Tag Archives: AWS Elastic Beanstalk

Standardizing CI/CD pipelines for .NET web applications with AWS Service Catalog

Post Syndicated from Borja Prado Miguelez original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/devops/standardizing-cicd-pipelines-net-web-applications-aws-service-catalog/

As companies implement DevOps practices, standardizing the deployment of continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipelines is increasingly important. Your developer team may not have the ability or time to create your own CI/CD pipelines and processes from scratch for each new project. Additionally, creating a standardized DevOps process can help your entire company ensure that all development teams are following security and governance best practices.

Another challenge that large enterprise and small organization IT departments deal with is managing their software portfolio. This becomes even harder in agile scenarios working with mobile and web applications where you need to not only provision the cloud resources for hosting the application, but also have a proper DevOps process in place.

Having a standardized portfolio of products for your development teams enables you to provision the infrastructure resources needed to create development environments, and helps reduce the operation overhead and accelerate the overall development process.

This post shows you how to provide your end-users a catalog of resources with all the functionality a development team needs to check in code and run it in a highly scalable load balanced cloud compute environment.

We use AWS Service Catalog to provision a cloud-based AWS Cloud9 IDE, a CI/CD pipeline using AWS CodePipeline, and the AWS Elastic Beanstalk compute service to run the website. AWS Service Catalog allows organizations to keep control of the services and products that can be provisioned across the organization’s AWS account, and there’s an effective software delivery process in place by using CodePipeline to orchestrate the application deployment. The following diagram illustrates this architecture.

Architecture Diagram

You can find all the templates we use in this post on the AWS Service Catalog Elastic Beanstalk Reference architecture GitHub repo.

Provisioning the AWS Service Catalog portfolio

To get started, you must provision the AWS Service Catalog portfolio with AWS CloudFormation.

  1. Choose Launch Stack, which creates the AWS Service Catalog portfolio in your AWS account.Launch Stack action
  2. If you’re signed into AWS as an AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) role, add your role name in the LinkedRole1 parameter.
  3. Continue through the stack launch screens using the defaults and choosing Next.
  4. Select the acknowledgements in the Capabilities box on the third screen.

When the stack is complete, a top-level CloudFormation stack with the default name SC-RA-Beanstalk-Portfolio, which contains five nested stacks, has created the AWS Service Catalog products with the services the development team needs to implement a CI/CD pipeline and host the web application. This AWS Service Catalog reference architecture provisions the AWS Service Catalog products needed to set up the DevOps pipeline and the application environment.

Cloudformation Portfolio Stack

When the portfolio has been created, you have completed the administrator setup. As an end-user (any roles you added to the LinkedRole1 or LinkedRole2 parameters), you can access the portfolio section on the AWS Service Catalog console and review the product list, which now includes the AWS Cloud9 IDE, Elastic Beanstalk application, and CodePipeline project that we will use for continuous delivery.

Service Catalog Products

On the AWS Service Catalog administrator section, inside the Elastic Beanstalk reference architecture portfolio, we can add and remove groups, roles, and users by choosing Add groups, roles, users on the Group, roles, and users tab. This lets us enable developers or other users to deploy the products from this portfolio.

Service Catalog Groups, Roles, and Users

Solution overview

The rest of this post walks you through how to provision the resources you need for CI/CD and web application deployment. You complete the following steps:

  1. Deploy the CI/CD pipeline.
  2. Provision the AWS Cloud9 IDE.
  3. Create the Elastic Beanstalk environment.

Deploying the CI/CD pipeline

The first product you need is the CI/CD pipeline, which manages the code and deployment process.

  1. Sign in to the AWS Service Catalog console in the same Region where you launched the CloudFormation stack earlier.
  2. On the Products list page, locate the CodePipeline product you created earlier.
    Service Catalog Products List
  3. Choose Launch product.

You now provision the CI/CI pipeline. For this post, we use some name examples for the pipeline name, Elastic Beanstalk application name, and code repository, which you can of course modify.

  1. Enter a name for the provisioned Codepipeline product.
  2. Select the Windows version and click Next.
  3. For the application and repository name, enter dotnetapp.
  4. Leave all other settings at their default and click Next.
  5. Choose Launch to start the provisioning of the CodePipeline product.

When you’re finished, the provisioned pipeline should appear on the Provisioned products list.

CodePipeline Product Provisioned

  1. Copy the CloneUrlHttp output to use in a later step.

You now have the CI/CD pipeline ready, with the code repository and the continuous integration service that compiles the code, runs tests, and generates the software bundle stored in Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) ready to be deployed. The following diagram illustrates this architecture.

CodePipeline Configuration Diagram

When the Elastic Beanstalk environment is provisioned, the deploy stage takes care of deploying the bundle application stored in Amazon S3, so the DevOps pipeline takes care of the full software delivery as shown in the earlier architecture diagram.

The Region we use should support the WINDOWS_SERVER_2019_CONTAINER build image that AWS CodeBuild uses. You can modify the environment type or create a custom one by editing the CloudFormation template used for the CodePipeline for Windows.

Provisioning the AWS Cloud9 IDE

To show the full lifecycle of the deployment of a web application with Elastic Beanstalk, we use a .NET web application, but this reference architecture also supports Linux. To provision an AWS Cloud9 environment, complete the following steps:

  1. From the AWS Service Catalog product list, choose the AWS Cloud9 IDE.
  2. Click Launch product.
  3. Enter a name for the provisioned Cloud9 product and click Next.
  4. Enter an EnvironmentName and select the InstanceType.
  5. Set LinkedRepoPath to /dotnetapp.
  6. For LinkedRepoCloneUrl, enter the CloneUrlHttp from the previous step.
  7. Leave the default parameters for tagOptions and Notifications, and click Launch.
    Cloud9 Environment Settings

Now we download a sample ASP.NET MVC application in the AWS Cloud9 IDE, move it under the folder we specified in the previous step, and push the code.

  1. Open the IDE with the Cloud9Url link from AWS Service Catalog output.
  2. Get the sample .NET web application and move it under the dotnetapp. See the following code:
  3. cp -R aws-service-catalog-reference-architectures/labs/SampleDotNetApplication/* dotnetapp/
  1. Check in to the sample application to the CodeCommit repo:
  2. cd dotnetapp
    git add --all
    git commit -m "initial commit"
    git push

Now that we have committed the application to the code repository, it’s time to review the DevOps pipeline.

  1. On the CodePipeline console, choose Pipelines.

You should see the pipeline ElasticBeanstalk-ProductPipeline-dotnetapp running.

CodePipeline Execution

  1. Wait until the three pipeline stages are complete, this may take several minutes.

The code commitment and web application build stages are successful, but the code deployment stage fails because we haven’t provisioned the Elastic Beanstalk environment yet.

If you want to deploy your own sample or custom ASP.NET web application, CodeBuild requires the build specification file buildspec-build-dotnet.yml for the .NET Framework, which is located under the elasticbeanstalk/codepipeline folder in the GitHub repo. See the following example code:

version: 0.2
env:
  variables:
    DOTNET_FRAMEWORK: 4.6.1
phases:
  build:
    commands:
      - nuget restore
      - msbuild /p:TargetFrameworkVersion=v$env:DOTNET_FRAMEWORK /p:Configuration=Release /p:DeployIisAppPath="Default Web Site" /t:Package
      - dir obj\Release\Package
artifacts:
  files:
    - 'obj/**/*'
    - 'codepipeline/*'

Creating the Elastic Beanstalk environment

Finally, it’s time to provision the hosting system, an Elastic Beanstalk Windows-based environment, where the .NET sample web application runs. For this, we follow the same approach from the previous steps and provision the Elastic Beanstalk AWS Service Catalog product.

  1. On the AWS Service Catalog console, on the Product list page, choose the Elastic Beanstalk application product.
  2. Choose Launch product.
  3. Enter an environment name and click Next.
  4. Enter the application name.
  5. Enter the S3Bucket and S3SourceBundle that were generated (you can retrieve them from the Amazon S3 console).
  6. Set the SolutionStackName to 64bit Windows Server Core 2019 v2.5.8 running IIS 10.0. Follow this link for up to date platform names.
  7. Elastic Beanstalk Environment Settings
  1. Launch the product.
  2. To verify that you followed the steps correctly, review that the provisioned products are all available (AWS Cloud9 IDE, Elastic Beanstalk CodePipeline project, and Elastic Beanstalk application) and the recently created Elastic Beanstalk environment is healthy.

As in the previous step, if you’re planning to deploy your own sample or custom ASP.NET web application, AWS CodeDeploy requires the deploy specification file buildspec-deploy-dotnet.yml for the .NET Framework, which should be located under the codepipeline folder in the GitHub repo. See the following code:

version: 0.2
phases:
  pre_build:
    commands:          
      - echo application deploy started on `date`      
      - ls -l
      - ls -l obj/Release/Package
      - aws s3 cp ./obj/Release/Package/SampleWebApplication.zip s3://$ARTIFACT_BUCKET/$EB_APPLICATION_NAME-$CODEBUILD_BUILD_NUMBER.zip
  build:
    commands:
      - echo Pushing package to Elastic Beanstalk...      
      - aws elasticbeanstalk create-application-version --application-name $EB_APPLICATION_NAME --version-label v$CODEBUILD_BUILD_NUMBER --description "Auto deployed from CodeCommit build $CODEBUILD_BUILD_NUMBER" --source-bundle S3Bucket="$ARTIFACT_BUCKET",S3Key="$EB_APPLICATION_NAME-$CODEBUILD_BUILD_NUMBER.zip"
      - aws elasticbeanstalk update-environment --environment-name "EB-ENV-$EB_APPLICATION_NAME" --version-label v$CODEBUILD_BUILD_NUMBER

The same codepipeline folder contains some build and deploy specification files besides the .NET ones, which you could use if you prefer to use a different framework like Python to deploy a web application with Elastic Beanstalk.

  1. To complete the application deployment, go to the application pipeline and release the change, which triggers the pipeline with the application environment now ready.
    Deployment Succeeded

When you create the environment through the AWS Service Catalog, you can access the provisioned Elastic Beanstalk environment.

  1. In the Events section, locate the LoadBalancerURL, which is the public endpoint that we use to access the website.
    Elastic Beanstalk LoadBalancer URL
  1. In our preferred browser, we can check that the website has been successfully deployed.ASP.NET Sample Web Application

Cleaning up

When you’re finished, you should complete the following steps to delete the resources you provisioned to avoid incurring further charges and keep the account free of unused resources.

  1. The CodePipeline product creates an S3 bucket which you must empty from the S3 console.
  2. On the AWS Service Catalog console, end the provisioned resources from the Provisioned products list.
  3. As administrator, in the CloudFormation console, delete the stack SC-RA-Beanstalk-Portfolio.

Conclusions

This post has shown you how to deploy a standardized DevOps pipeline which was then used to manage and deploy a sample .NET application on Elastic Beanstalk using the Service Catalog Elastic Beanstalk reference architecture. AWS Service Catalog is the ideal service for administrators who need to centrally provision and manage the AWS services needed with a consistent governance model. Deploying web applications to Elastic Beanstalk is very simple for developers and provides built in scalability, patch maintenance, and self-healing for your applications.

The post includes the information and references on how to extend the solution with other programming languages and operating systems supported by Elastic Beanstalk.

About the Authors

Borja Prado
Borja Prado Miguelez

Borja is a Senior Specialist Solutions Architect for Microsoft workloads at Amazon Web Services. He is passionate about web architectures and application modernization, helping customers to build scalable solutions with .NET and migrate their Windows workloads to AWS.

Chris Chapman
Chris Chapman

Chris is a Partner Solutions Architect covering AWS Marketplace, Service Catalog, and Control Tower. Chris was a software developer and data engineer for many years and now his core mission is helping customers and partners automate AWS infrastructure deployment and provisioning.

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:

#!/bin/bash
if [ -z "$1" ] ; then
     echo "$0: <instances to set>"
     exit 1
else
    INSTANCES=$1
fi
 
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
done

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.

Conclusion

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.

 

Introducing a new generation of AWS Elastic Beanstalk platforms

Post Syndicated from David LaBissoniere original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/introducing-a-new-generation-of-aws-elastic-beanstalk-platforms/

In my last post I discussed AWS Elastic Beanstalk’s new public roadmap on GitHub. Today I want to talk about our new generation of Elastic Beanstalk platforms built on top of Amazon Linux 2 (AL2).

Late last year we launched a public beta of a new Elastic Beanstalk platform for Amazon Corretto — Amazon’s no-cost, production-ready distribution of the Open Java Development Kit (OpenJDK). This is also our first platform based on AL2. This year we have launched two more beta AL2 platforms: Docker and Python. More beta platforms are arriving soon, followed by generally available platform releases.

A sample application using the new Python 3.7 beta platform

A sample application using the new Python 3.7 beta platform

I want to dive a little deeper on what we are doing with these platforms. Elastic Beanstalk was publicly launched in 2011, and announced in a blog post by Jeff Barr. Back then there were few enough AWS services that they were all listed as tabs along the top of the AWS Management Console. At launch, we supported only Apache Tomcat applications. Over time, we added support for many other runtimes and began using the term “platform” to describe our offerings. Today we support a wide variety of platforms for popular web application frameworks. For example, Ruby on Rails, PHP, and Node.js, as well as generic Docker-based platforms. In the years since we launched each platform, the underlying communities have continued to evolve. Elastic Beanstalk is an opinionated service, especially when it comes to our platforms. As the service evolves, the opinions baked into our platforms must evolve as well.

With our AL2 platforms, we are refreshing each platform based on feedback we’ve gotten from customers. For example, with Java we heard concerns from many customers about long-term support and licensing of OpenJDK. That’s why in AL2 we are using Amazon’s own Corretto distribution, which includes committed long-term support. It also has performance and scalability improvements learned from Amazon’s years of experience running Java across thousands of production services — such as the Elastic Beanstalk service itself. For more details, see this section of our Java platform documentation.

Our Python AL2 platform has also been modernized. Previously we only supported serving applications through Apache and mod_wsgi. Now we are using NGINX as a reverse proxy in front of Gunicorn, with the flexibility to use another Web Server Gateway Interface (WSGI) server if you prefer. We also took this opportunity to add support for Pipenv and Pipfile, more modern and powerful Python dependency management tools. Learn more in our Python platform documentation.

The Docker AL2 platform is rewritten internally, but provides largely the same customer experience. It does offer improved I/O performance by using the OverlayFS storage driver. This is a change from the previous Docker platform, which used the older and slower Device Mapper storage driver and required an extra Amazon EBS volume.

We are hard at work on another set of beta platforms including PHP, Ruby, and Node.js, which are expected to launch soon. Each of these have been modernized and improved. For a full list of differences between our existing platforms and their Amazon Linux 2 equivalents, check out our documentation. In the next section I want to take a closer look at one new feature that applies to all of the new platforms: platform hooks.

Platform hooks

With our AL2 platforms, we are offering a simplified model for on-instance customization. We’ve long supported configuration files called ebextensions that allow customization of environment options, resources, and on-instance behavior. These have enabled customers to extend their environments in ways we never dreamed of. But we’ve also heard customer feedback about the difficulty of writing complex shell scripts embedded within YAML or JSON. And as they are, ebextensions don’t provide any straightforward mechanism to execute custom code after an application deployment is completed. Customers have pointed out many use cases where they want to do this – for example to enable third party monitoring tools.

With our new generation of Linux platforms, we are introducing platform hooks. Platform hooks are a set of directories inside the application bundle that you can populate with scripts. These scripts are executed at defined points in the on-instance application deployment lifecycle. These hooks are reminiscent of custom platform hooks, but are simplified and easier to manage and version because they are part of the application bundle.

For example, a Corretto application bundle might look like:

├── .platform
│   ├── hooks
│   │   ├── prebuild
│   │   │   ├── 01_set_secrets.sh
│   │   │   └── 10_install_dependencies.sh
│   │   └── predeploy
│   │       └── 01_configure_corretto.sh
│   │   ├── postdeploy
│   │   │   └── 99_log_deployment_complete.pay
│   └── nginx
│       └── conf.d
│           └── custom.conf
├── Procfile
└── application.jar

The files in each of the .platform/hooks/ subdirectories are executed in lexicographical order at predefined points in the deployment process.

  1. prebuild hooks are executed after the application is downloaded and extracted, but before we try to configure anything
  2. predeploy hooks are run after the application is configured and staged, but before it is deployed.
  3. postdeploy hooks are run at the very end — after the application is deployed and running.

Finally, take note of the .platform/nginx/ directory as well. This can be used to provide custom configuration additions or overrides for the on-instance NGINX proxy server. You can either override the provided configuration file completely, or just add a new configuration file that is imported by NGINX. Because all of the AL2 platforms use NGINX and the same base configuration, these customizations are now more portable across platforms. For a full explanation of platform hooks and related functionality, see our Extending Linux Platforms documentation page.

We’re excited to launch this new generation of Elastic Beanstalk platforms, and to hear feedback from you about how we can make them even better. If you have feedback about one of the AL2 beta platforms, please add a comment to the relevant issue on the public roadmap on GitHub. For example, here is the issue for the Corretto platform. Keep an eye on the roadmap and our release notes for announcements of the remaining platforms over the coming weeks.

 

Improving Transparency of AWS Elastic Beanstalk

Post Syndicated from Rob Sutter original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/improving-transparency-of-aws-elastic-beanstalk/

This post is courtesy of David LaBissoniere, Software Development Manager, AWS Elastic Beanstalk.

Today I want to discuss two recent announcements from the AWS Elastic Beanstalk team which improve transparency into our planning and development. We launched a new public roadmap, and we shifted to developing the Elastic Beanstalk command line interface (EB CLI) on GitHub as a community-involved open source project.

Public Roadmap

In January, we launched an experimental public roadmap on GitHub, joining other teams like AWS container services, AWS CloudFormation, and AWS App Mesh. The roadmap allows us to be more transparent about our priorities, and enables you to directly influence them. You can propose a feature by opening a GitHub issue, or comment on existing issues. 2020 is shaping up to be a significant year for us, and as we continue to invest in the service, we want customer input to help direct our focus.

The roadmap itself is built as a GitHub project board and contains five columns:

Just Shipped — Launched and available for production use.
Public Beta — Available in a preview form but not yet recommended for production usage.
Coming Soon — Launching soon, generally within the next one to three months.
We’re Working On It — In progress, but further out.
Researching — We’re interested in this feature but are still thinking about the best way to implement it.

Screen capture of the AWS Elastic Beanstalk project board on GitHub

Please feel free to create a GitHub issue for a feature you want us to support, or give a thumbs-up to existing issues. We’d also love to hear from you in the issue comments about how you’d like to use a particular feature or how you think it should work. While the roadmap doesn’t include every single item we are working on, it does include many of the regular incremental launches customers rely on, for example, new platform runtime updates like PHP 7.3 or .NET Core 3.1. We’re starting out with a subset of our planned and in-flight work, and expect to gradually expand our use of the roadmap over the course of the year.

EB CLI on GitHub

A popular way to use Elastic Beanstalk is our command line interface, the EB CLI. As of January 16, it is hosted on GitHub as an Apache 2.0-licensed open source project. We plan to do nearly all of our CLI development openly on GitHub and welcome pull requests from the community. Many customers rely on the EB CLI as part of their development and deployment workflows. We hope to improve transparency into this critical tool by open-sourcing it, and we also hope you join us in improving it.

We’re thrilled to start off the year with these two announcements. Watch the roadmap for more announcements in this space!

Migrating ASP.NET applications to Elastic Beanstalk with Windows Web Application Migration Assistant

Post Syndicated from Sepehr Samiei original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/devops/migrating-asp-net-applications-to-elastic-beanstalk-with-windows-web-application-migration-assistant/

This blog post discusses benefits of using AWS Elastic Beanstalk as a business application modernization tool, and walks you through how to use the new Windows Web Application Migration Assistant. Businesses and organizations in all types of industries are migrating their workloads to the Cloud in ever-increasing numbers. Among migrated workloads, websites hosted on Internet Information Services (IIS) on Windows Server is a common pattern. Developers and IT teams that manage these workloads want their web applications to scale seamlessly based on continuously changing load, without having to guess or forecast future demand. They want their infrastructure, including the IIS server and Windows Server operating system, to automatically receive latest patches and updates, and remain compliant with their baseline policies without having to spend lots of manual effort or heavily invest in expensive commercial products. Additionally, many businesses want to tap into the global infrastructure, security, and resiliency offered by the AWS Cloud.

AWS Elastic Beanstalk is designed to address these requirements. Elastic Beanstalk enables you to focus on your application code as it handles provisioning, maintenance, health-check, autoscaling, and other common tasks necessary to keep your application running. Now, the Windows Web Application Migration Assistant makes it easier than ever to migrate ASP.NET and ASP.NET Core web applications from IIS on Windows servers running on-premises or in another cloud to Elastic Beanstalk. This blog post discusses how you can use this open-source tool to automate your migration efforts and expedite your first step into the AWS Cloud.

 

What is Windows Web Application Migration Assistant?

The Windows Web Application Migration Assistant is an interactive PowerShell script that migrates entire websites and their configurations to Elastic Beanstalk. The migration assistant is available as an open-source project on GitHub, and can migrate entire ASP.NET applications running on .NET Framework in Windows, as well as on ASP.NET Core. Elastic Beanstalk also runs ASP.NET Core applications on Windows platform. For ASP.NET applications, you can use this tool to migrate both classic Web Forms applications, as well as ASP.NET MVC apps.

Windows Web Application Migration Assistant workflow

The migration assistant interactively walks you through the steps shown in the following diagram during the migration process.

Workflow of using Windows Web Application Migration Assistant. Showing steps as discover, select, DB connection string, generate, and deploy.

1-      Discover: The script automatically discovers and lists any websites hosted on the local IIS server.

2-      Select: You choose the websites that you wish to migrate.

3-      Database connection string: The script checks selected website’s web.config and iterates through their connection string settings. You are then prompted to update connection strings to have them point to the migrated database instance.

4-      Generate: The script generates an Elastic Beanstalk deployment bundle. This bundle includes web application binaries and instructions for Elastic Beanstalk on how it should host the application.

5-      Deploy: Finally, the script uploads the deployment bundle to the Elastic Beanstalk application for hosting.

Elastic Beanstalk application and other concepts

The most high-level concept in Elastic Beanstalk is application. An Elastic Beanstalk application is a logical collection of lower-level components, such as environments and versions. For example, you might have an Elastic Beanstalk application called MarketingApp, which contains two Elastic Beanstalk environments: Test and Production. Each one of these environments can host one of the different versions of your application, as shown in the following diagram.

Elastic Beanstalk application, environments, and versions.

As you can see in the diagram, although it’s possible to have multiple versions of the same application uploaded to Elastic Beanstalk, only one version is deployed to each environment at any point in time. Elastic Beanstalk enables rapid rollback and roll-forward between different versions, as well as swapping environments for Blue-Green deployments.

Migrating databases

The Windows Web Application Migration Assistant is specifically designed to migrate web applications only. However, it’s quite likely that web applications may have dependencies to one or more backend databases. You can use other tools and services provided by AWS to migrate databases. Depending on your requirements, there are multiple options available:

The Windows Web Application Migration Assistant allows you to migrate your database(s) during or after migration of web applications. In either case, your migrated web applications should be modified to point any connection strings to the new database endpoints. The migration assistant script also helps you to modify connection strings.

Prerequisites

Ensure your server meets the following software requirements.

  1. IIS 8 and above running on Windows 2012 and above.
  2. PowerShell 3.0 and above: To verify the version of PowerShell on your server, open a PowerShell window and enter this command: $PSVersionTable.PSVersion
  3. Microsoft Web Deploy version 3.6 or above: You can verify the installed version from list of programs in Add or Remove Programs in Windows Control Panel.
  4. .NET Framework (supported versions: 4.x, 2.0, 1.x) or .NET Core (supported versions: 3.0.0, 2.2.8, 2.1.14) installed on your web server.
  5. AWSPowerShell module for MS PowerShell: You can use the following cmdlet to install it: Install-Module AWSPowerShell. Make sure the latest version of AWSPowerShell module is installed. If you have an older version already installed, you can first uninstall it using following cmdlet: Uninstall-Module AWSPowerShell -AllVersions -Force
  6. WebAdministration module for MS PowerShell: You can check for this dependency by invoking the PowerShell command Import-Module WebAdministration.
  7. Since the script automatically inspects IIS and web application settings, it needs to run as a local administrator on your web server. Make sure you have appropriate credentials to run it. If you are logged in with a user other than a local Administrator, open a PowerShell session window as an administrator.
  8. Finally, make sure your server has unrestricted internet connectivity to the AWS IP range.

Configure the destination AWS account

You need to have an AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) user in your destination AWS account. Follow the instructions to create a new IAM user. Your user needs credentials for both the AWS Console and programmatic access, so remember to check both boxes, as shown in the following screenshot.

AWS Console screen for adding a new IAM user.

On the permissions page, attach existing policies directly to this user, as shown in the following screenshot. Select the following two AWS-managed policies:

  • IAMReadOnlyAccess
  • AWSElasticBeanstalkFullAccess

Screen to add existing policies to a user.

Before finishing the user creation, get the user’s AccessKey and SecretKey from the console, as shown in the following screenshot.

Success message for creating a new user, showing secret keys and credentials.

Open a PowerShell terminal on your Windows Server and invoke the following two commands.

PS C:\> Import-Module AWSPowerShell
PS C:\> Set-AWSCredential -AccessKey {access_key_of_the_user} -SecretKey {secret_key_of_the_user} -StoreAs {profile_name} -ProfileLocation {optional - path_to_the_new_profile_file}

 

The parameter {profile_name} is an arbitrary name to label these credentials. The optional parameter path_to_the_new_profile_file can be used to store the encrypted credentials profile in a customized path.

Setting up

Once you’ve verified the checklist for web server and configured the destination AWS account, set up is as simple as:

  1. Download the script from GitHub, using clone or the download option of the repository, and place the extracted content on the local file system of your web server.
  2. Optionally, edit the utils/settings.txt JSON file, and set the following two variables (if not set, the script will use the default values of the AWS PowerShell profile name and path):
    • defaultAwsProfileFileLocation : {path_to_the_new_profile_file}
    • defaultAwsProfileName : {profile_name }

You’re now ready to run the migration assistant script to migrate your web applications.

Running the migration assistant

The migration assistant is a PowerShell script. Open a PowerShell window as administrator in your web server and run the MigrateIISWebsiteToElasticBeanstalk.ps1 script. Assuming you have copied the content of the GitHub package to your C: drive, launching the script looks as follows:

PS C:\> .\MigrateIISWebsiteToElasticBeanstalk.ps1

The migration assistant prompts you to enter the location of your AWS credentials file. If you have used the optional parameter to store your IAM user’s credentials in a file, you can enter its path here. Otherwise, choose Enter to skip this step. The assistant then prompts you to enter the profile name of your credentials. Enter the same {profile_name} that you had used for Set-AWSCredentials.

Having acquired access credentials, the assistant script then prompts you to enter an AWS Region. Enter the identifier of the AWS Region in which you want your migrated web application to run. If you are not sure which values can be used, check the list of available Regions using following cmdlet (in another PowerShell window):

Get-AWSRegion

For example, I am using ap-southeast-2 to deploy into the Sydney Region.

After specifying the Region, the migration assistant script starts scanning your web server for deployed web applications. You can then choose one of the discovered web applications by entering its application number as shown in the list.

Migration assistant lists web sites hosted in IIS and prompts to select one.

So far, you’ve kickstarted the migration assistant and selected a web application to migrate. At this point, the migration assistant begins to assess and analyze your web application. The next step is to update the connection strings for any backend databases.

 

Modifying connection strings

Once you enter the number of the web application that has to migrate, the assistant takes a snapshot of your environment and lists any connection strings used by your application. To update a connection string, enter its number. Optionally, you could choose Enter to skip this step, but remember to manually update connection strings, if any, before bringing the web application online.

Enter the number of the connection string you would like to update, or press ENTER:

Next, the assistant pauses and allows you to migrate your database. Choose Enter to continue.

Please separately migrate your database, if needed.

The assistant then prompts you to update any connection strings selected above. If you choose M, you can update the string manually by editing it in the file path provided by the migration assistant. Otherwise, paste the contents of the new connection string and choose Enter.

Enter "M" to manually edit the file containing the connection string, or paste the replacement string and press ENTER (default M) :

The script then continues with configuration parameters for the target Elastic Beanstalk environment.

Configuring the target Elastic Beanstalk environment using the script

The migration assistant script prompts you to enter a name for the Elastic Beanstalk application.

Please enter the name of your new EB application.

The name has to be unique:

By default, the migration assistant automatically creates an environment with a name prefixed with MigrationRun. It also creates a package containing your web application files. This package is called application source bundle. The migration assistant uploads this source bundle as a version inside the Elastic Beanstalk application.

Elastic Beanstalk automatically provisions an Amazon EC2 instance to host your web application. The default Amazon EC2 instance type is t3.medium. When the migration assistant prompts you to enter the instance type, you can choose Enter to accept the default size, or you can enter any other Amazon EC2 Instance Type.

Enter the instance type (default t3.medium) :

Elastic Beanstalk provides preconfigured solution stacks. The migration assistant script prompts you to select one of these solution stacks. Not only are these stacks preconfigured with an optimized operating system, as well as an application server and web server to host your application, but Elastic Beanstalk can also handle their ongoing maintenance by offering enhanced health checks, managed updates, and immutable deployment. These extra benefits are available with version 2 solution stacks (i.e. v2.x.x, as, for example, in “64bit Windows Server 2016 v2.3.0 running IIS 10.0”).

The migration assistant prompts you to enter the name of the Windows Server Elastic Beanstalk solution stack. For a list of all supported solution stacks, see .NET on Windows Server with IIS in the AWS Elastic Beanstalk Platforms guide.

Solution stack name (default 64bit Windows Server 2016 v2.3.0 running IIS 10.0):

That is the final step. Now, the migration assistant starts to do its magic and after a few minutes you should be able to see your application running in Elastic Beanstalk.

Advanced deployment options

The Windows Web Application Migration Assistant uses all the default values to quickly create a new Elastic Beanstalk application. However, you might want to change some of these default values to address your more specific requirements. For example, you may need to deploy your web application inside an Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), set up advanced health monitoring, or enable managed updates features.

To do this, you can stop running the migration assistant script after receiving this message:

An application bundle was successfully generated.

Now follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to your AWS console and go to the Elastic Beanstalk app creation page.
  2. From the top right corner of the page, make sure the correct AWS Region is selected.
  3. Create the application by following the instructions on the page.
  4. Choose Upload your code in the Application code section and upload the deployment bundle generated by the migration assistant. Go to your on-premises web server and open the folder to which you copied the migration assistant script. The deployment bundle is a .zip file placed in the MigrationRun-xxxxxxx/output folder. Use this .zip file as application code and upload it to Elastic Beanstalk.
  5. Choose the Configure more options button to set advanced settings as per your requirements.
  6.  Select the Create application button to instruct Elastic Beanstalk to start provisioning resources and deploy your application.

If your web application has to use existing SSL certificates, manually export those certificates from Windows IIS and then import them into AWS Certificate Manager (ACM) in your AWS account. Elastic Beanstalk creates an Elastic Load Balancer (ELB) for your application. You can configure this ELB to use your imported certificates. This way HTTPS connections will be terminated on the ELB, and you don’t need further configuration overhead on the web server. For more details, see Configuring HTTPS for your Elastic Beanstalk Environment.

Also keep in mind that Elastic Beanstalk supports a maximum of one HTTP and one HTTPS endpoint. No matter what port numbers are used for these endpoints within the on-premises IIS, Elastic Beanstalk will bind them to ports 80 and 433 respectively.

Any software dependencies outside of the website directory, such as Global Assembly Cache (GAC), have to manually be configured on the target environment.

Although Amazon EC2 supports Active Directory (AD)—both the managed AD service provided by AWS Directory Service and customer-managed AD—Elastic Beanstalk currently does not support web servers being joined to an AD domain. If your web application needs the web server to be joined to an Active Directory domain, either alter the application to eliminate the dependency, or use other approaches to migrate your application onto Amazon EC2 instances without using Elastic Beanstalk.

Cleanup

If you use the steps described in this post to test the migration assistant, it creates resources in your AWS account. You keep getting charged for these resources if they go beyond the free tier limit. To avoid that, you can delete resources to stop being billed for them. This is as easy as going to the Elastic Beanstalk console and deleting any applications that you no longer want.

Conclusion

This blog post discussed how you can use Windows Web Applications Migration Assistant to simplify the migration of your existing web applications running on Windows into Elastic Beanstalk. The migration assistant provides an automated script that’s based on best practices and automates commonly used migration steps. You don’t need in-depth skills with AWS to use this tool. Furthermore, by following the steps as performed by the Windows Web Application Migration Assistant tool and Elastic Beanstalk, you can acquire more in-depth skills and knowledge about AWS services and capabilities in practice and as your workloads move into the Cloud. These skills are essential to the ongoing modernization and evolution of your workloads in the Cloud.

Re-affirming Long-Term Support for Java in Amazon Linux

Post Syndicated from Deepak Singh original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/re-affirming-long-term-support-for-java-in-amazon-linux/

In light of Oracle’s recent announcement indicating an end to free long-term support for OpenJDK after January 2019, we re-affirm that the OpenJDK 8 and OpenJDK 11 Java runtimes in Amazon Linux 2 will continue to receive free long-term support from Amazon until at least June 30, 2023. We are collaborating and contributing in the OpenJDK community to provide our customers with a free long-term supported Java runtime.

In addition, Amazon Linux AMI 2018.03, the last major release of Amazon Linux AMI, will receive support for the OpenJDK 8 runtime at least until June 30, 2020, to facilitate migration to Amazon Linux 2. Java runtimes provided by AWS Services such as AWS Lambda, AWS Elastic Map Reduce (EMR), and AWS Elastic Beanstalk will also use the AWS supported OpenJDK builds.

Amazon Linux users will not need to make any changes to get support for OpenJDK 8. OpenJDK 11 will be made available through the Amazon Linux 2 repositories at a future date. The Amazon Linux OpenJDK support posture will also apply to the on-premises virtual machine images and Docker base image of Amazon Linux 2.

Amazon Linux 2 provides a secure, stable, and high-performance execution environment. Amazon Linux AMI and Amazon Linux 2 include a Java runtime based on OpenJDK 8 and are available in all public AWS regions at no additional cost beyond the pricing for Amazon EC2 instance usage.

AWS Achieves Spain’s ENS High Certification Across 29 Services

Post Syndicated from Oliver Bell original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/security/aws-achieves-spains-ens-high-certification-across-29-services/

AWS has achieved Spain’s Esquema Nacional de Seguridad (ENS) High certification across 29 services. To successfully achieve the ENS High Standard, BDO España conducted an independent audit and attested that AWS meets confidentiality, integrity, and availability standards. This provides the assurance needed by Spanish Public Sector organizations wanting to build secure applications and services on AWS.

The National Security Framework, regulated under Royal Decree 3/2010, was developed through close collaboration between ENAC (Entidad Nacional de Acreditación), the Ministry of Finance and Public Administration and the CCN (National Cryptologic Centre), and other administrative bodies.

The following AWS Services are ENS High accredited across our Dublin and Frankfurt Regions:

  • Amazon API Gateway
  • Amazon DynamoDB
  • Amazon Elastic Container Service
  • Amazon Elastic Block Store
  • Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
  • Amazon Elastic File System
  • Amazon Elastic MapReduce
  • Amazon ElastiCache
  • Amazon Glacier
  • Amazon Redshift
  • Amazon Relational Database Service
  • Amazon Simple Queue Service
  • Amazon Simple Storage Service
  • Amazon Simple Workflow Service
  • Amazon Virtual Private Cloud
  • Amazon WorkSpaces
  • AWS CloudFormation
  • AWS CloudTrail
  • AWS Config
  • AWS Database Migration Service
  • AWS Direct Connect
  • AWS Directory Service
  • AWS Elastic Beanstalk
  • AWS Key Management Service
  • AWS Lambda
  • AWS Snowball
  • AWS Storage Gateway
  • Elastic Load Balancing
  • VM Import/Export

How I built a data warehouse using Amazon Redshift and AWS services in record time

Post Syndicated from Stephen Borg original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/big-data/how-i-built-a-data-warehouse-using-amazon-redshift-and-aws-services-in-record-time/

This is a customer post by Stephen Borg, the Head of Big Data and BI at Cerberus Technologies.

Cerberus Technologies, in their own words: Cerberus is a company founded in 2017 by a team of visionary iGaming veterans. Our mission is simple – to offer the best tech solutions through a data-driven and a customer-first approach, delivering innovative solutions that go against traditional forms of working and process. This mission is based on the solid foundations of reliability, flexibility and security, and we intend to fundamentally change the way iGaming and other industries interact with technology.

Over the years, I have developed and created a number of data warehouses from scratch. Recently, I built a data warehouse for the iGaming industry single-handedly. To do it, I used the power and flexibility of Amazon Redshift and the wider AWS data management ecosystem. In this post, I explain how I was able to build a robust and scalable data warehouse without the large team of experts typically needed.

In two of my recent projects, I ran into challenges when scaling our data warehouse using on-premises infrastructure. Data was growing at many tens of gigabytes per day, and query performance was suffering. Scaling required major capital investment for hardware and software licenses, and also significant operational costs for maintenance and technical staff to keep it running and performing well. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the resources needed to scale the infrastructure with data growth, and these projects were abandoned. Thanks to cloud data warehousing, the bottleneck of infrastructure resources, capital expense, and operational costs have been significantly reduced or have totally gone away. There is no more excuse for allowing obstacles of the past to delay delivering timely insights to decision makers, no matter how much data you have.

With Amazon Redshift and AWS, I delivered a cloud data warehouse to the business very quickly, and with a small team: me. I didn’t have to order hardware or software, and I no longer needed to install, configure, tune, or keep up with patches and version updates. Instead, I easily set up a robust data processing pipeline and we were quickly ingesting and analyzing data. Now, my data warehouse team can be extremely lean, and focus more time on bringing in new data and delivering insights. In this post, I show you the AWS services and the architecture that I used.

Handling data feeds

I have several different data sources that provide everything needed to run the business. The data includes activity from our iGaming platform, social media posts, clickstream data, marketing and campaign performance, and customer support engagements.

To handle the diversity of data feeds, I developed abstract integration applications using Docker that run on Amazon EC2 Container Service (Amazon ECS) and feed data to Amazon Kinesis Data Streams. These data streams can be used for real time analytics. In my system, each record in Kinesis is preprocessed by an AWS Lambda function to cleanse and aggregate information. My system then routes it to be stored where I need on Amazon S3 by Amazon Kinesis Data Firehose. Suppose that you used an on-premises architecture to accomplish the same task. A team of data engineers would be required to maintain and monitor a Kafka cluster, develop applications to stream data, and maintain a Hadoop cluster and the infrastructure underneath it for data storage. With my stream processing architecture, there are no servers to manage, no disk drives to replace, and no service monitoring to write.

Setting up a Kinesis stream can be done with a few clicks, and the same for Kinesis Firehose. Firehose can be configured to automatically consume data from a Kinesis Data Stream, and then write compressed data every N minutes to Amazon S3. When I want to process a Kinesis data stream, it’s very easy to set up a Lambda function to be executed on each message received. I can just set a trigger from the AWS Lambda Management Console, as shown following.

I also monitor the duration of function execution using Amazon CloudWatch and AWS X-Ray.

Regardless of the format I receive the data from our partners, I can send it to Kinesis as JSON data using my own formatters. After Firehose writes this to Amazon S3, I have everything in nearly the same structure I received but compressed, encrypted, and optimized for reading.

This data is automatically crawled by AWS Glue and placed into the AWS Glue Data Catalog. This means that I can immediately query the data directly on S3 using Amazon Athena or through Amazon Redshift Spectrum. Previously, I used Amazon EMR and an Amazon RDS–based metastore in Apache Hive for catalog management. Now I can avoid the complexity of maintaining Hive Metastore catalogs. Glue takes care of high availability and the operations side so that I know that end users can always be productive.

Working with Amazon Athena and Amazon Redshift for analysis

I found Amazon Athena extremely useful out of the box for ad hoc analysis. Our engineers (me) use Athena to understand new datasets that we receive and to understand what transformations will be needed for long-term query efficiency.

For our data analysts and data scientists, we’ve selected Amazon Redshift. Amazon Redshift has proven to be the right tool for us over and over again. It easily processes 20+ million transactions per day, regardless of the footprint of the tables and the type of analytics required by the business. Latency is low and query performance expectations have been more than met. We use Redshift Spectrum for long-term data retention, which enables me to extend the analytic power of Amazon Redshift beyond local data to anything stored in S3, and without requiring me to load any data. Redshift Spectrum gives me the freedom to store data where I want, in the format I want, and have it available for processing when I need it.

To load data directly into Amazon Redshift, I use AWS Data Pipeline to orchestrate data workflows. I create Amazon EMR clusters on an intra-day basis, which I can easily adjust to run more or less frequently as needed throughout the day. EMR clusters are used together with Amazon RDS, Apache Spark 2.0, and S3 storage. The data pipeline application loads ETL configurations from Spring RESTful services hosted on AWS Elastic Beanstalk. The application then loads data from S3 into memory, aggregates and cleans the data, and then writes the final version of the data to Amazon Redshift. This data is then ready to use for analysis. Spark on EMR also helps with recommendations and personalization use cases for various business users, and I find this easy to set up and deliver what users want. Finally, business users use Amazon QuickSight for self-service BI to slice, dice, and visualize the data depending on their requirements.

Each AWS service in this architecture plays its part in saving precious time that’s crucial for delivery and getting different departments in the business on board. I found the services easy to set up and use, and all have proven to be highly reliable for our use as our production environments. When the architecture was in place, scaling out was either completely handled by the service, or a matter of a simple API call, and crucially doesn’t require me to change one line of code. Increasing shards for Kinesis can be done in a minute by editing a stream. Increasing capacity for Lambda functions can be accomplished by editing the megabytes allocated for processing, and concurrency is handled automatically. EMR cluster capacity can easily be increased by changing the master and slave node types in Data Pipeline, or by using Auto Scaling. Lastly, RDS and Amazon Redshift can be easily upgraded without any major tasks to be performed by our team (again, me).

In the end, using AWS services including Kinesis, Lambda, Data Pipeline, and Amazon Redshift allows me to keep my team lean and highly productive. I eliminated the cost and delays of capital infrastructure, as well as the late night and weekend calls for support. I can now give maximum value to the business while keeping operational costs down. My team pushed out an agile and highly responsive data warehouse solution in record time and we can handle changing business requirements rapidly, and quickly adapt to new data and new user requests.


Additional Reading

If you found this post useful, be sure to check out Deploy a Data Warehouse Quickly with Amazon Redshift, Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL and Tableau Server and Top 8 Best Practices for High-Performance ETL Processing Using Amazon Redshift.


About the Author

Stephen Borg is the Head of Big Data and BI at Cerberus Technologies. He has a background in platform software engineering, and first became involved in data warehousing using the typical RDBMS, SQL, ETL, and BI tools. He quickly became passionate about providing insight to help others optimize the business and add personalization to products. He is now the Head of Big Data and BI at Cerberus Technologies.

 

 

 

New AWS Auto Scaling – Unified Scaling For Your Cloud Applications

Post Syndicated from Jeff Barr original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/aws-auto-scaling-unified-scaling-for-your-cloud-applications/

I’ve been talking about scalability for servers and other cloud resources for a very long time! Back in 2006, I wrote “This is the new world of scalable, on-demand web services. Pay for what you need and use, and not a byte more.” Shortly after we launched Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), we made it easy for you to do this with the simultaneous launch of Elastic Load Balancing, EC2 Auto Scaling, and Amazon CloudWatch. Since then we have added Auto Scaling to other AWS services including ECS, Spot Fleets, DynamoDB, Aurora, AppStream 2.0, and EMR. We have also added features such as target tracking to make it easier for you to scale based on the metric that is most appropriate for your application.

Introducing AWS Auto Scaling
Today we are making it easier for you to use the Auto Scaling features of multiple AWS services from a single user interface with the introduction of AWS Auto Scaling. This new service unifies and builds on our existing, service-specific, scaling features. It operates on any desired EC2 Auto Scaling groups, EC2 Spot Fleets, ECS tasks, DynamoDB tables, DynamoDB Global Secondary Indexes, and Aurora Replicas that are part of your application, as described by an AWS CloudFormation stack or in AWS Elastic Beanstalk (we’re also exploring some other ways to flag a set of resources as an application for use with AWS Auto Scaling).

You no longer need to set up alarms and scaling actions for each resource and each service. Instead, you simply point AWS Auto Scaling at your application and select the services and resources of interest. Then you select the desired scaling option for each one, and AWS Auto Scaling will do the rest, helping you to discover the scalable resources and then creating a scaling plan that addresses the resources of interest.

If you have tried to use any of our Auto Scaling options in the past, you undoubtedly understand the trade-offs involved in choosing scaling thresholds. AWS Auto Scaling gives you a variety of scaling options: You can optimize for availability, keeping plenty of resources in reserve in order to meet sudden spikes in demand. You can optimize for costs, running close to the line and accepting the possibility that you will tax your resources if that spike arrives. Alternatively, you can aim for the middle, with a generous but not excessive level of spare capacity. In addition to optimizing for availability, cost, or a blend of both, you can also set a custom scaling threshold. In each case, AWS Auto Scaling will create scaling policies on your behalf, including appropriate upper and lower bounds for each resource.

AWS Auto Scaling in Action
I will use AWS Auto Scaling on a simple CloudFormation stack consisting of an Auto Scaling group of EC2 instances and a pair of DynamoDB tables. I start by removing the existing Scaling Policies from my Auto Scaling group:

Then I open up the new Auto Scaling Console and selecting the stack:

Behind the scenes, Elastic Beanstalk applications are always launched via a CloudFormation stack. In the screen shot above, awseb-e-sdwttqizbp-stack is an Elastic Beanstalk application that I launched.

I can click on any stack to learn more about it before proceeding:

I select the desired stack and click on Next to proceed. Then I enter a name for my scaling plan and choose the resources that I’d like it to include:

I choose the scaling strategy for each type of resource:

After I have selected the desired strategies, I click Next to proceed. Then I review the proposed scaling plan, and click Create scaling plan to move ahead:

The scaling plan is created and in effect within a few minutes:

I can click on the plan to learn more:

I can also inspect each scaling policy:

I tested my new policy by applying a load to the initial EC2 instance, and watched the scale out activity take place:

I also took a look at the CloudWatch metrics for the EC2 Auto Scaling group:

Available Now
We are launching AWS Auto Scaling today in the US East (Northern Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (Oregon), EU (Ireland), and Asia Pacific (Singapore) Regions today, with more to follow. There’s no charge for AWS Auto Scaling; you pay only for the CloudWatch Alarms that it creates and any AWS resources that you consume.

As is often the case with our new services, this is just the first step on what we hope to be a long and interesting journey! We have a long roadmap, and we’ll be adding new features and options throughout 2018 in response to your feedback.

Jeff;

Set Up a Continuous Delivery Pipeline for Containers Using AWS CodePipeline and Amazon ECS

Post Syndicated from Nathan Taber original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/set-up-a-continuous-delivery-pipeline-for-containers-using-aws-codepipeline-and-amazon-ecs/

This post contributed by Abby FullerAWS Senior Technical Evangelist

Last week, AWS announced support for Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) targets (including AWS Fargate) in AWS CodePipeline. This support makes it easier to create a continuous delivery pipeline for container-based applications and microservices.

Building and deploying containerized services manually is slow and prone to errors. Continuous delivery with automated build and test mechanisms helps detect errors early, saves time, and reduces failures, making this a popular model for application deployments. Previously, to automate your container workflows with ECS, you had to build your own solution using AWS CloudFormation. Now, you can integrate CodePipeline and CodeBuild with ECS to automate your workflows in just a few steps.

A typical continuous delivery workflow with CodePipeline, CodeBuild, and ECS might look something like the following:

  • Choosing your source
  • Building your project
  • Deploying your code

We also have a continuous deployment reference architecture on GitHub for this workflow.

Getting Started

First, create a new project with CodePipeline and give the project a name, such as “demo”.

Next, choose a source location where the code is stored. This could be AWS CodeCommit, GitHub, or Amazon S3. For this example, enter GitHub and then give CodePipeline access to the repository.

Next, add a build step. You can import an existing build, such as a Jenkins server URL or CodeBuild project, or create a new step with CodeBuild. If you don’t have an existing build project in CodeBuild, create one from within CodePipeline:

  • Build provider: AWS CodeBuild
  • Configure your project: Create a new build project
  • Environment image: Use an image managed by AWS CodeBuild
  • Operating system: Ubuntu
  • Runtime: Docker
  • Version: aws/codebuild/docker:1.12.1
  • Build specification: Use the buildspec.yml in the source code root directory

Now that you’ve created the CodeBuild step, you can use it as an existing project in CodePipeline.

Next, add a deployment provider. This is where your built code is placed. It can be a number of different options, such as AWS CodeDeploy, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, AWS CloudFormation, or Amazon ECS. For this example, connect to Amazon ECS.

For CodeBuild to deploy to ECS, you must create an image definition JSON file. This requires adding some instructions to the pre-build, build, and post-build phases of the CodeBuild build process in your buildspec.yml file. For help with creating the image definition file, see Step 1 of the Tutorial: Continuous Deployment with AWS CodePipeline.

  • Deployment provider: Amazon ECS
  • Cluster name: enter your project name from the build step
  • Service name: web
  • Image filename: enter your image definition filename (“web.json”).

You are almost done!

You can now choose an existing IAM service role that CodePipeline can use to access resources in your account, or let CodePipeline create one. For this example, use the wizard, and go with the role that it creates (AWS-CodePipeline-Service).

Finally, review all of your changes, and choose Create pipeline.

After the pipeline is created, you’ll have a model of your entire pipeline where you can view your executions, add different tests, add manual approvals, or release a change.

You can learn more in the AWS CodePipeline User Guide.

Happy automating!

Now Open AWS EU (Paris) Region

Post Syndicated from Jeff Barr original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/now-open-aws-eu-paris-region/

Today we are launching our 18th AWS Region, our fourth in Europe. Located in the Paris area, AWS customers can use this Region to better serve customers in and around France.

The Details
The new EU (Paris) Region provides a broad suite of AWS services including Amazon API Gateway, Amazon Aurora, Amazon CloudFront, Amazon CloudWatch, CloudWatch Events, Amazon CloudWatch Logs, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), EC2 Container Registry, Amazon ECS, Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS), Amazon EMR, Amazon ElastiCache, Amazon Elasticsearch Service, Amazon Glacier, Amazon Kinesis Streams, Polly, Amazon Redshift, Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS), Amazon Route 53, Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS), Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS), Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), Amazon Simple Workflow Service (SWF), Amazon Virtual Private Cloud, Auto Scaling, AWS Certificate Manager (ACM), AWS CloudFormation, AWS CloudTrail, AWS CodeDeploy, AWS Config, AWS Database Migration Service, AWS Direct Connect, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), AWS Key Management Service (KMS), AWS Lambda, AWS Marketplace, AWS OpsWorks Stacks, AWS Personal Health Dashboard, AWS Server Migration Service, AWS Service Catalog, AWS Shield Standard, AWS Snowball, AWS Snowball Edge, AWS Snowmobile, AWS Storage Gateway, AWS Support (including AWS Trusted Advisor), Elastic Load Balancing, and VM Import.

The Paris Region supports all sizes of C5, M5, R4, T2, D2, I3, and X1 instances.

There are also four edge locations for Amazon Route 53 and Amazon CloudFront: three in Paris and one in Marseille, all with AWS WAF and AWS Shield. Check out the AWS Global Infrastructure page to learn more about current and future AWS Regions.

The Paris Region will benefit from three AWS Direct Connect locations. Telehouse Voltaire is available today. AWS Direct Connect will also become available at Equinix Paris in early 2018, followed by Interxion Paris.

All AWS infrastructure regions around the world are designed, built, and regularly audited to meet the most rigorous compliance standards and to provide high levels of security for all AWS customers. These include ISO 27001, ISO 27017, ISO 27018, SOC 1 (Formerly SAS 70), SOC 2 and SOC 3 Security & Availability, PCI DSS Level 1, and many more. This means customers benefit from all the best practices of AWS policies, architecture, and operational processes built to satisfy the needs of even the most security sensitive customers.

AWS is certified under the EU-US Privacy Shield, and the AWS Data Processing Addendum (DPA) is GDPR-ready and available now to all AWS customers to help them prepare for May 25, 2018 when the GDPR becomes enforceable. The current AWS DPA, as well as the AWS GDPR DPA, allows customers to transfer personal data to countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA) in compliance with European Union (EU) data protection laws. AWS also adheres to the Cloud Infrastructure Service Providers in Europe (CISPE) Code of Conduct. The CISPE Code of Conduct helps customers ensure that AWS is using appropriate data protection standards to protect their data, consistent with the GDPR. In addition, AWS offers a wide range of services and features to help customers meet the requirements of the GDPR, including services for access controls, monitoring, logging, and encryption.

From Our Customers
Many AWS customers are preparing to use this new Region. Here’s a small sample:

Societe Generale, one of the largest banks in France and the world, has accelerated their digital transformation while working with AWS. They developed SG Research, an application that makes reports from Societe Generale’s analysts available to corporate customers in order to improve the decision-making process for investments. The new AWS Region will reduce latency between applications running in the cloud and in their French data centers.

SNCF is the national railway company of France. Their mobile app, powered by AWS, delivers real-time traffic information to 14 million riders. Extreme weather, traffic events, holidays, and engineering works can cause usage to peak at hundreds of thousands of users per second. They are planning to use machine learning and big data to add predictive features to the app.

Radio France, the French public radio broadcaster, offers seven national networks, and uses AWS to accelerate its innovation and stay competitive.

Les Restos du Coeur, a French charity that provides assistance to the needy, delivering food packages and participating in their social and economic integration back into French society. Les Restos du Coeur is using AWS for its CRM system to track the assistance given to each of their beneficiaries and the impact this is having on their lives.

AlloResto by JustEat (a leader in the French FoodTech industry), is using AWS to to scale during traffic peaks and to accelerate their innovation process.

AWS Consulting and Technology Partners
We are already working with a wide variety of consulting, technology, managed service, and Direct Connect partners in France. Here’s a partial list:

AWS Premier Consulting PartnersAccenture, Capgemini, Claranet, CloudReach, DXC, and Edifixio.

AWS Consulting PartnersABC Systemes, Atos International SAS, CoreExpert, Cycloid, Devoteam, LINKBYNET, Oxalide, Ozones, Scaleo Information Systems, and Sopra Steria.

AWS Technology PartnersAxway, Commerce Guys, MicroStrategy, Sage, Software AG, Splunk, Tibco, and Zerolight.

AWS in France
We have been investing in Europe, with a focus on France, for the last 11 years. We have also been developing documentation and training programs to help our customers to improve their skills and to accelerate their journey to the AWS Cloud.

As part of our commitment to AWS customers in France, we plan to train more than 25,000 people in the coming years, helping them develop highly sought after cloud skills. They will have access to AWS training resources in France via AWS Academy, AWSome days, AWS Educate, and webinars, all delivered in French by AWS Technical Trainers and AWS Certified Trainers.

Use it Today
The EU (Paris) Region is open for business now and you can start using it today!

Jeff;

 

Now Open – AWS China (Ningxia) Region

Post Syndicated from Jeff Barr original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/now-open-aws-china-ningxia-region/

Today we launched our 17th Region globally, and the second in China. The AWS China (Ningxia) Region, operated by Ningxia Western Cloud Data Technology Co. Ltd. (NWCD), is generally available now and provides customers another option to run applications and store data on AWS in China.

The Details
At launch, the new China (Ningxia) Region, operated by NWCD, supports Auto Scaling, AWS Config, AWS CloudFormation, AWS CloudTrail, Amazon CloudWatch, CloudWatch Events, Amazon CloudWatch Logs, AWS CodeDeploy, AWS Direct Connect, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS), Amazon EC2 Systems Manager, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Amazon ElastiCache, Amazon Elasticsearch Service, Elastic Load Balancing, Amazon EMR, Amazon Glacier, AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), Amazon Kinesis Streams, Amazon Redshift, Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS), Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS), Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS), AWS Support API, AWS Trusted Advisor, Amazon Simple Workflow Service (SWF), Amazon Virtual Private Cloud, and VM Import. Visit the AWS China Products page for additional information on these services.

The Region supports all sizes of C4, D2, M4, T2, R4, I3, and X1 instances.

Check out the AWS Global Infrastructure page to learn more about current and future AWS Regions.

Operating Partner
To comply with China’s legal and regulatory requirements, AWS has formed a strategic technology collaboration with NWCD to operate and provide services from the AWS China (Ningxia) Region. Founded in 2015, NWCD is a licensed datacenter and cloud services provider, based in Ningxia, China. NWCD joins Sinnet, the operator of the AWS China China (Beijing) Region, as an AWS operating partner in China. Through these relationships, AWS provides its industry-leading technology, guidance, and expertise to NWCD and Sinnet, while NWCD and Sinnet operate and provide AWS cloud services to local customers. While the cloud services offered in both AWS China Regions are the same as those available in other AWS Regions, the AWS China Regions are different in that they are isolated from all other AWS Regions and operated by AWS’s Chinese partners separately from all other AWS Regions. Customers using the AWS China Regions enter into customer agreements with Sinnet and NWCD, rather than with AWS.

Use it Today
The AWS China (Ningxia) Region, operated by NWCD, is open for business, and you can start using it now! Starting today, Chinese developers, startups, and enterprises, as well as government, education, and non-profit organizations, can leverage AWS to run their applications and store their data in the new AWS China (Ningxia) Region, operated by NWCD. Customers already using the AWS China (Beijing) Region, operated by Sinnet, can select the AWS China (Ningxia) Region directly from the AWS Management Console, while new customers can request an account at www.amazonaws.cn to begin using both AWS China Regions.

Jeff;

 

 

Event-Driven Computing with Amazon SNS and AWS Compute, Storage, Database, and Networking Services

Post Syndicated from Christie Gifrin original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/event-driven-computing-with-amazon-sns-compute-storage-database-and-networking-services/

Contributed by Otavio Ferreira, Manager, Software Development, AWS Messaging

Like other developers around the world, you may be tackling increasingly complex business problems. A key success factor, in that case, is the ability to break down a large project scope into smaller, more manageable components. A service-oriented architecture guides you toward designing systems as a collection of loosely coupled, independently scaled, and highly reusable services. Microservices take this even further. To improve performance and scalability, they promote fine-grained interfaces and lightweight protocols.

However, the communication among isolated microservices can be challenging. Services are often deployed onto independent servers and don’t share any compute or storage resources. Also, you should avoid hard dependencies among microservices, to preserve maintainability and reusability.

If you apply the pub/sub design pattern, you can effortlessly decouple and independently scale out your microservices and serverless architectures. A pub/sub messaging service, such as Amazon SNS, promotes event-driven computing that statically decouples event publishers from subscribers, while dynamically allowing for the exchange of messages between them. An event-driven architecture also introduces the responsiveness needed to deal with complex problems, which are often unpredictable and asynchronous.

What is event-driven computing?

Given the context of microservices, event-driven computing is a model in which subscriber services automatically perform work in response to events triggered by publisher services. This paradigm can be applied to automate workflows while decoupling the services that collectively and independently work to fulfil these workflows. Amazon SNS is an event-driven computing hub, in the AWS Cloud, that has native integration with several AWS publisher and subscriber services.

Which AWS services publish events to SNS natively?

Several AWS services have been integrated as SNS publishers and, therefore, can natively trigger event-driven computing for a variety of use cases. In this post, I specifically cover AWS compute, storage, database, and networking services, as depicted below.

Compute services

  • Auto Scaling: Helps you ensure that you have the correct number of Amazon EC2 instances available to handle the load for your application. You can configure Auto Scaling lifecycle hooks to trigger events, as Auto Scaling resizes your EC2 cluster.As an example, you may want to warm up the local cache store on newly launched EC2 instances, and also download log files from other EC2 instances that are about to be terminated. To make this happen, set an SNS topic as your Auto Scaling group’s notification target, then subscribe two Lambda functions to this SNS topic. The first function is responsible for handling scale-out events (to warm up cache upon provisioning), whereas the second is in charge of handling scale-in events (to download logs upon termination).

  • AWS Elastic Beanstalk: An easy-to-use service for deploying and scaling web applications and web services developed in a number of programming languages. You can configure event notifications for your Elastic Beanstalk environment so that notable events can be automatically published to an SNS topic, then pushed to topic subscribers.As an example, you may use this event-driven architecture to coordinate your continuous integration pipeline (such as Jenkins CI). That way, whenever an environment is created, Elastic Beanstalk publishes this event to an SNS topic, which triggers a subscribing Lambda function, which then kicks off a CI job against your newly created Elastic Beanstalk environment.

  • Elastic Load Balancing: Automatically distributes incoming application traffic across Amazon EC2 instances, containers, or other resources identified by IP addresses.You can configure CloudWatch alarms on Elastic Load Balancing metrics, to automate the handling of events derived from Classic Load Balancers. As an example, you may leverage this event-driven design to automate latency profiling in an Amazon ECS cluster behind a Classic Load Balancer. In this example, whenever your ECS cluster breaches your load balancer latency threshold, an event is posted by CloudWatch to an SNS topic, which then triggers a subscribing Lambda function. This function runs a task on your ECS cluster to trigger a latency profiling tool, hosted on the cluster itself. This can enhance your latency troubleshooting exercise by making it timely.

Storage services

  • Amazon S3: Object storage built to store and retrieve any amount of data.You can enable S3 event notifications, and automatically get them posted to SNS topics, to automate a variety of workflows. For instance, imagine that you have an S3 bucket to store incoming resumes from candidates, and a fleet of EC2 instances to encode these resumes from their original format (such as Word or text) into a portable format (such as PDF).In this example, whenever new files are uploaded to your input bucket, S3 publishes these events to an SNS topic, which in turn pushes these messages into subscribing SQS queues. Then, encoding workers running on EC2 instances poll these messages from the SQS queues; retrieve the original files from the input S3 bucket; encode them into PDF; and finally store them in an output S3 bucket.

  • Amazon EFS: Provides simple and scalable file storage, for use with Amazon EC2 instances, in the AWS Cloud.You can configure CloudWatch alarms on EFS metrics, to automate the management of your EFS systems. For example, consider a highly parallelized genomics analysis application that runs against an EFS system. By default, this file system is instantiated on the “General Purpose” performance mode. Although this performance mode allows for lower latency, it might eventually impose a scaling bottleneck. Therefore, you may leverage an event-driven design to handle it automatically.Basically, as soon as the EFS metric “Percent I/O Limit” breaches 95%, CloudWatch could post this event to an SNS topic, which in turn would push this message into a subscribing Lambda function. This function automatically creates a new file system, this time on the “Max I/O” performance mode, then switches the genomics analysis application to this new file system. As a result, your application starts experiencing higher I/O throughput rates.

  • Amazon Glacier: A secure, durable, and low-cost cloud storage service for data archiving and long-term backup.You can set a notification configuration on an Amazon Glacier vault so that when a job completes, a message is published to an SNS topic. Retrieving an archive from Amazon Glacier is a two-step asynchronous operation, in which you first initiate a job, and then download the output after the job completes. Therefore, SNS helps you eliminate polling your Amazon Glacier vault to check whether your job has been completed, or not. As usual, you may subscribe SQS queues, Lambda functions, and HTTP endpoints to your SNS topic, to be notified when your Amazon Glacier job is done.

  • AWS Snowball: A petabyte-scale data transport solution that uses secure appliances to transfer large amounts of data.You can leverage Snowball notifications to automate workflows related to importing data into and exporting data from AWS. More specifically, whenever your Snowball job status changes, Snowball can publish this event to an SNS topic, which in turn can broadcast the event to all its subscribers.As an example, imagine a Geographic Information System (GIS) that distributes high-resolution satellite images to users via Web browser. In this example, the GIS vendor could capture up to 80 TB of satellite images; create a Snowball job to import these files from an on-premises system to an S3 bucket; and provide an SNS topic ARN to be notified upon job status changes in Snowball. After Snowball changes the job status from “Importing” to “Completed”, Snowball publishes this event to the specified SNS topic, which delivers this message to a subscribing Lambda function, which finally creates a CloudFront web distribution for the target S3 bucket, to serve the images to end users.

Database services

  • Amazon RDS: Makes it easy to set up, operate, and scale a relational database in the cloud.RDS leverages SNS to broadcast notifications when RDS events occur. As usual, these notifications can be delivered via any protocol supported by SNS, including SQS queues, Lambda functions, and HTTP endpoints.As an example, imagine that you own a social network website that has experienced organic growth, and needs to scale its compute and database resources on demand. In this case, you could provide an SNS topic to listen to RDS DB instance events. When the “Low Storage” event is published to the topic, SNS pushes this event to a subscribing Lambda function, which in turn leverages the RDS API to increase the storage capacity allocated to your DB instance. The provisioning itself takes place within the specified DB maintenance window.

  • Amazon ElastiCache: A web service that makes it easy to deploy, operate, and scale an in-memory data store or cache in the cloud.ElastiCache can publish messages using Amazon SNS when significant events happen on your cache cluster. This feature can be used to refresh the list of servers on client machines connected to individual cache node endpoints of a cache cluster. For instance, an ecommerce website fetches product details from a cache cluster, with the goal of offloading a relational database and speeding up page load times. Ideally, you want to make sure that each web server always has an updated list of cache servers to which to connect.To automate this node discovery process, you can get your ElastiCache cluster to publish events to an SNS topic. Thus, when ElastiCache event “AddCacheNodeComplete” is published, your topic then pushes this event to all subscribing HTTP endpoints that serve your ecommerce website, so that these HTTP servers can update their list of cache nodes.

  • Amazon Redshift: A fully managed data warehouse that makes it simple to analyze data using standard SQL and BI (Business Intelligence) tools.Amazon Redshift uses SNS to broadcast relevant events so that data warehouse workflows can be automated. As an example, imagine a news website that sends clickstream data to a Kinesis Firehose stream, which then loads the data into Amazon Redshift, so that popular news and reading preferences might be surfaced on a BI tool. At some point though, this Amazon Redshift cluster might need to be resized, and the cluster enters a ready-only mode. Hence, this Amazon Redshift event is published to an SNS topic, which delivers this event to a subscribing Lambda function, which finally deletes the corresponding Kinesis Firehose delivery stream, so that clickstream data uploads can be put on hold.At a later point, after Amazon Redshift publishes the event that the maintenance window has been closed, SNS notifies a subscribing Lambda function accordingly, so that this function can re-create the Kinesis Firehose delivery stream, and resume clickstream data uploads to Amazon Redshift.

  • AWS DMS: Helps you migrate databases to AWS quickly and securely. The source database remains fully operational during the migration, minimizing downtime to applications that rely on the database.DMS also uses SNS to provide notifications when DMS events occur, which can automate database migration workflows. As an example, you might create data replication tasks to migrate an on-premises MS SQL database, composed of multiple tables, to MySQL. Thus, if replication tasks fail due to incompatible data encoding in the source tables, these events can be published to an SNS topic, which can push these messages into a subscribing SQS queue. Then, encoders running on EC2 can poll these messages from the SQS queue, encode the source tables into a compatible character set, and restart the corresponding replication tasks in DMS. This is an event-driven approach to a self-healing database migration process.

Networking services

  • Amazon Route 53: A highly available and scalable cloud-based DNS (Domain Name System). Route 53 health checks monitor the health and performance of your web applications, web servers, and other resources.You can set CloudWatch alarms and get automated Amazon SNS notifications when the status of your Route 53 health check changes. As an example, imagine an online payment gateway that reports the health of its platform to merchants worldwide, via a status page. This page is hosted on EC2 and fetches platform health data from DynamoDB. In this case, you could configure a CloudWatch alarm for your Route 53 health check, so that when the alarm threshold is breached, and the payment gateway is no longer considered healthy, then CloudWatch publishes this event to an SNS topic, which pushes this message to a subscribing Lambda function, which finally updates the DynamoDB table that populates the status page. This event-driven approach avoids any kind of manual update to the status page visited by merchants.

  • AWS Direct Connect (AWS DX): Makes it easy to establish a dedicated network connection from your premises to AWS, which can reduce your network costs, increase bandwidth throughput, and provide a more consistent network experience than Internet-based connections.You can monitor physical DX connections using CloudWatch alarms, and send SNS messages when alarms change their status. As an example, when a DX connection state shifts to 0 (zero), indicating that the connection is down, this event can be published to an SNS topic, which can fan out this message to impacted servers through HTTP endpoints, so that they might reroute their traffic through a different connection instead. This is an event-driven approach to connectivity resilience.

More event-driven computing on AWS

In addition to SNS, event-driven computing is also addressed by Amazon CloudWatch Events, which delivers a near real-time stream of system events that describe changes in AWS resources. With CloudWatch Events, you can route each event type to one or more targets, including:

Many AWS services publish events to CloudWatch. As an example, you can get CloudWatch Events to capture events on your ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) jobs running on AWS Glue and push failed ones to an SQS queue, so that you can retry them later.

Conclusion

Amazon SNS is a pub/sub messaging service that can be used as an event-driven computing hub to AWS customers worldwide. By capturing events natively triggered by AWS services, such as EC2, S3 and RDS, you can automate and optimize all kinds of workflows, namely scaling, testing, encoding, profiling, broadcasting, discovery, failover, and much more. Business use cases presented in this post ranged from recruiting websites, to scientific research, geographic systems, social networks, retail websites, and news portals.

Start now by visiting Amazon SNS in the AWS Management Console, or by trying the AWS 10-Minute Tutorial, Send Fan-out Event Notifications with Amazon SNS and Amazon SQS.

 

AWS HIPAA Eligibility Update (October 2017) – Sixteen Additional Services

Post Syndicated from Jeff Barr original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/aws-hipaa-eligibility-post-update-october-2017-sixteen-additional-services/

Our Health Customer Stories page lists just a few of the many customers that are building and running healthcare and life sciences applications that run on AWS. Customers like Verge Health, Care Cloud, and Orion Health trust AWS with Protected Health Information (PHI) and Personally Identifying Information (PII) as part of their efforts to comply with HIPAA and HITECH.

Sixteen More Services
In my last HIPAA Eligibility Update I shared the news that we added eight additional services to our list of HIPAA eligible services. Today I am happy to let you know that we have added another sixteen services to the list, bringing the total up to 46. Here are the newest additions, along with some short descriptions and links to some of my blog posts to jog your memory:

Amazon Aurora with PostgreSQL Compatibility – This brand-new addition to Amazon Aurora allows you to encrypt your relational databases using keys that you create and manage through AWS Key Management Service (KMS). When you enable encryption for an Amazon Aurora database, the underlying storage is encrypted, as are automated backups, read replicas, and snapshots. Read New – Encryption at Rest for Amazon Aurora to learn more.

Amazon CloudWatch Logs – You can use the logs to monitor and troubleshoot your systems and applications. You can monitor your existing system, application, and custom log files in near real-time, watching for specific phrases, values, or patterns. Log data can be stored durably and at low cost, for as long as needed. To learn more, read Store and Monitor OS & Application Log Files with Amazon CloudWatch and Improvements to CloudWatch Logs and Dashboards.

Amazon Connect – This self-service, cloud-based contact center makes it easy for you to deliver better customer service at a lower cost. You can use the visual designer to set up your contact flows, manage agents, and track performance, all without specialized skills. Read Amazon Connect – Customer Contact Center in the Cloud and New – Amazon Connect and Amazon Lex Integration to learn more.

Amazon ElastiCache for Redis – This service lets you deploy, operate, and scale an in-memory data store or cache that you can use to improve the performance of your applications. Each ElastiCache for Redis cluster publishes key performance metrics to Amazon CloudWatch. To learn more, read Caching in the Cloud with Amazon ElastiCache and Amazon ElastiCache – Now With a Dash of Redis.

Amazon Kinesis Streams – This service allows you to build applications that process or analyze streaming data such as website clickstreams, financial transactions, social media feeds, and location-tracking events. To learn more, read Amazon Kinesis – Real-Time Processing of Streaming Big Data and New: Server-Side Encryption for Amazon Kinesis Streams.

Amazon RDS for MariaDB – This service lets you set up scalable, managed MariaDB instances in minutes, and offers high performance, high availability, and a simplified security model that makes it easy for you to encrypt data at rest and in transit. Read Amazon RDS Update – MariaDB is Now Available to learn more.

Amazon RDS SQL Server – This service lets you set up scalable, managed Microsoft SQL Server instances in minutes, and also offers high performance, high availability, and a simplified security model. To learn more, read Amazon RDS for SQL Server and .NET support for AWS Elastic Beanstalk and Amazon RDS for Microsoft SQL Server – Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) to learn more.

Amazon Route 53 – This is a highly available Domain Name Server. It translates names like www.example.com into IP addresses. To learn more, read Moving Ahead with Amazon Route 53.

AWS Batch – This service lets you run large-scale batch computing jobs on AWS. You don’t need to install or maintain specialized batch software or build your own server clusters. Read AWS Batch – Run Batch Computing Jobs on AWS to learn more.

AWS CloudHSM – A cloud-based Hardware Security Module (HSM) for key storage and management at cloud scale. Designed for sensitive workloads, CloudHSM lets you manage your own keys using FIPS 140-2 Level 3 validated HSMs. To learn more, read AWS CloudHSM – Secure Key Storage and Cryptographic Operations and AWS CloudHSM Update – Cost Effective Hardware Key Management at Cloud Scale for Sensitive & Regulated Workloads.

AWS Key Management Service – This service makes it easy for you to create and control the encryption keys used to encrypt your data. It uses HSMs to protect your keys, and is integrated with AWS CloudTrail in order to provide you with a log of all key usage. Read New AWS Key Management Service (KMS) to learn more.

AWS Lambda – This service lets you run event-driven application or backend code without thinking about or managing servers. To learn more, read AWS Lambda – Run Code in the Cloud, AWS Lambda – A Look Back at 2016, and AWS Lambda – In Full Production with New Features for Mobile Devs.

[email protected] – You can use this new feature of AWS Lambda to run Node.js functions across the global network of AWS locations without having to provision or manager servers, in order to deliver rich, personalized content to your users with low latency. Read [email protected] – Intelligent Processing of HTTP Requests at the Edge to learn more.

AWS Snowball Edge – This is a data transfer device with 100 terabytes of on-board storage as well as compute capabilities. You can use it to move large amounts of data into or out of AWS, as a temporary storage tier, or to support workloads in remote or offline locations. To learn more, read AWS Snowball Edge – More Storage, Local Endpoints, Lambda Functions.

AWS Snowmobile – This is an exabyte-scale data transfer service. Pulled by a semi-trailer truck, each Snowmobile packs 100 petabytes of storage into a ruggedized 45-foot long shipping container. Read AWS Snowmobile – Move Exabytes of Data to the Cloud in Weeks to learn more (and to see some of my finest LEGO work).

AWS Storage Gateway – This hybrid storage service lets your on-premises applications use AWS cloud storage (Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), Amazon Glacier, and Amazon Elastic File System) in a simple and seamless way, with storage for volumes, files, and virtual tapes. To learn more, read The AWS Storage Gateway – Integrate Your Existing On-Premises Applications with AWS Cloud Storage and File Interface to AWS Storage Gateway.

And there you go! Check out my earlier post for a list of resources that will help you to build applications that comply with HIPAA and HITECH.

Jeff;

 

Skill up on how to perform CI/CD with AWS Developer tools

Post Syndicated from Chirag Dhull original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/devops/skill-up-on-how-to-perform-cicd-with-aws-devops-tools/

This is a guest post from Paul Duvall, CTO of Stelligent, a division of HOSTING.

I co-founded Stelligent, a technology services company that provides DevOps Automation on AWS as a result of my own frustration in implementing all the “behind the scenes” infrastructure (including builds, tests, deployments, etc.) on software projects on which I was developing software. At Stelligent, we have worked with numerous customers looking to get software delivered to users quicker and with greater confidence. This sounds simple but it often consists of properly configuring and integrating myriad tools including, but not limited to, version control, build, static analysis, testing, security, deployment, and software release orchestration. What some might not realize is that there’s a new breed of build, deploy, test, and release tools that help reduce much of the undifferentiated heavy lifting of deploying and releasing software to users.

 
I’ve been using AWS since 2009 and I, along with many at Stelligent – have worked with the AWS Service Teams as part of the AWS Developer Tools betas that are now generally available (including AWS CodePipeline, AWS CodeCommit, AWS CodeBuild, and AWS CodeDeploy). I’ve combined the experience we’ve had with customers along with this specialized knowledge of the AWS Developer and Management Tools to provide a unique course that shows multiple ways to use these services to deliver software to users quicker and with confidence.

 
In DevOps Essentials on AWS, you’ll learn how to accelerate software delivery and speed up feedback loops by learning how to use AWS Developer Tools to automate infrastructure and deployment pipelines for applications running on AWS. The course demonstrates solutions for various DevOps use cases for Amazon EC2, AWS OpsWorks, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, AWS Lambda (Serverless), Amazon ECS (Containers), while defining infrastructure as code and learning more about AWS Developer Tools including AWS CodeStar, AWS CodeCommit, AWS CodeBuild, AWS CodePipeline, and AWS CodeDeploy.

 
In this course, you see me use the AWS Developer and Management Tools to create comprehensive continuous delivery solutions for a sample application using many types of AWS service platforms. You can run the exact same sample and/or fork the GitHub repository (https://github.com/stelligent/devops-essentials) and extend or modify the solutions. I’m excited to share how you can use AWS Developer Tools to create these solutions for your customers as well. There’s also an accompanying website for the course (http://www.devopsessentialsaws.com/) that I use in the video to walk through the course examples which link to resources located in GitHub or Amazon S3. In this course, you will learn how to:

  • Use AWS Developer and Management Tools to create a full-lifecycle software delivery solution
  • Use AWS CloudFormation to automate the provisioning of all AWS resources
  • Use AWS CodePipeline to orchestrate the deployments of all applications
  • Use AWS CodeCommit while deploying an application onto EC2 instances using AWS CodeBuild and AWS CodeDeploy
  • Deploy applications using AWS OpsWorks and AWS Elastic Beanstalk
  • Deploy an application using Amazon EC2 Container Service (ECS) along with AWS CloudFormation
  • Deploy serverless applications that use AWS Lambda and API Gateway
  • Integrate all AWS Developer Tools into an end-to-end solution with AWS CodeStar

To learn more, see DevOps Essentials on AWS video course on Udemy. For a limited time, you can enroll in this course for $40 and save 80%, a $160 saving. Simply use the code AWSDEV17.

 
Stelligent, an AWS Partner Network Advanced Consulting Partner holds the AWS DevOps Competency and over 100 AWS technical certifications. To stay updated on DevOps best practices, visit www.stelligent.com.

Greater Transparency into Actions AWS Services Perform on Your Behalf by Using AWS CloudTrail

Post Syndicated from Ujjwal Pugalia original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/security/get-greater-transparency-into-actions-aws-services-perform-on-your-behalf-by-using-aws-cloudtrail/

To make managing your AWS account easier, some AWS services perform actions on your behalf, including the creation and management of AWS resources. For example, AWS Elastic Beanstalk automatically handles the deployment details of capacity provisioning, load balancing, auto-scaling, and application health monitoring. To make these AWS actions more transparent, AWS adds an AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) service-linked roles to your account for each linked service you use. Service-linked roles let you view all actions an AWS service performs on your behalf by using AWS CloudTrail logs. This helps you monitor and audit the actions AWS services perform on your behalf. No additional actions are required from you and you can continue using AWS services the way you do today.

To learn more about which AWS services use service-linked roles and log actions on your behalf to CloudTrail, see AWS Services That Work with IAM. Over time, more AWS services will support service-linked roles. For more information about service-linked roles, see Role Terms and Concepts.

In this blog post, I demonstrate how to view CloudTrail logs so that you can more easily monitor and audit AWS services performing actions on your behalf. First, I show how AWS creates a service-linked role in your account automatically when you configure an AWS service that supports service-linked roles. Next, I show how you can view the policies of a service-linked role that grants an AWS service permission to perform actions on your behalf. Finally, I  use the configured AWS service to perform an action and show you how the action appears in your CloudTrail logs.

How AWS creates a service-linked role in your account automatically

I will use Amazon Lex as the AWS service that performs actions on your behalf for this post. You can use Amazon Lex to create chatbots that allow for highly engaging conversational experiences through voice and text. You also can use chatbots on mobile devices, web browsers, and popular chat platform channels such as Slack. Amazon Lex uses Amazon Polly on your behalf to synthesize speech that sounds like a human voice.

Amazon Lex uses two IAM service-linked roles:

  • AWSServiceRoleForLexBots — Amazon Lex uses this service-linked role to invoke Amazon Polly to synthesize speech responses for your chatbot.
  • AWSServiceRoleForLexChannels — Amazon Lex uses this service-linked role to post text to your chatbot when managing channels such as Slack.

You don’t need to create either of these roles manually. When you create your first chatbot using the Amazon Lex console, Amazon Lex creates the AWSServiceRoleForLexBots role for you. When you first associate a chatbot with a messaging channel, Amazon Lex creates the AWSServiceRoleForLexChannels role in your account.

1. Start configuring the AWS service that supports service-linked roles

Navigate to the Amazon Lex console, and choose Get Started to navigate to the Create your Lex bot page. For this example, I choose a sample chatbot called OrderFlowers. To learn how to create a custom chatbot, see Create a Custom Amazon Lex Bot.

Screenshot of making the choice to create an OrderFlowers chatbot

2. Complete the configuration for the AWS service

When you scroll down, you will see the settings for the OrderFlowers chatbot. Notice the field for the IAM role with the value, AWSServiceRoleForLexBots. This service-linked role is “Automatically created on your behalf.” After you have entered all details, choose Create to build your sample chatbot.

Screenshot of the automatically created service-linked role

AWS has created the AWSServiceRoleForLexBots service-linked role in your account. I will return to using the chatbot later in this post when I discuss how Amazon Lex performs actions on your behalf and how CloudTrail logs these actions. First, I will show how you can view the permissions for the AWSServiceRoleForLexBots service-linked role by using the IAM console.

How to view actions in the IAM console that AWS services perform on your behalf

When you configure an AWS service that supports service-linked roles, AWS creates a service-linked role in your account automatically. You can view the service-linked role by using the IAM console.

1. View the AWSServiceRoleForLexBots service-linked role on the IAM console

Go to the IAM console, and choose AWSServiceRoleForLexBots on the Roles page. You can confirm that this role is a service-linked role by viewing the Trusted entities column.

Screenshot of the service-linked role

2.View the trusted entities that can assume the AWSServiceRoleForLexBots service-linked role

Choose the Trust relationships tab on the AWSServiceRoleForLexBots role page. You can view the trusted entities that can assume the AWSServiceRoleForLexBots service-linked role to perform actions on your behalf. In this example, the trusted entity is lex.amazonaws.com.

Screenshot of the trusted entities that can assume the service-linked role

3. View the policy attached to the AWSServiceRoleForLexBots service-linked role

Choose AmazonLexBotPolicy on the Permissions tab to view the policy attached to the AWSServiceRoleForLexBots service-linked role. You can view the policy summary to see that AmazonLexBotPolicy grants permission to Amazon Lex to use Amazon Polly.

Screenshot showing that AmazonLexBotPolicy grants permission to Amazon Lex to use Amazon Polly

4. View the actions that the service-linked role grants permissions to use

Choose Polly to view the action, SynthesizeSpeech, that the AmazonLexBotPolicy grants permission to Amazon Lex to perform on your behalf. Amazon Lex uses this permission to synthesize speech responses for your chatbot. I show later in this post how you can monitor this SynthesizeSpeech action in your CloudTrail logs.

Screenshot showing the the action, SynthesizeSpeech, that the AmazonLexBotPolicy grants permission to Amazon Lex to perform on your behalf

Now that I know the trusted entity and the policy attached to the service-linked role, let’s go back to the chatbot I created earlier and see how CloudTrail logs the actions that Amazon Lex performs on my behalf.

How to use CloudTrail to view actions that AWS services perform on your behalf

As discussed already, I created an OrderFlowers chatbot on the Amazon Lex console. I will use the chatbot and display how the AWSServiceRoleForLexBots service-linked role helps me track actions in CloudTrail. First, though, I must have an active CloudTrail trail created that stores the logs in an Amazon S3 bucket. I will use a trail called TestTrail and an S3 bucket called account-ids-slr.

1. Use the Amazon Lex chatbot via the Amazon Lex console

In Step 2 in the first section of this post, when I chose Create, Amazon Lex built the OrderFlowers chatbot. After the chatbot was built, the right pane showed that a Test Bot was created. Now, I choose the microphone symbol in the right pane and provide voice input to test the OrderFlowers chatbot. In this example, I tell the chatbot, “I would like to order some flowers.” The bot replies to me by asking, “What type of flowers would you like to order?”

Screenshot of voice input to test the OrderFlowers chatbot

When the chatbot replies using voice, Amazon Lex uses Amazon Polly to synthesize speech from text to voice. Amazon Lex assumes the AWSServiceRoleForLexBots service-linked role to perform the SynthesizeSpeech action.

2. Check CloudTrail to view actions performed on your behalf

Now that I have created the chatbot, let’s see which actions were logged in CloudTrail. Choose CloudTrail from the Services drop-down menu to reach the CloudTrail console. Choose Trails and choose the S3 bucket in which you are storing your CloudTrail logs.

Screenshot of the TestTrail trail

In the S3 bucket, you will find log entries for the SynthesizeSpeech event. This means that CloudTrail logged the action when Amazon Lex assumed the AWSServiceRoleForLexBots service-linked role to invoke Amazon Polly to synthesize speech responses for your chatbot. You can monitor and audit this invocation, and it provides you with transparency into Amazon Polly’s SynthesizeSpeech action that Amazon Lex invoked on your behalf. The applicable CloudTrail log section follows and I have emphasized the key lines.

{  
         "eventVersion":"1.05",
         "userIdentity":{  
           "type":"AssumedRole",
            "principalId":"{principal-id}:OrderFlowers",
            "arn":"arn:aws:sts::{account-id}:assumed-role/AWSServiceRoleForLexBots/OrderFlowers",
            "accountId":"{account-id}",
            "accessKeyId":"{access-key-id}",
            "sessionContext":{  
               "attributes":{  
                  "mfaAuthenticated":"false",
                  "creationDate":"2017-09-17T17:30:05Z"
               },
               "sessionIssuer":{  
                  "type":"Role",
                  "principalId":"{principal-id}",
                  "arn":"arn:aws:iam:: {account-id}:role/aws-service-role/lex.amazonaws.com/AWSServiceRoleForLexBots",
                  "accountId":"{account-id",
                  "userName":"AWSServiceRoleForLexBots"
               }
            },
            "invokedBy":"lex.amazonaws.com"
         },
         "eventTime":"2017-09-17T17:30:05Z",
         "eventSource":"polly.amazonaws.com",
         "eventName":"SynthesizeSpeech",
         "awsRegion":"us-east-1",
         "sourceIPAddress":"lex.amazonaws.com",
         "userAgent":"lex.amazonaws.com",
         "requestParameters":{  
            "outputFormat":"mp3",
            "textType":"text",
            "voiceId":"Salli",
            "text":"**********"
         },
         "responseElements":{  
            "requestCharacters":45,
            "contentType":"audio/mpeg"
         },
         "requestID":"{request-id}",
         "eventID":"{event-id}",
         "eventType":"AwsApiCall",
         "recipientAccountId":"{account-id}"
      }

Conclusion

Service-linked roles make it easier for you to track and view actions that linked AWS services perform on your behalf by using CloudTrail. When an AWS service supports service-linked roles to enable this additional logging, you will see a service-linked role added to your account.

If you have comments about this post, submit a comment in the “Comments” section below. If you have questions about working with service-linked roles, start a new thread on the IAM forum or contact AWS Support.

– Ujjwal

Using AWS CodePipeline, AWS CodeBuild, and AWS Lambda for Serverless Automated UI Testing

Post Syndicated from Prakash Palanisamy original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/devops/using-aws-codepipeline-aws-codebuild-and-aws-lambda-for-serverless-automated-ui-testing/

Testing the user interface of a web application is an important part of the development lifecycle. In this post, I’ll explain how to automate UI testing using serverless technologies, including AWS CodePipeline, AWS CodeBuild, and AWS Lambda.

I built a website for UI testing that is hosted in S3. I used Selenium to perform cross-browser UI testing on Chrome, Firefox, and PhantomJS, a headless WebKit browser with Ghost Driver, an implementation of the WebDriver Wire Protocol. I used Python to create test cases for ChromeDriver, FirefoxDriver, or PhatomJSDriver based the browser against which the test is being executed.

Resources referred to in this post, including the AWS CloudFormation template, test and status websites hosted in S3, AWS CodeBuild build specification files, AWS Lambda function, and the Python script that performs the test are available in the serverless-automated-ui-testing GitHub repository.

S3 Hosted Test Website:

AWS CodeBuild supports custom containers so we can use the Selenium/standalone-Firefox and Selenium/standalone-Chrome containers, which include prebuild Firefox and Chrome browsers, respectively. Xvfb performs the graphical operation in virtual memory without any display hardware. It will be installed in the CodeBuild containers during the install phase.

Build Spec for Chrome and Firefox

The build specification for Chrome and Firefox testing includes multiple phases:

  • The environment variables section contains a set of default variables that are overridden while creating the build project or triggering the build.
  • As part of install phase, required packages like Xvfb and Selenium are installed using yum.
  • During the pre_build phase, the test bed is prepared for test execution.
  • During the build phase, the appropriate DISPLAY is set and the tests are executed.
version: 0.2

env:
  variables:
    BROWSER: "chrome"
    WebURL: "https://sampletestweb.s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/website/index.html"
    ArtifactBucket: "codebuild-demo-artifact-repository"
    MODULES: "mod1"
    ModuleTable: "test-modules"
    StatusTable: "blog-test-status"

phases:
  install:
    commands:
      - apt-get update
      - apt-get -y upgrade
      - apt-get install xvfb python python-pip build-essential -y
      - pip install --upgrade pip
      - pip install selenium
      - pip install awscli
      - pip install requests
      - pip install boto3
      - cp xvfb.init /etc/init.d/xvfb
      - chmod +x /etc/init.d/xvfb
      - update-rc.d xvfb defaults
      - service xvfb start
      - export PATH="$PATH:`pwd`/webdrivers"
  pre_build:
    commands:
      - python prepare_test.py
  build:
    commands:
      - export DISPLAY=:5
      - cd tests
      - echo "Executing simple test..."
      - python testsuite.py

Because Ghost Driver runs headless, it can be executed on AWS Lambda. In keeping with a fire-and-forget model, I used CodeBuild to create the PhantomJS Lambda function and trigger the test invocations on Lambda in parallel. This is powerful because many tests can be executed in parallel on Lambda.

Build Spec for PhantomJS

The build specification for PhantomJS testing also includes multiple phases. It is a little different from the preceding example because we are using AWS Lambda for the test execution.

  • The environment variables section contains a set of default variables that are overridden while creating the build project or triggering the build.
  • As part of install phase, the required packages like Selenium and the AWS CLI are installed using yum.
  • During the pre_build phase, the test bed is prepared for test execution.
  • During the build phase, a zip file that will be used to create the PhantomJS Lambda function is created and tests are executed on the Lambda function.
version: 0.2

env:
  variables:
    BROWSER: "phantomjs"
    WebURL: "https://sampletestweb.s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/website/index.html"
    ArtifactBucket: "codebuild-demo-artifact-repository"
    MODULES: "mod1"
    ModuleTable: "test-modules"
    StatusTable: "blog-test-status"
    LambdaRole: "arn:aws:iam::account-id:role/role-name"

phases:
  install:
    commands:
      - apt-get update
      - apt-get -y upgrade
      - apt-get install python python-pip build-essential -y
      - apt-get install zip unzip -y
      - pip install --upgrade pip
      - pip install selenium
      - pip install awscli
      - pip install requests
      - pip install boto3
  pre_build:
    commands:
      - python prepare_test.py
  build:
    commands:
      - cd lambda_function
      - echo "Packaging Lambda Function..."
      - zip -r /tmp/lambda_function.zip ./*
      - func_name=`echo $CODEBUILD_BUILD_ID | awk -F ':' '{print $1}'`-phantomjs
      - echo "Creating Lambda Function..."
      - chmod 777 phantomjs
      - |
         func_list=`aws lambda list-functions | grep FunctionName | awk -F':' '{print $2}' | tr -d ', "'`
         if echo "$func_list" | grep -qw $func_name
         then
             echo "Lambda function already exists."
         else
             aws lambda create-function --function-name $func_name --runtime "python2.7" --role $LambdaRole --handler "testsuite.lambda_handler" --zip-file fileb:///tmp/lambda_function.zip --timeout 150 --memory-size 1024 --environment Variables="{WebURL=$WebURL, StatusTable=$StatusTable}" --tags Name=$func_name
         fi
      - export PhantomJSFunction=$func_name
      - cd ../tests/
      - python testsuite.py

The list of test cases and the test modules that belong to each case are stored in an Amazon DynamoDB table. Based on the list of modules passed as an argument to the CodeBuild project, CodeBuild gets the test cases from that table and executes them. The test execution status and results are stored in another Amazon DynamoDB table. It will read the test status from the status table in DynamoDB and display it.

AWS CodeBuild and AWS Lambda perform the test execution as individual tasks. AWS CodePipeline plays an important role here by enabling continuous delivery and parallel execution of tests for optimized testing.

Here’s how to do it:

In AWS CodePipeline, create a pipeline with four stages:

  • Source (AWS CodeCommit)
  • UI testing (AWS Lambda and AWS CodeBuild)
  • Approval (manual approval)
  • Production (AWS Lambda)

Pipeline stages, the actions in each stage, and transitions between stages are shown in the following diagram.

This design implemented in AWS CodePipeline looks like this:

CodePipeline automatically detects a change in the source repository and triggers the execution of the pipeline.

In the UITest stage, there are two parallel actions:

  • DeployTestWebsite invokes a Lambda function to deploy the test website in S3 as an S3 website.
  • DeployStatusPage invokes another Lambda function to deploy in parallel the status website in S3 as an S3 website.

Next, there are three parallel actions that trigger the CodeBuild project:

  • TestOnChrome launches a container to perform the Selenium tests on Chrome.
  • TestOnFirefox launches another container to perform the Selenium tests on Firefox.
  • TestOnPhantomJS creates a Lambda function and invokes individual Lambda functions per test case to execute the test cases in parallel.

You can monitor the status of the test execution on the status website, as shown here:

When the UI testing is completed successfully, the pipeline continues to an Approval stage in which a notification is sent to the configured SNS topic. The designated team member reviews the test status and approves or rejects the deployment. Upon approval, the pipeline continues to the Production stage, where it invokes a Lambda function and deploys the website to a production S3 bucket.

I used a CloudFormation template to set up my continuous delivery pipeline. The automated-ui-testing.yaml template, available from GitHub, sets up a full-featured pipeline.

When I use the template to create my pipeline, I specify the following:

  • AWS CodeCommit repository.
  • SNS topic to send approval notification.
  • S3 bucket name where the artifacts will be stored.

The stack name should follow the rules for S3 bucket naming because it will be part of the S3 bucket name.

When the stack is created successfully, the URLs for the test website and status website appear in the Outputs section, as shown here:

Conclusion

In this post, I showed how you can use AWS CodePipeline, AWS CodeBuild, AWS Lambda, and a manual approval process to create a continuous delivery pipeline for serverless automated UI testing. Websites running on Amazon EC2 instances or AWS Elastic Beanstalk can also be tested using similar approach.


About the author

Prakash Palanisamy is a Solutions Architect for Amazon Web Services. When he is not working on Serverless, DevOps or Alexa, he will be solving problems in Project Euler. He also enjoys watching educational documentaries.