "Expected"
                        },
                        {
                            "name": "Duration",
                            "value": 33091.662123300975,
                            "statistic": "UpperBound"
                        }
                    ],
                    "memorySize": 900,
                    "rank": 1
                }
            ],
            "functionVersion": "$LATEST",
            "finding": "NotOptimized",
            "findingReasonCodes": [
                "MemoryOverprovisioned"
            ],
            "lookbackPeriodInDays": 14.0,
            "accountId": "123456789012"
        }
    ]
}

The Compute Optimizer recommendation contains useful information about the function. Most importantly, it has determined that the function is over-provisioned for memory. The attribute findingReasonCodes shows the value MemoryOverprovisioned. In memorySizeRecommendationOptions, Compute Optimizer has found that using a memory size of 900 MB results in an expected invocation duration of approximately 31.5 seconds.

For non-CPU intensive jobs, reducing the memory setting of the function often doesn’t have a negative impact on function duration. The recommendation confirms that you can reduce the memory size from 1024 MB to 900 MB, saving cost without significantly impacting duration. The new duration cost per invocation saves approximately 12%.

The Compute Optimizer console validates these calculations:

Compute Optimizer console validates these calculations

These are recent invocations for the second function which is CPU-intensive:

Recent invocations for the second function which is CPU-intensive

The function duration is about 37.5 seconds with a memory setting of 128 MB, resulting in a duration cost of about $0.000078 per invocation. The recommendations for this function appear in the Compute Optimizer console:

recommendations for this function appear in the Compute Optimizer console

The function is also Not optimized with a reason of Memory under-provisioned. The same recommendation information is available via the CLI:

$ aws compute-optimizer \
  get-lambda-function-recommendations \
  --function-arns arn:aws:lambda:us-east-1:123456789012:function:lambda-recommendation-test-busy
{
    "lambdaFunctionRecommendations": [
        {
            "utilizationMetrics": [
                {
                    "name": "Duration",
                    "value": 36006.85851551957,
                    "statistic": "Average"
                },
                {
                    "name": "Duration",
                    "value": 38540.43,
                    "statistic": "Maximum"
                },
                {
                    "name": "Memory",
                    "value": 53.75978407557355,
                    "statistic": "Average"
                },
                {
                    "name": "Memory",
                    "value": 55.0,
                    "statistic": "Maximum"
                }
            ],
            "currentMemorySize": 128,
            "lastRefreshTimestamp": 1608725151.752,
            "numberOfInvocations": 741,
            "functionArn": "arn:aws:lambda:us-east-1:123456789012:function:lambda-recommendation-test-busy:$LATEST",
            "memorySizeRecommendationOptions": [
                {
                    "projectedUtilizationMetrics": [
                        {
                            "name": "Duration",
                            "value": 27340.37604781184,
                            "statistic": "LowerBound"
                        },
                        {
                            "name": "Duration",
                            "value": 28707.394850202432,
                            "statistic": "Expected"
                        },
                        {
                            "name": "Duration",
                            "value": 30142.764592712556,
                            "statistic": "UpperBound"
                        }
                    ],
                    "memorySize": 160,
                    "rank": 1
                }
            ],
            "functionVersion": "$LATEST",
            "finding": "NotOptimized",
            "findingReasonCodes": [
                "MemoryUnderprovisioned"
            ],
            "lookbackPeriodInDays": 14.0,
            "accountId": "123456789012"
        }
    ]
}

For this function, Compute Optimizer has determined that the function’s memory is under-provisioned. The value of findingReasonCodes is MemoryUnderprovisioned. The recommendation is to increase the memory from 128 MB to 160 MB.

This recommendation may seem counter-intuitive, since the function only uses 55 MB of memory per invocation. However, Lambda allocates CPU and other resources linearly in proportion to the amount of memory configured. This means that increasing the memory allocation to 160 MB also reduces the expected duration to around 28.7 seconds. This is because a CPU-intensive task also benefits from the increased CPU performance that comes with the additional memory.

After applying this recommendation, the new expected duration cost per invocation is approximately $0.000075. This means that for almost no change in duration cost, the job latency is reduced from 37.5 seconds to 28.7 seconds.

The Compute Optimizer console validates these calculations:

Compute Optimizer console validates these calculations

Applying the Compute Optimizer recommendations

To optimize the Lambda functions using Compute Optimizer recommendations, use the following CLI command:

$ aws lambda update-function-configuration \
  --function-name lambda-recommendation-test-sleep \
  --memory-size 900

After invoking the function multiple times, we can see metrics of these invocations in the console. This shows that the function duration has not changed significantly after reducing the memory size from 1024 MB to 900 MB. The Lambda function has been successfully cost-optimized without increasing job duration:

Console shows the metrics from recent invocations

To apply the recommendation to the CPU-intensive function, use the following CLI command:

$ aws lambda update-function-configuration \
  --function-name lambda-recommendation-test-busy \
  --memory-size 160

After invoking the function multiple times, the console shows that the invocation duration is reduced to about 28 seconds. This matches the recommendation’s expected duration. This shows that the function is now performance-optimized without a significant cost increase:

Console shows that the invocation duration is reduced to about 28 seconds

Final notes

A couple of final notes:

  • Not every function will receive a recommendation. Compute optimizer only delivers recommendations when it has high confidence that these recommendations may help reduce cost or reduce execution duration.
  • As with any changes you make to an environment, we strongly advise that you test recommended memory size configurations before applying them into production.

Conclusion

You can now use Compute Optimizer for serverless workloads using Lambda functions. This can help identify the optimal Lambda function configuration options for your workloads. Compute Optimizer supports memory size recommendations for Lambda functions in all AWS Regions where Compute Optimizer is available. These recommendations are available to you at no additional cost. You can get started with Compute Optimizer from the console.

To learn more visit Getting started with AWS Compute Optimizer.

 

2020 ISO certificates are here, with a new Region and increased in-scope services

Post Syndicated from Anastasia Strebkova original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/security/2020-iso-certificates-are-here-with-a-new-region-and-increased-in-scope-services/

Amazon Web Services (AWS) successfully completed the surveillance audits with no findings for ISO 9001, 27001, 27017, or 27018. Ernst and Young Certify Point auditors reissued the certificates on November 6, 2020. The certificates validate ISO compliance of our Information Security Management System from the perspective of third-party auditors.

We included 9 additional AWS services in scope for these audits in 2020, validated against ISO 9001, 27001, 27017, and 27018. We also added a new Cape Town Region to the scope, which was validated against ISO 9001, 27001, 27017, and 27018 standards before the general launch.

The services added to our ISO program during the 2020 audit cycle include the following:

AWS CloudEndure now expands to include ISO 9001, 27017, and 27018, in addition to the existing 27001 certification.

The list of ISO certified services is available on the AWS webpage, and we provide the certifications online and in the console via AWS Artifact, as well.

If you have feedback about this post, submit comments in the Comments section below.

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Author

Anastasia Strebkova

Anastasia is a Security Assurance Manager at Amazon Web Services on the Global Audits team, managing the AWS ISO portfolio. She has previously worked on IT audits, governance, risk, privacy, business continuity, and information security program management for cloud enterprises. Anastasia holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Civil Law from Moscow Law Academy.

138 AWS services achieve CSA STAR Level 2 certification

Post Syndicated from Anastasia Strebkova original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/security/138-aws-services-achieve-csa-star-level-2-certification/

We’re excited to announce that Amazon Web Services (AWS) has achieved Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) Security Trust Assurance and Risk (STAR) Level 2 certification with no findings.

CSA STAR Level 2 certification is a rigorous third-party independent assessment of the security of a cloud service provider. The certification demonstrates that a cloud service provider conforms to the applicable requirements of the ISO/IEC 27001:2013 management system standard and has addressed requirements critical to cloud security as outlined in the CSA Cloud Controls Matrix criteria. CSA STAR Level 2 certification verifies for cloud customers the use of best practices and the security posture of AWS Cloud offerings.

Ernst and Young Certify Point issued the certificate on November 6, 2020. The covered AWS Regions are included on the CSA STAR Level 2 certificate and the full list of AWS services in scope for CSA STAR Level 2 is available on our ISO and CSA STAR Certified webpage. You can view and download our CSA STAR Level 2 certificate online and in the console via AWS Artifact. The certificate is also available for download from the CSA STAR certification registry.

If you have feedback about this post, submit comments in the Comments section below.

Want more AWS Security how-to content, news, and feature announcements? Follow us on Twitter.

Author

Anastasia Strebkova

Anastasia is a Security Assurance Manager at Amazon Web Services on the Global Audits team, managing the AWS ISO portfolio. She has previously worked on IT audits, governance, risk, privacy, business continuity, and information security program management for cloud enterprises. Anastasia holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Civil Law from Moscow Law Academy.

AWS extends its TISAX scope to cover the London and Paris Regions

Post Syndicated from Clara Lim original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/security/aws-extends-tisax-scope-to-cover-london-paris-regions/

We’re excited to announce the completion of Trusted Information Security Assessment Exchange (TISAX) certification on December 08, 2020 for the London and Paris regions. These regions were assessed at the HIGH protection level (AL 2) for the control domains Information Handling and Data Protection, according to article 28 (“Processor”) of the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The TISAX certification helps provide automotive industry organizations with the assurance they need to build secure applications and services in the cloud. The certification was established by the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) and is governed by the European Network Exchange (ENX).

With this scope expansion, a total of 10 regions globally (Seattle, Frankfurt, Ireland, Oregon, Ohio, Northern Virginia, Canada, Seoul, London, and Paris) are currently certified for TISAX and demonstrate a consistent and standardized approach to information security systems for the automotive industry.

An independent third-party auditor conducted and accredited the assessment. Automotive customers can rely on the AWS TISAX assessment results and labels published on the ENX Portal for timely exchange of compliance status with their supply chains. The scope ID and assessment ID are STRN58 and AYZ39G, respectively.

For more information, see Trusted Information Security Assessment Exchange.

If you have feedback about this post, submit comments in the Comments section below.

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Author

Clara Lim

Clara is the Audit Program Manager for the Asia Pacific Region, leading multiple security certification programs. Clara is passionate about leveraging her decade-long experience to deliver compliance programs that provide assurance and build trust with customers.

Using self-hosted Apache Kafka as an event source for AWS Lambda

Post Syndicated from James Beswick original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/using-self-hosted-apache-kafka-as-an-event-source-for-aws-lambda/

Apache Kafka is an open source event streaming platform used to support workloads such as data pipelines and streaming analytics. Apache Kafka is a distributed streaming platform that it is conceptually similar to Amazon Kinesis.

With the launch of Kafka as an event source for Lambda, you can now consume messages from a topic in a Lambda function. This makes it easier to integrate your self-hosted Kafka clusters with downstream serverless workflows.

In this blog post, I explain how to set up an Apache Kafka cluster on Amazon EC2 and configure key elements in the networking configuration. I also show how to create a Lambda function to consume messages from a Kafka topic. Although the process is similar to using Amazon Managed Streaming for Apache Kafka (Amazon MSK) as an event source, there are also some important differences.

Overview

Using Kafka as an event source operates in a similar way to using Amazon SQS or Amazon Kinesis. In all cases, the Lambda service internally polls for new records or messages from the event source, and then synchronously invokes the target Lambda function. Lambda reads the messages in batches and provides the message batches to your function in the event payload.

Lambda is a consumer application for your Kafka topic. It processes records from one or more partitions and sends the payload to the target function. Lambda continues to process batches until there are no more messages in the topic.

Configuring networking for self-hosted Kafka

It’s best practice to deploy the Amazon EC2 instances running Kafka in private subnets. For the Lambda function to poll the Kafka instances, you must ensure that there is a NAT Gateway running in the public subnet of each Region.

It’s possible to route the traffic to a single NAT Gateway in one AZ for test and development workloads. For redundancy in production workloads, it’s recommended that there is one NAT Gateway available in each Availability Zone. This walkthrough creates the following architecture:

Self-hosted Kafka architecture

  1. Deploy a VPC with public and private subnets and a NAT Gateway that enables internet access. To configure this infrastructure with AWS CloudFormation, deploy this template.
  2. From the VPC console, edit the default security group created by this template to provide inbound access to the following ports:
    • Custom TCP: ports 2888–3888 from all sources.
    • SSH (port 22), restricted to your own IP address.
    • Custom TCP: port 2181 from all sources.
    • Custom TCP: port 9092 from all sources.
    • All traffic from the same security group identifier.

Security Group configuration

Deploying the EC2 instances and installing Kafka

Next, you deploy the EC2 instances using this network configuration and install the Kafka application:

  1. From the EC2 console, deploy an instance running Ubuntu Server 18.04 LTS. Ensure that there is one instance in each private subnet, in different Availability Zones. Assign the default security group configured by the template.
  2. Next, deploy another EC2 instance in either of the public subnets. This is a bastion host used to access the private instances. Assign the default security group configured by the template.EC2 instances
  3. Connect to the bastion host, then SSH to the first private EC2 instance using the method for your preferred operating system. This post explains different methods. Repeat the process in another terminal for the second private instance.EC2 terminals
  4. On each instance, install Java:
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/java
    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install openjdk-8-jdk
    java –version
  5. On each instance, install Kafka:
    wget http://www-us.apache.org/dist/kafka/2.3.1/kafka_2.12-2.3.1.tgz
    tar xzf kafka_2.12-2.3.1.tgz
    ln -s kafka_2.12-2.3.1 kafka

Configure and start Zookeeper

Configure and start the Zookeeper service that manages the Kafka brokers:

  1. On the first instance, configure the Zookeeper ID:
    cd kafka
    mkdir /tmp/zookeeper
    touch /tmp/zookeeper/myid
    echo "1" >> /tmp/zookeeper/myid
  2. Repeat the process on the second instance, using a different ID value:
    cd kafka
    mkdir /tmp/zookeeper
    touch /tmp/zookeeper/myid
    echo "2" >> /tmp/zookeeper/myid
  3. On the first instance, edit the config/zookeeper.properties file, adding the private IP address of the second instance:
    initLimit=5
    syncLimit=2
    tickTime=2000
    # list of servers: <ip>:2888:3888
    server.1=0.0.0.0:2888:3888 
    server.2=<<IP address of second instance>>:2888:3888
    
  4. On the second instance, edit the config/zookeeper.properties file, adding the private IP address of the first instance:
    initLimit=5
    syncLimit=2
    tickTime=2000
    # list of servers: <ip>:2888:3888
    server.1=<<IP address of first instance>>:2888:3888 
    server.2=0.0.0.0:2888:3888
  5. On each instance, start Zookeeper:bin/zookeeper-server-start.sh config/zookeeper.properties

Configure and start Kafka

Configure and start the Kafka broker:

  1. On the first instance, edit the config/server.properties file:
    broker.id=1
    zookeeper.connect=0.0.0.0:2181, =<<IP address of second instance>>:2181
  2. On the second instance, edit the config/server.properties file:
    broker.id=2
    zookeeper.connect=0.0.0.0:2181, =<<IP address of first instance>>:2181
  3. Start Kafka on each instance:
    bin/kafka-server-start.sh config/server.properties

At the end of this process, Zookeeper and Kafka are running on both instances. If you use separate terminals, it looks like this:

Zookeeper and Kafka terminals

Configuring and publishing to a topic

Kafka organizes channels of messages around topics, which are virtual groups of one or many partitions across Kafka brokers in a cluster. Multiple producers can send messages to Kafka topics, which can then be routed to and processed by multiple consumers. Producers publish to the tail of a topic and consumers read the topic at their own pace.

From either of the two instances:

  1. Create a new topic called test:
    bin/kafka-topics.sh --create --bootstrap-server localhost:9092 --replication-factor 2 --partitions 2 --topic test
  2. Start a producer:
    bin/kafka-console-producer.sh --broker-list localhost:9092 –topic
  3. Enter test messages to check for successful publication:Sending messages to the Kafka topic

At this point, you can successfully publish messages to your self-hosted Kafka cluster. Next, you configure a Lambda function as a consumer for the test topic on this cluster.

Configuring the Lambda function and event source mapping

You can create the Lambda event source mapping using the AWS CLI or AWS SDK, which provide the CreateEventSourceMapping API. In this walkthrough, you use the AWS Management Console to create the event source mapping.

Create a Lambda function that uses the self-hosted cluster and topic as an event source:

  1. From the Lambda console, select Create function.
  2. Enter a function name, and select Node.js 12.x as the runtime.
  3. Select the Permissions tab, and select the role name in the Execution role panel to open the IAM console.
  4. Choose Add inline policy and create a new policy called SelfHostedKafkaPolicy with the following permissions. Replace the resource example with the ARNs of your instances:
    {
        "Version": "2012-10-17",
        "Statement": [
            {
                "Effect": "Allow",
                "Action": [
                    "ec2:CreateNetworkInterface",
                    "ec2:DescribeNetworkInterfaces",
                    "ec2:DescribeVpcs",
                    "ec2:DeleteNetworkInterface",
                    "ec2:DescribeSubnets",
                    "ec2:DescribeSecurityGroups",
                    "logs:CreateLogGroup",
                    "logs:CreateLogStream",
                    "logs:PutLogEvents"
                ],
                "Resource": " arn:aws:ec2:<REGION>:<ACCOUNT_ID>:instance/<instance-id>"
            }
        ]
    }
    

    Create policy

  5. Choose Create policy and ensure that the policy appears in Permissions policies.IAM role page
  6. Back in the Lambda function, select the Configuration tab. In the Designer panel, choose Add trigger.
  7. In the dropdown, select Apache Kafka:
    • For Bootstrap servers, add each of the two instances private IPv4 DNS addresses with port 9092 appended.
    • For Topic name, enter ‘test’.
    • Enter your preferred batch size and starting position values (see this documentation for more information).
    • For VPC, select the VPC created by the template.
    • For VPC subnets, select the two private subnets.
    • For VPC security groups, select the default security group.
    • Choose Add.

Add trigger configuration

The trigger’s status changes to Enabled in the Lambda console after a few seconds. It then takes several minutes for the trigger to receive messages from the Kafka cluster.

Testing the Lambda function

At this point, you have created a VPC with two private and public subnets and a NAT Gateway. You have created a Kafka cluster on two EC2 instances in private subnets. You set up a target Lambda function with the necessary IAM permissions. Next, you publish messages to the test topic in Kafka and see the resulting invocation in the logs for the Lambda function.

  1. In the Function code panel, replace the contents of index.js with the following code and choose Deploy:
    exports.handler = async (event) => {
        // Iterate through keys
        for (let key in event.records) {
          console.log('Key: ', key)
          // Iterate through records
          event.records[key].map((record) => {
            console.log('Record: ', record)
            // Decode base64
            const msg = Buffer.from(record.value, 'base64').toString()
            console.log('Message:', msg)
          }) 
        }
    }
  2. Back in the terminal with the producer script running, enter a test message:Send test message in Kafka
  3. In the Lambda function console, select the Monitoring tab then choose View logs in CloudWatch. In the latest log stream, you see the original event and the decoded message:Log events output

Using Lambda as event source

The Lambda function target in the event source mapping does not need to be connected to a VPC to receive messages from the private instance hosting Kafka. However, you must provide details of the VPC, subnets, and security groups in the event source mapping for the Kafka cluster.

The Lambda function must have permission to describe VPCs and security groups, and manage elastic network interfaces. These execution roles permissions are:

  • ec2:CreateNetworkInterface
  • ec2:DescribeNetworkInterfaces
  • ec2:DescribeVpcs
  • ec2:DeleteNetworkInterface
  • ec2:DescribeSubnets
  • ec2:DescribeSecurityGroups

The event payload for the Lambda function contains an array of records. Each array item contains details of the topic and Kafka partition identifier, together with a timestamp and base64 encoded message:

Event payload example

There is an important difference in the way the Lambda service connects to the self-hosted Kafka cluster compared with Amazon MSK. MSK encrypts data in transit by default so the broker connection defaults to using TLS. With a self-hosted cluster, TLS authentication is not supported when using the Apache Kafka event source. Instead, if accessing brokers over the internet, the event source uses SASL/SCRAM authentication, which can be configured in the event source mapping:

SASL/SCRAM configuration

To learn how to configure SASL/SCRAM authentication your self-hosted Kafka cluster, see this documentation.

Conclusion

Lambda now supports self-hosted Kafka as an event source so you can invoke Lambda functions from messages in Kafka topics to integrate into other downstream serverless workflows.

This post shows how to configure a self-hosted Kafka cluster on EC2 and set up the network configuration. I also cover how to set up the event source mapping in Lambda and test a function to decode the messages sent from Kafka.

To learn more about how to use this feature, read the documentation. For more serverless learning resource, visit Serverless Land.

Creating a cross-region Active Directory domain with AWS Launch Wizard for Microsoft Active Directory

Post Syndicated from AWS Admin original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/creating-a-cross-region-active-directory-domain-with-aws-launch-wizard-for-microsoft-active-directory/

AWS Launch Wizard is a console-based service to quickly and easily size, configure, and deploy third party applications, such as Microsoft SQL Server Always On and HANA based SAP systems, on AWS without the need to identify and provision individual AWS resources. AWS Launch Wizard offers an easy way to deploy enterprise applications and optimize costs. Instead of selecting and configuring separate infrastructure services, you go through a few steps in the AWS Launch Wizard and it deploys a ready-to-use application on your behalf. It reduces the time you need to spend on investigating how to provision, cost and configure your application on AWS.

You can now use AWS Launch Wizard to deploy and configure self-managed Microsoft Windows Server Active Directory Domain Services running on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances. With Launch Wizard, you can have fully-functioning, production-ready domain controllers within a few hours—all without having to manually deploy and configure your resources.

You can use AWS Directory Service to run Microsoft Active Directory (AD) as a managed service, without the hassle of managing your own infrastructure. If you need to run your own AD infrastructure, you can use AWS Launch Wizard to simplify the deployment and configuration process.

In this post, I walk through creation of a cross-region Active Directory domain using Launch Wizard. First, I deploy a single Active Directory domain spanning two regions. Then, I configure Active Directory Sites and Services to match the network topology. Finally, I create a user account to verify replication of the Active Directory domain.

Diagram of Resources deployed in this post

Figure 1: Diagram of resources deployed in this post

Prerequisites

  1. You must have a VPC in your home. Additionally, you must have remote regions that have CIDRs that do not overlap with each other. If you need to create VPCs and subnets that do not overlap, please refer here.
  2. Each subnet used must have outbound internet connectivity. Feel free to either use a NAT Gateway or Internet Gateway.
  3. The VPCs must be peered in order to complete the steps in this post. For information on creating a VPC Peering connection between regions, please refer here.
  4. If you choose to deploy your Domain Controllers to a private subnet, you must have an RDP jump / bastion instance setup to allow you to RDP to your instance.

Deploy Your Domain Controllers in the Home Region using Launch Wizard

In this section, I deploy the first set of domain controllers into the us-east-1 the home region using Launch Wizard. I refer to US-East-1 as the home region, and US-West-2 as the remote region.

  1. In the AWS Launch Wizard Console, select Active Directory in the navigation pane on the left.
  2. Select Create deployment.
  3. In the Review Permissions page, select Next.
  4. In the Configure application settings page set the following:
    • General:
      • Deployment name: UsEast1AD
    • Active Directory (AD) installation
      • Installation type: Active Directory on EC2
    • Domain Settings:
      • Number of domain controllers: 2
      • AMI installation type: License-included AMI
    • License-included AMI: ami-################# | Windows_Server-2019-English-Full-Base-202#-##-##
    • Connection type: Create new Active Directory
    • Domain DNS name: corp.example.com
    • Domain NetBIOS Name: CORP
    • Connectivity:
      • Key Pair Name: Choose and exiting Key pair or select and existing one.
      • Virtual Private Cloud (VPC): Select Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)
    • VPC: Select your home region VPC
    • Availability Zone (AZ) and private subnets:
      • Select 2 Availability Zones
      • Choose the proper subnet in each subnet
      • Assign a Controller IP address for each domain controller
    • Remote Desktop Gateway preferences: Disregard for now, this is set up later.
    • Check the I confirm that a public subnet has been set up. Each of the selected private subnets have outbound connectivity enabled check box.
  1. Select Next.
  2. In the Define infrastructure requirements page, set the following inputs.
    • Storage and compute: Based on infrastructure requirements
    • Number of AD users: Up to 5000 users
  3. Select Next.
  4. In the Review and deploy page, review your selections. Then, select Deploy.

Note that it may take up to 2 hours for your domain to be deployed. Once the status has changed to Completed, you can proceed to the next section. In the next section, I prepare Active Directory Sites and Services for the second set of domain controller in my other region.

Configure Active Directory Sites and Services

In this section, I configure the Active Directory Sites and Services topology to match my network topology. This step ensures proper Active Directory replication routing so that domain clients can find the closest domain controller. For more information on Active Directory Sites and Services, please refer here.

Retrieve your Administrator Credentials from Secrets Manager

  1. From the AWS Secrets Manager Console in us-east-1, select the Secret that begins with LaunchWizard-UsEast1AD.
  2. In the middle of the Secret page, select Retrieve secret value.
    1. This will display the username and password key with their values.
    2. You need these credentials when you RDP into one of the domain controllers in the next steps.

Rename the Default First Site

  1. Log in to the one of the domain controllers in us-east-1.
  2. Select Start, type dssite and hit Enter on your keyboard.
  3. The Active Directory Sites and Services MMC should appear.
    1. Expand Sites. There is a site named Default-First-Site-Name.
    2. Right click on Default-First-Site-Name select Rename.
    3. Enter us-east-1 as the name.
  4. Leave the Active Directory Sites and Services MMC open for the next set of steps.

Create a New Site and Subnet Definition for US-West-2

  1. Using the Active Directory Sites and Services MMC from the previous steps, right click on Sites.
  2. Select New Site… and enter the following inputs:
    • Name: us-west-2
    • Select DEFAULTIPSITELINK.
  3.  Select OK.
  4. A pop up will appear telling you there will need to be some additional configuration. Select OK.
  5. Expand Sites and right click on Subnets and select New Subnet.
  6. Enter the following information:
    • Prefix: the CIDR of your us-west-2 VPC. An example would be 1.0.0/24
    • Site: select us-west-2
  7. Select OK.
  8. Leave the Active Directory Sites and Services MMC open for the following set of steps.

Configure Site Replication Settings

Using the Active Directory Sites and Services MMC from the previous steps, expand Sites, Inter-Site Transports, and select IP. You should see an object named DEFAULTIPSITELINK,

  1. Right click on DEFAULTIPSITELINK.
  2. Select Properties. Set or verify the following inputs on the General tab:
  3. Select Apply.
  4. In the DEFAULTIPSITELINK Properties, select the Attribute Editor tab and modify the following:
    • Scroll down and double click on Enter 1 for the Value, then select OK twice.
      • For more information on these settings, please refer here.
  5. Close the Active Directory Sites and Services MMC, as it is no longer needed.

Prepare Your Home Region Domain Controllers Security Group

In this section, I modify the Domain Controllers Security Group in us-east-1. This allows the domain controllers deployed in us-west-2 to communicate with each other.

  1. From the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) console, select Security Groups under the Network & Security navigation section.
  2. Select the Domain Controllers Security Group that was created with Launch Wizard Active Directory.
  3. Select Edit inbound rules. The Security Group should start with LaunchWizard-UsEast1AD-.
  4. Choose Add rule and enter the following:
    • Type: Select All traffic
    • Protocol: All
    • Port range: All
    • Source: Select Custom
    • Enter the CIDR of your remote VPC. An example would be 1.0.0/24
  5. Select Save rules.

Create a Copy of Your Administrator Secret in Your Remote Region

In this section, I create a Secret in Secrets Manager that contains the Administrator credentials when I created a home region.

  1. Find the Secret that being with LaunchWizard-UsEast1AD from the AWS Secrets Manager Console in us-east-1.
  2. In the middle of the Secret page, select Retrieve secret value.
    • This displays the username and password key with their values. Make note of these keys and values, as we need them for the next steps.
  3. From the AWS Secrets Manager Console, change the region to us-west-2.
  4. Select Store a new secret. Then, enter the following inputs:
    • Select secret type: Other type of secrets
    • Add your first keypair
    • Select Add row to add the second keypair
  5. Select Next, then enter the following inputs.
    • Secret name: UsWest2AD
    • Select Next twice
    • Select Store

Deploy Your Domain Controllers in the Remote Region using Launch Wizard

In this section, I deploy the second set of domain controllers into the us-west-1 region using Launch Wizard.

  1. In the AWS Launch Wizard Console, select Active Directory in the navigation pane on the left.
  2. Select Create deployment.
  3. In the Review Permissions page, select Next.
  4. In the Configure application settings page, set the following inputs.
    • General
      • Deployment name: UsWest2AD
    • Active Directory (AD) installation
      • Installation type: Active Directory on EC2
    • Domain Settings:
      • Number of domain controllers: 2
      • AMI installation type: License-included AMI
      • License-included AMI: ami-################# | Windows_Server-2019-English-Full-Base-202#-##-##
    • Connection type: Add domain controllers to existing Active Directory
    • Domain DNS name: corp.example.com
    • Domain NetBIOS Name: CORP
    • Domain Administrator secret name: Select you secret you created above.
    • Add permission to secret
      • After you verified the Secret you created above has the policy listed. Check the checkbox confirming the secret has the required policy.
    • Domain DNS IP address for resolution: The private IP of either domain controller in your home region
    • Connectivity:
      • Key Pair Name: Choose an existing Key pair
      • Virtual Private Cloud (VPC): Select Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)
    • VPC: Select your home region VPC
    • Availability Zone (AZ) and private subnets:
      • Select 2 Availability Zones
      • Choose the proper subnet in each subnet
      • Assign a Controller IP address for each domain controller
    • Remote Desktop Gateway preferences: disregard for now, as I set this later.
    • Check the I confirm that a public subnet has been set up. Each of the selected private subnets have outbound connectivity enabled check box
  1. In the Define infrastructure requirements page set the following:
    • Storage and compute: Based on infrastructure requirements
    • Number of AD users: Up to 5000 users
  2. In the Review and deploy page, review your selections. Then, select Deploy.

Note that it may take up to 2 hours to deploy domain controllers. Once the status has changed to Completed, proceed to the next section. In this next section, I prepare Active Directory Sites and Services for the second set of domain controller in another region.

Prepare Your Remote Region Domain Controllers Security Group

In this section, I modify the Domain Controllers Security Group in us-west-2. This allows the domain controllers deployed in us-west-2 to communicate with each other.

  1. From the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) console, select Security Groups under the Network & Security navigation section.
  2. Select the Domain Controllers Security Group that was created by your Launch Wizard Active Directory.
  3. Select Edit inbound rules. The Security Group should start with LaunchWizard-UsWest2AD-EC2ADStackExistingVPC-
  4. Choose Add rule and enter the following:
    • Type: Select All traffic
    • Protocol: All
    • Port range: All
    • Source: Select Custom
    • Enter the CIDR of your remote VPC. An example would be 0.0.0/24
  5. Choose Save rules.

Create an AD User and Verify Replication

In this section, I create a user in one region and verify that it replicated to the other region. I also use AD replication diagnostics tools to verify that replication is working properly.

Create a Test User Account

  1. Log in to one of the domain controllers in us-east-1.
  2. Select Start, type dsa and press Enter on your keyboard. The Active Directory Users and Computers MMC should appear.
  3. Right click on the Users container and select New > User.
  4. Enter the following inputs:
    • First name: John
    • Last name: Doe
    • User logon name: jdoe and select Next
    • Password and Confirm password: Your choice of complex password
    • Uncheck User must change password at next logon
  5. Select Next.
  6. Select Finish.

Verify Test User Account Has Replicated

  1. Log in to the one of the domain controllers in us-west-2.
  2. Select Start and type dsa.
  3. Then, press Enter on your keyboard. The Active Directory Users and Computers MMC should appear.
  4. Select Users. You should see a user object named John Doe.

Note that if the user is not present, it may not have been replicated yet. Replication should not take longer than 60 seconds from when the item was created.

Summary

Congratulations, you have created a cross-region Active Directory! In this post you:

  1. Launched a new Active Directory forest in us-east-1 using AWS Launch Wizard.
  2. Configured Active Directory Sites and Service for a multi-region configuration.
  3. Launched a set of new domain controllers in the us-west-2 region using AWS Launch Wizard.
  4. Created a test user and verified replication.

This post only touches on a couple of features that are available in the AWS Launch Wizard Active Directory deployment. AWS Launch Wizard also automates the creation of a Single Tier PKI infrastructure or trust creation. One of the prime benefits of this solution is the simplicity in deploying a fully functional Active Directory environment in just a few clicks. You no longer need to do the undifferentiated heavy lifting required to deploy Active Directory.  For more information, please refer to AWS Launch Wizard documentation.

Announcing Amazon Managed Service for Grafana (in Preview)

Post Syndicated from Marcia Villalba original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/announcing-amazon-managed-grafana-service-in-preview/

Today, in partnership with Grafana Labs, we are excited to announce in preview, Amazon Managed Service for Grafana (AMG), a fully managed service that makes it easy to create on-demand, scalable, and secure Grafana workspaces to visualize and analyze your data from multiple sources.

Grafana is one of the most popular open source technologies used to create observability dashboards for your applications. It has a pluggable data source model and support for different kinds of time series databases and cloud monitoring vendors. Grafana centralizes your application data from multiple open-source, cloud, and third-party data sources.

Many of our customers love Grafana, but don’t want the burden of self-hosting and managing it. AMG manages the provisioning, setup, scaling, version upgrades and security patching of Grafana, eliminating the need for customers to do it themselves. AMG automatically scales to support thousands of users with high availability.

With AMG, you will get a fully managed and secure data visualization service where you can query, correlate, and visualize operational metrics, logs and traces across multiple data sources including cloud services such as AWS, Google, and Microsoft. AMG is integrated with AWS data sources, such as Amazon CloudWatch, Amazon Elasticsearch Service, AWS X-Ray, AWS IoT SiteWise, Amazon Timestream, and others to collect operational data in a simple way. Additionally, AMG also provides plug-ins to connect to popular third-party data sources, such as Datadog, Splunk, ServiceNow, and New Relic by upgrading to Grafana Enterprise directly from the AWS Console.

Screenshot for creating and configuring a managed Grafana workspace

AMG integrates directly into your AWS Organizations. You can define a AMG workspace in one AWS account that allows you to discover and access datasources in all your accounts and regions across your AWS organization. Creating dashboards in Grafana is easy as all these different datasources are discoverable in one place.

Customers really like Grafana for the ease of creating dashboards, it comes with many built-in dashboards to use when you add a new data source, or you can take advantage of its broad community of pre-built dashboards. For example, you can see in the following image a really nice dashboard that AMG created for me from one of my AWS Lambda function.

Screenshot of an automatic dashboard for Lambda function

One of my favorite things from AMG is the built-in security features. You can easily enable single sign-on using AWS Single Sign-On, restrict access to data sources and dashboards to the right users, and access audit logs via AWS CloudTrail for your hosted Grafana workspace. With AWS Single Sign-On you can leverage your existing corporate directories to enforce authentication and authorization permissions.

Another powerful feature that AMG has is support for Alerts. AMG integrates with Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS) so customers can send Grafana alerts to SNS as a notification destination. It also has support for four other alert destinations including PagerDuty, Slack, VictorOps and OpsGenie.

There are no up-front investments required to use AMG, and you only pay a monthly active user license fee. This means that you can provision many users to access to your Grafana workspace, but will only be billed for active users that log in and use the workspace that month. Users granted access but that do not log in, will not be billed that month. You can also upgrade to Grafana Enterprise using AWS Marketplace, to get access to enterprise plugins, support, and training content directly from Grafana Labs.

Availability

This service is available in US East (N. Virginia) and Europe (Ireland) regions. To learn more visit the AMG service page, and be sure to join our re:Invent session tomorrow 12/16 from 8:00am – 8:30am PST for a demo!

AMG is now available in preview; to get access to this service fill out the registration form here.

Marcia

New – AWS Systems Manager Consolidates Application Management

Post Syndicated from Steve Roberts original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/new-aws-systems-manager-consolidates-application-management/

A desire for consolidated, and simplified operational oversight isn’t limited to just cloud infrastructure. Increasingly, customers ask us for a “single pane of glass” approach for also monitoring and managing their application portfolios.

These customers tell us that detection and investigation of application issues takes additional time and effort, due to the typical use of multiple consoles, tools, and sources of information such as resource usage metrics, logs, and more, to enable their DevOps engineers to obtain context about the application issue under investigation. Here, an “application” means not just the application code but also the logical group of resources that act as a unit to host the application, along with ownership boundaries for operators, and environments such as development, staging, and production.

Today, I’m pleased to announce a new feature of AWS Systems Manager, called Application Manager. Application Manager aggregates operational information from multiple AWS services and Systems Manager capabilities into a single console, making it easier to view operational data for your applications.

To make it even more convenient, the service can automatically discover your applications. Today, auto-discovery is available for applications running in AWS CloudFormation stacks and Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) clusters, or launched using AWS Launch Wizard. Applications can also be discovered from Resource Groups.

A particular benefit of automated discovery is that application components and resources are automatically kept up-to-date on an ongoing basis, but you can also always revise applications as needed by adding or deleting components manually.

With applications discovered and consolidated into a single console, you can more easily diagnose operational issues and resolve them with minimal time and effort. Automated runbooks targeting an application component or resource can be run to help remediate operational issues. For any given application, you can select a resource and explore relevant details without needing to leave the console.

For example, the application can surface Amazon CloudWatch logs, operational metrics, AWS CloudTrail logs, and configuration changes, removing the need to engage with multiple tools or consoles. This means your on-call engineers can understand issues more quickly and reduce the time needed to resolve them.

Exploring an Application with Application Manager
I can access Application Manager from the Systems Manager home page. Once open, I get an overview of my discovered applications and can see immediately that there are some alarms, without needing to switch context to the Amazon CloudWatch console, and some operations items (“OpsItems”) that I might need to pay attention to. I can also switch to the Applications tab to view the collections of applications, or I can click the buttons in the Applications panel for the collection I’m interested in.

Screenshot of the <span title="">Application Manager</span> overview page

In the screenshot below, I’ve navigated to a sample application and again, have indicators showing that alarms have raised. The various tabs enable me to drill into more detail to view resources used by the application, config resource and rules compliance, monitoring alarms, logs, and automation runbooks associated with the application.

Screenshot of application components and overview

Clicking on the Alarm indicator takes me into the Monitoring tab, and it shows that the ConsumedWriteCapacityUnits alarm has been raised. I can change the timescale to zero in on when the event occurred, or I can use the View recent alarms dashboard link to jump into the Amazon CloudWatch Alarms console to view more detail.

Screenshot of alarms on the <span title="">Application Manager</span> Monitoring tab

The Logs tab shows me a consolidated list of log groups for the application, and clicking a log group name takes me directly to the CloudWatch Logs where I can inspect the log streams, and take advantage of Log Insights to dive deeper by querying the log data.

OpsItems shows me operational issues associated with the resources of my application, and enables me to indicate the current status of the issue (open, in progress, resolved). Below, I am marking investigation of a stopped EC2 instance as in progress.

Screenshot of <span title="">Application Manager</span> OpsItems tab

Finally, Runbooks shows me automation documents associated with the application and their execution status. Below, it’s showing that I ran the AWS-RestartEC2Instance automation document to restart the EC2 instance that was stopped, and I would now resolve the issue logged in the OpsItems tab.

Screenshot of <span title="">Application Manager</span>'s Runbooks tab

Consolidating this information into a single console gives engineers a single starting location to monitor and investigate issues arising with their applications, and automatic discovery of applications and resources makes getting started simple. AWS Systems Manager Application Manager is available today, at no extra charge, in all public AWS Regions where Systems Manager is available.

Learn more about Application Manager and get started at AWS Systems Manager.

— Steve

New – AWS Systems Manager Fleet Manager

Post Syndicated from Steve Roberts original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/new-aws-systems-manager-fleet-manager/

Organizations, and their systems administrators, routinely face challenges in managing increasingly diverse portfolios of IT infrastructure across cloud and on-premises environments. Different tools, consoles, services, operating systems, procedures, and vendors all contribute to complicate relatively common, and related, management tasks. As workloads are modernized to adopt Linux and open-source software, those same systems administrators, who may be more familiar with GUI-based management tools from a Windows background, have to continually adapt and quickly learn new tools, approaches, and skill sets.

AWS Systems Manager is an operational hub enabling you to manage resources on AWS and on-premises. Available today, Fleet Manager is a new console based experience in Systems Manager that enables systems administrators to view and administer their fleets of managed instances from a single location, in an operating-system-agnostic manner, without needing to resort to remote connections with SSH or RDP. As described in the documentation, managed instances includes those running Windows, Linux, and macOS operating systems, in both the AWS Cloud and on-premises. Fleet Manager gives you an aggregated view of your compute instances regardless of where they exist.

All that’s needed, whether for cloud or on-premises servers, is the Systems Manager agent installed on each server to be managed, some AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) permissions, and AWS Key Management Service (KMS) enabled for Systems Manager‘s Session Manager. This makes it an easy and cost-effective approach for remote management of servers running in multiple environments without needing to pay the licensing cost of expensive management tools you may be using today. As noted earlier, it also works with instances running macOS. With the agent software and permissions set up, Fleet Manager enables you to explore and manage your servers from a single console environment. For example, you can navigate file systems, work with the registry on Windows servers, manage users, and troubleshoot logs (including viewing Windows event logs) and monitor common performance counters without needing the Amazon CloudWatch agent to be installed.

Exploring an Instance With Fleet Manager
To get started exploring my instances using Fleet Manager, I first head to the Systems Manager console. There, I select the new Fleet Manager entry on the navigation toolbar. I can also select the Managed Instances option – Fleet Manager replaces Managed Instances going forward, but the original navigation toolbar entry will be kept for backwards compatibility for a short while. But, before we go on to explore my instances, I need to take you on a brief detour.

When you select Fleet Manager, as with some other views in Systems Manager, a check is performed to verify that a role, named AmazonSSMRoleForInstancesQuickSetup, exists in your account. If you’ve used other components of Systems Manager in the past, it’s quite possible that it does. The role is used to permit Systems Manager to access your instances on your behalf and if the role exists, then you’re directed to the requested view. If however the role doesn’t exist, you’ll first be taken to the Quick Setup view. This in itself will trigger creation of the role, but you might want to explore the capabilities of Quick Setup, which you can also access any time from the navigation toolbar.

Quick Setup is a feature of Systems Manager that you can use to set up specific configuration items, such as the Systems Manager and CloudWatch agents on your instances (and keep them up-to-date), and also IAM roles permitting access to your resources for Systems Manager components. For this post, all the instances I’m going to use already have the required agent set up, including the role permissions, so I’m not going to discuss this view further but I encourage you to check it out. I also want to remind you that to take full advantage of Fleet Manager‘s capabilities you first need to have KMS encryption enabled for your instances and secondly, the role attached to your Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances must have the kms:Decrypt role permission included, referencing the key you selected when you enabled KMS encryption. You can enable encryption, and select the KMS key, using the Preferences section of the Session Manager console, and of course you can set up the role permission in the IAM console.

That’s it for the diversion; if you have the role already, as I do, you’ll now be at the Managed instances list view. If you’re at Quick Setup instead, simply click the Fleet Manager navigation button once more.

The Managed instances view shows me all of my instances, in the cloud or on-premises, that I can access. Selecting an instance, in this case an EC2 Windows instance launched using AWS Elastic Beanstalk, and clicking Instance actions presents me with a menu of options. The options (less those specific to Windows) are available for my Amazon Linux instance too, and for instances running macOS I can use the View file system option.

Screenshot of <span title="">Fleet Manager</span>'s Managed instances view

The File system view displays a read-only view onto the file system of the selected instance. This can be particularly useful for viewing text-based log files, for example, where I can preview up to 10,000 lines of a log file and even tail it to view changes as the log updates. I used this to open and tail an IIS web server log on my Windows Server instance. Having selected the instance, I next select View file system from the Instance actions dropdown (or I can click the Instance ID to open a view onto that instance and select File system from the menu displayed on the instance view).

Having opened the file system view for my instance, I navigate to the folder on the instance containing the IIS web server logs.

Screenshot of <span title="">Fleet Manager</span>'s File system view

Selecting a log file, I then click Actions and select Tail file. This opens a view onto the log file contents, which updates automatically as new content is written.

Screenshot of tailing a log file in <span title="">Fleet Manager</span>

As I mentioned, the File system view is also accessible for macOS-based instances. For example, here is a screenshot of viewing the Applications folder on an EC2 macOS instance.

Screenshot of macOS file system view in <span title="">Fleet Manager</span>

Next, let’s examine the Performance counters view, which is available for both Windows and Linux instances. This view displays CPU, memory, network traffic, and disk I/O and will be familiar to Windows users from Task Manager. The metrics shown reflect the guest OS metrics, whereas EC2 instance metrics you may be used to relate to the hypervisor. On this particular instance I’ve deployed an ASP.NET Core 5 application, which generates a varying length collection of Fibonacci numbers on page refresh. Below is a snapshot of the counters, after I’ve put the instance under a small amount of load. The view updates automatically every 5 seconds.

Screenshot of <span title="">Fleet Manager</span>'s Performance Counters view

There are more views available than I have space for in this post. Using the Windows Registry view, I can view and edit the registry on the selected Windows instance. Windows event logs gives me access to the Application and Service logs, and common Windows logs such as System, Setup, Security, etc. With Users and groups I can manage users or groups, including assignment of users to groups (again for both Windows and Linux instances). For all views, Fleet Manager enables me to use a single and convenient console.

Getting Started
AWS Systems Manager Fleet Manager is available today for use with managed instances running Windows, Linux, and macOS. Information on pricing, for this and other Systems Manager features, can be found at this page.

Learn more, and get started with Fleet Manager today, at AWS Systems Manager.

— Steve

Introducing AWS Systems Manager Change Manager

Post Syndicated from Sébastien Stormacq original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/introducing-systems-manager-change-manager/

Because you are constantly listening to the feedback from your customer, you are iterating, innovating, and improving your applications and infrastructures. You continually modify your IT systems in the cloud. And let’s face it, changing something in a working system risks breaking things or introducing side effects that are sometimes unpredictable; it doesn’t matter how many tests you do. On the other hand, not making changes is stasis, followed by irrelevance, followed by death.

This is why organizations of all sizes and types have embraced a culture of controlling changes. Some organizations adopt change management processes such as the ones defined in ITIL v4. Some have adopted DevOps’ Continuous Deployment, or other methods. In any case, to support your change management processes, it is important to have tools.

Today, we are launching AWS Systems Manager Change Manager, a new change management capability for AWS Systems Manager. It simplifies the way ops engineers track, approve, and implement operational changes to their application configurations and infrastructures.

Using Change Manager has two primary advantages. First, it can improve the safety of changes made to application configurations and infrastructures, reducing the risk of service disruptions. It makes operational changes safer by tracking that only approved changes are being implemented. Secondly, it is tightly integrated with other AWS services, such as AWS Organizations and AWS Single Sign-On, or the integration with the Systems Manager change calendar and Amazon CloudWatch alarms.

Change Manager provides accountability with a consistent way to report and audit changes made across your organization, their intent, and who approved and implemented them.

Change Manager works across AWS Regions and multiple AWS accounts. It works closely with Organizations and AWS SSO to manage changes from a central point and to deploy them in a controlled way across your global infrastructure.

Terminology
You can use AWS Systems Manager Change Manager on a single AWS account, but most of the time, you will use it in a multi-account configuration.

The way you manage changes across multiple AWS accounts depends on how these accounts are linked together. Change Manager uses the relationships between your accounts defined in AWS Organizations. When using Change Manager, there are three types of accounts:

  • The management account – also known as the “main account” or “root account.” The management account is the root account in an AWS Organizations hierarchy. It is the management account by virtue of this fact.
  • The delegated administrator account – A delegated administrator account is an account that has been granted permission to manage other accounts in Organizations. In the Change Manager context, this is the account from which change requests will be initiated. You will typically log in to this account to manage templates and change requests. Using a delegated administrators account allows you to limit connections made to the root account. It also allows you to enforce a least privileges policy by using a specific subset of permissions required by the changes.
  • The member accounts – Member accounts are accounts that are not the management account or a delegated administrator account, but are still included in Organizations. In my mental model for Change Manager, these would be the accounts that hold the resources where changes are deployed. A delegated administrator account would initiate a change request that would impact resources in a member account. System administrators are discouraged from logging directly into these accounts.

Let’s see how you can use AWS Systems Manager Change Manager by taking a short walk-through demo.

One-Time Configuration
In this scenario, I show you how to use Change Manager with multiple AWS accounts linked together with Organizations. If you are not interested in the one-time configuration, jump to the Create a Change Request section below.

There are four one-time configuration actions to take before using Change Manager: one action in the root account and three in the delegated administrator account. In the root account, I use Quick Setup to define my delegated administrator account and initially configure permissions on the accounts. In the delegated administrator account, you define your source of user identities, you define what users have permissions to approve change templates, and you define a change request template.

First, I ensure I have an Organization in place and my AWS accounts are organized in Organizational Units (OU). For the purpose of this simple example, I have three accounts: the root account, the delegated administrator account in the management OU and a member account in the managed OU. When ready, I use Quick Setup on the root account to configure my accounts. There are multiple paths leading to Quick Setup; for this demo, I use the blue banner on top of the Quick Setup console, and I click Setup Change Manager.

Change Manager Quick Setup

 

On the Quick Setup page, I enter the ID of the delegated administrator account if I haven’t defined it already. Then I choose the permissions boundaries I grant to the delegated administrator account to perform changes on my behalf. This is the maximum permissions Change Manager receives to make changes. I will further restrict this permission set when I create change requests in a few minutes. In this example, I grant Change Manager permissions to call any ec2 API. This effectively authorizes Change Manager to only run changes related to EC2 instances.

Change Manager Quick Setup

Lower on the screen, I choose the set of accounts that are targets for my changes. I choose between Entire organization or Custom to select one or multiple OUs.

Change Manager Quick Setup 2

After a while, Quick Setup finishes configuring my AWS accounts permission and I can move to the second part of the one-time setup.

Change Manager Quick Setup 3

Second, I switch to my delegated administrator account. Change Manager asks me how I manage users in my organization: with AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) or AWS Single Sign-On? This defines where Change Manager pulls user identities when I choose approvers. This is a one-time configuration option. This can be changed at any time in the Change Manager Settings page.

Change Manager Settings

Third, on the same page, I define an Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS) topic to receive notifications about template reviews. This channel is notified any time a template is created or modified, to let template approvers review and approve templates. I also define the IAM (or SSO) user with permission to approve change templates (more about these in one minute).

Change Manager Template Reviewers

Optionally, you can use the existing AWS Systems Manager Change Calendar to define the periods where changes are not authorized, such as marketing events or holiday sales.

Finally, I define a change template. Every change request is created from a template. Templates define common parameters for all change requests based on them, such as the change request approvers, the actions to perform, or the SNS topic to send notifications of progress. You can enforce the review and approval of templates before they can be used. It makes sense to create multiple templates to handle different type of changes. For example, you can create one template for standard changes, and one for emergency changes that overrides the change calendar. Or you can create different templates for different types of automation run books (documents).

To help you to get started, we created a template for you: the “Hello World” template. You can use it as a starting point to create a change request and test out your approval flow.

At any time, I can create my own template. Let’s imagine my system administrator team is frequently restarting EC2 instances. I create a template allowing them to create change requests to restart one or multiple instances. Using the delegated administrator account, I navigate to the Change Manager management console and click Create template.

Change Manager Create Template

In a nutshell, a template defines the list of authorized actions, where to send notifications and who can approve the change request. Actions are an AWS Systems Manager runbook. Emergency change templates allow change requests to bypass the change calendar I wrote about earlier. Under Runbook Options, I choose one or multiple runbooks allowed to run. For this example, I choose the AWS EC2RestartInstance runbook.

I use the console to create the template, but templates are defined internally as YAML. I can edit the YAML using the Editor tab, or when I am using the AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) or API. This means I can version control them just like the rest of my infrastructure (as code).Change Manager Create Template part 1

Just below, I document my template using text formatted as markdown format. I use this section to document the defining characteristics of the template and provide any necessary instructions, such as back-out procedures, to the requestor.

Change Manager Template Documentation

I scroll down that page and click Add Approver to define approvers. Approvers can be individual users or groups. The list of approvers are defined either at the template level or in the change request itself. I also choose to create an SNS topic to inform approvers when any requests are created that require their approval.

In the Monitoring section I select the alarm that, when active, stops any change based on this template, and initiate a rollback.

In the Notifications section, I select or create another SNS topic so I’m notified when status changes for this template occur.

Change Manager Create Template part 2

Once I am done, I save the template and submit it for review.

Change Manager Submit Template for Review

Templates have to be reviewed and approved before they can be used. To approve the template, I connect the console as the template_approver user I defined earlier. As template_approver user, I see pending approvals on the Overview tab. Or, I navigate to the Templates tab, select the template I want to review. When I am done reviewing it, I click Approve.

Change Manager Approve Template

Voila, now we’re ready to create change requests based on this template. Remember that all the preceding steps are one-time configurations and can be amended at any time. When existing templates are modified, the changes go through a review and approval process again.

Create a Change Request
To create a change request on any account linked to the Organization, I open a AWS Systems Manager Change Manager console from the delegated administrator account and click Create request.

Change Manager Create Request

I choose the template I want to use and click Next.

Change Manager Select Template I enter a name for this change request. The change is initiated immediately after all approvals are granted, or I specify an optional scheduled time. When the template allows me, I choose the approver for this change. In this example, the approver is defined by the template and cannot be changed. I click Next.

Change Manager Create CR part 1

On the next screen, there are multiple important configuration options, relating to the actual execution of the change:

  • Target location – lets me define on which target AWS accounts and AWS Region I want to run this change.
  • Deployment target – lets me define which resources are the target of this change. One EC2 instance? Or multiple ones identified by their tags, their resources groups, a list of instance IDs, or all EC2 instances.
  • Runbook parameters – lets me define the parameters I want to pass to my runbook, if any.
  • Execution role – lets me define the set of permissions I grant the System Manager to deploy with this change. The permission set must have service changemanagement.ssm.amazonaws.com as principal for the trust policy. Selecting a role allows me to grant the Change Manager runtime a different permission set than the one I have.

Here is an example allowing Change Manager to stop an EC2 instance (you can scope it down to a specific AWS account, specific Region, or specific instances):

{
    "Version": "2012-10-17",
    "Statement": [
        {
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": [
                "ec2:StartInstances",
                "ec2:StopInstances"
            ],
            "Resource": "*",
        },
        {
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": "ec2:DescribeInstances",
            "Resource": "*"
        }
    ]
}

And the associated trust policy:

{
  "Version": "2012-10-17",
  "Statement": [
    {
      "Effect": "Allow",
      "Principal": {
        "Service": "changemanagement.ssm.aws.internal"
      },
      "Action": "sts:AssumeRole"
    }
  ]
}

When I am ready, I click Next. On the last page, I review my data entry and click Submit for approval.

At this stage, the approver receives a notification, based on the SNS topic configured in the template. To continue this demo, I sign out of the console and sign in again as the cr_approver user, which I created, with permission to view and approve change requests.

As the cr_approver user, I navigate to the console, review the change request, and click Approve.

Change Manager Review Change Request

The change request status switches to scheduled, and eventually turns green to Success. At any time, I can click the change request to get the status, and to collect errors, if any.

Change Manager Dashboard with Succeeded Request

I click on the change request to see the details. In particular, the Timeline tab shows the history of this CR.

Change Management CR Timeline

Availability and Pricing
AWS Systems Manager Change Manager is available today in all commercial AWS Regions, except mainland China. The pricing is based on two dimensions: the number of change requests you submit and the total number of API calls made. The number of change requests you submit will be the main cost factor. We will charge $0.29 per change request. Check the pricing page for more details.

You can evaluate Change Manager for free for 30 days, starting on your first change request.

As usual, let us know what you think and let’s get started today

— seb

AWS CloudShell – Command-Line Access to AWS Resources

Post Syndicated from Jeff Barr original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/aws-cloudshell-command-line-access-to-aws-resources/

No matter how much automation you have built, no matter how great you are at practicing Infrastructure as Code (IAC), and no matter how successfully you have transitioned from pets to cattle, you sometimes need to interact with your AWS resources at the command line. You might need to check or adjust a configuration file, make a quick fix to a production environment, or even experiment with some new AWS services or features.

Some of our customers feel most at home when working from within a web browser and have yet to set up or customize their own command-line interface (CLI). They tell is that they don’t want to deal with client applications, public keys, AWS credentials, tooling, and so forth. While none of these steps are difficult or overly time-consuming, they do add complexity and friction and we always like to help you to avoid both.

Introducing AWS CloudShell
Today we are launching AWS CloudShell, with the goal of making the process of getting to an AWS-enabled shell prompt simple and secure, with as little friction as possible. Every shell environment that you run with CloudShell has the AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) (v2) installed and configured so you can run aws commands fresh out of the box. The environments also include the Python and Node runtimes, with many more to come in the future.

To get started, I simply click the CloudShell icon in the AWS Management Console:

My shell sets itself up in a matter of seconds and I can issue my first aws command immediately:

The shell environment is based on Amazon Linux 2. I can store up to 1 GB of files per region in my home directory and they’ll be available each time I open a shell in the region. This includes shell configuration files such as .bashrc and shell history files.

I can access the shell via SSO or as any IAM principal that can login to the AWS Management Console, including federated roles. In order to access CloudShell, the AWSCloudShellFullAccess policy must be in effect. The shell runs as a normal (non-privileged) user, but I can sudo and install packages if necessary.

Here are a couple of features that you should know about:

Themes & Font Sizes – You can switch between light and dark color themes, and choose any one of five font sizes:

Tabs and Sessions – You can have multiple sessions open within the same region, and you can control the tabbing behavior, with options to split horizontally and vertically:

You can also download files from the shell environment to your desktop, and upload them from your desktop to the shell.

Things to Know
Here are a couple of important things to keep in mind when you are evaluating CloudShell:

Timeouts & Persistence – Each CloudShell session will timeout after 20 minutes or so of inactivity, and can be reestablished by refreshing the window:

RegionsCloudShell is available today in the US East (N. Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (Oregon), Europe (Ireland), and Asia Pacific (Tokyo) Regions, with the remaining regions on the near-term roadmap.

Persistent Storage – Files stored within $HOME persist between invocations of CloudShell with a limit of 1 GB per region; all other storage is ephemeral. This means that any software that is installed outside of $HOME will not persist, and that no matter what you change (or break), you can always begin anew with a fresh CloudShell environment.

Network Access – Sessions can make outbound connections to the Internet, but do not allow any type of inbound connections. Sessions cannot currently connect to resources inside of private VPC subnets, but that’s also on the near-term roadmap.

Runtimes – In addition to the Python and Node runtimes, Bash, PowerShell, jq, git, the ECS CLI, the SAM CLI, npm, and pip already installed and ready to use.

Pricing – You can use up to 10 concurrent shells in each region at no charge. You only pay for other AWS resources you use with CloudShell to create and run your applications.

Try it Out
AWS CloudShell is available now and you can start using it today. Launch one and give it a try, and let us know what you think!

Jeff;

re:Invent 2020 Liveblog: Werner Vogels Keynote

Post Syndicated from AWS News Blog Team original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/reinvent-2020-liveblog-werner-vogels-keynote/

Join us Tuesday, Dec. 15 for Dr. Werner Vogels’ Keynote as he shares how Amazon is solving today’s hardest technology problems. Jeff Barr, Martin Beeby, Steve Roberts and Channy Yun will liveblog the event, sharing all the highlights, insights and major announcements from this final keynote of re:Invent 2020.

See you here Tuesday, 7:30-10:00 AM (PST)!


re:Invent 2020 Liveblog: Infrastructure Keynote

Post Syndicated from AWS News Blog Team original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/reinvent-2020-liveblog-infrastructure-keynote/

Join us Thursday, Dec. 10 from 7:30-9:30 AM (PST) as we liveblog the AWS re:Invent Infrastructure Keynote with Peter DeSantis, senior vice president of AWS Global Infrastructure and Customer Support.

AWS Chief Evangelist Jeff Barr and Developer Advocates Martin Beeby and Steve Roberts will follow all the action with updates and insights as the event unfolds.

See you soon!


New for Amazon CodeGuru – Python Support, Security Detectors, and Memory Profiling

Post Syndicated from Danilo Poccia original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/new-for-amazon-codeguru-python-support-security-detectors-and-memory-profiling/

Amazon CodeGuru is a developer tool that helps you improve your code quality and has two main components:

  • CodeGuru Reviewer uses program analysis and machine learning to detect potential defects that are difficult to find in your code and offers suggestions for improvement.
  • CodeGuru Profiler collects runtime performance data from your live applications, and provides visualizations and recommendations to help you fine-tune your application performance.

Today, I am happy to announce three new features:

  • Python Support for CodeGuru Reviewer and Profiler (Preview) – You can now use CodeGuru to improve applications written in Python. Before this release, CodeGuru Reviewer could analyze Java code, and CodeGuru Profiler supported applications running on a Java virtual machine (JVM).
  • Security Detectors for CodeGuru Reviewer – A new set of detectors for CodeGuru Reviewer to identify security vulnerabilities and check for security best practices in your Java code.
  • Memory Profiling for CodeGuru Profiler – A new visualization of memory retention per object type over time. This makes it easier to find memory leaks and optimize how your application is using memory.

Let’s see these functionalities in more detail.

Python Support for CodeGuru Reviewer and Profiler (Preview)
Python Support for CodeGuru Reviewer is available in Preview and offers recommendations on how to improve the Python code of your applications in multiple categories such as concurrency, data structures and control flow, scientific/math operations, error handling, using the standard library, and of course AWS best practices.

You can now also use CodeGuru Profiler to collect runtime performance data from your Python applications and get visualizations to help you identify how code is running on the CPU and where time is consumed. In this way, you can detect the most expensive lines of code of your application. Focusing your tuning activities on those parts helps you reduce infrastructure cost and improve application performance.

Let’s see the CodeGuru Reviewer in action with some Python code. When I joined AWS eight years ago, one of the first projects I created was a Filesystem in Userspace (FUSE) interface to Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) called yas3fs (Yet Another S3-backed File System). It was inspired by the more popular s3fs-fuse project but rewritten from scratch to implement a distributed cache synchronized by Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS) notifications (now, thanks to the many contributors, it’s using S3 event notifications). It was also a good excuse for me to learn more about Python programming and S3. It’s a personal project that at the time made available as open source. Today, if you need a shared file system, you can use Amazon Elastic File System (EFS).

In the CodeGuru console, I associate the yas3fs repository. You can associate repositories from GitHub, including GitHub Enterprise Cloud and GitHub Enterprise Server, Bitbucket, or AWS CodeCommit.

After that, I can get a code review from CodeGuru in two ways:

  • Automatically, when I create a pull request. This is a great way to use it as you and your team are working on a code base.
  • Manually, creating a repository analysis to get a code review for all the code in one branch. This is useful to start using GodeGuru with an existing code base.

Since I just associated the whole repository, I go for a full analysis and write down the branch name to review (apologies, I was still using master at the time, now I use main for new projects).

After a few minutes, the code review is completed, and there are 14 recommendations. Not bad, but I can definitely improve the code. Here’s a few of the recommendations I get. I was using exceptions and global variables too much at the time.

Security Detectors for CodeGuru Reviewer
The new CodeGuru Reviewer Security Detector uses automated reasoning to analyze all code paths and find potential security issues deep in your Java code, even ones that span multiple methods and files and that may involve multiple sequences of operations. To build this detector, we used learning and best practices from Amazon’s 20+ years of experience.

The Security Detector is also identifying security vulnerabilities in the top 10 Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) categories, such as weak hash encryption.

If the security detector discovers an issue, it offers a suggested remediation along with an explanation. In this way, it’s much easier to follow security best practices for AWS APIs, such as those for AWS Key Management Service (KMS) and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), and for common Java cryptography and TLS/SSL libraries.

With help from the security detector, security engineers can focus on architectural and application-specific security best-practices, and code reviewers can focus their attention on other improvements.

Memory Profiling for CodeGuru Profiler
For applications running on a JVM, CodeGuru Profiler can now show the Heap Summary, a consolidated view of memory retention during a time frame, tracking both overall sizes and number of objects per object type (such as String, int, char[], and custom types). These metrics are presented in a timeline graph, so that you can easily spot trends and peaks of memory utilization per object type.

Here are a couple of scenarios where this can help:

Memory Leaks – A constantly growing memory utilization curve for one or more object types may indicate a leak (intended here as unnecessary retention of memory objects by the application), possibly leading to out-of-memory errors and application crashes.

Memory Optimizations – Having a breakdown of memory utilization per object type is a step beyond traditional memory utilization monitoring, based solely on JVM-level metrics like total heap usage. By knowing that an unexpectedly high amount of memory has been associated with a specific object type, you can focus your analysis and optimization efforts on the parts of your application that are responsible for allocating and referencing objects of that type.

For example, here is a graph showing how memory is used by a Java application over an interval of time. Apart from the total capacity available and the used space, I can see how memory is being used by some specific object types, such as byte[], java.lang.UUID, and the entries of a java.util.LinkedHashMap. The continuous growth over time of the memory retained by these object types is suspicious. There is probably a memory leak I have to investigate.

In the table just below, I have a longer list of object types allocating memory on the heap. The first three are selected and for that reason are shown in the graph above. Here, I can inspect other object types and select them to see their memory usage over time. It looks like the three I already selected are the ones with more risk of being affected by a memory leak.

Available Now
These new features are available today in all regions where Amazon CodeGuru is offered. For more information, please see the AWS Regional Services table.

There are no pricing changes for Python support, security detectors, and memory profiling. You pay for what you use without upfront fees or commitments.

Learn more about Amazon CodeGuru and start using these new features today to improve the code quality of your applications.  

Danilo

AWS Audit Manager Simplifies Audit Preparation

Post Syndicated from Steve Roberts original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/aws-audit-manager-simplifies-audit-preparation/

Gathering evidence in a timely manner to support an audit can be a significant challenge due to manual, error-prone, and sometimes, distributed processes. If your business is subject to compliance requirements, preparing for an audit can cause significant lost productivity and disruption as a result. You might also have trouble applying traditional audit practices, which were originally designed for legacy on-premises systems, to your cloud infrastructure.

To satisfy complex and evolving sets of regulation and compliance standards, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), you’ll need to gather, verify, and synthesize evidence.

You’ll also need to constantly reevaluate how your AWS usage maps to those evolving compliance control requirements. To satisfy requirements you may need to show data encryption was active, and log files showing server configuration changes, diagrams showing application high availability, transcripts showing required training was completed, spreadsheets showing that software usage did not exceed licensed amounts, and more. This effort, sometimes involving dozens of staff and consultants, can last several weeks.

Available today, AWS Audit Manager is a fully managed service that provides prebuilt frameworks for common industry standards and regulations, and automates the continual collection of evidence to help you in preparing for an audit. Continuous and automated gathering of evidence related to your AWS resource usage helps simplify risk assessment and compliance with regulations and industry standards and helps you maintain a continuous, audit-ready posture to provide a faster, less disruptive preparation process.

Built-in and customizable frameworks map usage of your cloud resources to controls for different compliance standards, translating evidence into an audit-ready, immutable assessment report using auditor-friendly terminology. You can also search, filter, and upload additional evidence to include in the final assessment, such as details of on-premises infrastructure, or procedures such as business continuity plans, training transcripts, and policy documents.

Given that audit preparation typically involves multiple teams, a delegation workflow feature lets you assign controls to subject-matter experts for review. For example, you might delegate reviewing evidence of network security to a network security engineer.

The finalized assessment report includes summary statistics and a folder containing all the evidence files, organized in accordance with the exact structure of the associated compliance framework. With the evidence collected and organized into a single location, it’s ready for immediate review, making it easier for audit teams to verify the evidence, answer questions, and add remediation plans.

Getting started with Audit Manager
Let’s get started by creating and configuring a new assessment. From Audit Manager‘s console home page, clicking Launch AWS Audit Manager takes me to my Assessments list (I can also reach here from the navigation toolbar to the left of the console home). There, I click Create assessment to start a wizard that walks me through the settings for the new assessment. First, I give my assessment a name, optional description, and then specify an Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) bucket where the reports associated with the assessment will be stored.

Next, I choose the framework for my assessment. I can select from a variety of prebuilt frameworks, or a custom framework I have created myself. Custom frameworks can be created from scratch or based on an existing framework. Here, I’m going to use the prebuilt PCI DSS framework.

Screenshot of framework selectionAfter clicking Next, I can select the AWS accounts to be included in my assessment (Audit Manager is also integrated with AWS Organizations). Since I have a single account, I select it and click Next, moving on to select the AWS services that I want to be included in evidence gathering. I’m going to include all the suggested services (the default) and click Next to continue.

Screenshot of service selection for assessmentNext I need to select the owners of the assessment, who have full permission to manage it (owners can be AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) users or roles). You must select at least one owner, so I select my account and click Next to move to the final Review and create page. Finally, clicking Create assessment starts the gathering of evidence for my new assessment. This can take a while to complete, so I’m going to switch to another assessment to examine what kinds of evidence I can view and choose to include in my assessment report.

Back in the Assessments list view, clicking on the assessment name takes me to details of the assessment, a summary of the controls for which evidence is being collected, and a list of the control sets into which the controls are grouped. Total evidence tells me the number of events and supporting documents that are included in the assessment. The additional tabs can be used to give me insight into the evidence I select for the final report, which accounts and services are included in the assessment, who owns it, and more. I can also navigate to the S3 bucket in which the evidence is being collected.

Screenshot of assessment home pageExpanding a control set shows me the related controls, with links to dive deeper on a given control, together with the status (Under review, Reviewed, and Inactive), whom the control has been delegated to for review, the amount of evidence gathered for that control, and whether the control and evidence have been added to the final report. If I change a control to be Inactive, meaning automated evidence gathering will cease for that control, this is logged.

Screenshot of assessment controlLet’s take a closer look at a control to show how the automated evidence gathering can help identify compliance issues before I start compiling the audit report. Expanding Default control set, I click control 8.1.2 For a sample of privileged user IDs… which takes me to a view giving more detailed information on the control and how it is tested. Scrolling down, there is a set of evidence folders listed and here I notice that there are some issues. Clicking the issue link in the Compliance check column summarizes where the data came from. Here, I can also select the evidence that I want included in my final report.

Screenshot of issue summaryGoing further, I can click on the evidence folder to note that there was a failure, and in turn clicking on the time of the failure takes me to a detailed summary of the issues for this control, and how to remediate.

Screenshot of evidence for a controlScreenshot of evidence detailWith the evidence gathered, it’s a simple task to select sufficient controls and appropriate evidence to include in my assessment report that can then be passed to my auditors. For the purposes of this post I’ve gone ahead and selected evidence for a handful of controls into my report. Then, I selected the Assessment report selection tab, where I review my evidence selections, and clicked Generate assessment report. In the dialog that appeared I gave my report a name, and then clicked Generate assessment report. When the dialog closes I am taken to the Assessment reports view and, when my report is ready, I can select it and download a zip file containing the report and the selected evidence. Alternatively, I can open the S3 bucket associated with the assessment (from the assessment’s details page) and view the report details and evidence there, as shown in the screenshot below. The overall report is listed (as a PDF file) and if I drill into the evidence folders, I can also view PDF files related to the specific items of evidence I selected.

Screenshot of assessment report output in S3And to close, below is a screenshot of the beginning of the assessment report PDF file showing the number of selected controls and evidence, and services that I selected to be in scope when I created the assessment. Further pages go into more details.

Screenshot of assessment reportAudit Manager is available today in 10 AWS Regions: US East (Northern Virginia, Ohio), US West (Northern California, Oregon), Asia Pacific (Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo), and Europe (Frankfurt, Ireland, London).

Get all the details about AWS Audit Manager and get started today.

— Steve

Amazon SageMaker JumpStart Simplifies Access to Pre-built Models and Machine Learning Solutions

Post Syndicated from Julien Simon original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/amazon-sagemaker-jumpstart-simplifies-access-to-prebuilt-models-and-machine-learning-models/

Today, I’m extremely happy to announce the availability of Amazon SageMaker JumpStart, a capability of Amazon SageMaker that accelerates your machine learning workflows with one-click access to popular model collections (also known as “model zoos”), and to end-to-end solutions that solve common use cases.

In recent years, machine learning (ML) has proven to be a valuable technique in improving and automating business processes. Indeed, models trained on historical data can accurately predict outcomes across a wide range of industry segments: financial services, retail, manufacturing, telecom, life sciences, and so on. Yet, working with these models requires skills and experience that only a subset of scientists and developers have: preparing a dataset, selecting an algorithm, training a model, optimizing its accuracy, deploying it in production, and monitoring its performance over time.

In order to simplify the model building process, the ML community has created model zoos, that is to say, collections of models built with popular open source libraries, and often pretrained on reference datasets. For example, the TensorFlow Hub and the PyTorch Hub provide developers with a long list of models ready to be downloaded, and integrated in applications for computer vision, natural language processing, and more.

Still, downloading a model is just part of the answer. Developers then need to deploy it for evaluation and testing, using either a variety of tools, such as the TensorFlow Serving and TorchServe model servers, or their own bespoke code. Once the model is running, developers need to figure out the correct format that incoming data should have, a long-lasting pain point. I’m sure I’m not the only one regularly pulling my hair out here!

Of course, a full-ML application usually has a lot of moving parts. Data needs to be preprocessed, enriched with additional data fetched from a backend, and funneled into the model. Predictions are often postprocessed, and stored for further analysis and visualization. As useful as they are, model zoos only help with the modeling part. Developers still have lots of extra work to deliver a complete ML solution.

Because of all this, ML experts are flooded with a long backlog of projects waiting to start. Meanwhile, less experienced practitioners struggle to get started. These barriers are incredibly frustrating, and our customers asked us to remove them.

Introducing Amazon SageMaker JumpStart
Amazon SageMaker JumpStart is integrated in Amazon SageMaker Studio, our fully integrated development environment (IDE) for ML, making it intuitive to discover models, solutions, and more. At launch, SageMaker JumpStart includes:

  • 15+ end-to-end solutions for common ML use cases such as fraud detection, predictive maintenance, and so on.
  • 150+ models from the TensorFlow Hub and the PyTorch Hub, for computer vision (image classification, object detection), and natural language processing (sentence classification, question answering).
  • Sample notebooks for the built-in algorithms available in Amazon SageMaker.

SageMaker JumpStart also provides notebooks, blogs, and video tutorials designed to help you learn and remove roadblocks. Content is easily accessible within Amazon SageMaker Studio, enabling you to get started with ML faster.

It only takes a single click to deploy solutions and models. All infrastructure is fully managed, so all you have to do is enjoy a nice cup of tea or coffee while deployment takes place. After a few minutes, you can start testing, thanks to notebooks and sample prediction code that are readily available in Amazon SageMaker Studio. Of course, you can easily modify them to use your own data.

SageMaker JumpStart makes it extremely easy for experienced practitioners and beginners alike to quickly deploy and evaluate models and solutions, saving days or even weeks of work. By drastically shortening the path from experimentation to production, SageMaker JumpStart accelerates ML-powered innovation, particularly for organizations and teams that are early on their ML journey, and haven’t yet accumulated a lot of skills and experience.

Now, let me show you how SageMaker JumpStart works.

Deploying a Solution with Amazon SageMaker JumpStart
Opening SageMaker Studio, I select the “JumpStart” icon on the left. This opens a new tab showing me all available content (solutions, models, and so on).

Let’s say that I’m interested in using computer vision to detect defects in manufactured products. Could ML be the answer?

Browsing the list of available solutions, I see one for product defect detection.

Opening it, I can learn more about the type of problems that it solves, the sample dataset used in the demo, the AWS services involved, and more.

SageMaker screenshot

A single click is all it takes to deploy this solution. Under the hood, AWS CloudFormation uses a built-in template to provision all appropriate AWS resources.

A few minutes later, the solution is deployed, and I can open its notebook.

SageMaker screenshot

The notebook opens immediately in SageMaker Studio. I run the demo, and understand how ML can help me detect product defects. This is also a nice starting point for my own project, making it easy to experiment with my own dataset (feel free to click on the image below to zoom in).

SageMaker screenshot

Once I’m done with this solution, I can delete all its resources in one click, letting AWS CloudFormation clean up without having to worry about leaving idle AWS resources behind.

SageMaker screenshot

Now, let’s look at models.

Deploying a Model with Amazon SageMaker JumpStart
SageMaker JumpStart includes a large collection of models available in the TensorFlow Hub and the PyTorch Hub. These models are pre-trained on reference datasets, and you can use them directly to handle a wide range of computer vision and natural language processing tasks. You can also fine-tune them on your own datasets for greater accuracy, a technique called transfer learning.

SageMaker screenshot
Here, I pick a version of the BERT model trained on question answering. I can either deploy it as is, or fine-tune it. For the sake of brevity, I go with the former here, and I just click on the “Deploy” button.

SageMaker screenshot

A few minutes later, the model has been deployed to a real-time endpoint powered by fully managed infrastructure.

SageMaker screenshot

Time to test it! Clicking on “Open Notebook” launches a sample notebook that I run right away to test the model, without having to change a line of code (again, feel free to click on the image below to zoom in). Here, I’m asking two questions (“What is Southern California often abbreviated as?” and “Who directed Spectre?“), passing some context containing the answer. In both cases, the BERT model gives the correct answer, respectively “socal” and “Sam Mendes“.

SageMaker screenshot

When I’m done testing, I can delete the endpoint in one click, and stop paying for it.

Getting Started
As you can see, it’s extremely easy to deploy models and solutions with SageMaker JumpStart in minutes, even if you have little or no ML skills.

You can start using this capability today in all regions where SageMaker Studio is available, at no additional cost.

Give it a try and let us know what you think.

As always, we’re looking forward to your feedback, either through your usual AWS support contacts, or on the AWS Forum for SageMaker.

– Julien

Special thanks to my colleague Jared Heywood for his precious help during early testing.

New – Amazon SageMaker Pipelines Brings DevOps Capabilities to your Machine Learning Projects

Post Syndicated from Julien Simon original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/amazon-sagemaker-pipelines-brings-devops-to-machine-learning-projects/

Today, I’m extremely happy to announce Amazon SageMaker Pipelines, a new capability of Amazon SageMaker that makes it easy for data scientists and engineers to build, automate, and scale end to end machine learning pipelines.

Machine learning (ML) is intrinsically experimental and unpredictable in nature. You spend days or weeks exploring and processing data in many different ways, trying to crack the geode open to reveal its precious gemstones. Then, you experiment with different algorithms and parameters, training and optimizing lots of models in search of highest accuracy. This process typically involves lots of different steps with dependencies between them, and managing it manually can become quite complex. In particular, tracking model lineage can be difficult, hampering auditability and governance. Finally, you deploy your top models, and you evaluate them against your reference test sets. Finally? Not quite, as you’ll certainly iterate again and again, either to try out new ideas, or simply to periodically retrain your models on new data.

No matter how exciting ML is, it does unfortunately involve a lot of repetitive work. Even small projects will require hundreds of steps before they get the green light for production. Over time, not only does this work detract from the fun and excitement of your projects, it also creates ample room for oversight and human error.

To alleviate manual work and improve traceability, many ML teams have adopted the DevOps philosophy and implemented tools and processes for Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD). Although this is certainly a step in the right direction, writing your own tools often leads to complex projects that require more software engineering and infrastructure work than you initially anticipated. Valuable time and resources are diverted from the actual ML project, and innovation slows down. Sadly, some teams decide to revert to manual work, for model management, approval, and deployment.

Introducing Amazon SageMaker Pipelines
Simply put, Amazon SageMaker Pipelines brings in best-in-class DevOps practices to your ML projects. This new capability makes it easy for data scientists and ML developers to create automated and reliable end-to-end ML pipelines. As usual with SageMaker, all infrastructure is fully managed, and doesn’t require any work on your side.

Care.com is the world’s leading platform for finding and managing high-quality family care. Here’s what Clemens Tummeltshammer, Data Science Manager, Care.com, told us: “A strong care industry where supply matches demand is essential for economic growth from the individual family up to the nation’s GDP. We’re excited about Amazon SageMaker Feature Store and Amazon SageMaker Pipelines, as we believe they will help us scale better across our data science and development teams, by using a consistent set of curated data that we can use to build scalable end-to-end machine learning (ML) model pipelines from data preparation to deployment. With the newly announced capabilities of Amazon SageMaker, we can accelerate development and deployment of our ML models for different applications, helping our customers make better informed decisions through faster real-time recommendations.

Let me tell you more about the main components in Amazon SageMaker Pipelines: pipelines, model registry, and MLOps templates.

Pipelines – Model building pipelines are defined with a simple Python SDK. They can include any operation available in Amazon SageMaker, such as data preparation with Amazon SageMaker Processing or Amazon SageMaker Data Wrangler, model training, model deployment to a real-time endpoint, or batch transform. You can also add Amazon SageMaker Clarify to your pipelines, in order to detect bias prior to training, or once the model has been deployed. Likewise, you can add Amazon SageMaker Model Monitor to detect data and prediction quality issues.

Once launched, model building pipelines are executed as CI/CD pipelines. Every step is recorded, and detailed logging information is available for traceability and debugging purposes. Of course, you can also visualize pipelines in Amazon SageMaker Studio, and track their different executions in real time.

Model Registry – The model registry lets you track and catalog your models. In SageMaker Studio, you can easily view model history, list and compare versions, and track metadata such as model evaluation metrics. You can also define which versions may or may not be deployed in production. In fact, you can even build pipelines that automatically trigger model deployment once approval has been given. You’ll find that the model registry is very useful in tracing model lineage, improving model governance, and strengthening your compliance posture.

MLOps TemplatesSageMaker Pipelines includes a collection of built-in CI/CD templates for popular pipelines (build/train/deploy, deploy only, and so on). You can also add and publish your own templates, so that your teams can easily discover them and deploy them. Not only do templates save lots of time, they also make it easy for ML teams to collaborate from experimentation to deployment, using standard processes and without having to manage any infrastructure. Templates also let Ops teams customize steps as needed, and give them full visibility for troubleshooting.

Now, let’s do a quick demo!

Building an End-to-end Pipeline with Amazon SageMaker Pipelines
Opening SageMaker Studio, I select the “Components” tab and the “Projects” view. This displays a list of built-in project templates. I pick one to build, train, and deploy a model.

SageMaker screenshot

Then, I simply give my project a name, and create it.

A few seconds later, the project is ready. I can see that it includes two Git repositories hosted in AWS CodeCommit, one for model training, and one for model deployment.

SageMaker screenshot

The first repository provides scaffolding code to create a multi-step model building pipeline: data processing, model training, model evaluation, and conditional model registration based on accuracy. As you’ll see in the pipeline.py file, this pipeline trains a linear regression model using the XGBoost algorithm on the well-known Abalone dataset. This repository also includes a build specification file, used by AWS CodePipeline and AWS CodeBuild to execute the pipeline automatically.

Likewise, the second repository contains code and configuration files for model deployment, as well as test scripts required to pass the quality gate. This operation is also based on AWS CodePipeline and AWS CodeBuild, which run a AWS CloudFormation template to create model endpoints for staging and production.

Clicking on the two blue links, I clone the repositories locally. This triggers the first execution of the pipeline.

SageMaker screenshot

A few minutes later, the pipeline has run successfully. Switching to the “Pipelines” view, I can visualize its steps.

SageMaker screenshot

Clicking on the training step, I can see the Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) metrics for my model.

SageMaker screenshot

As the RMSE is lower than the threshold defined in the conditional step, my model is added to the model registry, as visible below.

SageMaker screenshot

For simplicity, the registration step sets the model status to “Approved”, which automatically triggers its deployment to a real-time endpoint in the same account. Within seconds, I see that the model is being deployed.

SageMaker screenshot

Alternatively, you could register your model with a “Pending manual approval” status. This will block deployment until the model has been reviewed and approved manually. As the model registry supports cross-account deployment, you could also easily deploy in a different account, without having to copy anything across accounts.

A few minutes later, the endpoint is up, and I could use it to test my model.

SageMaker screenshot

Once I’ve made sure that this model works as expected, I could ping the MLOps team, and ask them to deploy the model in production.

Putting my MLOps hat on, I open the AWS CodePipeline console, and I see that my deployment is indeed waiting for approval.

SageMaker screenshot

I then approve the model for deployment, which triggers the final stage of the pipeline.

SageMaker screenshot

Reverting to my Data Scientist hat, I see in SageMaker Studio that my model is being deployed. Job done!

SageMaker screenshot

Getting Started
As you can see, Amazon SageMaker Pipelines makes it really easy for Data Science and MLOps teams to collaborate using familiar tools. They can create and execute robust, automated ML pipelines that deliver high quality models in production quicker than before.

You can start using SageMaker Pipelines in all commercial regions where SageMaker is available. The MLOps capabilities are available in the regions where CodePipeline is also available.

Sample notebooks are available to get you started. Give them a try, and let us know what you think. We’re always looking forward to your feedback, either through your usual AWS support contacts, or on the AWS Forum for SageMaker.

– Julien

Special thanks to my colleague Urvashi Chowdhary for her precious assistance during early testing.