Tag Archives: AWS Lambda

Using AWS X-Ray tracing with Amazon EventBridge

Post Syndicated from James Beswick original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/using-aws-x-ray-tracing-with-amazon-eventbridge/

AWS X-Ray allows developers to debug and analyze distributed applications. It can be useful for tracing transactions through microservices architectures, such as those typically used in serverless applications. Amazon EventBridge allows you to route events between AWS services, integrated software as a service (SaaS) applications, and your own applications. EventBridge can help decouple applications and produce more extensible, maintainable architectures.

EventBridge now supports trace context propagation for X-Ray, which makes it easier to trace transactions through event-based architectures. This means you can potentially trace a single request from an event producer through to final processing by an event consumer. These may be decoupled application stacks where the consumer has no knowledge of how the event is produced.

This blog post explores how to use X-Ray with EventBridge and shows how to implement tracing using the example application in this GitHub repo.

How it works

X-Ray works by adding a trace header to requests, which acts as a unique identifier. In the case of a serverless application using multiple AWS services, this allows X-Ray to group service interactions together as a single trace. X-Ray can then produce a service map of the transaction flow or provide the raw data for a trace:

X-Ray service map

When you send events to EventBridge, the service uses rules to determine how the events are routed from the event bus to targets. Any event that is put on an event bus with the PutEvents API can now support trace context propagation.

The trace header is provided as internal metadata to support X-Ray tracing. The header itself is not available in the event when it’s delivered to a target. For developers using the EventBridge archive feature, this means that a trace ID is not available for replay. Similarly, it’s not available on events sent to a dead-letter queue (DLQ).

Enabling tracing with EventBridge

To enable tracing, you don’t need to change the event structure to add the trace header. Instead, you wrap the AWS SDK client in a call to AWSXRay.captureAWSClient and grant IAM permissions to allow tracing. This enables X-Ray to instrument the call automatically with the X-Amzn-Trace-Id header.

For code using the AWS SDK for JavaScript, this requires changes to the way that the EventBridge client is instantiated. Without tracing, you declare the AWS SDK and EventBridge client with:

const AWS = require('aws-sdk')
const eventBridge = new AWS.EventBridge()

To use tracing, this becomes:

const AWSXRay = require('aws-xray-sdk')
const AWS = AWSXRay.captureAWS(require('aws-sdk'))
const eventBridge = new AWS.EventBridge()

The interaction with the EventBridge client remains the same but the calls are now instrumented by X-Ray. Events are put on the event bus programmatically using a PutEvents API call. In a Node.js Lambda function, the following code processes an event to send to an event bus, with tracing enabled:

const AWSXRay = require('aws-xray-sdk')
const AWS = AWSXRay.captureAWS(require('aws-sdk'))
const eventBridge = new AWS.EventBridge()

exports.handler = async (event) => {

  let myDetail = { "name": "Alice" }

  const myEvent = { 
    Entries: [{
      Detail: JSON.stringify({ myDetail }),
      DetailType: 'myDetailType',
      Source: 'myApplication',
      Time: new Date
    }]
  }

  // Send to EventBridge
  const result = await eventBridge.putEvents(myEvent).promise()

  // Log the result
  console.log('Result: ', JSON.stringify(result, null, 2))
}

You can also define a custom tracing header using the new TraceHeader attribute on the PutEventsRequestEntry API model. The unique value you provide overrides any trace header on the HTTP header. The value is also validated by X-Ray and discarded if it does not pass validation. See the X-Ray Developer Guide to learn about generating valid trace headers.

Deploying the example application

The example application consists of a webhook microservice that publishes events and target microservices that consume events. The generated event contains a target attribute to determine which target receives the event:

Example application architecture

To deploy these microservices, you must have the AWS SAM CLI and Node.js 12.x installed. to To complete the deployment, follow the instructions in the GitHub repo.

EventBridge can route events to a broad range of target services in AWS. Targets that support active tracing for X-Ray can create comprehensive traces from the event source. The services offering active tracing are AWS Lambda, AWS Step Functions, and Amazon API Gateway. In each case, you can trace a request from the producer to the consumer of the event.

The GitHub repo contains examples showing how to use active tracing with EventBridge targets. The webhook application uses a query string parameter called target to determine which events are routed to these targets.

For X-Ray to detect each service in the webhook, tracing must be enabled on both the API Gateway stage and the Lambda function. In the AWS SAM template, the Tracing: Active property turns on active tracing for the Lambda function. If an IAM role is not specified, the AWS SAM CLI automatically adds the arn:aws:iam::aws:policy/AWSXrayWriteOnlyAccess policy to the Lambda function’s execution role. For the API definition, adding TracingEnabled: True enables tracing for this API stage.

When you invoke the webhook’s API endpoint, X-Ray generates a trace map of the request, showing each of the services from the REST API call to putting the event on the bus:

X-Ray trace map with EventBridge

The CloudWatch Logs from the webhook’s Lambda function shows the event that has been put on the event bus:

CloudWatch Logs from a webhook

Tracing with a Lambda target

In the targets-lambda example application, the Lambda function uses the X-Ray SDK and has active tracing enabled in the AWS SAM template:

Resources:
  ConsumerFunction:
    Type: AWS::Serverless::Function
    Properties:
      CodeUri: src/
      Handler: app.handler
      MemorySize: 128
      Timeout: 3
      Runtime: nodejs12.x
      Tracing: Active

With these two changes, the target Lambda function propagates the tracing header from the original webhook request. When the webhook API is invoked, the X-Ray trace map shows the entire request through to the Lambda target. X-Ray shows two nodes for Lambda – one is the Lambda service and the other is the Lambda function invocation:

Downstream service node in service map

Tracing with an API Gateway target

Currently, active tracing is only supported by REST APIs but not HTTP APIs. You can enable X-Ray tracing from the AWS CLI or from the Stages menu in the API Gateway console, in the Logs/Tracing tab:

Enable X-Ray tracing in API Gateway

You cannot currently create an API Gateway target for EventBridge using AWS SAM. To invoke an API endpoint from the EventBridge console, create a rule and select the API as a target. The console automatically creates the necessary IAM permissions for EventBridge to invoke the endpoint.

Setting API Gateway as an EventBridge target

If the API invokes downstream services with active tracing available, these services also appear as nodes in the X-Ray service graph. Using the webhook application to invoke the API Gateway target, the trace shows the entire request from the initial API call through to the second API target:

API Gateway node in X-Ray service map

Tracing with a Step Functions target

To enable tracing for a Step Functions target, the state machine must have tracing enabled and have permissions to write to X-Ray. The AWS SAM template can enable tracing, define the EventBridge rule and the AWSXRayDaemonWriteAccess policy in one resource:

  WorkFlowStepFunctions:
    Type: AWS::Serverless::StateMachine
    Properties:
      DefinitionUri: definition.asl.json
      DefinitionSubstitutions:
        LoggerFunctionArn: !GetAtt LoggerFunction.Arn
      Tracing:
        Enabled: True
      Events:
        UploadComplete:
          Type: EventBridgeRule
          Properties:
            Pattern:
              account: 
                - !Sub '${AWS::AccountId}'
              source:
                - !Ref EventSource
              detail:
                apiEvent:
                  target:
                    - 'sfn'

      Policies: 
        - AWSXRayDaemonWriteAccess
        - LambdaInvokePolicy:
            FunctionName: !Ref LoggerFunction

If the state machine uses services that support active tracing, these also appear in the trace map for individual requests. Using the webhook to invoke this target, X-Ray now shows the request trace to the state machine and the Lambda function it contains:

Step Functions in X-Ray service map

Adding X-Ray tracing to existing Lambda targets

To wrap the SDK client, you must enable active tracing and include the AWS X-Ray SDK in the Lambda function’s deployment package. Unlike the AWS SDK, the X-Ray SDK is not included in the Lambda execution environment.

Another option is to include the X-Ray SDK as a Lambda layer. You can build this layer by following the instructions in the GitHub repo. Once deployed, you can attach the X-Ray layer to any Lambda function either via the console or the CLI:

Adding X-Ray tracing a Lambda function

To learn more about using Lambda layers, read “Using Lambda layers to simplify your development process”.

Conclusion

X-Ray is a powerful tool for providing observability in serverless applications. With the launch of X-Ray trace context propagation in EventBridge, this allows you to trace requests across distributed applications more easily.

In this blog post, I walk through an example webhook application with three targets that support active tracing. In each case, I show how to enable tracing either via the console or using AWS SAM and show the resulting X-Ray trace map.

To learn more about how to use tracing with events, read the X-Ray Developer Guide or see the Amazon EventBridge documentation for this feature.

For more serverless learning resources, visit Serverless Land.

Caching data and configuration settings with AWS Lambda extensions

Post Syndicated from Julian Wood original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/caching-data-and-configuration-settings-with-aws-lambda-extensions/

This post is written by Hari Ohm Prasath Rajagopal, Senior Modernization Architect and Vamsi Vikash Ankam, Technical Account Manager

In this post, I show how to build a flexible in-memory AWS Lambda caching layer using Lambda extensions. Lambda functions use REST API calls to access the data and configuration from the cache. This can reduce latency and cost when consuming data from AWS services such as Amazon DynamoDB, AWS Systems Manager Parameter Store, and AWS Secrets Manager.

Applications making frequent API calls to retrieve static data can benefit from a caching layer. This can reduce the function’s latency, particularly for synchronous requests, as the data is retrieved from the cache instead of an external service. The cache can also reduce costs by reducing the number of calls to downstream services.

There are two types of cache to consider in this situation:

Lambda extensions are a new way for tools to integrate more easily into the Lambda execution environment and control and participate in Lambda’s lifecycle. They use the Extensions API, a new HTTP interface, to register for lifecycle events during function initialization, invocation, and shutdown.

They can also use environment variables to add options and tools to the runtime, or use wrapper scripts to customize the runtime startup behavior. The Lambda cache uses Lambda extensions to run as a separate process.

To learn more about how to use extensions with your functions, read “Introducing AWS Lambda extensions”.

Creating a cache using Lambda extensions

To set up the example, visit the GitHub repo, and follow the instructions in the README.md file.

The demo uses AWS Serverless Application Model (AWS SAM) to deploy the infrastructure. The walkthrough requires AWS SAM CLI (minimum version 0.48) and an AWS account.

To install the example:

  1. Create an AWS account if you do not already have one and login.
  2. Clone the repo to your local development machine:
  3. git clone https://github.com/aws-samples/aws-lambda-extensions
    cd aws-lambda-extensions/cache-extension-demo/
  4. If you are not running in a Linux environment, ensure that your build architecture matches the Lambda execution environment by compiling with GOOS=linux and GOARCH=amd64.
  5. GOOS=linux GOARCH=amd64
  6. Build the Go binary extension with the following command:
  7. go build -o bin/extensions/cache-extension-demo main.go
  8. Ensure that the extensions files are executable:
  9. chmod +x bin/extensions/cache-extension-demo
  10. Update the parameters region value in ../example-function/config.yaml with the Region where you are deploying the function.
  11. parameters:
      - region: us-west-2
  12. Build the function dependencies.
  13. cd SAM
    sam build
    AWS SAM build

    AWS SAM build

  14. Deploy the AWS resources specified in the template.yml file:
  15. sam deploy --guided
  16. During the prompts:
  17. Enter a stack name cache-extension-demo.
  18. Enter the same AWS Region specified previously.
  19. Accept the default DatabaseName. You can specify a custom database name, and also update the ../example-function/config.yaml and index.js files with the new database name.
  20. Enter MySecret as the Secrets Manager secret.
  21. Accept the defaults for the remaining questions.
  22. AWS SAM Deploy

    AWS SAM Deploy

    AWS SAM deploys:

    • A DynamoDB table.
    • The Lambda function ExtensionsCache-DatabaseEntry, which puts a sample item into the DynamoDB table.
    • An AWS Systems Manager Parameter Store parameter called CacheExtensions_Parameter1 with a value of MyParameter.
    • An AWS Secrets Manager secret called secret_info with a value of MySecret.
    • A Lambda layer called Cache_Extension_Layer.
    • A Lambda function using Nodejs.12 called ExtensionsCache-SampleFunction. This reads the cached values via the extension from either the DynamoDB table, Parameter Store, or Secrets Manager.
    • IAM permissions

    The cache extension is delivered as a Lambda layer and added to ExtensionsCache-SampleFunction.

    It is written as a self-contained binary in Golang, which makes the extension compatible with all of the supported runtimes. The extension caches the data from DynamoDB, Parameter Store, and Secrets Manager, and then runs a local HTTP endpoint to service the data. The Lambda function retrieves the configuration data from the cache using a local HTTP REST API call.

    Here is the architecture diagram.

    Extensions cache architecture diagram

    Extensions cache architecture diagram

    Once deployed, the extension performs the following steps:

    1. On start-up, the extension reads the config.yaml file, which determines which resources to cache. The file is deployed as part of the Lambda function.
    2. The boolean CACHE_EXTENSION_INIT_STARTUP Lambda environment variable specifies whether to load into cache the items specified in config.yaml. If false, the extension initializes an empty map with the names.
    3. The extension retrieves the required data based on the resources in the config.yaml file. This includes the data from DynamoDB, the configuration from Parameter Store, and the secret from Secrets Manager. The data is stored in memory.
    4. The extension starts a local HTTP server using TCP port 4000, which serves the cache items to the function. The Lambda function accesses the local in-memory cache by invoking the following endpoint: http://localhost:4000/<cachetype>?name=<name>.
    5. If the data is not available in the cache, or has expired, the extension accesses the corresponding AWS service to retrieve the data. It is cached first and then returned to the Lambda function. The CACHE_EXTENSION_TTL Lambda environment variable defines the refresh interval (defined based on Go time format, for example: 30s, 3m, etc.)

    This sequence diagram explains the data flow:

    Extensions cache sequence diagram

    Extensions cache sequence diagram

    Testing the example application

    Once the AWS SAM template is deployed, navigate to the AWS Lambda console.

    1. Select the function starting with the name ExtensionsCache-SampleFunction. Within the function code, the options array specifies which data to return from the cache. This is initially set to path: '/dynamodb?name=DynamoDbTable-pKey1-sKey1'
    2. Choose Configure test events to configure a test event.
    3. Enter a name for the Event name, accept the default payload, and select Create.
    4. Select Test to invoke the function. This returns the cached data from DynamoDB and logs the output.
    5. Successfully retrieve DynamoDB data from cache

      Successfully retrieve DynamoDB data from cache

    6. In the index.js file, amend the path statement to retrieve the Parameter Store configuration:
    7. const options = {
        "hostname": "localhost",
        "port": 4000,
        "path": "/parameters?name=CacheExtensions_Parameter1",
        "method": "GET"
      }
    8. Select Deploy to save the function configuration and select Test. The function returns the Parameter Store configuration item:
    9. Successfully retrieve Parameter Store data from cache

      Successfully retrieve Parameter Store data from cache

    10. In the function code, amend the path statement to retrieve the Secrets Manager secret:
    11. const options = {
        "hostname": "localhost",
        "port": 4000,
        "path": "/parameters?name=/aws/reference/secretsmanager/secret_info",
        "method": "GET"
      }
    12. Select Deploy to save the function configuration and select Test. The function returns the secret:
    Successfully retrieve Secrets Manager data from cache

    Successfully retrieve Secrets Manager data from cache

    The benefits of using Lambda extensions

    There are a number of benefits to using a Lambda extension for this solution:

    1. Improved Lambda function performance as data is cached in memory by the extension during initialization.
    2. Fewer AWS API calls to external services, this can reduce costs and helps avoid throttling limits if services are accessed frequently.
    3. Cache data is stored in memory and not in a file within the Lambda execution environment. This means that no additional process is required to manage the lifecycle of the file. In-memory is also more secure, as data is not persisted to disk for subsequent function invocations.
    4. The function requires less code, as it only needs to communicate with the extension via HTTP to retrieve the data. The function does not have to have additional libraries installed to communicate with DynamoDB, Parameter Store, Secrets Manager, or the local file system.
    5. The cache extension is a Golang compiled binary and the executable can be shared with functions running other runtimes like Node.js, Python, Java, etc.
    6. Using a YAML template to store the details of what to cache makes it easier to configure and add additional services.

    Comparing the performance benefit

    To test the performance of the cache extension, I compare two tests:

    1. A Golang Lambda function that accesses a secret from AWS Secrets Manager for every invocation.
    2. The ExtensionsCache-SampleFunction, previously deployed using AWS SAM. This uses the cache extension to access the secrets from Secrets Manager, the function reads the value from the cache.

    Both functions are configured with 512 MB of memory and the function timeout is set to 30 seconds.

    I use Artillery to load test both Lambda functions. The load runs for 100 invocations over 2 minutes. I use Amazon CloudWatch metrics to view the function average durations.

    Test 1 shows a duration of 43 ms for the first invocation as a cold start. Subsequent invocations average 22 ms.

    Test 1 performance results

    Test 1 performance results

    Test 2 shows a duration of 16 ms for the first invocation as a cold start. Subsequent invocations average 3 ms.

    Test 2 performance results

    Test 2 performance results

    Using the Lambda extensions caching layer shows a significant performance improvement. Cold start invocation duration is reduced by 62% and subsequent invocations by 80%.

    In this example, the CACHE_EXTENSION_INIT_STARTUP environment variable flag is not configured. With the flag enabled for the extension, data is pre-fetched during extension initialization and the cold start time is further reduced.

    Conclusion

    Using Lambda extensions is an effective way to cache static data from external services in Lambda functions. This reduces function latency and costs. This post shows how to build both a data and configuration cache using DynamoDB, Parameter Store, and Secrets Manager.

    To set up the walkthrough demo in this post, visit the GitHub repo, and follow the instructions in the README.md file.

    The extension uses a local configuration file to determine which values to cache, and retrieves the items from the external services. A Lambda function retrieves the values from the local cache using an HTTP request, without having to communicate with the external services directly. In this example, this results in an 80% reduction in function invocation time.

    For more serverless learning resources, visit https://serverlessland.com.

Operating Lambda: Building a solid security foundation – Part 2

Post Syndicated from James Beswick original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/operating-lambda-building-a-solid-security-foundation-part-2/

In the Operating Lambda series, I cover important topics for developers, architects, and systems administrators who are managing AWS Lambda-based applications. This two-part series discusses core security concepts for Lambda-based applications.

Part 1 explains the Lambda execution environment and how to apply the principles of least privilege to your workload. This post covers securing workloads with public endpoints, encrypting data, and using AWS CloudTrail for governance, compliance, and operational auditing.

Securing workloads with public endpoints

For workloads that are accessible publicly, AWS provides a number of features and services that can help mitigate certain risks. This section covers authentication and authorization of application users and protecting API endpoints.

Authentication and authorization

Authentication relates to identity and authorization refers to actions. Use authentication to control who can invoke a Lambda function, and then use authorization to control what they can do. For many applications, AWS Identity & Access Management (IAM) is sufficient for managing both control mechanisms.

For applications with external users, such as web or mobile applications, it is common to use JSON Web Tokens (JWTs) to manage authentication and authorization. Unlike traditional, server-based password management, JWTs are passed from the client on every request. They are a cryptographically secure way to verify identity and claims using data passed from the client. For Lambda-based applications, this allows you to secure APIs for each microservice independently, without relying on a central server for authentication.

You can implement JWTs with Amazon Cognito, which is a user directory service that can handle registration, authentication, account recovery, and other common account management operations. For frontend development, Amplify Framework provides libraries to simplify integrating Cognito into your frontend application. You can also use third-party partner services like Auth0.

Given the critical security role of an identity provider service, it’s important to use professional tooling to safeguard your application. It’s not recommended that you write your own services to handle authentication or authorization. Any vulnerabilities in custom libraries may have significant implications for the security of your workload and its data.

Protecting API endpoints

For serverless applications, the preferred way to serve a backend application publicly is to use Amazon API Gateway. This can help you protect an API from malicious users or spikes in traffic.

For authenticated API routes, API Gateway offers both REST APIs and HTTP APIs for serverless developers. Both types support authorization using AWS Lambda, IAM or Amazon Cognito. When using IAM or Amazon Cognito, incoming requests are evaluated and if they are missing a required token or contain invalid authentication, the request is rejected. You are not charged for these requests and they do not count towards any throttling quotas.

Unauthenticated API routes may be accessed by anyone on the public internet so it’s recommended that you limit their use. If you must use unauthenticated APIs, it’s important to protect these against common risks, such as denial-of-service (DoS) attacks. Applying AWS WAF to these APIs can help protect your application from SQL injection and cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks. API Gateway also implements throttling at the AWS account-level and per-client level when API keys are used.

In some cases, the functionality provided by an unauthenticated API can be achieved with an alternative approach. For example, a web application may provide a list of customer retail stores from an Amazon DynamoDB table to users who are not logged in. This request may originate from a frontend web application or from any other source that calls the URL endpoint. This diagram compares three solutions:

Solutions for an unauthenticated API

  1. The unauthenticated API can be called by anyone on the internet. In a denial of service attack, it’s possible to exhaust API throttling limits, Lambda concurrency, or DynamoDB provisioned read capacity on an underlying table.
  2. An Amazon CloudFront distribution in front of the API endpoint with an appropriate time-to-live (TTL) configuration may help absorb traffic in a DoS attack, without changing the underlying solution for fetching the data.
  3. Alternatively, for static data that rarely changes, the CloudFront distribution could serve the data from an S3 bucket.

The AWS Well-Architected Tool provides a Serverless Lens that analyzes the security posture of serverless workloads.

Encrypting data in Lambda-based applications

Managing secrets

For applications handling sensitive data, AWS services provide a range of encryption options for data in transit and at rest. It’s important to identity and classify sensitive data in your workload, and minimize the storage of sensitive data to only what is necessary.

When protecting data at rest, use AWS services for key management and encryption of stored data, secrets and environment variables. Both the AWS Key Management Service and AWS Secrets Manager provide a robust approach to storing and managing secrets used in Lambda functions.

Do not store plaintext secrets or API keys in Lambda environment variables. Instead, use KMS to encrypt environment variables. Also ensure you do not embed secrets directly in function code, or commit these secrets to code repositories.

Using HTTPS securely

HTTPS is encrypted HTTP, using TLS (SSL) to encrypt the request and response, including headers and query parameters. While query parameters are encrypted, URLs may be logged by different services in plaintext, so you should not use these to store sensitive data such as credit card numbers.

AWS services make it easier to use HTTPS throughout your application and it is provided by default in services like API Gateway. Where you need an SSL/TLS certificate in your application, to support features like custom domain names, it’s recommended that you use AWS Certificate Manager (ACM). This provides free public certificates for ACM-integrated services and managed certificate renewal.

Governance controls with AWS CloudTrail

For compliance and operational auditing of application usage, AWS CloudTrail logs activity related to your AWS account usage. It tracks resource changes and usage, and provides analysis and troubleshooting tools. Enabling CloudTrail does not have any negative performance implications for your Lambda-based application, since the logging occurs asynchronously.

Separate from application logging (see chapter 4), CloudTrail captures two types of events:

  • Control plane: These events apply to management operations performed on any AWS resources. Individual trails can be configured to capture read or write events, or both.
  • Data plane: Events performed on the resources, such as when a Lambda function is invoked or an S3 object is downloaded.

For Lambda, you can log who creates and invokes functions, together with any changes to IAM roles. You can configure CloudTrail to log every single activity by user, role, service, and API within an AWS account. The service is critical for understanding the history of changes made to your account and also detecting any unintended changes or suspicious activity.

To research which AWS user interacted with a Lambda function, CloudTrail provides an audit log to find this information. For example, when a new permission is added to a Lambda function, it creates an AddPermission record. You can interpret the meaning of individual attributes in the JSON message by referring to the CloudTrail Record Contents documentation.

CloudTrail Record Contents documentation

CloudTrail data is considered sensitive so it’s recommended that you protect it with KMS encryption. For any service processing encrypted CloudTrail data, it must use an IAM policy with kms:Decrypt permission.

By integrating CloudTrail with Amazon EventBridge, you can create alerts in response to certain activities and respond accordingly. With these two services, you can quickly implement an automated detection and response pattern, enabling you to develop mechanisms to mitigate security risks. With EventBridge, you can analyze data in real-time, using event rules to filter events and forward to targets like Lambda functions or Amazon Kinesis streams.

CloudTrail can deliver data to Amazon CloudWatch Logs, which allows you to process multi-Region data in real time from one location. You can also deliver CloudTrail to Amazon S3 buckets, where you can create event source mappings to start data processing pipelines, run queries with Amazon Athena, or analyze activity with Amazon Macie.

If you use multiple AWS accounts, you can use AWS Organizations to manage and govern individual member accounts centrally. You can set an existing trail as an organization-level trail in a primary account that can collect events from all other member accounts. This can simplify applying consistent auditing rules across a large set of existing accounts, or automatically apply rules to new accounts. To learn more about this feature, see Creating a Trail for an Organization.

Conclusion

In this blog post, I explain how to secure workloads with public endpoints and the different authentication and authorization options available. I also show different approaches to exposing APIs publicly.

CloudTrail can provide compliance and operational auditing for Lambda usage. It provides logs for both the control plane and data plane. You can integrate CloudTrail with EventBridge to create alerts in response to certain activities. Customers with multiple AWS accounts can use AWS Organizations to manage trails centrally.

For more serverless learning resources, visit Serverless Land.

Building a serverless multi-player game that scales

Post Syndicated from James Beswick original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/building-a-serverless-multiplayer-game-that-scales/

This post is written by Tim Bruce, Sr. Solutions Architect, Developer Acceleration.

Game development is a highly iterative process with rapidly changing requirements. Many game developers want to maximize the time spent building features and less time configuring servers, managing infrastructure, and mastering scale.

AWS Serverless provides four key benefits for customers. First, it can help move from idea to market faster, by reducing operational overhead. Second, customers may realize lower costs with serverless by not over-provisioning hardware and software to operate. Third, serverless scales with user activity. Finally, serverless services provide built-in integration, allowing you to focus on your game instead of connecting pieces together.

For AWS Gaming customers, these benefits allow your teams to spend more time focusing on gameplay and content, instead of undifferentiated tasks such as setting up and maintaining servers and software. This can result in better gameplay and content, and a faster time-to-market.

This blog post introduces a game with a serverless-first architecture. Simple Trivia Service is a web-based game showing architectural patterns that you can apply in your own games.

Introducing the Simple Trivia Service

The Simple Trivia Service offers single- and multi-player trivia games with content created by players. There are many features in Simple Trivia Service found in games, such as user registration, chat, content creation, leaderboards, game play, and a marketplace.

Simple Trivia Service UI

Authenticated players can chat with other players, create and manage quizzes, and update their profile. They can play single- and multi-player quizzes, host quizzes, and buy and sell quizzes on the marketplace. The single- and multi-player game modes show how games with different connectivity and technical requirements can be delivered with serverless first architectures. The game modes and architecture solutions are covered in the Simple Trivia Service backend architecture section.

Simple Trivia Service front end

The Simple Trivia Service front end is a Vue.js single page application (SPA) that accesses backend services. The SPA app, accessed via a web browser, allows users to make requests to the game endpoints using HTTPS, secure WebSockets, and WebSockets over MQTT. These requests use integrations to access the serverless backend services.

Vue.js helps make this reference architecture more accessible. The front end uses AWS Amplify to build, deploy, and host the SPA without the need to provision and manage any resources.

Simple Trivia Service backend architecture

The backend architecture for Simple Trivia Service is defined in a set of AWS Serverless Application Model (AWS SAM) templates for portions of the game. A deployment guide is included in the README.md file in the GitHub repository. Here is a visual depiction of the backend architecture.

Reference architecture

Services used

Simple Trivia Service is built using AWS Lambda, Amazon API Gateway, AWS IoT, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS), AWS Step Functions, Amazon Kinesis, Amazon S3, Amazon Athena, and Amazon Cognito:

  • Lambda enables serverless microservice features in Simple Trivia Service.
  • API Gateway provides serverless endpoints for HTTP/RESTful and WebSocket communication while IoT delivers a serverless endpoint for WebSockets over MQTT communication.
  • DynamoDB enables data storage and retrieval for internet-scale applications.
  • SNS provides microservice communications via publish/subscribe functionality.
  • Step Functions coordinates complex tasks to ensure appropriate outcomes.
  • Analytics for Simple Trivia Service are delivered via Kinesis and S3 with Athena providing a query/visualization capability.
  • Amazon Cognito provides secure, standards-based login and a user directory.

Two managed services that are not serverless, Amazon VPC NAT Gateway and Amazon ElastiCache for Redis, are also used. VPC NAT Gateway is required by VPC-enabled Lambda functions to reach services outside of the VPC, such as DynamoDB. ElastiCache provides an in-memory database suited for applications with submillisecond latency requirements.

User security and enabling communications to backend services

Players are required to register and log in before playing. Registration and login credentials are sent to Amazon Cognito using the Secure Remote Password protocol. Upon successfully logging in, Amazon Cognito returns a JSON Web Token (JWT) and an Amazon Cognito user session.

The JWT is included within requests to API Gateway, which validates the token before allowing the request to be forwarded to Lambda.

IoT requires additional security for users by using an AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) policy. A policy attached to the Amazon Cognito user allows the player to connect, subscribe, and send messages to the IoT endpoint.

Game types and supporting architectures

Simple Trivia Service’s three game modes define how players interact with the backend services. These modes align to different architectures used within the game.

“Single Player” quiz architecture

“Single Player” quiz architecture

Single player quizzes have simple rules, short play sessions, and appeal to wide audiences. Single player game communication is player-to-endpoint only. This is accomplished with API Gateway via an HTTP API.

Four Lambda functions (ActiveGamesList, GamePlay, GameAnswer, and LeaderboardGet) enable single player games. These functions are integrated with API Gateway and respond to specific requests from the client. API Gateway forwards the request, including URI, body, and query string, to the appropriate Lambda function.

When a player chooses “Play”, a request is sent to API Gateway, which invokes the ActiveGamesList function. This function queries the ActiveGames DynamoDB table and returns the list of active games to the user.

The player selects a game, resulting in another request triggering the GamePlay function. GamePlay retrieves the game’s questions from the GamesDetail DynamoDB table. The front end maintains the state for the user during the game.

When all questions are answered, the SPA sends the player’s responses to API Gateway, invoking the GameAnswer function. This function scores the player’s responses against the GameDetails table. The score and answers are sent to the user.

Additionally, this function sends the player score for the leaderboard and player experience to two SNS topics (LeaderboardTopic and PlayerProgressTopic). The ScorePut and PlayerProgressPut functions subscribe to these topics. These two functions write the details to the Leaderboard and Player Progress DynamoDB tables.

This architecture processes these two actions asynchronously, resulting in the player receiving their score and answers without having to wait. This also allows for increased security for player progress, as only the PlayerProgressPut function is allowed to write to this table.

Finally, the player can view the game’s leaderboard, which is returned to the player as the response to the GetLeaderboard function. The function retrieves the top 10 scores and the current player’s score from the Leaderboard table.

“Multi-player – Casual and Competitive” architecture

“Multiplayer – Casual and Competitive” architecture

These game types require player-to-player and service-to-player communication. This is typically performed using TCP/UDP sockets or the WebSocket protocol. API Gateway WebSockets provides WebSocket communication and enables Lambda functions to send messages to and receive messages from game hosts and players.

Game hosts start games via the “Host” button, messaging the LiveAdmin function via API Gateway. The function adds the game to the LiveGames table, which allows players to find and join the game. A list of questions for the game is sent to the game host from the LiveAdmin function at this time. Additionally, the game host is added to the GameConnections table, which keeps track of which connections are related to a game. Players, via the LivePlayer function, are also added to this table when they join a game.

The game host client manages the state of the game for all players and controls the flow of the game, sending questions, correct answers, and leaderboards to players via API Gateway and the LiveAdmin function. The function only sends game messages to the players in the GameConnections table. Player answers are sent to the host via the LivePlayer function.

To end the game, the game host sends a message with the final leaderboard to all players via the LiveAdmin function. This function also stores the leaderboard in the Leaderboard table, removes the game from the ActiveGames table, and sends player progression messages to the Player Progress topic.

“Multi-player – Live Scoreboard” architecture

“Multiplayer – Live Scoreboard” architecture

This is an extension of other multi-player game types requiring similar communications. This uses IoT with WebSockets over MQTT as the transport. It enables the client to subscribe to a topic and act on messages it receives. IoT manages routing messages to clients based on their subscriptions.

This architecture moves the state management from the game host client to a data store on the backend. This change requires a database that can respond quickly to user actions. Simple Trivia Service uses ElastiCache for Redis for this database. Game questions, player responses, and the leaderboard are all stored and updated in Redis during the quiz. The ElastiCache instance is blocked from internet traffic by placing it in a VPC. A security group configures access for the Lambda functions in the same VPC.

Game hosts for this type of game start the game by hosting it, which sends a message to IoT, triggering the CacheGame function. This function adds the game to the ActiveGames table and caches the quiz details from DynamoDB into Redis. Players join the game by sending a message, which is delivered to the JoinGame function. This adds the user record to Redis and alerts the game host that a player has joined.

Game hosts can send questions to the players via a message that invokes the AskQuestion function. This function updates the current question number in Redis and sends the question to subscribed players via the AskQuestion function. The ReceiveAnswer function processes player responses. It validates the response, stores it in Redis, updates the scoreboard, and replies to all players with the updated scoreboard after the first correct answer. The game scoreboard is updated for players in real time.

When the game is over, the game host sends a message to the EndGame function via IoT. This function writes the game leaderboard to the Leaderboard table, sends player progress to the Player Progress SNS topic, deletes the game from cache, and removes the game from the ActiveGames table.

Conclusion

This post introduces the Simple Trivia Service, a single- and multi-player game built using a serverless-first architecture on AWS. I cover different solutions that you can use to enable connectivity from your game client to a serverless-first backend for both single- and multi-player games. I also include a walkthrough of the architecture for each of these solutions.

You can deploy the code for this solution to your own AWS account via instructions in the Simple Trivia Service GitHub repository.

For more serverless learning resources, visit Serverless Land.

Operating Lambda: Building a solid security foundation – Part 1

Post Syndicated from James Beswick original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/operating-lambda-building-a-solid-security-foundation-part-1/

In the Operating Lambda series, I cover important topics for developers, architects, and systems administrators who are managing AWS Lambda-based applications. This two-part series discusses core security concepts for Lambda-based applications.

In the AWS Cloud, the most important foundational security principle is the shared responsibility model. This broadly shares security responsibilities between AWS and our customers. AWS is responsible for “security of the cloud”, such as the underlying physical infrastructure and facilities providing the services. Customers are responsible for “security in the cloud”, which includes applying security best practices, controlling access, and taking measures to protect data.

One of the main reasons for the popularity of Lambda-based applications is that AWS manages even more of the security operations compared with traditional cloud-based compute. For example, Lambda customers using zip file deployments do not need to patch underlying operating systems or apply security patches – these tasks are managed automatically by the Lambda service.

This post explains the Lambda execution environment and mechanisms used by the service to protect customer data. It also covers applying the principles of least privilege to your application and what this means in terms of permissions and Lambda function scope.

Understanding the Lambda execution environment

When your functions are invoked, the Lambda service runs your code inside an execution environment. Lambda scrubs the memory before it is assigned to an execution environment. Execution environments are run on hardware virtualized virtual machines (MicroVMs) which are dedicated to a single AWS account. Execution environments are never shared across functions and MicroVMs are never shared across AWS accounts. This is the isolation model for the Lambda service:

Isolation model for the Lambda service

A single execution environment may be reused by subsequent function invocations. This helps improve performance since it reduces the time taken to prepare and environment. Within your code, you can take advantage of this behavior to improve performance further, by caching locally within the function or reusing long-lived connections. All of these invocations are handled by a single process, so any process-wide state (such as static state in Java) is available across all invocations within the same execution environment.

There is also a local file system available at /tmp for all Lambda functions. This is local to each function but shared across invocations within the same execution environment. If your function must access large libraries or files, these can be downloaded here first and then used by all subsequent invocations. This mechanism provides a way to amortize the cost and time of downloading this data across multiple invocations.

While data is never shared across AWS customers, it is possible for data from one Lambda function to be shared with another invocation of the same function instance. This can be useful for caching common values or sharing libraries. However, if you have information only intended for a single invocation, you should:

  • Ensure that data is only used in a local variable scope.
  • Delete any /tmp files before exiting, and use a UUID name to prevent different instances from accessing the same temporary files.
  • Ensure that any callbacks are complete before exiting.

For applications requiring the highest levels of security, you may also implement your own memory encryption and wiping process before a function exits. At the function level, the Lambda service does not inspect or scan your code. Many of the best practices in security for software development continue to apply in serverless software development.

The security posture of an application is determined by the use-case but developers should always take precautions against common risks such as misconfiguration, injection flaws, and handling user input. Developers should be familiar with common security concepts and security risks, such as those listed in the OWASP Top 10 Web Application Security Risks and the OWASP Serverless Top 10. The use of static code analysis tools, unit tests, and regression tests are still valid in a serverless compute environment.

To learn more, read “Amazon Web Services: Overview of Security Processes”, “Compliance validation for AWS Lambda”, and “Security Overview of AWS Lambda”.

Applying the principles of least privilege

AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) is the service used to manage access to AWS services. Before using IAM, it’s important to review security best practices that apply across AWS, to ensure that your user accounts are secured appropriately.

Lambda is fully integrated with IAM, allowing you to control precisely what each Lambda function can do within the AWS Cloud. There are two important policies that define the scope of permissions in Lambda functions. The event source uses a resource policy that grants permission to invoke the Lambda function, whereas the Lambda service uses an execution role to constrain what the function is allowed to do. In many cases, the console configures both of these policies with default settings.

As you start to build Lambda-based applications with frameworks such as AWS SAM, you describe both policies in the application’s template.

Resource and execution role policy

By default, when you create a new Lambda function, a specific IAM role is created for only that function.

IAM role for a Lambda function

This role has permissions to create an Amazon CloudWatch log group in the current Region and AWS account, and create log streams and put events to those streams. The policy follows the principle of least privilege by scoping precise permissions to specific resources, AWS services, and accounts.

Developing least privilege IAM roles

As you develop a Lambda function, you expand the scope of this policy to enable access to other resources. For example, for a function that processes objects put into an Amazon S3 bucket, it requires read access to objects stored in that bucket. Do not grant the function broader permissions to write or delete data, or operate in other buckets.

Determining the exact permissions can be challenging, since IAM permissions are granular and they control access to both the data plane and control plane. The following references are useful for developing IAM policies:

One of the fastest ways to scope permissions appropriately is to use AWS SAM policy templates. You can reference these templates directly in the AWS SAM template for your application, providing custom parameters as required:

SAM policy templates

In this example, the S3CrudPolicy template provides full create, read, update, and delete permissions to one bucket, and the S3ReadPolicy template provides only read access to another bucket. AWS SAM named templates expand into more verbose AWS CloudFormation policy definitions that show how the principle of least privilege is applied. The S3ReadPolicy is defined as:

        "Statement": [
          {
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": [
              "s3:GetObject",
              "s3:ListBucket",
              "s3:GetBucketLocation",
              "s3:GetObjectVersion",
              "s3:GetLifecycleConfiguration"
            ],
            "Resource": [
              {
                "Fn::Sub": [
                  "arn:${AWS::Partition}:s3:::${bucketName}",
                  {
                    "bucketName": {
                      "Ref": "BucketName"
                    }
                  }
                ]
              },
              {
                "Fn::Sub": [
                  "arn:${AWS::Partition}:s3:::${bucketName}/*",
                  {
                    "bucketName": {
                      "Ref": "BucketName"
                    }
                  }
                ]
              }
            ]
          }
        ]

It includes the necessary, minimal permissions to retrieve the S3 object, including getting the bucket location, object version, and lifecycle configuration.

Access to CloudWatch Logs

To log output, Lambda roles must provide access to CloudWatch Logs. If you are building a policy manually, ensure that it includes:

{
    "Version": "2012-10-17",
    "Statement": [
        {
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": "logs:CreateLogGroup",
            "Resource": "arn:aws:logs:region:accountID:*"
        },
        {
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": [
                "logs:CreateLogStream",
                "logs:PutLogEvents"
            ],
            "Resource": [
                "arn:aws:logs:region:accountID:log-group:/aws/lambda/functionname:*"
            ]
        }
    ]
}

If the role is missing these permissions, the function still runs but it is unable to log any output to the CloudWatch service.

Avoiding wildcard permissions in IAM policies

The granularity of IAM permissions means that developers may choose to use overly broad permissions when they are testing or developing code.

IAM supports the “*” wildcard in both the resources and actions attributes, making it easier to select multiple matching items automatically. These may be useful when developing and testing functions in specific development AWS accounts with no access to production data. However, you should ensure that “star permissions” are never used in production environments.

Wildcard permissions grant broad permissions, often for many permissions or resources. Many AWS managed policies, such as AdministratorAccess, provide broad access intended only for user roles. Do not apply these policies to Lambda functions, since they do not specify individual resources.

In Application design and Service Quotas – Part 1, the section Using multiple AWS accounts for managing quotas shows a multiple account example. This approach provisions a separate AWS account for each developer in a team, and separates accounts for beta and production. This can help prevent developers from unintentionally transferring overly broad permissions to beta or production accounts.

For developers using the Serverless Framework, the Safeguards plugin is a policy-as-code framework to check deployed templates for compliance with security.

Specialized Lambda functions compared with all-purpose functions

In the post on Lambda design principles, I discuss architectural decisions in choosing between specialized functions and all-purpose functions. From a security perspective, it can be more difficult to apply the principles of least privilege to all-purpose functions. This is partly because of the broad capabilities of these functions and also because developers may grant overly broad permissions to these functions.

When building smaller, specialized functions with single tasks, it’s often easier to identify the specific resources and access requirements, and grant only those permissions. Additionally, since new features are usually implemented by new functions in this architectural design, you can specifically grant permissions in new IAM roles for these functions.

Avoid sharing IAM roles with multiple Lambda functions. As permissions are added to the role, these are shared across all functions using this role. By using one dedicated IAM role per function, you can control permissions more intentionally. Every Lambda function should have a 1:1 relationship with an IAM role. Even if some functions have the same policy initially, always separate the IAM roles to ensure least privilege policies.

To learn more, the series of posts for “Building well-architected serverless applications: Controlling serverless API access” – part 1, part 2, and part 3.

Conclusion

This post explains the Lambda execution environment and how the service protects customer data. It covers important steps you should take to prevent data leakage between invocations and provides additional security resources to review.

The principles of least privilege also apply to Lambda-based applications. I show how you can develop IAM policies and practices to ensure that IAM roles are scoped appropriately, and why you should avoid wildcard permissions. Finally, I explain why using smaller, specialized Lambda functions can help maintain least privilege.

Part 2 will discuss security workloads with public endpoints and how to use AWS CloudTrail for governance, compliance, and operational auditing of Lambda usage.

For more serverless learning resources, visit Serverless Land.

Scaling up a Serverless Web Crawler and Search Engine

Post Syndicated from Jack Stevenson original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/architecture/scaling-up-a-serverless-web-crawler-and-search-engine/

Introduction

Building a search engine can be a daunting undertaking. You must continually scrape the web and index its content so it can be retrieved quickly in response to a user’s query. The goal is to implement this in a way that avoids infrastructure complexity while remaining elastic. However, the architecture that achieves this is not necessarily obvious. In this blog post, we will describe a serverless search engine that can scale to crawl and index large web pages.

A simple search engine is composed of two main components:

  • A web crawler (or web scraper) to extract and store content from the web
  • An index to answer search queries

Web Crawler

You may have already read “Serverless Architecture for a Web Scraping Solution.” In this post, Dzidas reviews two different serverless architectures for a web scraper on AWS. Using AWS Lambda provides a simple and cost-effective option for crawling a website. However, it comes with a caveat: the Lambda timeout capped crawling time at 15 minutes. You can tackle this limitation and build a serverless web crawler that can scale to crawl larger portions of the web.

A typical web crawler algorithm uses a queue of URLs to visit. It performs the following:

  • It takes a URL off the queue
  • It visits the page at that URL
  • It scrapes any URLs it can find on the page
  • It pushes the ones that it hasn’t visited yet onto the queue
  • It repeats the preceding steps until the URL queue is empty

Even if we parallelize visiting URLs, we may still exceed the 15-minute limit for larger websites.

Breaking Down the Web Crawler Algorithm

AWS Step Functions is a serverless function orchestrator. It enables you to sequence one or more AWS Lambda functions to create a longer running workflow. It’s possible to break down this web crawler algorithm into steps that can be run in individual Lambda functions. The individual steps can then be composed into a state machine, orchestrated by AWS Step Functions.

Here is a possible state machine you can use to implement this web crawler algorithm:

Figure 1: Basic State Machine

Figure 1: Basic State Machine

1. ReadQueuedUrls – reads any non-visited URLs from our queue
2. QueueContainsUrls? – checks whether there are non-visited URLs remaining
3. CrawlPageAndQueueUrls – takes one URL off the queue, visits it, and writes any newly discovered URLs to the queue
4. CompleteCrawl – when there are no URLs in the queue, we’re done!

Each part of the algorithm can now be implemented as a separate Lambda function. Instead of the entire process being bound by the 15-minute timeout, this limit will now only apply to each individual step.

Where you might have previously used an in-memory queue, you now need a URL queue that will persist between steps. One option is to pass the queue around as an input and output of each step. However, you may be bound by the maximum I/O sizes for Step Functions. Instead, you can represent the queue as an Amazon DynamoDB table, which each Lambda function may read from or write to. The queue is only required for the duration of the crawl. So you can create the DynamoDB table at the start of the execution, and delete it once the crawler has finished.

Scaling up

Crawling one page at a time is going to be a bit slow. You can use the Step Functions “Map state” to run the CrawlPageAndQueueUrls to scrape multiple URLs at once. You should be careful not to bombard a website with thousands of parallel requests. Instead, you can take a fixed-size batch of URLs from the queue in the ReadQueuedUrls step.

An important limit to consider when working with Step Functions is the maximum execution history size. You can protect against hitting this limit by following the recommended approach of splitting work across multiple workflow executions. You can do this by checking the total number of URLs visited on each iteration. If this exceeds a threshold, you can spawn a new Step Functions execution to continue crawling.

Step Functions has native support for error handling and retries. You can take advantage of this to make the web crawler more robust to failures.

With these scaling improvements, here’s our final state machine:

Figure 2: Final State Machine

Figure 2: Final State Machine

This includes the same steps as before (1-4), but also two additional steps (5 and 6) responsible for breaking the workflow into multiple state machine executions.

Search Index

Deploying a scalable, efficient, and full-text search engine that provides relevant results can be complex and involve operational overheads. Amazon Kendra is a fully managed service, so there are no servers to provision. This makes it an ideal choice for our use case. Amazon Kendra supports HTML documents. This means you can store the raw HTML from the crawled web pages in Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3). Amazon Kendra will provide a machine learning powered search capability on top, which gives users fast and relevant results for their search queries.

Amazon Kendra does have limits on the number of documents stored and daily queries. However, additional capacity can be added to meet demand through query or document storage bundles.

The CrawlPageAndQueueUrls step writes the content of the web page it visits to S3. It also writes some metadata to help Amazon Kendra rank or present results. After crawling is complete, it can then trigger a data source sync job to ensure that the index stays up to date.

One aspect to be mindful of while employing Amazon Kendra in your solution is its cost model. It is priced per index/hour, which is more favorable for large-scale enterprise usage, than for smaller personal projects. We recommend you take note of the free tier of Amazon Kendra’s Developer Edition before getting started.

Overall Architecture

You can add in one more DynamoDB table to monitor your web crawl history. Here is the architecture for our solution:

Figure 3: Overall Architecture

Figure 3: Overall Architecture

A sample Node.js implementation of this architecture can be found on GitHub.

In this sample, a Lambda layer provides a Chromium binary (via chrome-aws-lambda). It uses Puppeteer to extract content and URLs from visited web pages. Infrastructure is defined using the AWS Cloud Development Kit (CDK), which automates the provisioning of cloud applications through AWS CloudFormation.

The Amazon Kendra component of the example is optional. You can deploy just the serverless web crawler if preferred.

Conclusion

If you use fully managed AWS services, then building a serverless web crawler and search engine isn’t as daunting as it might first seem. We’ve explored ways to run crawler jobs in parallel and scale a web crawler using AWS Step Functions. We’ve utilized Amazon Kendra to return meaningful results for queries of our unstructured crawled content. We achieve all this without the operational overheads of building a search index from scratch. Review the sample code for a deeper dive into how to implement this architecture.

Operating Lambda: Application design – Part 3

Post Syndicated from James Beswick original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/operating-lambda-application-design-part-3/

In the Operating Lambda series, I cover important topics for developers, architects, and systems administrators who are managing AWS Lambda-based applications. This three-part series discusses application design for Lambda-based applications.

Part 1 shows how to work with Service Quotas, when to request increases, and architecting with quotas in mind. Part 2 covers scaling and concurrency and the different behaviors of on-demand and Provisioned Concurrency. This post discusses choosing and managing runtimes, networking and VPC configurations, and different invocation modes.

Choosing and managing runtimes in Lambda functions

Lambda natively supports a variety of common runtimes, including Python, Node.js, Java, .NET, and others. If you prefer to use any other runtime, such as PHP or Perl, you can use a custom runtime. There are lists of community-maintained runtimes for a wide range of programming languages or you can build your own. As a result, Lambda customers can run Erlang, COBOL, Haskell, and almost any other runtime needed to support their workloads.

Regardless of compute platform, developers must take action if their preferred runtime version is no longer supported by the maintaining organization. Lambda has a documented runtime support policy for languages and frameworks that explains the process for runtime deprecation. Deprecation dates are driven by each runtime’s maintaining organization. Generally, AWS allows you to continue running functions on runtime versions for a period of time after the official runtime deprecation. You will receive emails from AWS if you have functions affected by an upcoming deprecation.

Runtimes and performance

Your choice of runtime is likely determined by a variety of factors. These include the skills available in your development team and the runtimes used in existing projects, especially in migrations. This choice may also be influenced by IT policy in your organization and other external factors. Lambda is agnostic to the choice of runtime, so you are free to choose without sacrificing capabilities within the service.

Different runtimes have different performance profiles in on-demand compute services like Lambda. For example, both Python and Node.js are fast to initialize and offer reasonable overall performance. Java is much slower to initialize but can be fast once running. The programming language Go can be extremely performant for both start-up and runtime. If performance is critical to your application, then profiling and comparing runtime performance is an important step before coding applications.

Multiple runtimes in single applications

Serverless applications usually consist of multiple Lambda functions. Each Lambda function can use only one runtime but you can use multiple runtimes across multiple functions. This enables you to choose the most appropriate runtime for the task performed by the function. Unlike traditional applications that tend to use a single language runtime, serverless applications allow you to mix-and-match runtimes as needed.

For example, in a Lambda function that transforms JSON between services, you could choose Node.js for your business logic. In another function handling data processing, you may choose Python. Both can co-exist in a single serverless application.

Managing AWS SDKs in Lambda functions

The Lambda service also provides AWS SDKs for your chosen runtime. These enable you to interact with AWS services using familiar code constructs. SDK versions change frequently as AWS adds new features and services, and the Lambda service periodically updates the bundled SDKs. Consequently, if you are using the bundled SDK version, you will notice the version changes in your function even if your function code has not changed.

The bundled SDK is provided as a convenience for developers building simpler functions or using the Lambda console for development. In these cases, SDK version changes typically do not impact the functionality or performance. To lock an SDK version and make it immutable, it’s recommended that you create a Lambda layer with a specific version of an SDK and include this in your deployment package.

To learn more, see the “Creating a layer containing the AWS SDK” section at https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/using-lambda-layers-to-simplify-your-development-process.

Networking and VPC configurations

Lambda functions always run inside VPCs owned by the Lambda service. As with customer-owned VPCs, this allows the service to apply network access and security rules to everything within the VPC. These VPCs are not visible to customers, the configurations are maintained automatically, and monitoring is managed by the service.

When you use some AWS services, they create resources that are only accessible from within your customer VPC. To access these resources with Lambda, your Lambda function must also be configured for access to the same VPC. Importantly, unless you are accessing services with resources in a customer VPC, there is no additional benefit to add a VPC configuration.

By default, Lambda functions have access to the public internet. This is not the case after they have been configured with access to one of your VPCs. If you continue to need access to resources on the internet, set up a NAT instance or Amazon NAT Gateway. Alternatively, you can also use VPC endpoints to enable private communications between your VPC and supported AWS services.

The high availability of the Lambda service depends upon access to multiple Availability Zones within the Region where your code runs. When you create a Lambda function without a VPC configuration, it’s automatically available in all Availability Zones within the Region. When you set up VPC access, you choose which Availability Zones the Lambda function can use. As a result, to provide continued high availability, ensure that the function has access to at least two Availability Zones.

The Lambda service uses a Network Function Virtualization platform to provide NAT capabilities from the Lambda VPC to customer VPCs. This configures the required elastic network interfaces (ENIs) at the point where Lambda functions are created or updated. It also enables ENIs from your account to be shared across multiple execution environments, which allows Lambda to make more efficient use of a limited network resource when functions scale.

Since ENIs are an exhaustible resource and there is a soft limit of 350 ENIs per Region, you should monitor elastic network interface usage if you are configuring Lambda functions for VPC access. Generally, if you increase concurrency limits in Lambda, you should evaluate if you need an elastic network interface increase. If the limit is reached, this causes invocations of VPC-enabled Lambda functions to be throttled.

Most serverless services can be used without further VPC configuration, while most instance-based services require VPC configuration:

AWS services accessible by default AWS services requiring VPC configuration
Amazon API Gateway
Amazon CloudFront
Amazon CloudWatch
Amazon Comprehend
Amazon DynamoDB
Amazon EventBridge
Amazon Kinesis
Amazon Lex
Amazon Polly
Amazon Rekognition
Amazon S3
Amazon SNS
Amazon SQS
AWS Step Functions
Amazon Textract
Amazon Transcribe
Amazon Translate
Amazon ECS
Amazon EFS
Amazon ElastiCache
Amazon Elasticsearch Service
Amazon MSK
Amazon MQ
Amazon RDS
Amazon Redshift

To learn more, read about how VPC networking works with Lambda functions.

Comparing Lambda invocation modes

Lambda functions can be invoked either synchronously or asynchronously, depending upon the trigger. In synchronous invocations, the caller waits for the function to complete execution and the function can return a value. In asynchronous operation, the caller places the event on an internal queue, which is then processed by the Lambda function.

Synchronous invocation Asynchronous invocation Polling invocation
AWS CLI
Elastic Load Balancing (Application Load Balancer)
Amazon Cognito
Amazon Lex
Amazon Alexa
Amazon API Gateway
Amazon CloudFront via [email protected]
Amazon Kinesis Data Firehose
Amazon S3 Batch
Amazon S3
Amazon SNS
Amazon Simple Email Service
AWS CloudFormation
Amazon CloudWatch Logs
Amazon CloudWatch Events
AWS CodeCommit
AWS Config
AWS IoT
AWS IoT Events
AWS CodePipeline
Amazon DynamoDB
Amazon Kinesis
Amazon Managed Streaming for Apache Kafka (Amazon MSK)
Amazon SQS

Synchronous invocations are well suited for short-lived Lambda functions. Although Lambda functions can run for up to 15 minutes, synchronous callers may have shorter timeouts. For example, API Gateway has a 29-second integration timeout, so a Lambda function running for more than 29 seconds will not return a value successfully. In synchronous invocations, if the Lambda function fails, retries are the responsibility of the trigger.

In asynchronous invocations, the caller continues with other work and cannot receive a return value from the Lambda function. The function can send the result to a destination, configurable based on success or failure. The internal queue between the caller and the function ensures that messages are stored durably. The Lambda service scales up the concurrency of the processing function as this internal queue grows. If an error occurs in the Lambda function, the retry behavior is determined by the Lambda service.

AWS service Invocation type Retry behavior
Amazon API Gateway Synchronous None – returns error to the client
Amazon S3 Asynchronous Retries with exponential backoff
Amazon SNS Asynchronous Retries with exponential backoff
Amazon DynamoDB Streams Synchronous from poller Retries until data expiration (24 hours)
Amazon Kinesis Synchronous from poller Retries until data expiration (24 hours to 7 days)
AWS CLI Synchronous/Asynchronous Configured by CLI call
AWS SDK Synchronous/Asynchronous Application-specific
Amazon SQS Synchronous from poller Retries until Message Retention Period expires or is sent to a dead-letter queue

To learn more, read “Invoking AWS Lambda functions” and “Introducing AWS Lambda Destinations”.

Conclusion

This post discusses choosing and managing runtimes, the effect on performance, and how you can use multiple runtimes within a single serverless application. It explains the networking model and whether a Lambda function must have access to a customer VPC or can run with the default VPC configuration. It also compares the different invocation modes for Lambda functions.

For more serverless learning resources, visit Serverless Land.

Extending SaaS products with serverless functions

Post Syndicated from James Beswick original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/extending-saas-products-with-serverless-functions/

This post was written by Santiago Cardenas, Sr Partner SA. and Nir Mashkowski, Principal Product Manager.

Increasingly, customers turn to software as a service (SaaS) solutions for the potential of lowering the total cost of ownership (TCO). This enables customers to focus their teams on business priorities instead of managing and maintaining software and infrastructure. Startups are building SaaS products for a wide variety of common application types to take advantage of these market needs.

As SaaS accelerates adoption, enterprise customers expect the same capabilities that are available with traditional, on-premises software. They want the ability to customize system behavior and use rich integrations that can help build solutions rapidly.

For customization and extensibility, many independent software vendors (ISVs) are building application programming interfaces (APIs) and integration hooks. To extend these capabilities, many SaaS builders expose a common set of APIs:

  • Event APIs emit events when SaaS entities change. Synchronous event APIs block the SaaS action until the API completes a request. Asynchronous are non-blocking and use mechanisms like pub/sub and webhooks to inform the caller of updates. Event APIs are used for many purposes, such as enriching incoming data or triggering workflows.
  • CRUD APIs allow developers to interact with entities within the SaaS product. They can be used by mobile or web clients to add, update, and remove records, for example.
  • Schema APIs allow developers to create data entities in the SaaS product, such as tables, key-value stores, or document repositories.
  • User experience (UX) components. Many SaaS products include an SDK that helps provide a consistent look-and-feel and built-in support for common functions, such as authentication. Components are sometimes delivered as code libraries or as an online API that renders the UI.

Business systems expose different subsets of the APIs based on the application domain. Extensibility models are built on top of those APIs and can take various different forms. ISVs use these APIs to build features such as “no code” workflow engines, UX, and report generators. In those cases, the SaaS product runs a domain-specific language (DSL) where it controls compute, storage, and memory consumption.

Figure 1: Example of various APIs providing extensibility within a SaaS app

This level of customization is acceptable for many business users. However, for more sophisticated customization, this requires the ability to write custom code. When coding is needed, some business systems choose to provide sandboxing for the user code within the service. Others choose to ask developers to host the extensibility model themselves.

The growth of vendor-hosted SaaS extensions

First-generation SaaS products essentially “lift and shift” on-premises enterprise software, where each customer has a copy of the entire stack. This single tenant model offers simplicity, a smaller blast radius, and faster time to market.

Newer, born-in-the-cloud SaaS products implement a multi-tenant approach, where all resources are shared across customers. This model may be easier to maintain but can present challenges for handling security, isolation, and resource allocation.

Multi-tenancy challenges are harder when customers can run custom code inside the SaaS infrastructure. To solve this, SaaS builders may start with a customer hosted approach, where customers implement their own extensions by consuming SaaS APIs. This means customers must learn and install an SDK, deploy, and maintain an app in their cloud. This often results in higher cost and slower time to market.

To simplify this model, SaaS builders are finding ways to allow developers to write code directly within the SaaS product. The event driven, pay-per-execution, and polyglot nature of serverless functions provides new capabilities for implementing SaaS extensibility. This model is called vendor hosted SaaS extensions.

SaaS builders are using AWS Lambda for serverless functions to provide flexible compute options to their customers. The goal is to abstract away and simplify the consumption model. AWS provides SaaS builders with features and controls to customize the execution environments as part of their own SaaS product. This allows SaaS owners more flexibility when deciding on isolation models, usability, and cost considerations.

Isolating tenant requests

Isolation of customer requests is important both at the product level and at the tenant level. Product-level isolation focuses on controlling and enforcing the access to data between tenants. It ensures that one tenant is separated from another tenant’s functions. Tenant-level isolation focuses on resources allocated to serve requests. These may include identity, network and internet access, file system access, and memory/CPU allocation.

Figure 2: Example of hierarchical levels of abstraction

Usability

SaaS product owners can allow customers to use familiar programming languages within the serverless functions. This allows customers to grow with the service and potentially host and scale independently, using their own infrastructure.

Usability considers the domain and industry of the product. For example, if the SaaS product enables data processing, it may enable invocation of serverless functions during these workflows. Additionally, these functions may provide the customer the context of the user, application, tenant, and the domain. A streamlined, opinionated deployment workflow that abstracts away initial configuration can also aid customer adoption.

Managing costs

Cost is an important factor in driving adoption. It’s an important differentiator to pay only for the resources used, while being able to scale in response to events. This can help reduce costs that are passed on to SaaS customers.

Examples of SaaS product extensibility

Multiple AWS Partners are extending their SaaS product using Lambda for on-demand scalable compute. This enables them to focus on enriching the customer experience that is associated with their business domain. Examples include:

  • Segment Functions, which seamlessly integrates as a source or destination. The service uses code snippets to allow customers to enrich data, enforce consistency, and connect to APIs and services that power their workflows.
  • Freshworks’ Neo platform provides extensibility using the concept of apps. These are powered by Lambda functions hosting the core business logic and backends. Apps are triggered by unplanned and scheduled Freshworks events (customer support tickets, IT service cases, contacts, and deal updates), in addition to app-specific and external events.
  • Netlify Functions enables customers to supercharge frontend code with functions in their development workflow. These can power automated triggers, connect to third-party APIs, or provide user authentication.

All of these SaaS partners abstract away the deployment, versioning, and configuration of custom code using Lambda.

Conclusion

As customers increasingly use SaaS solutions in their businesses, they want the same customization and extensibility available in on-premises solutions. SaaS partners have developed APIs and integration hooks to help address this need. For more sophisticated customization, products enable custom code to run within their SaaS workflows.

This presents SaaS partners with isolation, usability, and cost challenges and many of them are now using serverless functions to address these challenges. Lambda provides a pay-per-value compute service that scales automatically to meet customer demand. Segment Functions, Freshworks, and Netlify Functions have all used Lambda to provide extensibility to their customers.

Lambda continues to develop features and functionality to power the extensibility of SaaS products. We look forward to seeing the new ways you use Lambda to extend your SaaS product for your customers. Share your Lambda extensibility story with us at [email protected].

For more serverless learning resources, visit Serverless Land.

Operating Lambda: Application design – Scaling and concurrency: Part 2

Post Syndicated from James Beswick original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/operating-lambda-application-design-scaling-and-concurrency-part-2/

In the Operating Lambda series, I cover important topics for developers, architects, and systems administrators who are managing AWS Lambda-based applications. This three-part series discusses application design for Lambda-based applications.

Part 1 shows how to work with Service Quotas, when to request increases, and architecting with quotas in mind. This post covers scaling and concurrency and the different behaviors of on-demand and Provisioned Concurrency.

Scaling and concurrency in Lambda

Lambda is engineered to provide managed scaling in a way that does not rely upon threading or any custom engineering in your code. As traffic increases, Lambda increases the number of concurrent executions of your functions.

When a function is first invoked, the Lambda service creates an instance of the function and runs the handler method to process the event. After completion, the function remains available for a period of time to process subsequent events. If other events arrive while the function is busy, Lambda creates more instances of the function to handle these requests concurrently.

For an initial burst of traffic, your cumulative concurrency in a Region can reach between 500 and 3000 per minute, depending upon the Region. After this initial burst, functions can scale by an additional 500 instances per minute. If requests arrive faster than a function can scale, or if a function reaches maximum capacity, additional requests fail with a throttling error (status code 429).

All AWS accounts start with a default concurrent limit of 1000 per Region. This is a soft limit that you can increase by submitting a request in the AWS Support Center.

On-demand scaling example

In this example, a Lambda receives 10,000 synchronous requests from Amazon API Gateway. The concurrency limit for the account is 10,000. The following shows four scenarios:

On-demand scaling example

In each case, all of the requests arrive at the same time in the minute they are scheduled:

  1. All requests arrive immediately: 3000 requests are handled by new execution environments; 7000 are throttled.
  2. Requests arrive over 2 minutes: 3000 requests are handled by new execution environments in the first minute; the remaining 2000 are throttled. In minute 2, another 500 environments are created and the 3000 original environments are reused; 1500 are throttled.
  3. Requests arrive over 3 minutes: 3000 requests are handled by new execution environments in the first minute; the remaining 333 are throttled. In minute 2, another 500 environments are created and the 3000 original environments are reused; all requests are served. In minute 3, the remaining 3334 requests are served by warm environments.
  4. Requests arrive over 4 minutes: In minute 1, 2500 requests are handled by new execution environment; the same environments are reused in subsequent minutes to serve all requests.

Provisioned Concurrency scaling example

The majority of Lambda workloads are asynchronous so the default scaling behavior provides a reasonable trade-off between throughput and configuration management overhead. However, for synchronous invocations from interactive workloads, such as web or mobile applications, there are times when you need more control over how many concurrent function instances are ready to receive traffic.

Provisioned Concurrency is a Lambda feature that prepares concurrent execution environments in advance of invocations. Consequently, this can be used to address two issues. First, if expected traffic arrives more quickly than the default burst capacity, Provisioned Concurrency can ensure that your function is available to meet the demand. Second, if you have latency-sensitive workloads that require predictable double-digit millisecond latency, Provisioned Concurrency solves the typical cold start issues associated with default scaling.

Provisioned Concurrency is a configuration available for a specific published version or alias of a Lambda function. It does not rely on any custom code or changes to a function’s logic, and it’s compatible with features such as VPC configuration, Lambda layers. For more information on how Provisioned Concurrency optimizes performance for Lambda-based applications, watch this Tech Talk video.

Using the same scenarios with 10,000 requests, the function is configured with a Provisioned Concurrency of 7,000:

Provisioned Concurrency scaling example

  1. In case #1, 7,000 requests are handled by the provisioned environments with no cold start. The remaining 3,000 requests are handled by new, on-demand execution environments.
  2. In cases #2-4, all requests are handled by provisioned environments in the minute when they arrive.

Using service integrations and asynchronous processing

Synchronous requests from services like API Gateway require immediate responses. In many cases, these workloads can be rearchitected as asynchronous workloads. In this case, API Gateway uses a service integration to persist messages in an Amazon SQS queue durably. A Lambda function consumes these messages from the queue, and updates the status in an Amazon DynamoDB table. Another API endpoint provides the status of the request by querying the DynamoDB table:

Async with polling example

API Gateway has a default throttle limit of 10,000 requests per second, which can be raised upon request. SQS standard queues support a virtually unlimited throughput of API actions such as SendMessage.

The Lambda function consuming the messages from SQS can control the speed of processing through a combination of two factors. The first is BatchSize, which is the number of messages received by each invocation of the function, and the second is concurrency. Provided there is still concurrency available in your account, the Lambda function is not throttled while processing messages from an SQS queue.

In asynchronous workflows, it’s not possible to pass the result of the function back through the invocation path. The original API Gateway call receives an acknowledgment that the message has been stored in SQS, which is returned back to the caller. There are multiple mechanisms for returning the result back to the caller. One uses a DynamoDB table, as shown, to store a transaction ID and status, which is then polled by the caller via another API Gateway endpoint until the work is finished. Alternatively, you can use webhooks via Amazon SNS or WebSockets via AWS IoT Core to return the result.

Using this asynchronous approach can make it much easier to handle unpredictable traffic with significant volumes. While it is not suitable for every use case, it can simplify scalability operations.

Reserved concurrency

Lambda functions in a single AWS account in one Region share the concurrency limit. If one function exceeds the concurrent limit, this prevents other functions from being invoked by the Lambda service. You can set reserved capacity for Lambda functions to ensure that they can be invoked even if the overall capacity has been exhausted. Reserved capacity has two effects on a Lambda function:

  1. The reserved capacity is deducted from the overall capacity for the AWS account in a given Region. The Lambda function always has the reserved capacity available exclusively for its own invocations.
  2. The reserved capacity restricts the maximum number of concurrency invocations for that function. Synchronous requests arriving in excess of the reserved capacity limit fail with a throttling error.

You can also use reserved capacity to throttle the rate of requests processed by your workload. For Lambda functions that are invoked asynchronously or using an internal poller, such as for S3, SQS, or DynamoDB integrations, reserved capacity limits how many requests are processed simultaneously. In this case, events are stored durably in internal queues until the Lambda function is available. This can help create a smoothing effect for handling spiky levels of traffic.

For example, a Lambda function receives messages from an SQS queue and writes to a DynamoDB table. It has a reserved concurrency of 10 with a batch size of 10 items. The SQS queue rapidly receives 1,000 messages. The Lambda function scales up to 10 concurrent instances, each processing 10 messages from the queue. While it takes longer to process the entire queue, this results in a consistent rate of write capacity units (WCUs) consumed by the DynamoDB table.

Reserved concurrency for throttling example

To learn more, read “Managing AWS Lambda Function Concurrency” and “Managing concurrency for a Lambda function”.

Conclusion

This post explains scaling and concurrency in Lambda and the different behaviors of on-demand and Provisioned Concurrency. It also shows how to use service integrations and asynchronous patterns in Lambda-based applications. Finally, I discuss how reserved concurrency works and how to use it in your application design.

Part 3 will discuss choosing and managing runtimes, networking and VPC configurations, and different invocation modes.

For more serverless learning resources, visit Serverless Land.

Updating opt-in status for Amazon Pinpoint channels

Post Syndicated from Varinder Dhanota original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/messaging-and-targeting/updating-opt-in-status-for-amazon-pinpoint-channels/

In many real-world scenarios, customers are using home-grown or 3rd party systems to manage their campaign related information. This includes user preferences, segmentation, targeting, interactions, and more. To create customer-centric engagement experiences with such existing systems, migrating or integrating into Amazon Pinpoint is needed. Luckily, many AWS services and mechanisms can help to streamline this integration in a resilient and cost-effective way.

In this blog post, we demonstrate a sample solution that captures changes from an on-premises application’s database by utilizing AWS Integration and Transfer Services and updates Amazon Pinpoint in real-time.

If you are looking for a serverless, mobile-optimized preference center allowing end users to manage their Pinpoint communication preferences and attributes, you can also check the Amazon Pinpoint Preference Center.

Architecture

Architecture

In this scenario, users’ SMS opt-in/opt-out preferences are managed by a home-grown customer application. Users interact with the application over its web interface. The application, saves the customer preferences on a MySQL database.

This solution’s flow of events is triggered with a change (insert / update / delete) happening in the database. The change event is then captured by AWS Database Migration Service (DMS) that is configured with an ongoing replication task. This task continuously monitors a specified database and forwards the change event to an Amazon Kinesis Data Streams stream. Raw events that are buffered in this stream are polled by an AWS Lambda function. This function transforms the event, and makes it ready to be passed to Amazon Pinpoint API. This API call will in turn, change the opt-in/opt-out subscription status of the channel for that user.

Ongoing replication tasks are created against multiple types of database engines, including Oracle, MS-SQL, Postgres, and more. In this blog post, we use a MySQL based RDS instance to demonstrate this architecture. The instance will have a database we name pinpoint_demo and one table we name optin_status. In this sample, we assume the table is holding details about a user and their opt-in preference for SMS messages.

userid phone optin lastupdate
user1 +12341111111 1 1593867404
user2 +12341111112 1 1593867404
user2 +12341111113 1 1593867404

Prerequisites

  1. AWS CLI is configured with an active AWS account and appropriate access.
  2. You have an understanding of Amazon Pinpoint concepts. You will be using Amazon Pinpoint to create a segment, populate endpoints, and validate phone numbers. For more details, see the Amazon Pinpoint product page and documentation.

Setup

First, you clone the repository that contains a stack of templates to your local environment. Make sure you have configured your AWS CLI with AWS credentials. Follow the steps below to deploy the CloudFormation stack:

  1. Clone the git repository containing the CloudFormation templates:
    git clone https://github.com/aws-samples/amazon-pinpoint-rds-integration.git
    cd amazon-pinpoint-rds-integration
  2. You need an S3 Bucket to hold the template:
    aws s3 create-bucket –bucket <YOUR-BUCKET-NAME>
  3. Run the following command to package the CloudFormation templates:
    aws cloudformation package --template-file template_stack.yaml --output-template-file template_out.yaml --s3-bucket <YOUR-BUCKET-NAME>
  4. Deploy the stack with the following command:
    aws cloudformation deploy --template-file template_out.yaml --stack-name pinpointblogstack --capabilities CAPABILITY_AUTO_EXPAND CAPABILITY_NAMED_IAM

The AWS CloudFormation stack will create and configure resources for you. Some of the resources it will create are:

  • Amazon RDS instance with MySQL
  • AWS Database Migration Service replication instance
  • AWS Database Migration Service source endpoint for MySQL
  • AWS Database Migration Service target endpoint for Amazon Kinesis Data Streams
  • Amazon Kinesis Data Streams stream
  • AWS Lambda Function
  • Amazon Pinpoint Application
  • A Cloud9 environment as a bastion host

The deployment can take up to 15 minutes. You can track its progress in the CloudFormation console’s Events tab.

Populate RDS data

A CloudFormation stack will output the DNS address of an RDS endpoint and Cloud9 environment upon completion. The Cloud9 environment acts as a bastion host and allows you to reach the RDS instance endpoint deployed into the private subnet by CloudFormation.

  1. Open the AWS Console and navigate to the Cloud9 service.
    Cloud9Console
  2. Click on the Open IDE button to reach your IDE environment.
    Cloud9Env
  3. At the console pane of your IDE, type the following to login to your RDS instance. You can find the RDS Endpoint address at the outputs section of the CloudFormation stack. It is under the key name RDSInstanceEndpoint.
    mysql -h <YOUR_RDS_ENDPOINT> -uadmin -pmypassword
    use blog_db;
  4. Issue the following command to create a table that holds the user’s opt-in status:
    create table optin_status (
      userid varchar(50) not null,
      phone varchar(50) not null,
      optin tinyint default 1,
      lastupdate TIMESTAMP NOT NULL DEFAULT CURRENT_TIMESTAMP
    );
  5. Next, load sample data into the table. The following inserts nine users for this demo:
    
    INSERT INTO optin_status (userid, phone, optin) VALUES ('user1', '+12341111111', 1);
    INSERT INTO optin_status (userid, phone, optin) VALUES ('user2', '+12341111112', 1);
    INSERT INTO optin_status (userid, phone, optin) VALUES ('user3', '+12341111113', 1);
    INSERT INTO optin_status (userid, phone, optin) VALUES ('user4', '+12341111114', 1);
    INSERT INTO optin_status (userid, phone, optin) VALUES ('user5', '+12341111115', 1);
    INSERT INTO optin_status (userid, phone, optin) VALUES ('user6', '+12341111116', 1);
    INSERT INTO optin_status (userid, phone, optin) VALUES ('user7', '+12341111117', 1);
    INSERT INTO optin_status (userid, phone, optin) VALUES ('user8', '+12341111118', 1);
    INSERT INTO optin_status (userid, phone, optin) VALUES ('user9', '+12341111119', 1);
  6. The table’s opt-in column holds the SMS opt-in status and phone number for a specific user.

Start the DMS Replication Task

Now that the environment is ready, you can start the DMS replication task and start watching the changes in this table.

  1. From the AWS DMS Console, go to the Database Migration Tasks section.
    DMSMigTask
  2. Select the Migration task named blogreplicationtask.
  3. From the Actions menu, click on Restart/Resume to start the migration task. Wait until the task’s Status transitions from Ready to Starting and Replication ongoing.
  4. At this point, all the changes on the source database are replicated into a Kinesis stream. Before introducing the AWS Lambda function that will be polling this stream, configure the Amazon Pinpoint application.

Inspect the AWS Lambda Function

An AWS Lambda function has been created to receive the events. The Lambda function uses Python and Boto3 to read the records delivered by Kinesis Data Streams. It then performs the update_endpoint API calls in order to add, update, or delete endpoints in the Amazon Pinpoint application.

Lambda code and configuration is accessible through the Lambda Functions Console. In order to inspect the Python code, click the Functions item on the left side. Select the function starting with pinpointblogstack-MainStack by clicking on the function name.

Note: The PINPOINT_APPID under the Environment variables section. This variable provides the Lambda function with the Amazon Pinpoint application ID to make the API call.

LambdaPPAPPID

Inspect Amazon Pinpoint Application in Amazon Pinpoint Console

A Pinpoint application is needed by the Lambda Function to update the endpoints. This application has been created with an SMS Channel by the CloudFormation template. Once the data from the RDS database has been imported into Pinpoint as SMS endpoints, you can validate this import by creating a segment in Pinpoint.

PinpointProject

Testing

With the Lambda function ready, you now test the whole solution.

  1. To initiate the end-to-end test, go to the Cloud9 terminal. Perform the following SQL statement on the optin_table:
    UPDATE optin_status SET optin=0 WHERE userid='user1';
    UPDATE optin_status SET optin=0 WHERE userid='user2';
    UPDATE optin_status SET optin=0 WHERE userid='user3';
    UPDATE optin_status SET optin=0 WHERE userid='user4';
  2. This statement will cause four changes in the database which is collected by DMS and passed to Kinesis Data Streams stream.
  3. This triggers the Lambda function that construct an update_endpoint API call to the Amazon Pinpoint application.
  4. The update_endpoint operation is an upsert operation. Therefore, if the endpoint does not exist on the Amazon Pinpoint application, it creates one. Otherwise, it updates the current endpoint.
  5. In the initial dataset, all the opt-in values are 1. Therefore, these endpoints will be created with an OptOut value of NONE in Amazon Pinpoint.
  6. All OptOut=NONE typed endpoints are considered as active endpoints. Therefore, they are available to be used within segments.

Create Amazon Pinpoint Segment

  1. In order to see these changes, go to the Pinpoint console. Click on PinpointBlogApp.
    PinpointConsole
  2. Click on Segments on the left side. Then click Create a segment.
    PinpointSegment
  3. For the segment name, enter US-Segment.
  4. Select Endpoint from the Filter dropdown.
  5. Under the Choose an endpoint attribute dropdown, select Country.
  6. For Choose values enter US.
    Note: As you do this, the right panel Segment estimate will refresh to show the number of endpoints eligible for this segment filter.
  7. Click Create segment at the bottom of the page.
    PinpointSegDetails
  8. Once the new segment is created, you are directed to the newly created segment with configuration details. You should see five eligible endpoints corresponding to database table rows.
    PinpointSegUpdate
  9. Now, change one row by issuing the following SQL statement. This simulates a user opting out from SMS communication for one of their numbers.
    UPDATE optin_status SET optin=0 WHERE userid='user5';
  10. After the update, go to the Amazon Pinpoint console. Check the eligible endpoints again. You should only see four eligible endpoints.

PinpointSegUpdate

Cleanup

If you no longer want to incur further charge, delete the Cloudformation stack named pinpointblogstack. Select it and click Delete.

PinpointCleanup

Conclusion

This solution walks you through how opt-in change events are delivered from Amazon RDS to Amazon Pinpoint. You can use this solution in other use cases as well. Some examples are importing segments from a 3rd party application like Salesforce and importing other types of channels like e-mail, push, and voice. To learn more about Amazon Pinpoint, visit our website.

Node.js 14.x runtime now available in AWS Lambda

Post Syndicated from Benjamin Smith original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/node-js-14-x-runtime-now-available-in-aws-lambda/

You can now develop AWS Lambda functions using the Node.js 14.x runtime. This is the current Long Term Support (LTS) version of Node.js. Start using this new version today by specifying a runtime parameter value of nodejs14.x when creating or updating functions or by using the appropriate managed runtime base image.

Language Updates

Node.js 14 is a stable release and brings several new features, including:

  • Updated V8 engine
  • Diagnostic reporting
  • Updated Node streams

V8 engine updated To V8.1

Node.js 14.x is powered by V8 version 8.1, which is a significant upgrade from the V8 7.4 engine powering the previous Node.js 12.x. This upgrade brings performance enhancements and some notable new features:

  • Nullish Coalescing ?? A logical operator that returns its right-hand side operand when its left-hand side operand is not defined or null.
    const newVersion = null ?? ‘this works great’ ;
    console.log(newVersion);
    // expected output: "this works great"
    
    const nullishTest = 0 ?? 36;
    console.log(nullishTest);
    // expected output: 0 because 0 is not the same as null or undefined

This new operator is useful for debugging and error handling in your Lambda functions when values unexpectedly return null or undefined.

  • Intl.DateTimeFormat – This feature enables numberingSystem and calendar options.
    const newVersion = null ?? ‘this works great’ ;
    console.log(newVersion);
    // expected output: "this works great"
    
    const nullishTest = 0 ?? 36;
    console.log(nullishTest);
    // expected output: 0 because 0 is not the same as null or undefined
  • Intl.DisplayNames – Offers the consistent translation of region, language, and script display names.
    const date = new Date(Date.UTC(2021, 01, 20, 3, 23, 16, 738));
    // Results below assume UTC timezone - your results may vary
    
    // Specify date formatting for language
    console.log(new Intl.DateTimeFormat('en-US').format(date));
    // expected output: "2/20/2021"
  • Optional Chaining ?. – Use this operator to access a property’s value within a chain without needing to validate each reference. This removes the requirement of checking for the existence of a deeply nested property using the && operator or lodash.get:
    const player = {
      name: 'Roxie',
      superpower: {
        value: 'flight',
      }
    };
    
    // Using the && operator
    if (player && player.superpower && player.superpower.value) {
      // do something with player.superpower.value
    }
    
    // Using the ?. operator
    if (player?.superpower?.value) {
      // do something with player.superpower.value
    }
    

Diagnostic reporting

Diagnostic reporting is now a stable feature in Node.js 14. This option allows you to generate a JSON-formatted report on demand or when certain events occur. This helps to diagnose problems such as slow performance, memory leaks, unexpected errors, and more.

The following example generates a report from within a Lambda function, and outputs the results to Amazon Cloudwatch for further inspection.

const report = process.report.getReport();
console.log(typeof report === 'object'); // true

// Similar to process.report.writeReport() output
console.log(JSON.stringify(report, null, 2));

See the official docs on diagnostic reporting in Node.js to learn other ways to use the command.

Updated node streams

The streams APIs has been updated to help remove ambiguity and streamline behaviours across the various parts of Node.js core.

Runtime Updates

To help keep Lambda functions secure, AWS updates Node.js 14 with all minor updates released by the Node.js community when using the zip archive format. For Lambda functions packaged as a container image, pull, rebuild and deploy the latest base image from DockerHub or Amazon ECR Public.

Deprecation schedule

AWS will be deprecating Node.js 10 according to the end of life schedule provided by the community. Node.js 10 reaches end of life on April 30, 2021. After March 30, 2021 you can no longer create a Node.js 10 Lambda function. The ability to update a function will be disabled after May 28, 2021 . More information on can be found in the runtime support policy.

You can migrate Existing Node.js 12 functions to the new runtime by making any necessary changes to code for compatibility with Node.js 14, and changing the function’s runtime configuration to “nodejs14.x”. Lambda functions running on Node.js 14 will have 2 full years of support.

Amazon Linux 2

Node.js 14 managed runtime, like Node.js 12, Java 11, and Python 3.8, is based on an Amazon Linux 2 execution environment. Amazon Linux 2 provides a secure, stable, and high-performance execution environment to develop and run cloud and enterprise applications.

Next steps

Get started building with Node.js 14 today by specifying a runtime parameter value of nodejs14.x when creating your Lambda functions using the zip archive packaging format. You can also build Lambda functions in Node.js 14 by deploying your function code as a container image using the Node.js 14 AWS base image for Lambda. You can read about the Node.js programming model in the AWS Lambda documentation to learn more about writing functions in Node.js 14.

For existing Node.js functions, migrate to the new runtime by changing the function’s runtime configuration to nodejs14.x

Happy coding with Node.js 14!

Operating Lambda: Application design and Service Quotas – Part 1

Post Syndicated from James Beswick original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/operating-lambda-application-design-and-service-quotas-part-1/

In the Operating Lambda series, I cover important topics for developers, architects, and systems administrators who are managing AWS Lambda-based applications. This three-part series discusses application design for Lambda-based applications.

A well-architected event-driven application uses a combination of AWS services and custom code to process and manage requests and data. This series on Lambda-specific topics in application design, and how Lambda interacts with other services. There are many important considerations for serverless architects when designing applications for busy production systems.

Part 1 shows how to work with Service Quotas, when to request increases, and architecting with quotas in mind. It also explains how to control traffic for downstream server-based resources.

Understanding quotas

The Lambda service is designed for short-lived compute tasks that do not retain or rely upon state between invocations. The Lambda service invokes your custom code on demand in response to events from other AWS services, or requests via the AWS CLI or AWS SDKs. Code can run for up to 15 minutes in a single invocation and a single function can use up to 10,240 MB of memory.

Lambda is designed to scale rapidly to meet demand, allowing your functions to scale up to serve traffic in your application. Other AWS services frequently used in serverless applications, such as Amazon API Gateway, Amazon SNS, and AWS Step Functions, also scale up in response to increased load. This has enabled our largest customers to build applications that scale to millions of requests quickly without having to manage underlying infrastructure.

However, before you scale an application to these levels, it’s important to understand the guardrails that are put in place to protect your account and the workloads of other customers. Service Quotas exist in all AWS services and consist of hard limits, which you cannot change, and soft limits, which you can request increases for.

By default, all new accounts are assigned a quota profile that allows exploration of the services. However, the values may need to be raised to support medium-to-large application workloads. Typically, customers request increases for their accounts as they start to expand usage of their applications. This allows the quotas to grow with usage, and help protect the account from unexpected costs caused by unintended usage.

Different AWS services have different quotas. These quotas may apply at the Region level, or account level, and may also include time-interval restrictions, such as requests per second. For example, the maximum number of IAM roles is an account-based quota, whereas the maximum number of concurrent Lambda executions is a per-Region quota.

To see the quotas that apply to your account, navigate to the Service Quotas dashboard. This allows you to view your Service Quotas, request a service quota increase, and view current utilization. From here, you can drill down to a specific AWS service, such as Lambda:

Service Quotas for AWS Lambda

In this example, sorted by the Adjustable column, this shows that Concurrent executions, Elastic network interfaces per VPC, and Function and layer storage are all adjustable limits. You could request a quota increase for any of these via the AWS Support Center. The other items provide a useful reference for other limits applying to the service.

Architecting with Service Quotas

Most serverless applications use multiple AWS services, and different services have different quotas for different features. Once you have a serverless architecture designed and know which services your application uses, you can compare the different quotas across services and find any potential issues.

Example serverless application architecture

In this example, API Gateway has a default throttle limit of 10,000 requests per second. Many applications use API Gateway endpoints to invoke Lambda functions. Lambda has a default concurrency limit of 1,000. Since API Gateway to Lambda is a synchronous invocation, it’s possible to have more incoming requests than could be handled simultaneously by a Lambda function, when using the default limits. This can be resolved by requesting to have the Lambda concurrency limit raised for this account to match the expected level of traffic.

Another common challenge is handling payload sizes in different services. Consider an application moving a payload from API Gateway to Lambda to Amazon SQS. API Gateway supports payloads up to 10 Mb, while Lambda’s payload limit is 6 Mb and the SQS message size limit is 256 Kb. In this example, you could instead store the payload in an Amazon S3 bucket instead of uploading to API Gateway, and pass a reference token across the services. The token size is much smaller than any payload limit and may provide a more efficient design for your workload, depending upon the use-case.

Load testing your serverless application also allows you to monitor the performance of an application before it is deployed to production. Serverless applications can be relatively simple to load test, thanks to the automatic scaling built into many of the services. During a load test, you can identify any quotas that may act as a limiting factor for the traffic levels you expect and take action accordingly.

There are several tools available for serverless developers to perform this task. One of the most popular is Artillery Community Edition, which is an open-source tool for testing serverless APIs. You configure the number of requests per second and overall test duration and it uses a headless Chromium browser to run tests. Other popular tools include Nordstrom’s Serverless-Artillery and Gatling.

Using multiple AWS accounts for managing quotas

Many customers have multiple workloads running in the AWS Cloud but many quotas are set at the account level. This means that as you add more serverless workloads, some quotas are shared across more workloads, reducing the quotas available for each workload. Additionally, if you have development resources in the same account as production workloads, quotas are shared across both. It’s possible for development activity to exhaust resources unintentionally that you may want to reserve only for production.

An effective way to solve this issue is to use multiple AWS accounts, dedicating workloads to their own specific account. This prevents quotas from being shared with other workloads or non-production resources. Using AWS Organizations, you can centrally manage the billing, compliance, and security of these accounts. You can attach policies to groups of accounts to avoid custom scripts and manual processes.

One common approach is to provide each developer with an AWS account, and then use separate accounts for a beta deployment stage and production:

Multiple AWS account by environment

The developer accounts can contain copies of production resources and provide the developer with admin-level permissions to these resources. Each developer has their own set of limits for the account, so their usage does not impact your production environment. Individual developers can deploy AWS CloudFormation stacks and AWS Serverless Application Model (AWS SAM) templates into these accounts with minimal risk to production assets.

This approach allows developers to test Lambda functions locally on their development machines against live cloud resources in their individual accounts. It can help create a robust unit testing process, and developers can then push code to a repository like AWS CodeCommit when ready.

By integrating with AWS Secrets Manager, you can store different sets of secrets in each environment and replace any need for credentials stored in code. As code is promoted from developer account through to the beta and production accounts, the correct set of credentials is automatically used. You do not need to share environment-level credentials with individual developers.

To learn more, read “Best practices for organizing larger serverless applications”.

Controlling traffic flow for server-based resources

While Lambda can scale up quickly in response to traffic, many non-serverless services cannot. If your Lambda functions interact with those services downstream, it’s possible to overwhelm those services with data or connection requests.

Amazon RDS is one of the most common Lambda integrations that relies on a server-based resource. However, relational databases are connection-based, so they are intended to work with a few long-lived clients, such as web servers. By contrast, Lambda functions are ephemeral and short-lived, so their database connections are numerous and brief. If Lambda scales up to hundreds or thousands of instances, you may overwhelm downstream relational databases with connection requests. This is typically only an issue for moderately busy applications. If you are using a Lambda function for low-volume tasks, such as running daily SQL reports, you do not experience this behavior.

The Amazon RDS Proxy service is built to solve the high-volume use-case. It pools the connections between the Lambda service and the downstream Amazon RDS database. This means that a scaling Lambda function is able to reuse connections via the proxy. As a result, the relational database is not overwhelmed with connections requests from individual Lambda functions. This does not require code changes in many cases. You only need to replace the database endpoint with the proxy endpoint in your Lambda function.

For other downstream server-based resources, APIs, or third-party services, it’s important to know the limits around connections, transactions, and data transfer. If your serverless workload has the capacity to overwhelm those resources, use an SQS queue to decouple the Lambda function from the target. This allows the server-based resource to process messages from the queue at a steady rate. The queue also durably stores the requests if the downstream resource becomes unavailable.

Conclusion

Lambda works with other AWS services to process and manage requests and data. This post explains how to understand and manage Service Quotas, when to request increases, and architecting with quotas in mind. It also explains how to control traffic for downstream server-based resources.

Part 2 of this series will discuss scaling and concurrency in Lambda and the different behaviors of on-demand and Provisioned Concurrency.

For more guidance, see the Operating Lambda: Understanding event-driven architectures series.

For more serverless learning resources, visit Serverless Land.

Building server-side rendering for React in AWS Lambda

Post Syndicated from James Beswick original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/building-server-side-rendering-for-react-in-aws-lambda/

This post is courtesy of Roman Boiko, Solutions Architect.

React is a popular front-end framework used to create single-page applications (SPAs). It is rendered and run on the client-side in the browser. However, for SEO or performance reasons, you may need to render parts of a React application on the server. This is where the server-side rendering (SSR) is useful.

This post introduces the concepts and demonstrates rendering a React application with AWS Lambda. To deploy this solution and to provision the AWS resources, I use the AWS Cloud Development Kit (CDK). This is an open-source framework, which helps you reduce the amount of code required to automate deployment.

Overview

This solution uses Amazon S3, Amazon CloudFront, Amazon API Gateway, AWS Lambda, and [email protected]. It creates a fully serverless SSR implementation, which automatically scales according to the workload. This solution addresses three scenarios.

1. A static React app hosted in an S3 bucket with a CloudFront distribution in front of the website. The backend is running behind API Gateway, implemented as a Lambda function. Here, the application is fully downloaded to the client and rendered in a web browser. It sends requests to the backend.

SSR app 1

2. The React app is rendered with a Lambda function. The CloudFront distribution is configured to forward requests from the /ssr path to the API Gateway endpoint. This calls the Lambda function where the rendering is happening. While rendering the requested page, the Lambda function calls the backend API to fetch the data. It returns a static HTML page with all the data. This page may be cached in CloudFront to optimize subsequent requests.

SSR app 2

 

3. The React app is rendered with a [email protected] function. This scenario is similar but rendering happens at edge locations. The requests to /edgessr are handled by the [email protected] function. This sends requests to the backend and returns a static HTML page.

SSR app 3

 

Walkthrough

The example application shows how the preceding scenarios are implemented with the AWS CDK. This solution requires:

This solution deploys a [email protected] function so it must be provisioned in the US East (N. Virginia) Region.

To get started, download and configure the sample:

  1. From a terminal, clone the GitHub repository:
    git clone https://github.com/aws-samples/react-ssr-lambda
  2. Provide a unique name for the S3 bucket, which is created by the stack and used for React application hosting. Change the placeholder <your bucket name> to your bucket name. To install the solution, run:
    cd react-ssr-lambda
    cd ./cdk
    npm install
    npm run build
    cdk bootstrap
    cdk deploy SSRApiStack --outputs-file ../simple-ssr/src/config.json
    
    cd ../simple-ssr
    npm install
    npm run build-all
    cd ../cdk
    cdk deploy SSRAppStack --parameters mySiteBucketName=<your bucket name>
  3. Note the following values from the output:
    • SSRAppStack.CFURL – the URL of the CloudFront distribution. Its root path returns the React application stored in S3.
    • SSRAppStack.LambdaSSRURL – the URL of the CloudFront /ssr distribution, which returns a page rendered by the Lambda function.
    • SSRAppStack.LambdaEdgeSSRURL – the URL of the CloudFront /edgessr distribution, which returns a page rendered by [email protected] function.Stack outputs
  4. In a browser, open each of the URLs from step 3. You see the same page with a different footer, indicating how it is rendered.Comparing the served pages

Understanding the React app

The application is created by the create-react-app utility. You can run and test this application locally by navigating to the simple-ssr directory and running the npm start command.

This small application consists of two components that render the list of products received from the backend. The App.js file sends the request, parses the result, and passes it to the component.

import React, { useEffect, useState } from "react";
import ProductList from "./components/ProductList";
import config from "./config.json";
import axios from "axios";

const App = ({ isSSR, ssrData }) => {
  const [err, setErr] = useState(false);
  const [result, setResult] = useState({ loading: true, products: null });
  useEffect(() => {
    const getData = async () => {
      const url = config.SSRApiStack.apiurl;
      try {
        let result = await axios.get(url);
        setResult({ loading: false, products: result.data });
      } catch (error) {
        setErr(error);
      }
    };
    getData();
  }, []);
  if (err) {
    return <div>Error {err}</div>;
  } else {
    return (
      <div>
        <ProductList result={result} />
      </div>
    );
  }
};

export default App;

Adding server-side rendering

To support SSR, I change the preceding application using several Lambda functions with the implementation. As I change the way data is retrieved from the backend, I remove this code from App.js. Instead, the data is retrieved in the Lambda function and injected into the application during the rendering process.

The new file SSRApp.js reflects these changes:

import React, { useState } from "react";
import ProductList from "./components/ProductList";

const SSRApp = ({ data }) => {
  const [result, setResult] = useState({ loading: false, products: data });
  return (
    <div>
      <ProductList result={result} />
    </div>
  );
};

export default SSRApp;

Next, I implement SSR logic in the Lambda function. For simplicity, I use React’s built-in renderToString method, which returns an HTML string. You can find the corresponding file in the simple-ssr/src/server/index.js. The handler function fetches data from the backend, renders the React components, and injects them into the HTML template. It returns the response to API Gateway, which responds to the client.

const handler = async function (event) {
  try {
    const url = config.SSRApiStack.apiurl;
    const result = await axios.get(url);
    const app = ReactDOMServer.renderToString(<SSRApp data={result.data} />);
    const html = indexFile.replace(
      '<div id="root"></div>',
      `<div id="root">${app}</div>`
    );
    return {
      statusCode: 200,
      headers: { "Content-Type": "text/html" },
      body: html,
    };
  } catch (error) {
    console.log(`Error ${error.message}`);
    return `Error ${error}`;
  }
};

For rendering the same code on [email protected], I change the code to work with CloudFront events and also modify the response format. This function searches for a specific path (/edgessr). All other logic stays the same. You can view the full code at simple-ssr/src/edge/index.js:

const handler = async function (event) {
  try {
    const request = event.Records[0].cf.request;
    if (request.uri === "/edgessr") {
      const url = config.SSRApiStack.apiurl;
      const result = await axios.get(url);
      const app = ReactDOMServer.renderToString(<SSRApp data={result.data} />);
      const html = indexFile.replace(
        '<div id="root"></div>',
        `<div id="root">${app}</div>`
      );
      return {
        status: "200",
        statusDescription: "OK",
        headers: {
          "cache-control": [
            {
              key: "Cache-Control",
              value: "max-age=100",
            },
          ],
          "content-type": [
            {
              key: "Content-Type",
              value: "text/html",
            },
          ],
        },
        body: html,
      };
    } else {
      return request;
    }
  } catch (error) {
    console.log(`Error ${error.message}`);
    return `Error ${error}`;
  }
};

The create-react-app utility configures tools such as Babel and webpack for the client-side React application. However, it is not designed to work with SSR. To make the functions work as expected, I transpile these into CommonJS format in addition to transpiling React JSX files. The standard tool for this task is Babel. To add it to this project, I create the configuration file .babelrc.json with instructions to transpile the functions into Node.js v12 format:

{
  "presets": [
    [
      "@babel/preset-env",
      {
        "targets": {
          "node": 12
        }
      }
    ],
    "@babel/preset-react"
  ]
}

I also include all the dependencies. I use the popular frontend tool webpack, which also works with Lambda functions. It adds only the necessary dependencies and minimizes the package size. For this purpose, I create configurations for both functions. You can find these in the webpack.edge.js and webpack.server.js files:

const path = require("path");

module.exports = {
  entry: "./src/edge/index.js",

  target: "node",

  externals: [],

  output: {
    path: path.resolve("edge-build"),
    filename: "index.js",
    library: "index",
    libraryTarget: "umd",
  },

  module: {
    rules: [
      {
        test: /\.js$/,
        use: "babel-loader",
      },
      {
        test: /\.css$/,
        use: "css-loader",
      },
    ],
  },
};

The result of running webpack is one file for each build. I use these files to deploy the Lambda and [email protected] functions. To automate the build process, I add several scripts to package.json.

"build-server": "webpack --config webpack.server.js --mode=development",
"build-edge": "webpack --config webpack.edge.js --mode=development",
"build-all": "npm-run-all --parallel build build-server build-edge"

Launch the build by running npm run build-all.

Deploying the application

After the application successfully builds, I deploy to the AWS Cloud. I use AWS CDK for an infrastructure as code approach. The code is located in cdk/lib/ssr-stack.ts.

First, I create an S3 bucket for storing the static content and I pass the name of the bucket as a parameter. To ensure only CloudFront can access my S3 bucket, I use an access identity configuration:

const mySiteBucketName = new CfnParameter(this, "mySiteBucketName", {
      type: "String",
      description: "The name of S3 bucket to upload react application"
    });

const mySiteBucket = new s3.Bucket(this, "ssr-site", {
      bucketName: mySiteBucketName.valueAsString,
      websiteIndexDocument: "index.html",
      websiteErrorDocument: "error.html",
      publicReadAccess: false,
      //only for demo not to use in production
      removalPolicy: cdk.RemovalPolicy.DESTROY
    });

new s3deploy.BucketDeployment(this, "Client-side React app", {
      sources: [s3deploy.Source.asset("../simple-ssr/build/")],
      destinationBucket: mySiteBucket
    });

const originAccessIdentity = new cloudfront.OriginAccessIdentity(
      this,
      "ssr-oia"
    );
    mySiteBucket.grantRead(originAccessIdentity);

I deploy the Lambda function from the build directory and configure an integration with API Gateway. I also note the API Gateway domain name for later use in the CloudFront distribution.

const ssrFunction = new lambda.Function(this, "ssrHandler", {
      runtime: lambda.Runtime.NODEJS_12_X,
      code: lambda.Code.fromAsset("../simple-ssr/server-build"),
      memorySize: 128,
      timeout: Duration.seconds(5),
      handler: "index.handler"
    });

const ssrApi = new apigw.LambdaRestApi(this, "ssrEndpoint", {
      handler: ssrFunction
    });

const apiDomainName = `${ssrApi.restApiId}.execute-api.${this.region}.amazonaws.com`;

I configure the [email protected] function. It’s important to create a function version explicitly to use with CloudFront:

const ssrEdgeFunction = new lambda.Function(this, "ssrEdgeHandler", {
      runtime: lambda.Runtime.NODEJS_12_X,
      code: lambda.Code.fromAsset("../simple-ssr/edge-build"),
      memorySize: 128,
      timeout: Duration.seconds(5),
      handler: "index.handler"
    });

const ssrEdgeFunctionVersion = new lambda.Version(
      this,
      "ssrEdgeHandlerVersion",
      { lambda: ssrEdgeFunction }
    );

Finally, I configure the CloudFront distribution to communicate with all the origins:

const distribution = new cloudfront.CloudFrontWebDistribution(
      this,
      "ssr-cdn",
      {
        originConfigs: [
          {
            s3OriginSource: {
              s3BucketSource: mySiteBucket,
              originAccessIdentity: originAccessIdentity
            },
            behaviors: [
              {
                isDefaultBehavior: true,
                lambdaFunctionAssociations: [
                  {
                    eventType: cloudfront.LambdaEdgeEventType.ORIGIN_REQUEST,
                    lambdaFunction: ssrEdgeFunctionVersion
                  }
                ]
              }
            ]
          },
          {
            customOriginSource: {
              domainName: apiDomainName,
              originPath: "/prod",
              originProtocolPolicy: cloudfront.OriginProtocolPolicy.HTTPS_ONLY
            },
            behaviors: [
              {
                pathPattern: "/ssr"
              }
            ]
          }
        ]
      }
    );

The template is now ready for deployment. This approach allows you to use this code in your Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery/Deployment (CI/CD) pipelines to automate deployments of your SSR applications. Also, you can create a CDK construct to reuse this code in different applications.

Cleaning up

To delete all the resources used in this solution, run:

cd react-ssr-lambda/cdk
cdk destroy SSRApiStack
cdk destroy SSRAppStack

Conclusion

This post demonstrates two ways you can implement and deploy a solution for server-side rendering in React applications, by using Lambda or [email protected]

It also shows how to use open-source tools and AWS CDK to automate the building and deployment of such applications.

For more serverless learning resources, visit Serverless Land.

Data monetization and customer experience optimization using telco data assets: Part 2

Post Syndicated from Vikas Omer original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/big-data/part-2-data-monetization-and-customer-experience-optimization-using-telco-data-assets/

Part 1 of this series explains the importance of building and implementing a customer experience (CX) management and data monetization strategy for telecom service providers (TSPs), and the major challenges driving these initiatives. It also includes an AWS CloudFormation template to set up a demonstration of the solution using AWS services. It covers transforming and enriching multiple datasets, and offers information about data standardization, baselining an analytics data model to marry different datasets like deep packet inspection (DPI) engine embedded Packet Switch (PS) probe, CRM, subscriptions, media, carrier, device, and network configuration management in the data warehouse with AWS Glue, AWS Lambda, and Amazon Redshift.

In this post, I demonstrate how you can enable data analysts, scientists, and advanced business users to query data from Amazon Redshift or Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) directly. I also demonstrate configuring a simple drag-and-drop interface for self-service analytics so you can prepare and publish insights based on enriched data stored in Amazon Redshift or Amazon S3 through Amazon QuickSight.

Solution overview

The following diagram illustrates the workflow of the solution.

In part 1 of this series, we discuss the overall workflow. In this post, we focus on the following steps:

  1. Catalog the processed raw, aggregate, and dimension data in the AWS Glue Data Catalog using the DPI processed data crawler.
  2. Interactively query data directly from Amazon S3 using Amazon Athena and visualize in QuickSight.
  3. Enable self-service analytics using QuickSight to prepare and publish insights based on data residing in the Amazon Redshift cluster.

Querying data using Amazon Redshift

After creating your Amazon Redshift cluster, you can immediately run queries by using the query editor on the Amazon Redshift console. Complete the following steps:

  1. On the Amazon Redshift console, in the navigation pane, choose Clusters.

A cluster with the identifier <redshift database name>-<cloudformation stack> should be present. For this example, the cluster is cemdm-telco.

  1. Choose Editor.
  2. Enter the required credentials to connect to the Amazon Redshift query editor. (Database name, Database user, and Database password are the ones you entered while creating the CloudFormation stack.)

  1. Choose Connect to database.

Upon successful authentication, you’re directed to the query editor.

  1. Run a few queries to check if data is in the tables.

In the following code, <table-name> is the Amazon Redshift table name:

select count(1) from cemdm.<table-name>;

The following query extracts the number of unique subscriber count by age group with Apple devices browsing retail domain websites or apps in or around shopping malls. You can also extract the list of subscribers and micro-segment them by consumption (total data volume) or by adding KPIs like recency and frequency.

select 
  dcd.age_range, 
  count(distinct f.customer_id)as "Unique Subs Count"
from 
  cemdm.f_daily_dpi f
inner join cemdm.d_customer_demographics dcd on f.customer_id = dcd.customer_id
inner join cemdm.d_tac dt on f.tac_code = dt.tac_sid
inner join cemdm.d_device dd on dt.device_sid = dd.device_sid
inner join cemdm.d_dpi_dictionary ddd on f.protocol_id = ddd.app_id
inner join cemdm.d_location dl on f.location_id = dl.location_id
where 
  dd.device_manufacturer = 'Apple' 
and ddd.media_category = 'Retail' 
and location_tier_4 ilike '%mall%'
group by 1 
order by 2 desc;

The following screenshot shows the output.

Unloading processed and enriched data from Amazon Redshift to Amazon S3

Amazon Redshift also includes Amazon Redshift Spectrum, which allows you to directly run SQL queries against exabytes of unstructured data in Amazon S3 data lakes. No loading or transformation is required, and you can use open data formats, including Avro, CSV, Ion, JSON, ORC, and Parquet. Amazon Redshift Spectrum automatically scales query compute capacity based on the data being retrieved, so queries against Amazon S3 run quickly, regardless of dataset size.

Amazon Redshift Spectrum gives you the freedom to store your data where you want, in the format you want, and have it available for processing when you need it. This is particularly helpful if you need to offload cold or historical data on Amazon Redshift to Amazon S3 in open data format. You can still access this data through Amazon Redshift via Amazon Redshift Spectrum plus any other application.

TSP data assets also include a lot of unstructured event data. This data is transient, and only valuable for a short amount of time. Therefore, you can leave it on Amazon S3 and access it from Amazon Redshift directly through Amazon Redshift Spectrum. You can use a lake house architecture approach, where hot, mostly static, and corporate data is in the warehouse, and the events data is in the data lake.

Alternatively, you can analyze data on Amazon S3 using Athena.

  1. Use the queries in the following table (in the Unload Statement column) in the Amazon Redshift query editor to unload data from Amazon Redshift to Amazon S3. For instructions, see Unloading data to Amazon S3. Provide the following information:
    • <aws-stack-name> – The name of the CloudFormation stack
    • <aws-region> – The Region in which you deployed the stack (for example, us-east-1)
    • <s3-bucket-name> – The bucket that you created while deploying the stack
    • <aws-account-id> – The AWS account ID in which you deployed the stack
    • <table-name> – The name of the Amazon Redshift table
Amazon Redshift Table Unload Statement

f_raw_dpi

f_hourly_dpi

unload ('select * from  cemdm.<table-name>') 
       to 's3://<s3-bucket-name>/dpi/processed/<table-name>/' 
       iam_role 'arn:aws:iam::<aws-account-id>:role /RedshiftBasicCustom-<aws-region>-<aws-stack-name>' 
       ALLOWOVERWRITE
       PARQUET 
       PARTITION BY (date_id, hour_id);

f_daily_dpi
unload ('select * from  cemdm.<table-name>') 
       to 's3://<s3-bucket-name>/dpi/processed/f_daily_dpi/' 
       iam_role 'arn:aws:iam::<aws-account-id>:role/RedshiftBasicCustom-<aws-region>-<aws-stack-name>' 
       ALLOWOVERWRITE
       PARQUET 
       PARTITION BY (date_id);

d_customer_demographics

d_device

d_dpi_dictionary

d_location

d_operator_plmn

d_tac

d_tariff_plan

d_tariff_plan_desc

unload ('select * from  cemdm.<table-name>') 
   to 's3://<s3-bucket-name>/dpi/processed/<table-name>/' 
       iam_role 'arn:aws:iam::<aws-account-id>:role /RedshiftBasicCustom-<aws-region>-<aws-stack-name>' 
       ALLOWOVERWRITE
       PARQUET;

Alternatively, you can copy the Amazon Redshift AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) role ARN to unload data to Amazon S3 from the console under the cluster’s properties.

  1. Verify that the data has been unloaded to Amazon S3 under <s3-bucket-name>/dpi/processed/.
  2. On the AWS Glue console, in the navigation pane, choose Crawlers.
  3. Select DPIProcessedDataCrawler.
  4. Choose Run crawler.

  1. Wait for the crawler to show the status Stopping.

The tables added against the DPIProcessedDataCrawler crawlers should show 11.

  1. Under Databases, choose Tables.
  2. Verify the following 11 tables are created under the cemdm database:
    • processed_f_raw_dpi
    • processed_f_hourly_dpi
    • processed_f_daily_dpi
    • processed_d_customer_demographics
    • processed_d_device
    • processed_d_dpi_dictionary
    • processed_d_location
    • processed_d_operator_plmn
    • processed_d_tac
    • processed_d_tariff_plan
    • processed_d_tariff_plan_desc

Visualizing data using QuickSight

QuickSight is a business analytics service you can use to build visualizations, perform one-time analysis, and get business insights from your data. For more information, see What Is Amazon QuickSight?

To connect QuickSight to Amazon Redshift as your data source, complete the following steps:

  1. Create a private connection from Amazon QuickSight to an Amazon Redshift cluster.

These steps involve creating a new private subnet that the CloudFormation stack already created. Use the private subnet that isn’t used by Amazon Redshift cluster for your QuickSight connection.

QuickSight provides out-of-the-box integration with Amazon Redshift, making it simple to query and visualize your Redshift data. For more information, see Creating a Dataset from an Autodiscovered Amazon Redshift Cluster or Amazon RDS Instance.

  1. For Schema, choose cdmdm.
  2. For Tables, select f_daily_dpi.
  3. Choose Edit/Preview data.

  1. Add data and prepare the following table relationships in the Data Prep Use the information provided to create the relationships between different tables:
Table A Name Table A Attribute Join Type Table B Name Table B Attribute
f_daily_dpi customer_id LEFT d_tariff_plan customer_id
f_daily_dpi tac_code INNER d_tac tac_sid
f_daily_dpi sgsn_plmn_sid INNER d_operator_plmn plmn_sid
f_daily_dpi location_id LEFT d_location location_id
f_daily_dpi protocol_id INNER d_dpi_dictionary app_id
f_daily_dpi customer_id LEFT d_customer_demographics customer_id
d_tariff_plan tariff_plan_id INNER d_tariff_plan_desc tariff_plan_id
d_tac device_sid INNER d_device device_sid

You can join d_operator_plmn with sgsn_plmn_sid and home_plmn_sid, but because the sample data only contains home subscriber data, a second join of f_raw_dpi data with d_operator_plmn on home_plmn_sid and plmn_sid is not present in the given relationship of tables.

The following screenshot shows the table relationships.

  1. Name your analysis CEMDM.
  2. Choose Save & visualize.

The following screenshots demonstrate a few QuickSight analyses created from the dataset we created. For more information about creating analyses in QuickSight, see Working with Analyses. You can divide all analyses across all the available attributes. We use the use case from part 1 of this series.

The following screenshot shows visualizations of user demographics on the Demographics tab.

The following screenshot shows visualizations of user interest on the Interest Analysis tab.

The following screenshot shows visualizations of user locations on the Location tab.

The following screenshot shows visualizations of device information on the Device tab.

The following screenshot shows visualizations of subscription information on the Subscriptions tab.

The following screenshot shows visualizations of roaming users on the Roaming tab.

The following screenshot shows visualizations on the Sub Details tab. You can drill down to subscriber-level details from any dashboard across any dimension or apply global-level filters to narrow down the desired segment.

You can also build these reports using Athena as a data connector. QuickSight provides out-of-the-box integration with Athena, which lets you run SQL queries on top of the metadata in your AWS Glue Data Catalog. For more information, see Creating a Dataset Using Amazon Athena Data.

You can also use Amazon Redshift metadata as a business glossary and visualize it using QuickSight with the following custom SQL:

SELECT * FROM (
  select 
    n.nspname as "Schema",c1.relname as "Table Name", c.attname as "Column Name", 'Attribute' as "Type",
    c.attnum as "Ordinal Position",typnotnull as "Is Not Null",typdefault as "Default Value", t.typname as "Data Type",
    split_part(d.description,'|',1) as "Category", 
    split_part(d.description,'|',2) as "Source",
    split_part(d.description,'|',3) as "Transient/Derived",
    split_part(d.description,'|',4) as "Is PII",
    split_part(d.description,'|',5) as "Is Business Sensitive",
    split_part(d.description,'|',6) as "Description"  
  from pg_catalog.pg_attribute c
  inner join pg_class c1 on c.attrelid=c1.oid
  inner JOIN pg_type t on t.oid=c.atttypid
  inner join pg_catalog.pg_namespace n on c1.relnamespace=n.oid
  inner join pg_catalog.pg_description d on d.objoid=c1.oid AND c.attnum = d.objsubid
  where n.nspname='cemdm' and c.attnum > 0
  UNION ALL
  select 
    pn.nspname as "Schema",pc.relname "Table Name",null as "Column Name", 'Table' as "Type", 
    null as "Ordinal Position",null as "Is Not Null",null as "Default Value",null as "Data Type",
    split_part(pd.description,'|',1) as "Category", 
    split_part(pd.description,'|',2) as "Source",
    split_part(pd.description,'|',3) as "Transient/Derived",
    split_part(pd.description,'|',4) as "Is PII",
    split_part(pd.description,'|',5) as "Is Business Sensitive",
    split_part(pd.description,'|',6) as "Description"
  from pg_catalog.pg_description pd 
  inner join pg_class pc on pd.objoid = pc.oid
  inner join pg_catalog.pg_namespace pn on pc.relnamespace = pn.oid
  where pn.nspname = 'cemdm' and pd.objsubid = 0
) x
order by "Table Name", nvl("Ordinal Position",0);

The following screenshot shows a sample visualization which you can build on QuickSight.

For more information about running custom Amazon Redshift SQL using Amazon QuickSight, see Using the Query Editor.

QuickSight allows creating template from existing analysis. You can use the resulting template to create a dashboard. For more information, see Evolve your analytics with Amazon QuickSight’s new APIs and theming capabilitiesYou can also embed QuickSight dashboards into your own apps, websites, and wikis without the need to provision and manage users (readers) in QuickSight. For more information, see New in Amazon QuickSight – session capacity pricing for large scale deployments, embedding in public websites, and developer portal for embedded analytics.”

Cleaning up

To avoid incurring future charges, delete the resources you created. Manually delete anything created outside of the CloudFormation stack and then the stack itself.

Conclusion

In this post, I demonstrated how data analysts, data scientists, and advanced business users can easily query multiple data sources and generate actionable insights including user interest profiles, segments, and micro-segments. Downstream systems like campaign management systems, customer care portals, and customer-facing applications; internal teams like retention, marketing, CX, and network; and workloads like machine learning can greatly benefit from the insights generated from this solution. You can automate these insights and integrate them with northbound systems, and trigger them based on a schedule or an event.

I also demonstrated how business users are empowered with self-service analytics to help them perform data exploration and publish ready-made insights in the form of dashboards. You can also create stories to drive data-heavy conversations based on enriched data stored in Amazon Redshift or Amazon S3.

Perceiving customer behavior across multiple touchpoints is the key for any business to thrive. And the essence of this solution is to capitalize on data and drive CX and monetization initiatives holistically across your organization. This framework allows you to accelerate your journey towards improving CX and generating new revenue streams by using existing data assets.

You can progressively augment this solution by adding additional data sources to evolve into a customer data platform hosting 360° profiles of individual subscribers correlated from multiple data sources. This solution can further support new and existing marketing, partnerships, loyalty, retention, network planning, and network optimization initiatives to drive revenue growth and improve profitability while keeping subscribers happy and loyal. It also helps you define an organization-wide standard for data visualization, self-service analytics, metadata discovery, and data marketplace.

For more ways to expand this solution, consider the following services:

  • AWS Data Exchange makes it easy to find, subscribe to, and use third-party data in the cloud. You can merge it with in-house data assets to span existing insights across multiple domains.
  • Amazon Pinpoint is a flexible and scalable outbound and inbound marketing communications service. You can connect with customers over channels like email, SMS, push, or voice. You can segment and micro-segment your campaign audience for the right customer and personalize your messages with the right content.

As always, AWS welcomes feedback. This is a wide-open space to explore, so reach out to us if you want to dive deep into understanding how you can build this solution and more on AWS. Please submit comments or questions in the comments section.


About the Author

Vikas Omer is an analytics specialist solutions architect at Amazon Web Services. Vikas has a strong background in analytics, customer experience management (CEM) and data monetization, with over 11 years of experience in the telecommunications industry globally. With six AWS Certifications, including Analytics Specialty, he is a trusted analytics advocate to AWS customers and partners. He loves traveling, meeting customers, and helping them become successful in what they do.

Building a Jenkins Pipeline with AWS SAM

Post Syndicated from Eric Johnson original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/building-a-jenkins-pipeline-with-aws-sam/

This post is courtesy of Tarun Kumar Mall, SDE at AWS.

This post shows how to set up a multi-stage pipeline on a Jenkins host for a serverless application, using the AWS Serverless Application Model (AWS SAM).

Overview

This tutorial uses Jenkins Pipeline plugin. A commit to the main branch of the repository starts and deploys the application, using the AWS SAM CLI. This tutorial deploys a small serverless API application called HelloWorldApi.

The pipeline consists of stages to build and deploy the application. Jenkins first ensures that the build environment is set up and installs any necessary tools. Next, Jenkins prepares the build artifacts. It promotes the artifacts to the next stage, where they are deployed to a beta environment using the AWS SAM CLI. Integration tests are run after deployment. If the tests pass, the application is deployed to the production environment.

CICD workflow diagram

CICD workflow diagram

The following prerequisites are required:

Setting up the backend application and development stack

Using AWS CloudFormation to define the infrastructure, you can create multiple environments or stacks from the same infrastructure definition. A “dev stack” is a copy of production infrastructure deployed to a developer account for testing purposes.

As serverless services use a pay-for-value model, it can be cost effective to use a high-fidelity copy of your production stack. Dev stacks are created by each developer as needed and deleted without having any negative impact on production.

For complex applications, it may not be feasible for every developer to have their own stack. However, for this tutorial, setting up the dev stack first for testing is recommended. Setting up a dev stack takes you through a manual process of how a stack is created. Later, this process is used to automate the setup using Jenkins.

To create a dev stack:

  1. Clone backend application repository https://github.com/aws-samples/aws-sam-jenkins-pipeline-tutorial
    git clone https://github.com/aws-samples/aws-sam-jenkins-pipeline-tutorial.git
  2. Build the application and run the guided deploy command:
    cd aws-sam-jenkins-pipeline-tutorial
    sam build
    sam deploy --guided

    AWS SAM guided deploy output

    AWS SAM guided deploy output

This sets up a development stack and saves the settings in the samconfig.toml file with configuration environment specific to a user. This also triggers a deployment.

  1. After deployment, make a small code change. For example, in the file hello-world/app.js change the message Hello world to Hello world from user <your name>.
  2. Deploy the updated code:
    sam build
    sam deploy -–config-env <your_username>

With this command, each developer can create their own configuration environment. They can use this for deploying to their development stack and testing changes before pushing changes to the repository.

Once deployment finishes, the API endpoint is displayed in the console output. You can use this endpoint to make GET requests and test the API manually.

Deployment output

Deployment output

To update and run the integration test:

  1. Open the hello-world/tests/integ/test-integ-api.js file.
  2. Update the assert statement in line 32 to include <your name> from the previous step:
    it("verifies if response contains my username", async () => {
      assert.include(apiResponse.data.message, "<your name>");
    });
  3. Open package.json and add the line in bold:
    {
      ...
      "scripts": {
        "test": "mocha tests/unit/",
        "integ-test": "mocha tests/integ/"
      }
      ...
    }
  4. From the terminal, run the following commands:
    cd hello-world
    npm install
    AWS_REGION=us-west-2 STACK_NAME=sam-app-user1-dev-stack npm run integ-test
    If you are using Microsoft Windows, instead run:
    cd hello-world
    npm install
    set AWS_REGION=us-west-2
    set STACK_NAME=sam-app-user1-dev-stack
    npm run integ-test

    Test results

    Test results

You have deployed a fully configured development stack with working integration tests. To push the code to GitHub:

  1. Create a new repository in GitHub.
    1. From the GitHub account homepage, choose New.
    2. Enter a repository name and choose Create Repository.
    3. Copy the repository URL.
  2. From the root directory of the AWS SAM project, run:
    git init
    git commit -am “first commit”
    git remote add origin <your-repository-url>
    git push -u origin main

Creating an IAM user for Jenkins

To create an IAM user for the Jenkins deployment:

  1. Sign in to the AWS Management Console and navigate to IAM.
  2. Select Users from side navigation and choose Add user.
  3. Enter the User name as sam-jenkins-demo-credentials and grant Programmatic access to this user.
  4. On the next page, select Attach existing policies directly and choose Create Policy.
  5. Select the JSON tab and enter the following policy. Replace <YOUR_ACCOUNT_ID> with your AWS account ID:
    {
        "Version": "2012-10-17",
        "Statement": [
            {
                "Sid": "CloudFormationTemplate",
                "Effect": "Allow",
                "Action": [
                    "cloudformation:CreateChangeSet"
                ],
                "Resource": [
                    "arn:aws:cloudformation:*:aws:transform/Serverless-2016-10-31"
                ]
            },
            {
                "Sid": "CloudFormationStack",
                "Effect": "Allow",
                "Action": [
                    "cloudformation:CreateChangeSet",
                    "cloudformation:DeleteStack",
                    "cloudformation:DescribeChangeSet",
                    "cloudformation:DescribeStackEvents",
                    "cloudformation:DescribeStacks",
                    "cloudformation:ExecuteChangeSet",
                    "cloudformation:GetTemplateSummary"
                ],
                "Resource": [
                    "arn:aws:cloudformation:*:<YOUR_ACCOUNT_ID>:stack/*"
                ]
            },
            {
                "Sid": "S3",
                "Effect": "Allow",
                "Action": [
                    "s3:CreateBucket",
                    "s3:GetObject",
                    "s3:PutObject"
                ],
                "Resource": [
                    "arn:aws:s3:::*/*"
                ]
            },
            {
                "Sid": "Lambda",
                "Effect": "Allow",
                "Action": [
                    "lambda:AddPermission",
                    "lambda:CreateFunction",
                    "lambda:DeleteFunction",
                    "lambda:GetFunction",
                    "lambda:GetFunctionConfiguration",
                    "lambda:ListTags",
                    "lambda:RemovePermission",
                    "lambda:TagResource",
                    "lambda:UntagResource",
                    "lambda:UpdateFunctionCode",
                    "lambda:UpdateFunctionConfiguration"
                ],
                "Resource": [
                    "arn:aws:lambda:*:<YOUR_ACCOUNT_ID>:function:*"
                ]
            },
            {
                "Sid": "IAM",
                "Effect": "Allow",
                "Action": [
                    "iam:AttachRolePolicy",
                    "iam:CreateRole",
                    "iam:DeleteRole",
                    "iam:DetachRolePolicy",
                    "iam:GetRole",
                    "iam:PassRole",
                    "iam:TagRole"
                ],
                "Resource": [
                    "arn:aws:iam::<YOUR_ACCOUNT_ID>:role/*"
                ]
            },
            {
                "Sid": "APIGateway",
                "Effect": "Allow",
                "Action": [
                    "apigateway:DELETE",
                    "apigateway:GET",
                    "apigateway:PATCH",
                    "apigateway:POST",
                    "apigateway:PUT"
                ],
                "Resource": [
                    "arn:aws:apigateway:*::*"
                ]
            }
        ]
    }
  6. Choose Review Policy and add a policy name on the next page.
  7. Choose Create Policy button.
  8. Return to the previous tab to continue creating the IAM user. Choose Refresh and search for the policy name you created. Select the policy.
  9. Choose Next Tags and then Review.
  10. Choose Create user and save the Access key ID and Secret access key.

Configuring Jenkins

To configure AWS credentials in Jenkins:

  1. On the Jenkins dashboard, go to Manage Jenkins > Manage Plugins in the Available tab. Search for the Pipeline: AWS Steps plugin and choose Install without restart.
  2. Navigate to Manage Jenkins > Manage Credentials > Jenkins (global) > Global Credentials > Add Credentials.
  3. Select Kind as AWS credentials and use the ID sam-jenkins-demo-credentials.
  4. Enter the access key ID and secret access key and choose OK.

    Jenkins credential configuration

    Jenkins credential configuration

  5. Create Amazon S3 buckets for each Region in the pipeline. S3 bucket names must be unique within a partition:
    aws s3 mb s3://sam-jenkins-demo-us-west-2-<your_name> --region us-west-2
    aws s3 mb s3://sam-jenkins-demo-us-east-1-<your_name> --region us-east-1
  6. Create a file named Jenkinsfile at the root of the project and add:
    pipeline {
      agent any
     
      stages {
        stage('Install sam-cli') {
          steps {
            sh 'python3 -m venv venv && venv/bin/pip install aws-sam-cli'
            stash includes: '**/venv/**/*', name: 'venv'
          }
        }
        stage('Build') {
          steps {
            unstash 'venv'
            sh 'venv/bin/sam build'
            stash includes: '**/.aws-sam/**/*', name: 'aws-sam'
          }
        }
        stage('beta') {
          environment {
            STACK_NAME = 'sam-app-beta-stage'
            S3_BUCKET = 'sam-jenkins-demo-us-west-2-user1'
          }
          steps {
            withAWS(credentials: 'sam-jenkins-demo-credentials', region: 'us-west-2') {
              unstash 'venv'
              unstash 'aws-sam'
              sh 'venv/bin/sam deploy --stack-name $STACK_NAME -t template.yaml --s3-bucket $S3_BUCKET --capabilities CAPABILITY_IAM'
              dir ('hello-world') {
                sh 'npm ci'
                sh 'npm run integ-test'
              }
            }
          }
        }
        stage('prod') {
          environment {
            STACK_NAME = 'sam-app-prod-stage'
            S3_BUCKET = 'sam-jenkins-demo-us-east-1-user1'
          }
          steps {
            withAWS(credentials: 'sam-jenkins-demo-credentials', region: 'us-east-1') {
              unstash 'venv'
              unstash 'aws-sam'
              sh 'venv/bin/sam deploy --stack-name $STACK_NAME -t template.yaml --s3-bucket $S3_BUCKET --capabilities CAPABILITY_IAM'
            }
          }
        }
      }
    }
  7. Commit and push the code to the GitHub repository by running following commands:
    git commit -am “Adding Jenkins pipeline config.”
    git push origin -u main

Next, create a Jenkins Pipeline project:

  1. From the Jenkins dashboard, choose New Item, select Pipeline, and enter the project name sam-jenkins-demo-pipeline.

    Jenkins Pipeline creation wizard

    Jenkins Pipeline creation wizard

  2. Under Build Triggers, select Poll SCM and enter * * * * *. This polls the repository for changes every minute.

    Jenkins build triggers configuration

    Jenkins build triggers configuration

  3. Under the Pipeline section, select Definition as Pipeline script from SCM.
    • Select GIT under SCM and enter the repository URL.
    • Set Branches to build to */main.
    • Set the Script Path to Jenkinsfile.

      Jenkins pipeline configuration

      Jenkins pipeline configuration

  4. Save the project.

After the build finishes, you see the pipeline:

Jenkins pipeline stages

Jenkins pipeline stages

Review the logs for the beta stage to check that the integration test is completed successfully.

Jenkins stage logs

Jenkins stage logs

Conclusion

This tutorial uses a Jenkins Pipeline to add an automated CI/CD pipeline to an AWS SAM-generated example application. Jenkins automatically builds, tests, and deploys the changes after each commit to the repository.

Using Jenkins, developers can gain the benefits of continuous integration and continuous deployment of serverless applications to the AWS Cloud with minimal configuration.

For more information, see the Jenkins Pipeline and AWS Serverless Application Model documentation.

We want to hear your feedback! Is this approach useful for your organization? Do you want to see another implementation? Contact us on Twitter @edjgeek or via comments!

Operating Lambda: Anti-patterns in event-driven architectures – Part 3

Post Syndicated from James Beswick original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/operating-lambda-anti-patterns-in-event-driven-architectures-part-3/

In the Operating Lambda series, I cover important topics for developers, architects, and systems administrators who are managing AWS Lambda-based applications. This three-part section discusses event-driven architectures and how these relate to Lambda-based applications.

Part 1 covers the benefits of the event-driven paradigm and how it can improve throughput, scale, and extensibility. Part 2 explains some of the design principles and best practices that can help developers gain the benefits of building Lambda-based applications. This post explores anti-patterns in event-driven architectures.

Lambda is not a prescriptive service and provides broad functionality for you to build applications as needed. While this flexibility is important to customers, there are some designs that are technically functional but suboptimal from an architecture standpoint.

The Lambda monolith

In many applications migrated from traditional servers, Amazon EC2 instances or AWS Elastic Beanstalk applications, developers “lift and shift” existing code. Frequently, this results in a single Lambda function that contains all of the application logic that is triggered for all events. For a basic web application, for example, a monolithic Lambda function handles all Amazon API Gateway routes and integrates with all necessary downstream resources:

Monolithic Lambda application

This approach has several drawbacks:

  • Package size: The Lambda function may be much larger because it contains all possible code for all paths, which makes it slower for the Lambda service to download and run.
  • Harder to enforce least privilege: The function’s IAM role must grant permissions for all resources needed for all paths, making the permissions very broad. Many paths in the functional monolith do not need all the permissions that have been granted.
  • Harder to upgrade: In a production system, any upgrades to the single function are more risky and could cause the entire application to stop working. Upgrading a single path in the Lambda function is an upgrade to the entire function.
  • Harder to maintain: It’s more difficult to have multiple developers working on the service since it’s a monolithic code repository. It also increases the cognitive burden on developers and makes it harder to create appropriate test coverage for code.
  • Harder to reuse code: Typically, it can be harder to separate libraries from monoliths, making code reuse more difficult. As you develop and support more projects, this can make it harder to support the code and scale your team’s velocity.
  • Harder to test: As the lines of code increase, it becomes harder to unit all the possible combinations of inputs and entry points in the code base. It’s generally easier to implement unit testing for smaller services with less code.

The preferred alternative is to decompose the monolithic Lambda function into individual microservices, mapping a single Lambda function to a single, well-defined task. In this example web application with a few API endpoints, the resulting microservice-based architecture is based on the API routes.

Microservice architecture

The process of decomposing a monolith depends upon the complexity of your workload. Using strategies like the strangler pattern, you can migrate code from larger code bases to microservices. There are many potential benefits to running a Lambda-based application this way:

  • Package sizes can be optimized for only the code needed for a single task, which helps make the function more performant, and may reduce running cost.
  • IAM roles can be scoped to precisely the access needed by the microservice, making it easier to enforce the principles of least privilege. In controlling the blast radius, using IAM roles this way can give your application a stronger security posture.
  • Easier to upgrade: you can apply upgrades at a microservice level without impacting the entire workload. Upgrades occur at the functional level, not at the application level, and you can implement canary releases to control the rollout.
  • Easier to maintain: adding new features is usually easier when working with a single small service than a monolithic with significant coupling. Frequently, you implement features by adding new Lambda functions without modifying existing code.
  • Easier to reuse code: when you have specialized functions that perform a single task, it’s often easier to copy these across multiple projects. Building a library of generic specialized functions can help accelerate development in future projects.
  • Easier to test: unit testing is easier when there are few lines of code and the range of potential inputs for a function is smaller.
  • Lower cognitive load for developers since each development team has a smaller surface area of the application to understand. This can help accelerate onboarding for new developers.

To learn more, read “Decomposing the Monolith with Event Storming”.

Lambda as orchestrator

Many business workflows result in complex workflow logic, where the flow of operations depends on multiple factors. In an ecommerce example, a payments service is an example of a complex workflow:

  • A payment type may be cash, check, or credit card, all of which have different processes.
  • A credit card payment has many possible states, from successful to declined.
  • The service may need to issue refunds or credits for a portion or the entire amount.
  • A third-party service that processes credit cards may be unavailable due to an outage.
  • Some payments may take multiple days to process.

Implementing this logic in a Lambda function can result in ‘spaghetti code’ that’s different to read, understand, and maintain. It can also become fragile in production systems. The complexity is compounded if you must handle error handling, retry logic, and inputs and outputs processing. These types of orchestration functions are an anti-pattern in Lambda-based applications.

Instead, use AWS Step Functions to orchestrate these workflows using a versionable, JSON-defined state machine. State machines can handle nested workflow logic, errors, and retries. A workflow can also run for up to 1 year, and the service can maintain different versions of workflows, allowing you to upgrade production systems in place. Using this approach also results in less custom code, making an application easier to test and maintain.

While Step Functions is generally best-suited for workflows within a bounded context or microservice, to coordinate state changes across multiple services, instead use Amazon EventBridge. This is a serverless event bus that routes events based upon rules, and simplifies orchestration between microservices.

Recursive patterns that cause invocation loops

AWS services generate events that invoke Lambda functions, and Lambda functions can send messages to AWS services. Generally, the service or resource that invokes a Lambda function should be different to the service or resource that the function outputs to. Failure to manage this can result in invocation loops.

For example, a Lambda function writes an object to an Amazon S3 object, which in turn invokes the same Lambda function via a put event. The invocation causes a second object to be written to the bucket, which invokes the same Lambda function:

Event loops in Lambda-based applications

While the potential for infinite loops exists in most programming languages, this anti-pattern has the potential to consume more resources in serverless applications. Both Lambda and S3 automatically scale based upon traffic, so the loop may cause Lambda to scale to consume all available concurrency and S3 to continue to write objects and generate more events for Lambda. In this situation, you can press the “Throttle” button in the Lambda console to scale the function concurrency down to zero and break the recursion cycle.

This example uses S3 but the risk of recursive loops also exists in Amazon SNS, Amazon SQS, Amazon DynamoDB, and other services. In most cases, it is safer to separate the resources that produce and consume events from Lambda. However, if you need a Lambda function to write data back to the same resource that invoked the function, ensure that you:

  • Use a positive trigger: For example, an S3 object trigger may use a naming convention or meta tag that is only triggered on the first invocation. This prevents objects written from the Lambda function from invoking the same Lambda function again. See the S3-to-Lambda translation application for an example of this mechanism.
  • Use reserved concurrency: Setting the function’s reserved concurrency to a lower limit prevents the function from scaling concurrently beyond that limit. It does not prevent the recursion, but limits the resources consumed as a safety mechanism. This can be useful during the development and test phases.
  • Use Amazon CloudWatch monitoring and alarming: By setting an alarm on a function’s concurrency metric, you can receive alerts if the concurrency suddenly spikes and take appropriate action.

Lambda functions calling Lambda functions

Functions enable encapsulation and code reuse. Most programming languages support the concept of code synchronously calling functions within a code base. In this case, the caller waits until the function returns a response. This model does not generally adapt well to serverless development.

For example, consider a simple ecommerce application consisting of three Lambda functions that process an order:

Ecommerce example with three functions

In this case, the Create order function calls the Process payment function, which in turn calls the Create invoice function. While this synchronous flow may work within a single application on a server, it introduces several avoidable problems in a distributed serverless architecture:

  • Cost: With Lambda, you pay for the duration of an invocation. In this example, while the Create invoice functions runs, two other functions are also running in a wait state, shown in red on the diagram.
  • Error handling: In nested invocations, error handling can become more complex. Either errors are thrown to parent functions to handle at the top-level function, or functions require custom handling. For example, an error in Create invoice might require the Process payment function to reverse the charge, or it may instead retry the Create invoice process.
  • Tight coupling: Processing a payment typically takes longer than creating an invoice. In this model, the availability of the entire workflow is limited by the slowest function.
  • Scaling: The concurrency of all three functions must be equal. In a busy system, this uses more concurrency than would otherwise be needed.

In serverless applications, there are two common approaches to avoid this pattern. First, use an SQS queue between Lambda functions. If a downstream process is slower than an upstream process, the queue durably persists messages and decouples the two functions. In this example, the Create order function publishes a message to an SQS queue, and the Process payment function consumes messages from the queue.

The second approach is to use AWS Step Functions. For complex processes with multiple types of failure and retry logic, Step Functions can help reduce the amount of custom code needed to orchestrate the workflow. As a result, Step Functions orchestrates the work and robustly handles errors and retries, and the Lambda functions contain only business logic.

Synchronous waiting within a single Lambda function

Within a single Lambda, ensure that any potentially concurrent activities are not scheduled synchronously. For example, a Lambda function might write to an S3 bucket and then write to a DynamoDB table:

The wait states, shown in red in the diagram, are compounded because the activities are sequential. If the tasks are independent, they can be run in parallel, which results in the total wait time being set by the longest-running task.

Parallel tasks in Lambda functions

In cases where the second task depends on the completion of the first task, you may be able to reduce the total waiting time and the cost of execution by splitting the Lambda functions:

Splitting tasks over two functions

In this design, the first Lambda function responds immediately after putting the object to the S3 bucket. The S3 service invokes the second Lambda function, which then writes data to the DynamoDB table. This approach minimizes the total wait time in the Lambda function executions.

To learn more, read the “Serverless Applications Lens” from the AWS Well-Architected Framework.

Conclusion

This post discusses anti-patterns in event-driven architectures using Lambda. I show some of the issues when using monolithic Lambda functions or custom code to orchestrate workflows. I explain how to avoid recursive architectures that may cause invocation loops and why you should avoid calling functions from functions. I also explain different approaches to handling waiting in functions to minimize cost.

For more serverless learning resources, visit Serverless Land.

Building PHP Lambda functions with Docker container images

Post Syndicated from Benjamin Smith original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/building-php-lambda-functions-with-docker-container-images/

At re:Invent 2020, AWS announced that you can package and deploy AWS Lambda functions as container images. Packaging AWS Lambda functions as container images brings some notable benefits for developers running custom runtimes, such as PHP. This blog post explains those benefits and shows how to use the new container image support for Lambda functions to build serverless PHP applications.

Overview

Many PHP developers are familiar with building applications as containers to create a portable artifact for easier deployment. Packaging applications as containers helps to maintain consistent PHP versions, package versions, and configurations settings across multiple environments.

The new container image support for Lambda allows you to use familiar container tooling to build your applications. It also allows you to transition your applications into a serverless event-driven model. This brings the benefits of having no infrastructure to manage, automated scalability and a pay-per-use billing.

The advantages of an event-driven model for PHP applications are explained across the blog series “The serverless LAMP stack”. It explores the concepts, methods, and reasons for creating serverless applications with PHP. The architectural patterns and service limits in this blog series apply to functions packaged using both container image and zip archive formats, with some key exceptions:

Zip archive Container image
Maximum package size 250 MB 10 GB
Lambda layers Supported Include in image
Lambda Extensions Supported Include in image

Custom runtimes with container images

For custom runtimes such as PHP, Lambda provides base images containing the required Amazon Linux or Amazon Linux 2 operating system. Extend this to include your own runtime by implementing the Lambda Runtime API in a bootstrap file.

Before container image support for Lambda, a custom runtime is packaged using the .zip format. This required the developer to:

  1. Set up an Amazon Linux environment compatible with the Lambda execution environment.
  2. Install compilation dependencies and compile a version of PHP.
  3. Save the compiled PHP binary together with a bootstrap file and package as a .zip.
  4. Publish the .zip as a runtime layer.
  5. Add the runtime layer to a Lambda function.

Any edits to the custom runtime such as new packages, PHP versions, modules, or dependences require the process to be repeated. This process can be time consuming and prone to error.

Creating a custom PHP runtime using the new container image support for Lambda can simplify changing the runtime environment. Dockerfiles allow you to have a fully scripted, faster, and portable build process without setting up an Amazon Linux environment.

This GitHub repository contains a custom PHP runtime for Lambda functions packaged as a container image. The following Dockerfile uses the base image for Amazon Linux provided by AWS. The instructions perform the following:

  • Install system-wide Linux packages (zip, curl, tar).
  • Download and compile PHP.
  • Download and install composer dependency manager and dependencies.
  • Move PHP binaries, bootstrap, and vendor dependencies into a directory that Lambda can read from.
  • Set the container entrypoint.
#Lambda base image Amazon Linux
FROM public.ecr.aws/lambda/provided as builder 
# Set desired PHP Version
ARG php_version="7.3.6"
RUN yum clean all && \
    yum install -y autoconf \
                bison \
                bzip2-devel \
                gcc \
                gcc-c++ \
                git \
                gzip \
                libcurl-devel \
                libxml2-devel \
                make \
                openssl-devel \
                tar \
                unzip \
                zip

# Download the PHP source, compile, and install both PHP and Composer
RUN curl -sL https://github.com/php/php-src/archive/php-${php_version}.tar.gz | tar -xvz && \
    cd php-src-php-${php_version} && \
    ./buildconf --force && \
    ./configure --prefix=/opt/php-7-bin/ --with-openssl --with-curl --with-zlib --without-pear --enable-bcmath --with-bz2 --enable-mbstring --with-mysqli && \
    make -j 5 && \
    make install && \
    /opt/php-7-bin/bin/php -v && \
    curl -sS https://getcomposer.org/installer | /opt/php-7-bin/bin/php -- --install-dir=/opt/php-7-bin/bin/ --filename=composer

# Prepare runtime files
# RUN mkdir -p /lambda-php-runtime/bin && \
    # cp /opt/php-7-bin/bin/php /lambda-php-runtime/bin/php
COPY runtime/bootstrap /lambda-php-runtime/
RUN chmod 0755 /lambda-php-runtime/bootstrap

# Install Guzzle, prepare vendor files
RUN mkdir /lambda-php-vendor && \
    cd /lambda-php-vendor && \
    /opt/php-7-bin/bin/php /opt/php-7-bin/bin/composer require guzzlehttp/guzzle

###### Create runtime image ######
FROM public.ecr.aws/lambda/provided as runtime
# Layer 1: PHP Binaries
COPY --from=builder /opt/php-7-bin /var/lang
# Layer 2: Runtime Interface Client
COPY --from=builder /lambda-php-runtime /var/runtime
# Layer 3: Vendor
COPY --from=builder /lambda-php-vendor/vendor /opt/vendor

COPY src/ /var/task/

CMD [ "index" ]

To deploy this Lambda function, follow the instructions in the GitHub repository.

All runtime-related instructions are saved in the Dockerfile, which makes the custom runtime simpler to manage, update, and test. You can add additional Linux packages by appending to the yum install command. To install alternative PHP versions, change the php_version argument. Import additional PHP modules by adding to the compile command.

View the complete application in the following file tree:

project/
┣ runtime/
┃ ┗ bootstrap
┣ src/
┃ ┗ index.php
┗ Dockerfile

The Lambda function code is stored in the src directory in a file named index.php. This contains the Lambda function handler “index()”.

A bootstrap file is in the ‘runtime’ directory. This uses the Lambda runtime API to communicate with the Lambda execution environment.

The shebang hash sequence at the beginning of the bootstrap script instructs Lambda to run the file with the PHP executable, set by the Dockerfile.

All environment variables used in the bootstrap are set by the Lambda execution environment when running in the AWS Cloud. When running locally, the Lambda Runtime Interface Emulator (RIE) sets these values.

#!/var/lang/bin/php

Testing locally with the Lambda RIE

Using container image support for Lambda makes it easier for PHP developers to test Lambda functions locally. The previous container image example builds from the Lambda base image provided by AWS. This base image contains the Lambda RIE.

This is a proxy for Lambda’s Runtime and Extensions APIs. It acts as a lightweight web server that converts HTTP requests to JSON events and maintains functional parity with the Lambda Runtime API in the AWS Cloud. This allows developers to test functions locally using familiar tools such as cURL and the Docker CLI.

  1. Build the previous custom runtime image using the Docker build command:
    docker build -t phpmyfuntion .
  2. Run the function locally using the Docker run command, bound to port 9000:
    docker run -p 9000:8080 phpmyfuntion:latest
  3. This command starts up a local endpoint at:
    localhost:9000/2015-03-31/functions/function/invocations
  4. Post an event to this endpoint using a curl command. The Lambda function payload is provided by using the -d flag. This is a valid Json object required by the Runtime Interface Emulator:
    curl "http://localhost:9000/2015-03-31/functions/function/invocations" -d '{"queryStringParameters": {"name":"Ben"}}'
  5. A 200 status response is returned:

Building web applications with Bref container images

Bref is an open source runtime Lambda layer for PHP. Using the bref-fpm layer, you can build applications with traditional PHP frameworks such as Symfony and Laravel. Bref’s implementation of the FastCGI protocol returns an HTTP response instead of a JSON response. When using the zip archive format to package Lambda functions, Bref’s custom runtime is provided to the function as a Lambda layer. Functions packaged as container images do not support adding Lambda layers to the function configuration. In addition to runtime layers, Bref also provides a number of Docker images. These images use the Lambda runtime API to form a runtime interface client that communicates with the Lambda execution environment.

The following example shows how to compose a Dockerfile that uses the bref php-74-fpm container image:

# Uses PHP 74-fpm.0, as the base image
FROM bref/php-74-fpm
# download composer for dependency management
RUN curl -s https://getcomposer.org/installer | php
# install bref using composer
RUN php composer.phar require bref/bref
# copy the project files into a Location that the Lambda service can read from
COPY . /var/task
#set the function handler entry point
CMD _HANDLER=index.php /opt/bootstrap
  1. The first line sets the base image to use bref/php-74-fpm.
  2. Composer, a dependency manager for PHP is installed.
  3. Composer’s require command is used to add the bref package to the composer.json file.
  4. The project files are then copied into the /var/task directory, where the function code runs from.
  5. The function handler is set along with Bref’s bootstrap file.

The steps to build and deploy this image to the Amazon Elastic Container Registry are the same for any runtime, and explained in this announcement blog post.

Conclusion

The new container image support for Lambda functions allows developers to package Lambda functions of up to 10 GB in size. Using the container image format and a Dockerfile can make it easier to build and update functions with custom runtimes such as PHP.

Developers can include specific language versions, modules, and package dependencies. The Amazon Linux and Amazon Linux 2 base images give developers a starting point to customize the runtime. With the Lambda Runtime Interface Emulator, it’s simpler for developers to test Lambda functions locally. PHP developers can use existing third-party images, such as bref-fpm, to create web applications in a single Lambda function.

Visit serverlessland.com for more information on building serverless PHP applications.

Operating Lambda: Design principles in event-driven architectures – Part 2

Post Syndicated from James Beswick original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/operating-lambda-design-principles-in-event-driven-architectures-part-2/

In the Operating Lambda series, I cover important topics for developers, architects, and systems administrators who are managing AWS Lambda-based applications. This three-part section discusses event-driven architectures and how these relate to Lambda-based applications.

Part 1 covers the benefits of the event-driven paradigm and how it can improve throughput, scale and extensibility. This post explains some of the design principles and best practices that can help developers gain the benefits of building Lambda-based applications.

Overview

Many of the best practices that apply to software development and distributed systems also apply to serverless application development. The broad principles are consistent with the Well-Architected Framework. The overall goal is to develop workloads that are:

  • Reliable: offering your end users a high level of availability. AWS serverless services are reliable because they are also designed for failure.
  • Durable: providing storage options that meet the durability needs of your workload.
  • Secure: following best practices and using the tools provided to secure access to workloads and limit the blast radius, if any issues occur.
  • Performant: using computing resources efficiently and meeting the performance needs of your end users.
  • Cost-efficient: designing architectures that avoid unnecessary cost that can scale without overspending, and also be decommissioned, if necessary, without significant overhead.

When you develop Lambda-based applications, there are several important design principles that can help you build workloads that meet these goals. You may not apply every principle to every architecture and you have considerable flexibility in how you approach building with Lambda. However, they should guide you in general architecture decisions.

Use services instead of custom code

Serverless applications usually comprise several AWS services, integrated with custom code run in Lambda functions. While Lambda can be integrated with most AWS services, the services most commonly used in serverless applications are:

Category AWS service
Compute AWS Lambda
Data storage Amazon S3
Amazon DynamoDB
Amazon RDS
API Amazon API Gateway
Application integration Amazon EventBridge
Amazon SNS
Amazon SQS
Orchestration AWS Step Functions
Streaming data and analytics Amazon Kinesis Data Firehose

There are many well-established, common patterns in distributed architectures that you can build yourself or implement using AWS services. For most customers, there is little commercial value in investing time to develop these patterns from scratch. When your application needs one of these patterns, use the corresponding AWS service:

Pattern AWS service
Queue Amazon SQS
Event bus Amazon EventBridge
Publish/subscribe (fan-out) Amazon SNS
Orchestration AWS Step Functions
API Amazon API Gateway
Event streams Amazon Kinesis

These services are designed to integrate with Lambda and you can use infrastructure as code (IaC) to create and discard resources in the services. You can use any of these services via the AWS SDK without needing to install applications or configure servers. Becoming proficient with using these services via code in your Lambda functions is an important step to producing well-designed serverless applications.

Understanding the level of abstraction

The Lambda service limits your access to the underlying operating systems, hypervisors, and hardware running your Lambda functions. The service continuously improves and changes infrastructure to add features, reduce cost and make the service more performant. Your code should assume no knowledge of how Lambda is architected and assume no hardware affinity.

Similarly, the integration of other services with Lambda is managed by AWS with only a small number of configuration options exposed. For example, when API Gateway and Lambda interact, there is no concept of load balancing available since it is entirely managed by the services. You also have no direct control over which Availability Zones the services use when invoking functions at any point in time, or how and when Lambda execution environments are scaled up or destroyed.

This abstraction allows you to focus on the integration aspects of your application, the flow of data, and the business logic where your workload provides value to your end users. Allowing the services to manage the underlying mechanics helps you develop applications more quickly with less custom code to maintain.

Implementing statelessness in functions

When building Lambda functions, you should assume that the environment exists only for a single invocation. The function should initialize any required state when it is first started – for example, fetching a shopping cart from a DynamoDB table. It should commit any permanent data changes before exiting to a durable store such as S3, DynamoDB, or SQS. It should not rely on any existing data structures or temporary files, or any internal state that would be managed by multiple invocations (such as counters or other calculated, aggregate values).

Lambda provides an initializer before the handler where you can initialize database connections, libraries, and other resources. Since execution environments are reused where possible to improve performance, you can amortize the time taken to initialize these resources over multiple invocations. However, you should not store any variables or data used in the function within this global scope.

Lambda function design

Most architectures should prefer many, shorter functions over fewer, larger ones. Making Lambda functions highly specialized for your workload means that they are concise and generally result in shorter executions. The purpose of each function should be to handle the event passed into the function, with no knowledge or expectations of the overall workflow or volume of transactions. This makes the function agnostic to the source of the event with minimal coupling to other services.

Any global-scope constants that change infrequently should be implemented as environment variables to allow updates without deployments. Any secrets or sensitive information should be stored in AWS Systems Manager Parameter Store or AWS Secrets Manager and loaded by the function. Since these resources are account-specific, this allows you to create build pipelines across multiple accounts. The pipelines load the appropriate secrets per environment, without exposing these to developers or requiring any code changes.

Building for on-demand data instead of batches

Many traditional systems are designed to run periodically and process batches of transactions that have built up over time. For example, a banking application may run every hour to process ATM transactions into central ledgers. In Lambda-based applications, the custom processing should be triggered by every event, allowing the service to scale up concurrency as needed, to provide near-real time processing of transactions.

While you can run cron tasks in serverless applications by using scheduled expressions for rules in Amazon EventBridge, these should be used sparingly or as a last-resort. In any scheduled task that processes a batch, there is the potential for the volume of transactions to grow beyond what can be processed within the 15-minute Lambda timeout. If the limitations of external systems force you to use a scheduler, you should generally schedule for the shortest reasonable recurring time period.

For example, it’s not best practice to use a batch process that triggers a Lambda function to fetch a list of new S3 objects. This is because the service may receive more new objects in between batches than can be processed within a 15-minute Lambda function.

S3 fetch anti-pattern

Instead, the Lambda function should be invoked by the S3 service each time a new object is put into the S3 bucket. This approach is significantly more scalable and also invokes processing in near-real time.

S3 to Lambda events

Orchestrating workflows

Workflows that involve branching logic, different types of failure models and retry logic typically use an orchestrator to keep track of the state of the overall execution. Avoid using Lambda functions for this purpose, since it results in tightly coupled groups of functions and services and complex code handling routing and exceptions.

With AWS Step Functions, you use state machines to manage orchestration. This extracts the error handling, routing, and branching logic from your code, replacing it with state machines declared using JSON. Apart from making workflows more robust and observable, it allows you to add versioning to workflows and make the state machine a codified resource that you can add to a code repository.

It’s common for simpler workflows in Lambda functions to become more complex over time, and for developers to use a Lambda function to orchestrate the flow. When operating a production serverless application, it’s important to identify when this is happening, so you can migrate this logic to a state machine.

Developing for retries and failures

AWS serverless services, including Lambda, are fault-tolerant and designed to handle failures. In the case of Lambda, if a service invokes a Lambda function and there is a service disruption, Lambda invokes your function in a different Availability Zone. If your function throws an error, the Lambda service retries your function.

Since the same event may be received more than once, functions should be designed to be idempotent. This means that receiving the same event multiple times does not change the result beyond the first time the event was received.

For example, if a credit card transaction is attempted twice due to a retry, the Lambda function should process the payment on the first receipt. On the second retry, either the Lambda function should discard the event or the downstream service it uses should be idempotent.

A Lambda function implements idempotency typically by using a DynamoDB table to track recently processed identifiers to determine if the transaction has been handled previously. The DynamoDB table usually implements a Time To Live (TTL) value to expire items to limit the storage space used.

Idempotent microservice

For failures within the custom code of a Lambda function, the service offers a number of features to help preserve and retry the event, and provide monitoring to capture that the failure has occurred. Using these approaches can help you develop workloads that are resilient to failure and improve the durability of events as they are processed by Lambda functions.

Conclusion

This post discusses the design principles that can help you develop well-architected serverless applications. I explain why using services instead of code can help improve your application’s agility and scalability. I also show how statelessness and function design also contribute to good application architecture. I cover how using events instead of batches helps serverless development, and how to plan for retries and failures in your Lambda-based applications.

Part 3 of this series will look at common anti-patterns in event-driven architectures and how to avoid building these into your microservices.

For more serverless learning resources, visit Serverless Land.

Best practices and advanced patterns for Lambda code signing

Post Syndicated from Cassia Martin original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/security/best-practices-and-advanced-patterns-for-lambda-code-signing/

Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently released Code Signing for AWS Lambda. By using this feature, you can help enforce the integrity of your code artifacts and make sure that only trusted developers can deploy code to your AWS Lambda functions. Today, let’s review a basic use case along with best practices for lambda code signing. Then, let’s dive deep and talk about two advanced patterns—one for centralized signing and one for cross account layer validation. You can use these advanced patterns to use code signing in a distributed ownership model, where you have separate groups for developers writing code and for groups responsible for enforcing specific signing profiles or for publishing layers.

Secure software development lifecycle

For context of what this capability gives you, let’s look at the secure software development lifecycle (SDLC). You need different kinds of security controls for each of your development phases. An overview of the secure SDLC development stages—code, build, test, deploy, and monitor—, along with applicable security controls, can be found in Figure 1. You can use code signing for Lambda to protect the deployment stage and give a cryptographically strong hash verification.

Figure 1: Code signing provides hash verification in the deployment phase of a secure SDLC

Figure 1: Code signing provides hash verification in the deployment phase of a secure SDLC

Adding Security into DevOps and Implementing DevSecOps Using AWS CodePipeline provide additional information on building a secure SDLC, with a particular focus on the code analysis controls.

Basic pattern:

Figure 2 shows the basic pattern described in Code signing for AWS Lambda and in the documentation. The basic code signing pattern uses AWS Signer on a ZIP file and calls a create API to install the signed artifact in Lambda.

Figure 2: The basic code signing pattern

Figure 2: The basic code signing pattern

The basic pattern illustrated in Figure 2 is as follows:

  1. An administrator creates a signing profile in AWS Signer. A signing profile is analogous to a code signing certificate and represents a publisher identity. Administrators can provide access via AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) for developers to use the signing profile to sign their artifacts.
  2. Administrators create a code signing configuration (CSC)—a new resource in Lambda that specifies the signing profiles that are allowed to sign code and the signature validation policy that defines whether to warn or reject deployments that fail the signature checks. CSC can be attached to existing or new Lambda functions to enable signature validations on deployment.
  3. Developers use one of the allowed signing profiles to sign the deployment artifact—a ZIP file—in AWS Signer.
  4. Developers deploy the signed deployment artifact to a function using either the CreateFunction API or the UpdateFunctionCode API.

Lambda performs signature checks before accepting the deployment. The deployment fails if the signature checks fail and you have set the signature validation policy in the CSC to reject deployments using ENFORCE mode.

Code signing checks

Code signing for Lambda provides four signature checks. First, the integrity check confirms that the deployment artifact hasn’t been modified after it was signed using AWS Signer. Lambda performs this check by matching the hash of the artifact with the hash from the signature. The second check is the source mismatch check, which detects if a signature isn’t present or if the artifact is signed by a signing profile that isn’t specified in the CSC. The third, expiry check, will fail if a signature is past its point of expiration. The fourth is the revocation check, which is used to see if anyone has explicitly marked the signing profile used for signing or the signing job as invalid by revoking it.

The integrity check must succeed or Lambda will not run the artifact. The other three checks can be configured to either block invocation or generate a warning. These checks are performed in order until one check fails or all checks succeed. As a security leader concerned about the security of code deployments, you can use the Lambda code signing checks to satisfy different security assurances:

  • Integrity – Provides assurance that code has not been tampered with, by ensuring that the signature on the build artifact is cryptographically valid.
  • Source mismatch – Provides assurance that only trusted entities or developers can deploy code.
  • Expiry – Provides assurance that code running in your environment is not stale, by making sure that signatures were created within a certain date and time.
  • Revocation – Allows security administrators to remove trust by invalidating signatures after the fact so that they cannot be used for code deployment if they have been exposed or are otherwise no longer trusted.

The last three checks are enforced only if you have set the signature validation policy—UntrustedArtifactOnDeployment parameter—in the CSC to ENFORCE. If the policy is set to WARN, then failures in any of the mismatch, expiry, and revocation checks will log a metric called a signature validation error in Amazon CloudWatch. The best practice for this setting is to initially set the policy to WARN. Then, you can monitor the warnings, if any, and update the policy to enforce when you’re confident in the findings in CloudWatch.

Centralized signing enforcement

In this scenario, you have a security administrators team that centrally manages and approves signing profiles. The team centralizes signing profiles in order to enforce that all code running on Lambda is authored by a trusted developer and isn’t tampered with after it’s signed. To do this, the security administrators team wants to enforce that developers—in the same account—can only create Lambda functions with signing profiles that the team has approved. By owning the signing profiles used by developer teams, the security team controls the lifecycle of the signatures and the ability to revoke the signatures. Here are instructions for creating a signing profile and CSC, and then enforcing their use.

Create a signing profile

To create a signing profile, you’ll use the AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI). Start by logging in to your account as the central security role. This is an administrative role that is scoped with permissions needed for setting up code signing. You’ll create a signing profile to use for an application named ABC. These example commands are written with prepopulated values for things like profile names, IDs, and descriptions. Change those as appropriate for your application.

To create a signing profile

  1. Run this command:
    aws signer put-signing-profile --platform-id "AWSLambda-SHA384-ECDSA" --profile-name profile_for_application_ABC
    

    Running this command will give you a signing profile version ARN. It will look something like arn:aws:signer:sa-east-1:XXXXXXXXXXXX:/signing-profiles/profile_for_application_ABC/XXXXXXXXXX. Make a note of this value to use in later commands.

    As the security administrator, you must grant the developers access to use the profile for signing. You do that by using the add-profile-permission command. Note that in this example, you are explicitly only granting permission for the signer:StartSigningJob action. You might want to grant permissions to other actions, such as signer:GetSigningProfile or signer:RevokeSignature, by making additional calls to add-profile-permission.

  2. Run this command, replacing <role-name> with the principal you’re using:
    aws signer add-profile-permission \
    --profile-name profile_for_application_ABC \
    --action signer:StartSigningJob \
    --principal <role-name> \
    --statement-id testStatementId
    

Create a CSC

You also want to make a CSCwith the signing profile that you, as the security administrator, want all your developers to use.

To create a CSC

Run this command, replacing <signing-profile-version-arn> with the output from Step 1 of the preceding procedure—Create a signing profile:

aws lambda create-code-signing-config \
--description "Application ABC CSC" \
--allowed-publishers SigningProfileVersionArns=<signing-profile-version-arn> \
--code-signing-policies "UntrustedArtifactOnDeployment"="Enforce"

Running this command will give you a CSCARN that will look something like arn:aws:lambda:sa-east-1:XXXXXXXXXXXX:code-signing-config:approved-csc-XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX. Make a note of this value to use later.

Write an IAM policy using the new CSC

Now that the security administrators team has created this CSC, how do they ensure that all the developers use it? Administrators can use IAM to grant access to the CreateFunction API, while using the new lambda:CodeSigningConfig condition key with the CSC ARN you created. This will ensure that developers can create functions only if code signing is enabled.

This IAM policy will allow the developer roles to create Lambda functions, but only when they are using the approved CSC. The additional clauses Deny the developers from creating their own signing profiles or CSCs, so that they are forced to use the ones provided by the central team.

To write an IAM policy

Run the following command. Replace <code-signing-config-arn> with the CSC ARN you created previously.

{
  "Version": "2012-10-17",
  "Statement": [
    {
      "Effect": "Allow",
      "Action": [
        "lambda:CreateFunction",
        "lambda:PutFunctionCodeSigningConfig"
      ],
      "Resource": "*",
      "Condition": {
        "ForAnyValue:StringEquals": {
          "lambda:CodeSigningConfig": ["<code-signing-config-arn>"]
          }
         }        
        },
       {
         "Effect": "Deny", 
         "Action": [
        "signer:PutSigningProfile",
        "lambda:DeleteFunctionCodeSigningConfig",
        "lambda:UpdateCodeSigningConfig",
        "lambda:DeleteCodeSigningConfig",
        "lambda:CreateCodeSigningConfig"
      ],
         "Resource": "*"
       }
  ]
}

Create a signed Lambda function

Now, the developers have permission to create new Lambda functions, but only if the functions are configured with the approved CSC. The approved CSC can specify the settings for Lambda signing policies, and lists exactly what profiles are approved for signing the function code with. This means that developers in that account will only be able to create functions if the functions are signed with a profile approved by the central team and the developer permissions have been added to the signing profile used.

To create a signed Lambda function

  1. Upload any Lambda code file to an Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) bucket with the name main-function.zip. Note that your S3 bucket must be version enabled.
  2. Sign the zipped Lambda function using AWS Signer and the following command, replacing <lambda-bucket> and <version-string> with the correct details from your uploaded main-function.zip.
    aws signer start-signing-job \ 
    --source 's3={bucketName=<lambda-bucket>, version=<version-string>, key=main-function.zip}' \
    --destination 's3={bucketName=<lambda-bucket>, prefix=signed-}' \
    --profile-name profile_for_application_ABC
    

  3. Download the newly created ZIP file from your Lambda bucket. It will be called something like signed-XXXXXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXXXXXXXXXX.zip.
  4. For convenience, rename it to signed-main-function.zip.
  5. Run the following command, replacing <lambda-role> with the ARN of your Lambda execution role, and replacing <code-signing-config-arn> with the result of the earlier procedure Create a CSC.
    aws lambda create-function \
        --function-name "signed-main-function" \
        --runtime "python3.8" \
        --role <lambda-role> \
        --zip-file "fileb://signed-main-function.zip" \
        --handler lambda_function.lambda_handler \ 
        --code-signing-config-arn <code-signing-config-arn>
    

Cross-account centralization

This pattern supports the use case where the security administrators and the developers are working in the same account. You might want to implement this across different accounts, which requires creating CSCs in specific accounts where developers need to deploy and update Lambda functions. To do this, you can use AWS CloudFormation StackSets to deploy CSCs. Stack sets allow you to roll out CloudFormation stacks across multiple AWS accounts. Use AWS CloudFormation StackSets for Multiple Accounts in an AWS Organization illustrates how to use an AWS CloudFormation template for deployment to multiple accounts.

The security administrators can detect and react to any changes to the stack set deployed CSCs by using drift detection. Drift detection is an AWS CloudFormation feature that detects unmanaged changes to the resources deployed using StackSets. To complete the solution, Implement automatic drift remediation for AWS CloudFormation using Amazon CloudWatch and AWS Lambda shares a solution for taking automated remediation when drift is detected in a CloudFormation stack.

Cross-account validation for Lambda layers

So far, you have the tools to sign your own Lambda code so that no one can tamper with it, and you’ve reviewed a pattern where one team creates and owns the signing profiles to be used by different developers. Let’s look at one more advanced pattern where you publish code as a signed Lambda layer in one account, and you then use it in a Lambda function in a separate account. A Lambda layer is an archive containing additional code that you can include in a function.

For this, let’s consider how to set up code signing when you’re using layers across two accounts. Layers allow you to use libraries in your function without needing to include them in your deployment package. It’s also possible to publish a layer in one account, and have a different account consume that layer. Let’s act as a publisher of a layer. In this use case, you want to use code signing so that consumers of your layer can have the security assurance that no one has tampered with the layer. Note that if you enable code signing to verify signatures on a layer, Lambda will also verify the signatures on the function code. Therefore, all of your deployment artifacts must be signed, using a profile listed in the CSC attached to the function.

Figure 3 illustrates the cross-account layer pattern, where you sign a layer in a publishing account and a function uses that layer in another consuming account.

Figure 3: This advanced pattern supports cross-account layers

Figure 3: This advanced pattern supports cross-account layers

Here are the steps to build this setup. You’ll be logging in to two different accounts, your publishing account and your consuming account.

Make a publisher signing profile

Running this command will give you a profile version ARN. Make a note of the value returned to use in a later step.

To make a publisher signing profile

  1. In the AWS CLI, log in to your publishing account.
  2. Run this command to make a signing profile for your publisher:
    aws signer put-signing-profile --platform-id "AWSLambda-SHA384-ECDSA" --profile-name publisher_approved_profile1
    

Sign your layer code using signing profile

Next, you want to sign your layer code with this signing profile. For this example, use the blank layer code from this GitHub project. You can make your own layer by creating a ZIP file with all your code files included in a directory supported by your Lambda runtime. AWS Lambda layers has instructions for creating your own layer.

You can then sign your layer code using the signing profile.

To sign your layer code

  1. Name your Lambda layer code file blank-python.zip and upload it to your S3 bucket.
  2. Sign the zipped Lambda function using AWS Signer with the following command. Replace <lambda-bucket> and <version-string> with the details from your uploaded blank-python.zip.
    aws signer start-signing-job \ 
    --source 's3={bucketName=<lambda-bucket>, version=<version-string>, key=blank-python.zip}' \
    --destination 's3={bucketName=<lambda-bucket>, prefix=signed-}' \
    --profile-name publisher_approved_profile1
    

Publish your signed layer

Now publish the resulting, signed layer. Note that the layers themselves don’t have signature validation on deployment. However, the signatures will be checked when they’re added to a function.

To publish your signed layer

  1. Download your new signed ZIP file from your S3 bucket, and rename it signed-layer.zip.
  2. Run the following command to publish your layer:
    aws lambda publish-layer-version \
    --layer-name lambda_signing \
    --zip-file "fileb://signed-layer.zip" \
    --compatible-runtimes python3.8 python3.7        
    

This command will return information about your newly published layer. Search for the LayerVersionArn and make a note of it for use later.

Grant read access

For the last step in the publisher account, you must grant read access to the layer using the add-layer-version-permission command. In the following command, you’re granting access to an individual account using the principal parameter.

(Optional) You could instead choose to grant access to all accounts in your organization by using “*” as the principal and adding the organization-id parameter.

To grant read access

  • Run the following command to grant read access to your layer, replacing <consuming-account-id> with the account ID of your second account:
    aws lambda add-layer-version-permission \
    --layer-name lambda_signing \
    --version-number 1 \
    --statement-id for-consuming-account \
    --action lambda:GetLayerVersion \
    --principal <consuming-account-id> 	
    

Create a CSC

It’s time to switch your AWS CLI to work with the consuming account. This consuming account can create a CSC for their Lambda functions that specifies what signing profiles are allowed.

To create a CSC

  1. In the AWS CLI, log out from your publishing account and into your consuming account.
  2. The consuming account will need a signing profile of its own to sign the main Lambda code. Run the following command to create one:
    aws signer put-signing-profile --platform-id "AWSLambda-SHA384-ECDSA" --profile-name consumer_approved_profile1
    

  3. Run the following command to create a CSC that allows code to be signed either by the publisher or the consumer. Replace <consumer-signing-profile-version-arn> with the profile version ARN you created in the preceding step. Replace <publisher-signing-profile-version-arn> with the signing profile from the Make a publisher signing profile procedure. Make a note of the CSC returned by this command to use in later steps.
    aws lambda create-code-signing-config \
    --description "Allow layers from publisher" \
    --allowed-publishers SigningProfileVersionArns="<publisher-signing-profile-version-arn>,<consumer-signing-profile-version-arn>" \
    --code-signing-policies "UntrustedArtifactOnDeployment"="Enforce"
    

Create a Lambda function using the CSC

When creating the function that uses the signed layer, you can pass in the CSC that you created. Lambda will check the signature on the function code in this step.

To create a Lambda function

  1. Use your own lambda code function, or make a copy of blank-python.zip, and rename it consumer-main-function.zip.) Upload consumer-main-function.zip to a versioned S3 bucket in your consumer account.

    Note: If the S3 bucket doesn’t have versioning enabled, the procedure will fail.

  2. Sign the function with the signing profile of the consumer account. Replace <consumers-lambda-bucket> and <version-string> in the following command with the name of the S3 bucket you uploaded the consumer-main-function.zip to and the version.
    aws signer start-signing-job \ 
    --source 's3={bucketName=<consumers-lambda-bucket>, version=<version-string>, key=consumer-main-function.zip}' \
    --destination 's3={bucketName=<consumers-lambda-bucket>, prefix=signed-}' \
    --profile-name consumer_approved_profile1
    

  3. Download your new file and rename it to signed-consumer-main-function.zip.
  4. Run the following command to create a new Lambda function, replacing <lambda-role> with a valid Lambda execution role and <code-signing-config-arn> with the value returned from the previous procedure: Creating a CSC.
    aws lambda create-function \
        --function-name "signed-consumer-main-function" \
        --runtime "python3.8" \
        --role <lambda-role> \
        --zip-file "fileb://signed-consumer-main-function.zip" \
        --handler lambda_function.lambda_handler \ 
        --code-signing-config <code-signing-config-arn>
    

  5. Finally, add the signed layer from the publishing account into the configuration of that function. Run the following command, replacing <lamba-layer-arn> with the result from the preceding step Publish your signed layer.
    aws lambda update-function-configuration \
    --function-name "signed-consumer-main-function" \
    --layers "<lambda-layer-arn>"   
    

Lambda will check the signature on the layer code in this step. If the signature of any deployed layer artifact is corrupt, the Lambda function stops you from attaching the layer and deploying your code. This is true regardless of the mode you choose—WARN or ENFORCE. If you have multiple layers to add to your function, you must sign all layers invoked in a Lambda function.

This capability allows layer publishers to share signed layers. A publisher can sign all layers using a specific signing profile and ask all the layer consumers to use that signing profile as one of the allowed profiles in their CSCs. When someone uses the layer, they can trust that the layer comes from that publisher and hasn’t been tampered with.

Conclusion

You’ve learned some best practices and patterns for using code signing for AWS Lambda. You know how code signing fits in the secure SDLC, and what value you get from each of the code signing checks. You also learned two patterns for using code signing for distributed ownership—one for centralized signing and one for cross account layer validation. No matter your role—as a developer, as a central security team, or as a layer publisher—you can use these tools to help enforce the integrity of code artifacts in your organization.

You can learn more about Lambda code signing in Configure code signing for AWS Lambda.

If you have feedback about this post, submit comments in the Comments section below. If you have questions about this post, start a new thread on the AWS Lambda forum or contact AWS Support.

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Author

Cassia Martin

Cassia is a Security Solutions Architect in New York City. She works with large financial institutions to solve security architecture problems and to teach them cloud tools and patterns. Cassia has worked in security for over 10 years, and she has a strong background in application security.

Optimizing Lambda functions packaged as container images

Post Syndicated from Rob Sutter original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/optimizing-lambda-functions-packaged-as-container-images/

AWS Lambda launched support for packaging and deploying functions as container images at re:Invent 2020. In this post you learn how to build container images that reduce image size as well as build, deployment, and update time. Lambda container images have unique characteristics to consider for optimization. This means that the techniques you use to optimize container images for Lambda functions are slightly different from those you use for other environments.

To understand how to optimize container images, it helps to understand how container images are packaged, as well as how the Lambda service retrieves, caches, deploys, and retires container images.

Pre-requisites and assumptions

This post assumes you have access to an IAM user or role in an AWS account and a version of the tar utility on your machine. You must also install Docker and the AWS SAM CLI and start Docker.

Lambda container image packaging

Lambda container images are packaged according to the Open Container Initiative (OCI) Image Format specification. The specification defines how programs build and package individual layers into a single container image. To explore an example of the OCI Image Format, open a terminal and perform the following steps:

  1. Create an AWS SAM application.
    sam init –name container-images
  2. Choose 1 to select an AWS quick start template, then choose 2 to select container image as the packaging format, and finally choose 9 to use the amazon-go1.x-base image.
    Image showing the suggested choices for a sam init command
  3. After the AWS SAM CLI generates the application, enter the following commands to change into the new directory and build the Lambda container image
    cd container-images
    sam build
  4. AWS SAM builds your function and packages it as helloworldfunction:go1.x-v1. Export this container image to a tar archive and extract the filesystem into a new directory to explore the image format.
    docker save helloworldfunction:go1.x-v1 &gt; oci-image.tar
    mkdir -p image
    tar xf oci-image.tar -C image

The image directory contains several subdirectories, a container metadata JSON file, a manifest JSON file, and a repositories JSON file. Each subdirectory represents a single layer, and contains a version file, its own metadata JSON file, and a tar archive of the files that make up the layer.

Image of the result of running the tree command in a terminal window

The manifest.json file contains a single JSON object with the name of the container metadata file, a list of repository tags, and a list of included layers. The list of included layers is ordered according to the build order in your Dockerfile. The metadata JSON file in each subfolder also contains a mapping from each layer to its parent layer or final container.

Your function should have layers similar to the following. A separate layer is created any time files are added to the container image. This includes FROM, RUN, ADD, and COPY statements in your Dockerfile and base image Dockerfiles. Note that the specific layer IDs, layer sizes, number, and composition of layers may change over time.

ID Size Description Your function’s Dockerfile step
5fc256be… 641 MB Amazon Linux
c73e7f67… 320 KB Third-party licenses
de5f5100… 12 KB Lambda entrypoint script
2bd3c722… 7.8 MB AWS Lambda RIE
5d9d381b… 10.0 MB AWS Lambda runtime
cb832ffc… 12 KB Bootstrap link
1fcc74e8… 560 KB Lambda runtime library FROM public.ecr.aws/lambda/go:1
acb8dall… 9.6 MB Function code COPY –from=build-image /go/bin/ /var/task/

Runtimes generate a filesystem image by destructively overlaying each image layer over its parent. This means that any changes to one layer require all child layers to be recreated. In the following example, if you change the layer cb832ffc... then the layers 1fcc74e8… and acb8da111… are also considered “dirty” and must be recreated from the new parent image. This results in a new container image with eight layers, the first five the same as the original image, and the last three newly built, each with new IDs and parents.

Representation of a container image with eight layers, one of which is updated requiring two additional child layers to be updated also.

The layered structure of container images informs several decisions you make when optimizing your container images.

Strategies for optimizing container images

There are four main strategies for optimizing your container images. First, wherever possible, use the AWS-provided base images as a starting point for your container images. Second, use multi-stage builds to avoid adding unnecessary layers and files to your final image. Third, order the operations in your Dockerfile from most stable to most frequently changing. Fourth, if your application uses one or more large layers across all of your functions, store all of your functions in a single repository.

Use AWS-provided base images

If you have experience packaging traditional applications for container runtimes, using AWS-provided base images may seem counterintuitive. The AWS-provided base images are typically larger than other minimal container base images. For example, the AWS-provided base image for the Go runtime public.ecr.aws/lambda/go:1 is 670 MB, while alpine:latest, a popular starting point for building minimal container images, is only 5.58 MB. However, using the AWS-provided base images offers three advantages.

First, the AWS-provided base images are cached pro-actively by the Lambda service. This means that the base image is either nearby in another upstream cache or already in the worker instance cache. Despite being much larger, the deployment time may still be shorter when compared to third-party base images, which may not be cached. For additional details on how the Lambda service caches container images, see the re:Invent 2021 talk Deep dive into AWS Lambda security: Function isolation.

Second, the AWS-provided base images are stable. As the base image is at the bottom layer of the container image, any changes require every other layer to be rebuilt and redeployed. Fewer changes to your base image mean fewer rebuilds and redeployments, which can reduce build cost.

Finally, the AWS-provided base images are built on Amazon Linux and Amazon Linux 2. Depending on your chosen runtime, they may already contain a number of utilities and libraries that your functions may need. This means that you do not need to add them in later, saving you from creating additional layers that can cause more build steps leading to increased costs.

Use multi-stage builds

Multi-stage builds allow you to build your code in larger preliminary images, copy only the artifacts you need into your final container image, and discard the preliminary build steps. This means you can run any arbitrarily large number of commands and add or copy files into the intermediate image, but still only create one additional layer in your container image for the artifact. This reduces both the final size and the attack surface of your container image by excluding build-time dependencies from your runtime image.

AWS SAM CLI generates Dockerfiles that use multi-stage builds.

FROM golang:1.14 as build-image
WORKDIR /go/src
COPY go.mod main.go ./
RUN go build -o ../bin

FROM public.ecr.aws/lambda/go:1
COPY --from=build-image /go/bin/ /var/task/

# Command can be overwritten by providing a different command in the template directly.
CMD ["hello-world"]

This Dockerfile defines a two-stage build. First, it pulls the golang:1.14 container image and names it build-image. Naming intermediate stages is optional, but it makes it easier to refer to previous stages when packaging your final container image. Note that the golang:1.14 image is 810 MB, is not likely to be cached by the Lambda service, and contains a number of build tools that you should not include in your production images. The build-image stage then builds your function and saves it in /go/bin.

The second and final stage begins from the public.ecr.aws/lambda/go:1 base image. This image is 670 MB, but because it is an AWS-provided image, it is more likely to be cached on worker instances. The COPY command copies the contents of /go/bin from the build-image stage into /var/task in the container image, and discards the intermediate stage.

Build from stable to frequently changing

Any time a layer in an image changes, all layers that follow must be rebuilt, repackaged, redeployed, and recached by the Lambda service. In practice, this means that you should make your most frequently occurring changes as late in your Dockerfile as possible.

For example, if you have a stable Lambda function that uses a frequently updated machine learning model to make predictions, add your function to the container image before adding the machine learning model. However, if you have a function that changes frequently but relies on a stable Lambda extension, copy the extension into the image first.

If you put the frequently changing component early in your Dockerfile, all the build steps that follow must be re-run every time that component changes. If one of those actions is costly, for example, compiling a large library or running a complex simulation, these repetitions add unnecessary time and cost to your deployment pipeline.

Use a single repository for functions with large layers

When you create an application with multiple Lambda functions, you either store the container images in a single Amazon ECR repository or in multiple repositories, one for each function. If your application uses one or more large layers across all of your functions, store all of your functions in a single repository.

ECR repositories compare each layer of a container image when it is pushed to avoid uploading and storing duplicates. If each function in your application uses the same large layer, such as a custom runtime or machine learning model, that layer is stored exactly once in a shared repository. If you use a separate repository for each function, that layer is duplicated across repositories and must be uploaded separately to each one. This costs you time and network bandwidth.

Conclusion

Packaging your Lambda functions as container images enables you to use familiar tooling and take advantage of larger deployment limits. In this post you learn how to build container images that reduce image size as well as build, deployment, and update time. You learn some of the unique characteristics of Lambda container images that impact optimization. Finally, you learn how to think differently about image optimization for Lambda functions when compared to packaging traditional applications for container runtimes.

For more information on how to build serverless applications, including source code, blogs, videos, and more, visit the Serverless Land website.