Tag Archives: AWS Cost Management

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.


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):
  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):
  for i in range(0, 20000000):

  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": [
            "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": [
            "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.


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.


Optimizing the cost of running AWS Elastic Beanstalk Workloads

Post Syndicated from Mina Gerges original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/devops/optimizing-the-cost-of-running-aws-elastic-beanstalk-workloads/

AWS Elastic Beanstalk handles provisioning resources, maintenance, health checks, automatic scaling, and other common tasks necessary to keep your application running, which allows you to focus on your application code.

You can now run your applications on Elastic Beanstalk using Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). Spot Instances in both single instance and load balanced environments, For more information see Spot instances support. Spot Instances let you take advantage of unused Amazon EC2 capacity in the AWS Cloud. Spot Instances are available at up to a 90% discount compared to On-Demand prices, which are also available for other deployment services like Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS) and Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS). You can use Spot Instances for various stateless, fault-tolerant, or flexible applications, and other test and development workloads.

Customers often ask how to save costs when running their Elastic Beanstalk applications, especially when it comes to test or stage workloads, which don’t need to run all the time. This post walks you through different automation techniques that can reduce your AWS monthly bill significantly.

Converting the environment type

If you have multiple load balanced test environments and want to keep them running after work hours with the lowest possible cost, you can convert the environment type from load balanced to single instance after work hours and back to load balanced in the morning using Amazon Command Line Interface (AWS CLI) commands. For more information see Elastic Beanstalk configuration options.

To convert from load balanced to single instance, enter the following code:

$ aws elasticbeanstalk update-environment – application-name YOUR-APP_NAME – environment-name ENV_NAME – option-settings Namespace=aws:elasticbeanstalk:environment,OptionName=EnvironmentType,Value=SingleInstance

To convert from single instance to load balanced, enter the following code:

$ aws elasticbeanstalk update-environment – application-name YOUR-APP_NAME – environment-name ENV_NAME – option-settings Namespace=aws:elasticbeanstalk:environment,OptionName=EnvironmentType,Value=LoadBalanced

You can then configure cron jobs for these commands at the required times:

# ┌───────────── minute (0 - 59)
# │ ┌───────────── hour (0 - 23)
# │ │ ┌───────────── day of the month (1 - 31)
# │ │ │ ┌───────────── month (1 - 12)
# │ │ │ │ ┌───────────── day of the week (0 - 6) (Sunday to Saturday; 7 is also Sunday on some systems)
# │ │ │ │ │                                  
# * * * * * command to execute

Setting the number of instances

When you have many resources in Elastic Beanstalk environments and want to the optimize the cost during low-traffic times or after work hours while keeping the environment running, a good approach is to set the number of instances to (0 or 1) or any minimal number of instances for all test environments. See the following code:

$ aws elasticbeanstalk update-environment – environment-name ENV-NAME – option-settings Namespace=aws:autoscaling:asg,OptionName=MinSize,Value=0

The preceding code sets the number of instances to 0 while the environment is still running. You can automate this approach for a number of Elastic Beanstalk environments using the following sample bash script:

if [ -z "$1" ] ; then
     echo "$0: <instances to set>"
     exit 1
for environment in environment-1  environment-2 ; do            //please provide here environment names
    aws elasticbeanstalk update-environment – environment-name $environment – option-settings Namespace=aws:autoscaling:asg,OptionName=MinSize,Value=$INSTANCES

You can configure a cron job to run this script on a daily basis as per the following example code:

# To set number of instances to 0 (for example at 5:00 PM every day)
$ 0 17 * * * sh test.sh 0    
# To set number of instances to 1 (for example at 8 am)
$ 0 8 * * *  sh test.sh 1 

Stopping your testing environments

When you want to stop all your testing environments overnight, you can terminate Elastic Beanstalk environments after work times and restore them again in the morning. See the following code:

# To terminate environment using AWS CLI (for example at 5:00 PM every day)
$ 0 17 * * * aws elasticbeanstalk terminate-environment – environment-name my-stage-env 
# To restore environment (for example at 8 am)
$ 0 8 * * * eb restore environment-id

For more information, see Terminate an Elastic Beanstalk environment and Rebuilding a terminated environment.

When you terminate Elastic Beanstalk environments, you lose any Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) instances that was created previously as a part of the environment. To avoid this, decouple Amazon RDS from your environments. For instructions see, How do I decouple an Amazon RDS instance from an Elastic Beanstalk environment.


In this post, we discussed how different automation techniques can optimize the cost of running Elastic Beanstalk applications, which can result in a significant cost savings. Please feel free to use any approach that suits you or a combination of all of them, depending on your use case.

We appreciate your feedback.


10 things you can do today to reduce AWS costs

Post Syndicated from Roshni Pary original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/10-things-you-can-do-today-to-reduce-aws-costs/

This post is contributed by Shankar Ramachandran, SA Specialist, Cost Optimization


AWS’s breadth of services and pricing options offer the flexibility to effectively manage your costs, and still keep the performance and capacity per your business requirement. While the fundamental process of cost optimization on AWS remains the same – monitor your AWS costs and usage, analyze the data to find savings, take action to realize the savings; in this blog I will take a more tactical approach of reducing cost with changes in user demand.

Before you start

Before taking any actions to reduce cost, find out the costs of AWS services you are consuming. The AWS Free Tier provides customers the ability to explore and try out AWS services free of charge up to specified limits for each service. Use the steps in this video to check if you are exceeding the free tier limit.

Next, use AWS Cost Explorer to view and analyze your AWS costs and usage. This tool provides default reports that help you visualize cost and usage at a high level (e.g. AWS  accounts, AWS service),  or at the resource level (e.g. EC2 instance ID). Start by identifying the top accounts where your costs incur using the “Monthly costs by linked account report”. Next, identify the top services that contribute to the costs within those accounts. You can do this by using the “Monthly costs by service report”. Use the hourly and resource level granularity and tags to filter and identify the top resources incurring costs.

Cost Explorer resource level granularity

Now, you should have an understanding of your AWS costs and usage. Next, let’s walk through 10 tactical things you can do today using existing AWS tools and services to reduce your AWS costs.

#1 Identify Amazon EC2 instances with low-utilization and reduce cost by stopping or rightsizing

Use AWS Cost Explorer Resource Optimization to get a report of EC2 instances that are either idle or have low utilization. You can reduce costs by either stopping or downsizing these instances. Use AWS Instance Scheduler to automatically stop instances. Use AWS Operations Conductor to automatically resize the EC2 instances (based on the recommendations report from Cost Explorer).

Cost Explorer rightsizing recommendations

Use AWS Compute Optimizer to look at instance type recommendations beyond downsizing within an instance family. It gives downsizing recommendations within or across instance families, upsizing recommendations to remove performance bottlenecks, and recommendations for EC2 instances that are parts of an Auto Scaling group.

#2 Identify Amazon EBS volumes with low-utilization and reduce cost by snapshotting then deleting them

EBS volumes that have very low activity (less than 1 IOPS per day) over a period of 7 days indicate that they are probably not in use. Identify these volumes using the Trusted Advisor Underutilized Amazon EBS Volumes Check. To reduce costs, first snapshot the volume (in case you need it later), then delete these volumes. You can automate the creation of snapshots using the Amazon Data Lifecycle Manager. Follow the steps here to delete EBS volumes.

#3 Analyze Amazon S3 usage and reduce cost by leveraging lower cost storage tiers

Use S3 Analytics to analyze storage access patterns on the object data set for 30 days or longer. It makes recommendations on where you can leverage S3 Infrequently Accessed (S3 IA) to reduce costs. You can automate moving these objects into lower cost storage tier using Life Cycle Policies. Alternately, you can also use S3 Intelligent-Tiering, which automatically analyzes and moves your objects to the appropriate storage tier.

#4 Identify Amazon RDS, Amazon Redshift instances with low utilization and reduce cost by stopping (RDS) and pausing (Redshift)

Use the Trusted Advisor Amazon RDS Idle DB instances check, to identify DB instances which have not had any connection over the last 7 days. To reduce costs, stop these DB instances using the automation steps described in this blog post. For Redshift, use the Trusted Advisor Underutilized Redshift clusters check, to identify clusters which have had no connections for the last 7 days, and less than 5% cluster wide average CPU utilization for 99% of the last 7 days. To reduce costs, pause these clusters using the steps in this blog.

Pause underutilized Redshift clusters

#5 Analyze Amazon DynamoDB usage and reduce cost by leveraging Autoscaling or On-demand

Analyze your DynamoDB usage by monitoring 2 metrics, ConsumedReadCapacityUnits and ConsumedWriteCapacityUnits, in CloudWatch. To automatically scale (in and out) your DynamoDB table, use the AutoScaling feature. Using the steps here, you can enable AutoScaling on your existing tables. Alternately, you can also use the on-demand option. This option allows you to pay-per-request for read and write requests so that you only pay for what you use, making it easy to balance costs and performance.

DynamoDB read/write capacity mode

#6 Review networking and reduce costs by deleting idle load balancers

Use the Trusted Advisor Idle Load Balancers check to get a report of load balancers that have RequestCount of less than 100 over the past 7 days. Then, use the steps here, to delete these load balancers to reduce costs. Additionally, use the steps provided in this blog, review your data transfer costs using Cost Explorer.

Cost Explorer filters for EC2 Data Transfer

If data transfer from EC2 to the public internet shows up as a significant cost, consider using Amazon CloudFront. Any image, video, or static web content can be cached at AWS edge locations worldwide, using the Amazon CloudFront Content Delivery Network (CDN). CloudFront eliminates the need to over-provision capacity in order to serve potential spikes in traffic.

#7 Use Amazon EC2 Spot Instances to reduce EC2 costs

If your workload is fault-tolerant, use Spot instances to reduce costs by up to 90%. Typical workload examples include big data, containerized workloads, CI/CD, web servers, high-performance computing (HPC), and other test & development workloads. Using EC2 Auto Scaling you can launch both On-Demand and Spot instances to meet a target capacity. Auto Scaling automatically takes care of requesting for Spot instances and attempts to maintain the target capacity even if your Spot instances are interrupted. You can learn more about Spot by watching this 2019 re:Invent session:

#8 Review and modify EC2 AutoScaling Groups configuration

An EC2 Autoscaling group allows your EC2 fleet to expand or shrink based on demand. Review your scaling activity using either the describe-scaling-activity CLI command or on the console using the steps described here. Analyze the result to see if the scaling policy can be tuned to add instances less aggressively. Also review your settings to see if the minimum can be reduced so as to serve end user requests but with a smaller fleet size.

#9 Use Reserved Instances (RI) to reduce RDS, Redshift, ElastiCache and Elasticsearch costs

Use one year, no upfront RIs to get a discount of up to 42% compared to On-Demand pricing. Use the recommendations provided in AWS Cost Explorer RI purchase recommendations, which is based on your RDS, Redshift, ElastiCache and Elasticsearch usage. Make sure you adjust the parameters to one year, no upfront. This requires a one year commitment but the break-even point is typically seven to nine months. I recommend doing #4 before #9

#10 Use Compute Savings Plans to reduce EC2, Fargate and Lambda costs

Compute Savings Plans automatically apply to EC2 instance usage regardless of instance family, size, AZ, region, OS or tenancy, and also apply to Fargate and Lambda usage. Use one year, no upfront Compute Savings Plans to get a discount of up to 54% compared to On-Demand pricing. Use the recommendations provided in AWS Cost Explorer, and ensure that you have chosen compute, one year, no upfront options. Once you sign up for Savings Plans, your compute usage is automatically charged at the discounted Savings Plans prices. Any usage beyond your commitment will be charged at regular On Demand rates. I recommend doing #1 before #10.

Savings Plans Recommendations

Whats Next

With these 10 steps, you can save costs on EC2, Fargate, Lambda, EBS, S3, ELB, RDS, Redshift, DynamoDB, ElastiCache and Elasticsearch. I recommend setting up a budget using AWS Budgets, so that you get alerted when your cost and usage changes.

Set a budget to track your AWS cost and usage


Setup an alert on forecasted costs

Using Budgets, you can set up an alert on forecasted costs too (apart from actual). This gives you the ability to get ahead of the problem and reduce costs proactively.


To learn more quick cost optimization techniques, watch the on-demand webinar – Nine Ways to Reduce Your AWS Bill. We are here to help you, please reach out to AWS Support and your AWS account team if you need further assistance in optimizing your AWS environment.

Decoupled Serverless Scheduler To Run HPC Applications At Scale on EC2

Post Syndicated from Emma White original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/decoupled-serverless-scheduler-to-run-hpc-applications-at-scale-on-ec2/

This post is written by Ludvig Nordstrom and Mark Duffield | on November 27, 2019

In this blog post, we dive in to a cloud native approach for running HPC applications at scale on EC2 Spot Instances, using a decoupled serverless scheduler. This architecture is ideal for many workloads in the HPC and EDA industries, and can be used for any batch job workload.

At the end of this blog post, you will have two takeaways.

  1. A highly scalable environment that can run on hundreds of thousands of cores across EC2 Spot Instances.
  2. A fully serverless architecture for job orchestration.

We discuss deploying and running a pre-built serverless job scheduler that can run both Windows and Linux applications using any executable file format for your application. This environment provides high performance, scalability, cost efficiency, and fault tolerance. We introduce best practices and benefits to creating this environment, and cover the architecture, running jobs, and integration in to existing environments.

quick note about the term cloud native: we use the term loosely in this blog. Here, cloud native  means we use AWS Services (to include serverless and microservices) to build out our compute environment, instead of a traditional lift-and-shift method.

Let’s get started!


Solution overview

This blog goes over the deployment process, which leverages AWS CloudFormation. This allows you to use infrastructure as code to automatically build out your environment. There are two parts to the solution: the Serverless Scheduler and Resource Automation. Below are quick summaries of each part of the solutions.

Part 1 – The serverless scheduler

This first part of the blog builds out a serverless workflow to get jobs from SQS and run them across EC2 instances. The CloudFormation template being used for Part 1 is serverless-scheduler-app.template, and here is the Reference Architecture:


Serverless Scheduler Reference Architecture . Reference Architecture for Part 1. This architecture shows just the Serverless Schduler. Part 2 builds out the resource allocation architecture. Outlined Steps with detail from figure one

    Figure 1: Serverless Scheduler Reference Architecture (grayed-out area is covered in Part 2).

Read the GitHub Repo if you want to look at the Step Functions workflow contained in preceding images. The walkthrough explains how the serverless application retrieves and runs jobs on its worker, updates DynamoDB job monitoring table, and manages the worker for its lifetime.


Part 2 – Resource automation with serverless scheduler

This part of the solution relies on the serverless scheduler built in Part 1 to run jobs on EC2.  Part 2 simplifies submitting and monitoring jobs, and retrieving results for users. Jobs are spread across our cost-optimized Spot Instances. AWS Autoscaling automatically scales up the compute resources when jobs are submitted, then terminates them when jobs are finished. Both of these save you money.

The CloudFormation template used in Part 2 is resource-automation.template. Building on Figure 1, the additional resources launched with Part 2 are noted in the following image, they are an S3 Bucket, AWS Autoscaling Group, and two Lambda functions.

Resource Automation using Serverless Scheduler This is Part 2 of the deployment process, and leverages the Part 1 architecture. This provides the resource allocation, that allows for automated job submission and EC2 Auto Scaling. Detailed steps for the prior image


Figure 2: Resource Automation using Serverless Scheduler


Introduction to decoupled serverless scheduling

HPC schedulers traditionally run in a classic master and worker node configuration. A scheduler on the master node orchestrates jobs on worker nodes. This design has been successful for decades, however many powerful schedulers are evolving to meet the demands of HPC workloads. This scheduler design evolved from a necessity to run orchestration logic on one machine, but there are now options to decouple this logic.

What are the possible benefits that decoupling this logic could bring? First, we avoid a number of shortfalls in the environment such as the need for all worker nodes to communicate with a single master node. This single source of communication limits scalability and creates a single point of failure. When we split the scheduler into decoupled components both these issues disappear.

Second, in an effort to work around these pain points, traditional schedulers had to create extremely complex logic to manage all workers concurrently in a single application. This stifled the ability to customize and improve the code – restricting changes to be made by the software provider’s engineering teams.

Serverless services, such as AWS Step Functions and AWS Lambda fix these major issues. They allow you to decouple the scheduling logic to have a one-to-one mapping with each worker, and instead share an Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS) job queue. We define our scheduling workflow in AWS Step Functions. Then the workflow scales out to potentially thousands of “state machines.” These state machines act as wrappers around each worker node and manage each worker node individually.  Our code is less complex because we only consider one worker and its job.

We illustrate the differences between a traditional shared scheduler and decoupled serverless scheduler in Figures 3 and 4.


Traditional Scheduler Model This shows a traditional sceduler where there is one central schduling host, and then multiple workers.

Figure 3: Traditional Scheduler Model


Decoupled Serverless Scheduler on each instance This shows what a Decoupled Serverless Scheduler design looks like, wit

Figure 4: Decoupled Serverless Scheduler on each instance


Each decoupled serverless scheduler will:

  • Retrieve and pass jobs to its worker
  • Monitor its workers health and take action if needed
  • Confirm job success by checking output logs and retry jobs if needed
  • Terminate the worker when job queue is empty just before also terminating itself

With this new scheduler model, there are many benefits. Decoupling schedulers into smaller schedulers increases fault tolerance because any issue only affects one worker. Additionally, each scheduler consists of independent AWS Lambda functions, which maintains the state on separate hardware and builds retry logic into the service.  Scalability also increases, because jobs are not dependent on a master node, which enables the geographic distribution of jobs. This geographic distribution allows you to optimize use of low-cost Spot Instances. Also, when decoupling the scheduler, workflow complexity decreases and you can customize scheduler logic. You can leverage lower latency job monitoring and customize automated responses to job events as they happen.



  • Fully managed –  With Part 2, Resource Automation deployed, resources for a job are managed. When a job is submitted, resources launch and run the job. When the job is done, worker nodes automatically shut down. This prevents you from incurring continuous costs.


  • Performance – Your application runs on EC2, which means you can choose any of the high performance instance types. Input files are automatically copied from Amazon S3 into local Amazon EC2 Instance Store for high performance storage during execution. Result files are automatically moved to S3 after each job finishes.


  • Scalability – A worker node combined with a scheduler state machine become a stateless entity. You can spin up as many of these entities as you want, and point them to an SQS queue. You can even distribute worker and state machine pairs across multiple AWS regions. These two components paired with fully managed services optimize your architecture for scalability to meet your desired number of workers.


  • Fault Tolerance –The solution is completely decoupled, which means each worker has its own state machine that handles scheduling for that worker. Likewise, each state machine is decoupled into Lambda functions that make up your state machine. Additionally, the scheduler workflow includes a Lambda function that confirms each successful job or resubmits jobs.


  • Cost Efficiency – This fault tolerant environment is perfect for EC2 Spot Instances. This means you can save up to 90% on your workloads compared to On-Demand Instance pricing. The scheduler workflow ensures little to no idle time of workers by closely monitoring and sending new jobs as jobs finish. Because the scheduler is serverless, you only incur costs for the resources required to launch and run jobs. Once the job is complete, all are terminated automatically.


  • Agility – You can use AWS fully managed Developer Tools to quickly release changes and customize workflows. The reduced complexity of a decoupled scheduling workflow means that you don’t have to spend time managing a scheduling environment, and can instead focus on your applications.



Part 1 – serverless scheduler as a standalone solution


If you use the serverless scheduler as a standalone solution, you can build clusters and leverage shared storage such as FSx for Lustre, EFS, or S3. Additionally, you can use AWS CloudFormation or to deploy more complex compute architectures that suit your application. So, the EC2 Instances that run the serverless scheduler can be launched in any number of ways. The scheduler only requires the instance id and the SQS job queue name.


Submitting Jobs Directly to serverless scheduler

The severless scheduler app is a fully built AWS Step Function workflow to pull jobs from an SQS queue and run them on an EC2 Instance. The jobs submitted to SQS consist of an AWS Systems Manager Run Command, and work with any SSM Document and command that you chose for your jobs. Examples of SSM Run Commands are ShellScript and PowerShell.  Feel free to read more about Running Commands Using Systems Manager Run Command.

The following code shows the format of a job submitted to SQS in JSON.


    "job_id": "jobId_0",

    "retry": "3",

    "job_success_string": " ",

    "ssm_document": "AWS-RunPowerShellScript",



            "cd C:\\ProgramData\\Amazon\\SSM; mkdir Result",

            "Copy-S3object -Bucket my-bucket -KeyPrefix jobs/date/jobId_0 -LocalFolder .\\",


            "Write-S3object -Bucket my-bucket -KeyPrefix jobs/date/jobId_0 –Folder .\\Result\\"




Any EC2 Instance associated with a serverless scheduler it receives jobs picked up from a designated SQS queue until the queue is empty. Then, the EC2 resource automatically terminates. If the job fails, it retries until it reaches the specified number of times in the job definition. You can include a specific string value so that the scheduler searches for job execution outputs and confirms the successful completions of jobs.


Tagging EC2 workers to get a serverless scheduler state machine

In Part 1 of the deployment, you must manage your EC2 Instance launch and termination. When launching an EC2 Instance, tag it with a specific tag key that triggers a state machine to manage that instance. The tag value is the name of the SQS queue that you want your state machine to poll jobs from.

In the following example, “my-scheduler-cloudformation-stack-name” is the tag key that serverless scheduler app will for with any new EC2 instance that starts. Next, “my-sqs-job-queue-name” is the default job queue created with the scheduler. But, you can change this to any queue name you want to retrieve jobs from when an instance is launched.



Monitor jobs in DynamoDB

You can monitor job status in the following DynamoDB. In the table you can find job_id, commands sent to Amazon EC2, job status, job output logs from Amazon EC2, and retries among other things.

Alternatively, you can query DynamoDB for a given job_id via the AWS Command Line Interface:

aws dynamodb get-item – table-name job-monitoring \

                      --key '{"job_id": {"S": "/my-jobs/my-job-id.bat"}}'


Using the “job_success_string” parameter

For the prior DynamoDB table, we submitted two identical jobs using an example script that you can also use. The command sent to the instance is “echo Hello World.” The output from this job should be “Hello World.” We also specified three allowed job retries.  In the following image, there are two jobs in SQS queue before they ran.  Look closely at the different “job_success_strings” for each and the identical command sent to both:

DynamoDB CLI info This shows an example DynamoDB CLI output with job information.

From the image we see that Job2 was successful and Job1 retried three times before permanently labelled as failed. We forced this outcome to demonstrate how the job success string works by submitting Job1 with “job_success_string” as “Hello EVERYONE”, as that will not be in the job output “Hello World.” In “Job2” we set “job_success_string” as “Hello” because we knew this string will be in the output log.

Job outputs commonly have text that only appears if job succeeded. You can also add this text yourself in your executable file. With “job_success_string,” you can confirm a job’s successful output, and use it to identify a certain value that you are looking for across jobs.


Part 2 – Resource Automation with the serverless scheduler

The additional services we deploy in Part 2 integrate with existing architectures to launch resources for your serverless scheduler. These services allow you to submit jobs simply by uploading input files and executable files to an S3 bucket.

Likewise, these additional resources can use any executable file format you want, including proprietary application level scripts. The solution automates everything else. This includes creating and submitting jobs to SQS job queue, spinning up compute resources when new jobs come in, and taking them back down when there are no jobs to run. When jobs are done, result files are copied to S3 for the user to retrieve. Similar to Part 1, you can still view the DynamoDB table for job status.

This architecture makes it easy to scale out to different teams and departments, and you can submit potentially hundreds of thousands of jobs while you remain in control of resources and cost.


Deeper Look at the S3 Architecture

The following diagram shows how you can submit jobs, monitor progress, and retrieve results. To submit jobs, upload all the needed input files and an executable script to S3. The suffix of the executable file (uploaded last) triggers an S3 event to start the process, and this suffix is configurable.

The S3 key of the executable file acts as the job id, and is kept as a reference to that job in DynamoDB. The Lambda (#2 in diagram below) uses the S3 key of the executable to create three SSM Run Commands.

  1. Synchronize all files in the same S3 folder to a working directory on the EC2 Instance.
  2. Run the executable file on EC2 Instances within a specified working directory.
  3. Synchronize the EC2 Instances working directory back to the S3 bucket where newly generated result files are included.

This Lambda (#2) then places the job on the SQS queue using the schedulers JSON formatted job definition seen above.

IMPORTANT: Each set of job files should be given a unique job folder in S3 or more files than needed might be moved to the EC2 Instance.


Figure 5: Resource Automation using Serverless Scheduler - A deeper look A deeper dive in to Part 2, resource allcoation.

Figure 5: Resource Automation using Serverless Scheduler – A deeper look


EC2 and Step Functions workflow use the Lambda function (#3 in prior diagram) and the Auto Scaling group to scale out based on the number of jobs in the queue to a maximum number of workers (plus state machine), as defined in the Auto Scaling Group. When the job queue is empty, the number of running instances scale down to 0 as they finish their remaining jobs.


Process Submitting Jobs and Retrieving Results

  1. Seen in1, upload input file(s) and an executable file into a unique job folder in S3 (such as /year/month/day/jobid/~job-files). Upload the executable file last because it automatically starts the job. You can also use a script to upload multiple files at a time but each job will need a unique directory. There are many ways to make S3 buckets available to users including AWS Storage Gateway, AWS Transfer for SFTP, AWS DataSync, the AWS Console or any one of the AWS SDKs leveraging S3 API calls.
  2. You can monitor job status by accessing the DynamoDB table directly via the AWS Management Console or use the AWS CLI to call DynamoDB via an API call.
  3. Seen in step 5, you can retrieve result files for jobs from the same S3 directory where you left the input files. The DynamoDB table confirms when jobs are done. The SQS output queue can be used by applications that must automatically poll and retrieve results.

You no longer need to create or access compute nodes as compute resources. These automatically scale up from zero when jobs come in, and then back down to zero when jobs are finished.



Read the GitHub Repo for deployment instructions. Below are CloudFormation templates to help:

AWS RegionLaunch Stack
eu-north-1link to zone



Additional Points on Usage Patterns


  • While the two solutions in this blog are aimed at HPC applications, they can be used to run any batch jobs. Many customers that run large data processing batch jobs in their data lakes could use the serverless scheduler.


  • You can build pipelines of different applications when the output of one job triggers another to do something else – an example being pre-processing, meshing, simulation, post-processing. You simply deploy the Resource Automation template several times, and tailor it so that the output bucket for one step is the input bucket for the next step.


  • You might look to use the “job_success_string” parameter for iteration/verification used in cases where a shot-gun approach is needed to run thousands of jobs, and only one has a chance of producing the right result. In this case the “job_success_string” would identify the successful job from potentially hundreds of thousands pushed to SQS job queue.


Scale-out across teams and departments

Because all services used are serverless, you can deploy as many run environments as needed without increasing overall costs. Serverless workloads only accumulate cost when the services are used. So, you could deploy ten job environments and run one job in each, and your costs would be the same if you had one job environment running ten jobs.


All you need is an S3 bucket to upload jobs to and an associated AMI that has the right applications and license configuration. Because a job configuration is passed to the scheduler at each job start, you can add new teams by creating an S3 bucket and pointing S3 events to a default Lambda function that pulls configurations for each job start.


Setup CI/CD pipeline to start continuous improvement of scheduler

If you are advanced, we encourage you to clone the git repo and customize this solution. The serverless scheduler is less complex than other schedulers, because you only think about one worker and the process of one job’s run.

Ways you could tailor this solution:

  • Add intelligent job scheduling using AWS Sagemaker  – It is hard to find data as ready for ML as log data because every job you run has different run times and resource consumption. So, you could tailor this solution to predict the best instance to use with ML when workloads are submitted.
  • Add Custom Licensing Checkout Logic – Simply add one Lambda function to your Step Functions workflow to make an API call a license server before continuing with one or more jobs. You can start a new worker when you have a license checked out or if a license is not available then the instance can terminate to remove any costs waiting for licenses.
  • Add Custom Metrics to DynamoDB – You can easily add metrics to DynamoDB because the solution already has baseline logging and monitoring capabilities.
  • Run on other AWS Services – There is a Lambda function in the Step Functions workflow called “Start_Job”. You can tailor this Lambda to run your jobs on AWS Sagemaker, AWS EMR, AWS EKS or AWS ECS instead of EC2.




Although HPC workloads and EDA flows may still be dependent on current scheduling technologies, we illustrated the possibilities of decoupling your workloads from your existing shared scheduling environments. This post went deep into decoupled serverless scheduling, and we understand that it is difficult to unwind decades of dependencies. However, leveraging numerous AWS Services encourages you to think completely differently about running workloads.

But more importantly, it encourages you to Think Big. With this solution you can get up and running quickly, fail fast, and iterate. You can do this while scaling to your required number of resources, when you want them, and only pay for what you use.

Serverless computing  catalyzes change across all industries, but that change is not obvious in the HPC and EDA industries. This solution is an opportunity for customers to take advantage of the nearly limitless capacity that AWS.

Please reach out with questions about HPC and EDA on AWS. You now have the architecture and the instructions to build your Serverless Decoupled Scheduling environment.  Go build!

About the Authors and Contributors



Ludvig Nordstrom is a Senior Solutions Architect at AWS





Mark Duffield is a Tech Lead in Semiconductors at AWS






Steve Engledow is a Senior Solutions Builder at AWS





Arun Thomas is a Senior Solutions Builder at AWS



Learn about AWS Services & Solutions – September AWS Online Tech Talks

Post Syndicated from Jenny Hang original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/learn-about-aws-services-solutions-september-aws-online-tech-talks/

Learn about AWS Services & Solutions – September AWS Online Tech Talks

AWS Tech Talks

Join us this September to learn about AWS services and solutions. The AWS Online Tech Talks are live, online presentations that cover a broad range of topics at varying technical levels. These tech talks, led by AWS solutions architects and engineers, feature technical deep dives, live demonstrations, customer examples, and Q&A with AWS experts. Register Now!

Note – All sessions are free and in Pacific Time.

Tech talks this month:



September 23, 2019 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PTBuild Your Hybrid Cloud Architecture with AWS – Learn about the extensive range of services AWS offers to help you build a hybrid cloud architecture best suited for your use case.

September 26, 2019 | 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM PTSelf-Hosted WordPress: It’s Easier Than You Think – Learn how you can easily build a fault-tolerant WordPress site using Amazon Lightsail.

October 3, 2019 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PTLower Costs by Right Sizing Your Instance with Amazon EC2 T3 General Purpose Burstable Instances – Get an overview of T3 instances, understand what workloads are ideal for them, and understand how the T3 credit system works so that you can lower your EC2 instance costs today.



September 26, 2019 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PTDevelop a Web App Using Amazon ECS and AWS Cloud Development Kit (CDK) – Learn how to build your first app using CDK and AWS container services.


Data Lakes & Analytics:

September 26, 2019 | 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PTBest Practices for Provisioning Amazon MSK Clusters and Using Popular Apache Kafka-Compatible Tooling – Learn best practices on running Apache Kafka production workloads at a lower cost on Amazon MSK.



September 25, 2019 | 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM PTWhat’s New in Amazon DocumentDB (with MongoDB compatibility) – Learn what’s new in Amazon DocumentDB, a fully managed MongoDB compatible database service designed from the ground up to be fast, scalable, and highly available.

October 3, 2019 | 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PTBest Practices for Enterprise-Class Security, High-Availability, and Scalability with Amazon ElastiCache – Learn about new enterprise-friendly Amazon ElastiCache enhancements like customer managed key and online scaling up or down to make your critical workloads more secure, scalable and available.



October 1, 2019 | 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PT – CI/CD for Containers: A Way Forward for Your DevOps Pipeline – Learn how to build CI/CD pipelines using AWS services to get the most out of the agility afforded by containers.


Enterprise & Hybrid:

September 24, 2019 | 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM PT Virtual Workshop: How to Monitor and Manage Your AWS Costs – Learn how to visualize and manage your AWS cost and usage in this virtual hands-on workshop.

October 2, 2019 | 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM PT – Accelerate Cloud Adoption and Reduce Operational Risk with AWS Managed Services – Learn how AMS accelerates your migration to AWS, reduces your operating costs, improves security and compliance, and enables you to focus on your differentiating business priorities.



September 25, 2019 | 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PTComplex Monitoring for Industrial with AWS IoT Data Services – Learn how to solve your complex event monitoring challenges with AWS IoT Data Services.


Machine Learning:

September 23, 2019 | 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PTTraining Machine Learning Models Faster – Learn how to train machine learning models quickly and with a single click using Amazon SageMaker.

September 30, 2019 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PTUsing Containers for Deep Learning Workflows – Learn how containers can help address challenges in deploying deep learning environments.

October 3, 2019 | 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM PTVirtual Workshop: Getting Hands-On with Machine Learning and Ready to Race in the AWS DeepRacer League – Join DeClercq Wentzel, Senior Product Manager for AWS DeepRacer, for a presentation on the basics of machine learning and how to build a reinforcement learning model that you can use to join the AWS DeepRacer League.


AWS Marketplace:

September 30, 2019 | 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PTAdvancing Software Procurement in a Containerized World – Learn how to deploy applications faster with third-party container products.



September 24, 2019 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PTApplication Migrations Using AWS Server Migration Service (SMS) – Learn how to use AWS Server Migration Service (SMS) for automating application migration and scheduling continuous replication, from your on-premises data centers or Microsoft Azure to AWS.


Networking & Content Delivery:

September 25, 2019 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PTBuilding Highly Available and Performant Applications using AWS Global Accelerator – Learn how to build highly available and performant architectures for your applications with AWS Global Accelerator, now with source IP preservation.

September 30, 2019 | 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM PTAWS Office Hours: Amazon CloudFront – Just getting started with Amazon CloudFront and [email protected]? Get answers directly from our experts during AWS Office Hours.



October 1, 2019 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PTRobots and STEM: AWS RoboMaker and AWS Educate Unite! – Come join members of the AWS RoboMaker and AWS Educate teams as we provide an overview of our education initiatives and walk you through the newly launched RoboMaker Badge.


Security, Identity & Compliance:

October 1, 2019 | 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM PTDeep Dive on Running Active Directory on AWS – Learn how to deploy Active Directory on AWS and start migrating your windows workloads.



October 2, 2019 | 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PTDeep Dive on Amazon EventBridge – Learn how to optimize event-driven applications, and use rules and policies to route, transform, and control access to these events that react to data from SaaS apps.



September 24, 2019 | 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PTOptimize Your Amazon S3 Data Lake with S3 Storage Classes and Management Tools – Learn how to use the Amazon S3 Storage Classes and management tools to better manage your data lake at scale and to optimize storage costs and resources.

October 2, 2019 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PTThe Great Migration to Cloud Storage: Choosing the Right Storage Solution for Your Workload – Learn more about AWS storage services and identify which service is the right fit for your business.