Tag Archives: Developers

A free Argo Tunnel for your next project

Post Syndicated from Sam Rhea original https://blog.cloudflare.com/a-free-argo-tunnel-for-your-next-project/

A free Argo Tunnel for your next project

Argo Tunnel lets you expose a server to the Internet without opening any ports. The service runs a lightweight process on your server that creates outbound tunnels to the Cloudflare network. Instead of managing DNS, network, and firewall complexity, Argo Tunnel helps administrators serve traffic from their origin through Cloudflare with a single command.

We built Argo Tunnel to remove the burden of securing and connecting servers to the Internet. This new model makes it easier to run a service in multi-cloud and hybrid deployments by replacing manual and error-prone work with a process that adds intelligence to the last-mile between Cloudflare and your origins or clusters. However, the service was previously only available to users with Cloudflare accounts. We want to make Argo Tunnel more accessible for any project.

Starting today, any user, even those without a Cloudflare account, can try this new method of connecting their server to the Internet. Argo Tunnel can now be used in a free model that will create a new URL, known only to you, that will proxy traffic to your server. We’re excited to make connecting a server to the Internet more accessible for everyone.

What is Argo Tunnel?

Argo Tunnel replaces legacy models of connecting a server to the Internet with a secure, persistent connection to Cloudflare. Since Cloudflare first launched in 2009, customers have added their site to our platform by changing their name servers at their domain’s registrar to ones managed by Cloudflare. Administrators then create a DNS record in our dashboard that points visitors to their domain to their origin server.

When requests are made for those domains, the queries hit our data centers first. We’re able to use that position to block malicious traffic like DDoS attacks. However, if attackers discovered that origin IP, they could bypass Cloudflare’s security features and attack the server directly. Adding additional protections against that risk introduced more hassle and configuration.

A free Argo Tunnel for your next project

One year ago, Cloudflare launched Argo Tunnel to solve those problems. Argo Tunnel connects your origin server to the Cloudflare network by running a lightweight daemon on your machine that only makes outbound calls. The process generates DNS records in the dashboard for you, removing the need to manually configure records and origin IP addresses.

Most importantly, Argo Tunnel helps shield your origin by simplifying the firewall rules you need to configure. Argo Tunnel makes outbound calls to the Cloudflare network and proxies requests back to your server. You can then disable all ingress to the machine and ensure that Cloudflare’s security features always stand between your server and the rest of the Internet. In addition to secure, we made it fast. The connection uses our Argo Smart Routing technology to find the most performant path from your visitors to your origin.

How can I use the free version?

Argo Tunnel is now available to all users without a Cloudflare account. All that is needed is the Cloudflare daemon, cloudflared, running on your machine. With a single command, cloudflared will generate a random subdomain of “trycloudflare.com” and begin proxying traffic to your server.

  1. Install cloudflared on your web server or laptop; instructions are available here. If you have an older copy, you’ll first need to update your version to the latest (2019.6.0)
  2. Launch a web server.
  3. Run the terminal command below to start a free tunnel. cloudflared will begin proxying requests to your localhost server; no additional flags needed.

$ cloudflared tunnel

The command above will proxy traffic to port 8080 by default, but you can specify a different port with the –url flag

$ cloudflared tunnel --url localhost:7000

cloudflared will generate a random subdomain when connecting to the Cloudflare network and print it in the terminal for you to use. This will make whatever server you are running on your local machine accessible to the world through a public URL only you know. The output will resemble the following:

A free Argo Tunnel for your next project

How can I use it?

  • Run a web server on your laptop to share a project with collaborates on different networks
  • Test mobile browser compatibility for a new site
  • Perform speed tests from different regions

Why is it free?

We want more users to experience the speed and security improvements of Argo Tunnel (and Argo Smart Routing). We hope you’ll feel the same way about those benefits after testing it with the free version and that you’ll start using it for your production sites.

We also don’t guarantee any SLA or up-time of the free service – we plan to test new Argo Tunnel features and improvements on these free tunnels. This provides us with a group of connections to test before we deploy to production customers. Free tunnels are meant to be used for testing and development, not for deploying a production website.

What’s next?

You can read our guide here to start using the free version of Argo Tunnel. Got feedback? Please send it here.

Announcing the New Cloudflare Partner Platform

Post Syndicated from Garrett Galow original https://blog.cloudflare.com/announcing-the-new-cloudflare-partner-platform/

Announcing the New Cloudflare Partner Platform

Announcing the New Cloudflare Partner Platform

When I first started at Cloudflare over two years ago, one of the first things I was tasked with was to help evolve our partner platform to support the changes in our service and the expanding needs of our partners and customers. Cloudflare’s existing partner platform was released in 2010. It is a testament to those who built it, that it was, and still is, in use today—but it was also clear that the landscape had substantially changed.

Since the launch of the existing partner platform, we had built and expanded multi-user access, and launched many new products: Argo, Load Balancing, and Cloudflare Workers, to name a few. Retrofitting the existing offering was not practical. Cloudflare needed a new partner platform that could meet the needs of partners and their customers.

As the team started to develop a new solution, we needed to find a partner who could keep us on the right path. The number of hypotheticals were infinite and we needed a first customer to ground ourselves. Lo and behold, not long after I had begun putting pen to paper, we found the perfect partner for the new platform.

The IBM Partnership

IBM was looking for a partner to bring various edge services to market quickly, and our suite of capabilities was what they were looking for. If you are not familiar with our partnership with IBM, you can learn a bit more about it in our blog post and on the IBM Cloud Internet Services landing page. We signed the contract in November 2017, and we had to be ready to launch by IBM Think the following February. Given that IBM’s engineering team needed time to integrate with us, we were on a tight timeline to deliver.

A number of team members and I jumped on a plane and flew to Austin, Texas (Hook ‘em!) to work with IBM and determine the minimum viable product (MVP). Over kolaches (for the Czech readers at home: Klobásník), IBM and Cloudflare nailed down the MVP requirements. Briefly, they were as follows:

  1. Full API integration to provision the building blocks of using Cloudflare.
    • This included:
      1. Accounts: The container of resources – typically zones
      2. Users: The way in which we partition access to accounts
  2. The ability to sell and provision Cloudflare’s paid services and package them in a way that made sense for IBM’s customers.
    • Our existing partner platform only supported zone plans and none of our newer offerings, such as Argo or load balancing.
    • IBM had specific requirements around how they could package and sell to customers, so our solution needed to be flexible enough to support that.
  3. Ensure that what we built was re-usable.
    • Cloudflare makes it a point to solve problems for scale. While we were focused on ensuring our first partner would be successful, we knew that long term we would need to be able to scale this solution to additional partners. Nothing we built could prevent us from doing that.

Over the next couple of months, many teams at Cloudflare came together to deliver this solution at breakneck speed. Given that the midpoint of this effort happened over the holiday season, I’m personally proud of our company not sacrificing employee’s time with their friends and families in order to deliver. Even when it feels like a sprint, it is still a marathon.

During this time, the engineering team we were working with at IBM felt like another team at Cloudflare. Their ability to move quickly, integrate, and validate our work was critical to the success of the project. At THINK in February 2018, we were able to announce the Beta of IBM CIS (Cloud Internet Services) powered by Cloudflare!

Following the initial release, we continued to add functionality to further enrich the IBM CIS offering, while behind the scenes we continued our work to redefine Cloudflare’s partner platform.

The New Partner Platform

Over the past year we have expanded the capabilities and completed the necessary work to enable more partners to be able to use what we initially built for the IBM partnership. Out of that comes our new partner platform we are announcing today. The new partner platform allows partners of Cloudflare to sell and provision Cloudflare for their customers in a scalable fashion.

Our new partner platform is the combination of two systems designed to fulfill specific needs:

1. Tenants: an abstraction on top of our existing accounts and users for easier management
2. Subscriptions: a new way of packaging and provisioning services


An absolute necessity for partners is the ability to provision accounts for each of their customers. Normally the only way to get a Cloudflare account is to sign up on the dashboard. We needed a way for partners to be able to create end customer accounts at their discretion to support their specific onboarding needs. This also ensures proper separation of ownership between customers and allows end customers to access the Cloudflare dashboard directly.

With the introduction of tenants, our data model now looks like the following:

Announcing the New Cloudflare Partner Platform
Cloudflare Resource Data Model

Tenants provide partners the ability to create and manage the accounts for their customers. Each account created is a separate container of resources (zones, workers, etc) for each of customer. Users can be invited to each account as necessary for self service management, while the partner retains control of the capabilities enabled for each account. How a partner manages those capabilities brings us to the second major system that makes up the new partner platform.


While not as obvious as the need for account provisioning, the ability to package and provision services is critical to providing differentiated offerings for partners of Cloudflare. One drawback of our old partner platform was the difficulty in ensuring new products and services were available to those partners. As Cloudflare grew, it reached the point where new paid services could not be added into the existing partner platform.

With subscriptions, this is no longer the case. What started as just a way to provision services for IBM, has now grown into the standard of how all customer services are provisioned at Cloudflare. Whether you purchase services through IBM CIS or buy Cloudflare Workers in our dashboard, behind the scenes, Subscriptions is what ensures you get exactly the right services enabled.

Enough talk, let’s show things in action!

The Partner Platform in Action

The full details of using the new partner platform can be found in our Provisioning API docs, but here we provide a walkthrough of a typical use case.

Using the new partner platform involves 4 steps:

  1. Provisioning Customer Accounts
  2. Granting Customer Access
  3. Enabling Services
  4. Service Configuration

1) Provisioning Customer Accounts

When onboarding customers, you want each to have their own Cloudflare account. This ensures one customer can not affect any resources belonging to another. By making a `POST /accounts` request, you can create an account for an individual customer.


curl -X POST \
    https://api.cloudflare.com/client/v4/accounts \
    -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
    -H 'x-auth-email: <x-auth-email>' \
    -H 'x-auth-key: <x-auth-key>' \
    -d '{ "name": "Customer Account", 
          "type": "standard" 


    "result": {
        "id": "2bab6ace8c72ed3f09b9eca6db1396bb",
        "name": "Customer Account",
        "type": "standard",
        "settings": {
            "enforce_twofactor": false
    "success": true,
    "errors": [],
    "messages": []

This new account is owned by the partner. It can be managed by API, or in the UI by the partner or any additional administrators that are invited.

2) Granting Customer Access

Now that the customer’s account is created, let’s give them access to it. This step uses existing APIs and if you have shared access to a Cloudflare account before, then you have already done this.


curl -X POST \
    'https://api.cloudflare.com/client/v4/accounts/2bab6ace8c72ed3f09b9eca6db1396bb/members' \
    -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
    -H 'x-auth-email: <x-auth-email>' \
    -H 'x-auth-key: <x-auth-key>' \
    -d '{ "email": "[email protected]",
          "roles": ["05784afa30c1afe1440e79d9351c7430"],
          "status": "accepted" 


    "result": {
        "id": "47bd8083af8516a20c410090d2f53655",
        "user": {
            "id": "fccad3c46f26dc2d6ba47ad19f639707",
            "first_name": null,
            "last_name": null,
            "email": "[email protected]",
            "two_factor_authentication_enabled": false
        "status": "pending",
        "roles": [
                "id": "05784afa30c1afe1440e79d9351c7430",
                "name": "Administrator",
                "description": "Can access the full account, except for membership management and billing.",
                "permissions": {
                    "organization": {
                        "read": true,
                        "edit": true
                    "zone": {
                        "read": true,
                        "edit": true
    "success": true,
    "errors": [],
    "messages": []

Alternatively, you can do this in the UI, from the Members section for the newly created account.

3) Enabling Services

Now the fun part! With the ability to provision subscriptions, you can enable paid services for your customers. Before we do that though, we will create a zone so we can attach a zone subscription to it.

Adding a zone as a partner is no different than adding a zone as a regular customer. It can also be done by the customer.


curl -X POST \
    https://api.cloudflare.com/client/v4/zones \
    -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
    -H 'x-auth-email: <x-auth-email>' \
    -H 'x-auth-key: <x-auth-key>' \
    -d '{ "name": "theircompany.com",
            "account": { "id": "2bab6ace8c72ed3f09b9eca6db1396bb" }


    "result": {
        "id": "cae181e41197e2eb875d9bcb9396abe7",
        "name": "theircompany.com",
        "status": "pending",
        "paused": false,
        "type": "full",
        "development_mode": 0,
        "name_servers": [
        "original_name_servers": null,
        "original_registrar": "cloudflare, inc.",
        "original_dnshost": null,
        "modified_on": "2019-05-30T17:51:08.510558Z",
        "created_on": "2019-05-30T17:51:08.510558Z",
        "activated_on": null,
        "meta": {
            "step": 4,
            "wildcard_proxiable": false,
            "custom_certificate_quota": 0,
            "page_rule_quota": 3,
            "phishing_detected": false,
            "multiple_railguns_allowed": false
        "owner": {
            "id": null,
            "type": "user",
            "email": null
        "account": {
            "id": "2bab6ace8c72ed3f09b9eca6db1396bb",
            "name": "Customer Account"
        "permissions": [
        "plan": {
            "id": "0feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee",
            "name": "Free Website",
            "price": 0,
            "currency": "USD",
            "frequency": "",
            "is_subscribed": true,
            "can_subscribe": false,
            "legacy_id": "free",
            "legacy_discount": false,
            "externally_managed": false
    "success": true,
    "errors": [],
    "messages": []

For this customer we will provision a Pro plan for the newly created zone. If you are not familiar with our zone plans, then you can read about them here. For this, we make a call to the subscriptions service.


curl -X POST \
    https://api.cloudflare.com/client/v4/zones/cae181e41197e2eb875d9bcb9396abe7/subscription \
  -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
  -H 'X-Auth-Email: <x-auth-email>' \
  -H 'X-Auth-Key: <x-auth-key>' \
  -d '{"rate_plan": {
          "id": "PARTNERS_PRO"}


    "success": true,
    "result": {
        "id": "ff563a93e11c46e7b278be46f49cdd2f",
        "product": {
            "name": "partners_cloudflare_zones",
            "period": "",
            "billing": "",
            "public_name": "CloudFlare Services",
            "duration": 0
        "rate_plan": {
            "id": "partners_pro",
            "public_name": "Partners Professional Plan",
            "currency": "USD",
            "scope": "zone",
            "externally_managed": false,
            "sets": [
            "is_contract": true
        "component_values": [
                "name": "dedicated_certificates",
                "value": 0,
                "price": 0
                "name": "dedicated_certificates_custom",
                "value": 0,
                "price": 0
                "name": "page_rules",
                "value": 20,
                "default": 20,
                "price": 0
                "name": "zones",
                "value": 1,
                "default": 1,
                "price": 0
        "zone": {
            "id": "cae181e41197e2eb875d9bcb9396abe7",
            "name": "theircompany.com"
        "frequency": "monthly",
        "currency": "USD",
        "app": {
            "install_id": null
        "entitled": true
    "messages": null,
    "api_version": "2.0.0"

Now that the customer is set up with an account, zone, and zone subscription, the only thing left is configuring the resources appropriately.

4) Service Configuration

Service configuration can be done by either you, the partner, or the end customer. Most commonly, DNS records need to be added, security settings verified and updated, and customizations made. These can all be done either through our Client v4 APIs or the Cloudflare Dashboard.

Once that is done, the customer is all set!

This is just the beginning

With our announcement today, partners can protect and accelerate their customer’s internet services with Cloudflare’s partner platform. We have battled tested the underlying systems over the last year and are excited to partner with others to help make a better internet. We are not done yet though. We will be continually investing in the tenant and subscription services to expand their capabilities and simplify usage.

Announcing the New Cloudflare Partner Platform
Some of the latest partners using the new partner platform

If you are interested in partnering with Cloudflare, then reach out to [email protected]. If building the future of how Cloudflare’s partners and customers use our service sounds interesting then take a look at our career page.

For more information, see the following resources:

Enhancing the Optimizely Experimentation Platform with Cloudflare Workers

Post Syndicated from Remy Guercio original https://blog.cloudflare.com/enhancing-optimizely-with-cloudflare-workers/

Enhancing the Optimizely Experimentation Platform with Cloudflare Workers

Enhancing the Optimizely Experimentation Platform with Cloudflare Workers

This is a joint post by Whelan Boyd, Senior Product Manager at Optimizely and Remy Guercio, Product Marketing Manager for Cloudflare Workers.

Experimentation is an important ingredient in driving business growth: whether you’re iterating on a product or testing new messaging, there’s no substitute for the data and insights gathered from conducting rigorous experiments in the wild.

Optimizely is the world’s leading experimentation platform, with thousands of customers worldwide running tests for over 140 million visitors daily. If Optimizely were a website, it would be the third most trafficked in the US.  And when it came time to experiment with reinvigorating their own platform, Optimizely chose Cloudflare Workers.

Improving Performance and Agility with Cloudflare Workers

Cloudflare Workers is a globally distributed serverless compute platform that runs across Cloudflare’s network of 180 locations worldwide. Workers are designed for flexibility, with many different use cases ranging from customizing configuration of Cloudflare services and features to building full, independent applications.

In this post, we’re going to focus on how Workers can be used to improve performance and increase agility for more complex applications. One of the key benefits of Workers is that they allow developers to move decision logic and data into a highly efficient runtime operating in close proximity to end users — resulting in significant performance benefits and flexibility. Which brings us to Optimizely…

How Optimizely Works

Every week Optimizely delivers billions of experiences to help teams A/B test new products, de-risk new feature launches, and validate alternative designs. Optimizely lets companies test client-side changes like layouts and copy, as well as server-side changes like algorithms and feature rollouts.

Let’s explore how both have challenges that can be overcome with Workers, starting with Optimizely’s client-side A/B testing, or Optimizely Web, product.

Use Case: Optimizely Web

The main benefit of Optimizely Web — Optimizely’s client-side testing framework — is that it supports A/B testing via straightforward insertion of a JavaScript tag on the web page. The test is designed via the Optimizely WYSIWYG editor, and is live within minutes. Common use cases include style updates, image swaps, headlines and other text changes. You can also write any custom JavaScript or CSS you want.

With client-side A/B testing, the browser downloads JavaScript that modifies the page as it’s loading.  To avoid “flash-of-unstyled-content” (FOUC), developers need to implement this JavaScript synchronously in their <head> tag.  This constraint, though, can lead to page performance issues, especially on slower connections and devices.  Downloading and executing JavaScript in the browser has a cost, and this cost increases if the amount of JavaScript is large.  With a normal Optimizely Web implementation, all experiments are included in the JavaScript loaded on every page.

Enhancing the Optimizely Experimentation Platform with Cloudflare Workers
A traditional Optimizely implementation

With Workers, Optimizely can support many of these same use cases, but hoists critical logic to the edge to avoid much of the performance cost. Here’s how it works:

Enhancing the Optimizely Experimentation Platform with Cloudflare Workers
Implementing tests with Optimizely and Cloudflare Workers

This diagram shows how Optimizely customers can execute experiments created in the point-and-click UI through a Cloudflare Worker.  Rather than the browser downloading a large JavaScript file, your Worker handling HTTP/S requests calls out to Optimizely’s Worker.  Optimizely’s Worker determines which A/B tests should be active on this page and returns a small amount of JavaScript back to your Worker.  In fact, it is the JavaScript required to execute A/B test variations on just that specific page load.  Your Worker inlines the code in the page and returns it to the visitor’s browser.  

Not only does this avoid a browser bottleneck downloading a lot of data, the amount of code to execute is a fraction of a normal client-side implementation.  Since the experiments are set up inside the Optimizely interface just like any other Web experiment, you can run as many as you want without waiting for code deploy cycles.  Better yet, your non-technical (e.g. marketing) teams can still run these without depending on developers for each test.  It’s a one-time implementation.

Use Case: Going Further with Feature Rollouts

Optimizely Full Stack is Optimizely’s server-side experimentation and feature flagging platform for websites, mobile apps, chatbots, APIs, smart devices, and anything else with a network connection.  You can deploy code behind feature flags, experiment with A/B tests, and roll out or roll back features immediately.  Optimizely Rollouts is a free version of Full Stack that supports key feature rollout capabilities.

Full Stack SDKs are often implemented and instantiated directly in application code.

Enhancing the Optimizely Experimentation Platform with Cloudflare Workers
An Optimizely full stack experimentation setup

The main blocker to high velocity server-side testing is that experiments and feature rollouts must go through the code-deploy cycle — and to further add to the headache, many sites cache content on CDNs, so experiments or rollouts running at the origin never execute.  

In this example, we’ll consider a new feature you’d like to roll out gradually, exposing more and more users over time between code deploys. With Workers, you can implement feature rollouts by running the Optimizely JavaScript SDK at the edge.  The Worker is effectively a decision service.  Instead of installing the JS SDK inside each application service where you might need to gate or roll out features, centralize instantiation in a Worker.

From your application, simply hit the Worker and the response will tell you whether a feature is enabled for that particular user.  In the example below, we supply via query parameters a userId, feature, and account-specific SDK key and the Worker responds with its decision in result.  Below is a sample Cloudflare Worker:

import { createManager } from '../index'

/// <reference lib="es2015" />
/// <reference lib="webworker" />

addEventListener('fetch', (event: any) => {

 * Fetch and log a request
 * @param {Request} request
async function handleRequest(request: Request): Promise<Response> {
  const url = new URL(request.url)
  const key = url.searchParams.get('key')
  const userId = url.searchParams.get('userId')
  const feature = url.searchParams.get('feature')
  if (!feature || !key || !userId) {
    throw new Error('must supply "feature", "userId" and "key"')

  try {
    const manager = createManager({
      sdkKey: key,

    await manager.onReady().catch(err => {
      return new Response(JSON.stringify({ status: 'error' }))
    const client = manager.getClient()

    const result = await client.feature({
      key: feature,

    return new Response(JSON.stringify(result))
  } catch (e) {
    return new Response(JSON.stringify({ status: 'error' }))

This kind of setup is common for React applications, which may update store values based on decisions returned by the Worker. No need to force a request all the way back to origin.

All in all, using Workers as a centralized decision service can reduce the complexity of your Full Stack implementation and support applications that rely on heavy caching.

How to Improve Your Experimentation Setup

Both of the examples above demonstrate how Workers can provide speed and flexibility to experimentation and feature flagging.  But this is just the tip of the iceberg!  There are plenty of other ways you can use these two technologies together. We’d love to hear from you and explore them together!

Are you a developer looking for a feature flagging or server-side testing solution? The Optimizely Rollouts product is free and ready for you to sign up!

Or does your marketing team need a high performance A/B testing solution? The Optimizely Web use case is in developer preview.

  • Cloudflare Enterprise Customers: Reach out to your dedicated Cloudflare account manager learn more and start the process.
  • Optimizely Customers and Cloudflare Customers (who aren’t on an enterprise plan): Reach out to your Optimizely contact to learn more and start the process.

You can sign up for and learn more about using Cloudflare Workers here!

Just Write Code: Improving Developer Experience for Cloudflare Workers

Post Syndicated from Rita Kozlov original https://blog.cloudflare.com/just-write-code-improving-developer-experience-for-cloudflare-workers/

Just Write Code: Improving Developer Experience for Cloudflare Workers

Just Write Code: Improving Developer Experience for Cloudflare Workers

We’re excited to announce that starting today, Cloudflare Workers® gets a CLI, new and improved docs, multiple scripts for everyone, the ability to run applications on workers.dev without bringing your own domain, and a free tier to make experimentation easier than ever. We are building the serverless platform of the future, and want you to build your application on it, today. In this post, we’ll elaborate on what a serverless platform of the future looks like, how it changes today’s paradigms, and our commitment to making building on it a great experience.

Three years ago, I was interviewing with Cloudflare for a Solutions Engineering role. As a part of an interview assignment, I had to set up an origin behind Cloudflare on my own  domain. I spent my weekend, frustrated and lost in configurations, trying to figure out how to set up an EC2 instance, connect to it over IPv6, and install NGINX on Ubuntu 16.4 just so I could end up with a static site with a picture of my cat on it. I have a computer science degree, and spent my career up until that point as a software engineer — building this simple app was a horrible experience. A weekend spent coding, without worrying about servers, would have yielded a much richer application.

And this is just one rung in the ladder — the first one. While the primitives have moved up the stack, the fact is, developing an application, putting it on the Internet, and growing it from MVP to a scalable, performant product all still remain distinct steps in the development process.

Just Write Code: Improving Developer Experience for Cloudflare Workers

This is what “serverless” has promised to solve. Abstract away the servers at all stages of the process, and allow developers to do what they do best: develop, without having to worry about infrastructure.

And yet, with many serverless offerings today, the first thing they do is the thing that they promised you they wouldn’t — they make you think about servers. “What region would you like?” (the first question that comes to my mind: why are you forcing me to think about which customers I care more about: East Coast, or West Coast? Why can’t you solve this for me?). Or: “how much memory do you think you’ll need?” (again: why are you making this my problem?! You figure it out!).

We don’t think it should work like this.

I often think back to that problem I was facing myself three years ago, and that I know developers all around the world face every day. Developers should be able to just focus on the code. Someone else should deal with everything else from setting up infrastructure through making that infrastructure fast and scalable. While we’ve made some architectural decisions in building Workers that enable us to do this better than anyone else, today isn’t about expounding on them (though if you’d like to read more, here’s a great blog post detailing some of them). What today is about is really honing Workers in on the needs of developers.

We want Workers to bring the dream of serverless to life —  of letting developers only worry about bugs in their code. Today marks the start of a sustained push that Cloudflare is making towards building a great developer experience with Workers. We have some exciting things to announce today — but this is just the beginning.

Wrangler: the official Workers CLI

Wrangler, originally open sourced as the Rust CLI for Workers, has graduated into being the official Workers CLI, supporting all your Workers deployment needs.

Get started now by installing Wrangler

npm install -g @cloudflare/wrangler

Generate your first project from our template gallery

wrangler generate <name> <template> --type=["webpack", "javascript", "rust"]

Just Write Code: Improving Developer Experience for Cloudflare Workers

Wrangler will take care of webpacking your project, compiling to WebAssembly, and uploading your project to Workers, all in one simple step:

wrangler publish

Just Write Code: Improving Developer Experience for Cloudflare Workers

A few of the other goodies we’re excited for you to use Wrangler for:

  • Compile Rust, C, and C++ to WebAssembly
  • Create single or multi-file JavaScript applications
  • Install NPM dependencies (we take care of webpack for you)
  • Add KV namespaces and bindings
  • Get started with pre-made templates

New and Improved Docs

We’ve updated our docs (and used Wrangler to do so!) to make it easier than ever for you to get started and deploy your first application with Workers.

Check out our new tutorials:

Multiscript for All

You asked, we listened. When we introduced Workers, we wanted to keep things as simple as possible. As a developer, you want to break up your code into logical components. Rather than having a single monolithic script, we want to allow you to deploy your code in a way that makes sense to you.


Writing software is a creative process: a new project means creating something out of nothing. You may not entirely know what exactly it’s going to be yet, let alone what to name it.

We are changing the way you get started on Workers, by allowing you to deploy to a-subdomain-of-your-choice.workers.dev.

You may have heard about this announcement back in February, and we’re excited to deliver. For those of you who pre-registered, your subdomains will be waiting for you upon signing up and clicking into Workers.

A Free Tier to Experiment

Great products don’t always come from great ideas, they often come from freedom to tinker. When tinkering comes at a price, even if it’s $5, we realized we were limiting peoples’ ability to experiment.

Starting today, we are announcing a free tier for Workers.

The free tier will allow you to use Workers at up to 100,000 requests per day, on your own domain or workers.dev. You can learn more about the limits here.

New and improved UI

We have packaged this up into a clean, and easy experience that allows you to go from sign up to a deployed Worker in less than 2 minutes:

Just Write Code: Improving Developer Experience for Cloudflare Workers

Our commitment

We have a long way to go. This is not about crossing developer experience off our list, rather, about emphasizing our commitment to it. As our co-founder, Michelle likes to say, “we’re only getting started”.

There’s a lot here, and there’s a lot more to come. Join us over at workers.cloudflare.com to find out more, and if you’re ready to give it a spin, you can sign up there.

We’re excited to see what you build!

The Serverlist Newsletter: Connecting the Serverless Ecosystem

Post Syndicated from Connor Peshek original https://blog.cloudflare.com/the-serverlist-newsletter-5/

The Serverlist Newsletter: Connecting the Serverless Ecosystem

Check out our fifth edition of The Serverlist below. Get the latest scoop on the serverless space, get your hands dirty with new developer tutorials, engage in conversations with other serverless developers, and find upcoming meetups and conferences to attend.

Sign up below to have The Serverlist sent directly to your mailbox.

Cloudflare architecture and how BPF eats the world

Post Syndicated from Marek Majkowski original https://blog.cloudflare.com/cloudflare-architecture-and-how-bpf-eats-the-world/

Cloudflare architecture and how BPF eats the world

Recently at Netdev 0x13, the Conference on Linux Networking in Prague, I gave a short talk titled “Linux at Cloudflare”. The talk ended up being mostly about BPF. It seems, no matter the question – BPF is the answer.

Here is a transcript of a slightly adjusted version of that talk.

Cloudflare architecture and how BPF eats the world

At Cloudflare we run Linux on our servers. We operate two categories of data centers: large “Core” data centers, processing logs, analyzing attacks, computing analytics, and the “Edge” server fleet, delivering customer content from 180 locations across the world.

In this talk, we will focus on the “Edge” servers. It’s here where we use the newest Linux features, optimize for performance and care deeply about DoS resilience.

Cloudflare architecture and how BPF eats the world

Our edge service is special due to our network configuration – we are extensively using anycast routing. Anycast means that the same set of IP addresses are announced by all our data centers.

This design has great advantages. First, it guarantees the optimal speed for end users. No matter where you are located, you will always reach the closest data center. Then, anycast helps us to spread out DoS traffic. During attacks each of the locations receives a small fraction of the total traffic, making it easier to ingest and filter out unwanted traffic.

Cloudflare architecture and how BPF eats the world

Anycast allows us to keep the networking setup uniform across all edge data centers. We applied the same design inside our data centers – our software stack is uniform across the edge servers. All software pieces are running on all the servers.

In principle, every machine can handle every task – and we run many diverse and demanding tasks. We have a full HTTP stack, the magical Cloudflare Workers, two sets of DNS servers – authoritative and resolver, and many other publicly facing applications like Spectrum and Warp.

Even though every server has all the software running, requests typically cross many machines on their journey through the stack. For example, an HTTP request might be handled by a different machine during each of the 5 stages of the processing.

Cloudflare architecture and how BPF eats the world

Let me walk you through the early stages of inbound packet processing:

(1) First, the packets hit our router. The router does ECMP, and forwards packets onto our Linux servers. We use ECMP to spread each target IP across many, at least 16, machines. This is used as a rudimentary load balancing technique.

(2) On the servers we ingest packets with XDP eBPF. In XDP we perform two stages. First, we run volumetric DoS mitigations, dropping packets belonging to very large layer 3 attacks.

(3) Then, still in XDP, we perform layer 4 load balancing. All the non-attack packets are redirected across the machines. This is used to work around the ECMP problems, gives us fine-granularity load balancing and allows us to gracefully take servers out of service.

(4) Following the redirection the packets reach a designated machine. At this point they are ingested by the normal Linux networking stack, go through the usual iptables firewall, and are dispatched to an appropriate network socket.

(5) Finally packets are received by an application. For example HTTP connections are handled by a “protocol” server, responsible for performing TLS encryption and processing HTTP, HTTP/2 and QUIC protocols.

It’s in these early phases of request processing where we use the coolest new Linux features. We can group useful modern functionalities into three categories:

  • DoS handling
  • Load balancing
  • Socket dispatch

Cloudflare architecture and how BPF eats the world

Let’s discuss DoS handling in more detail. As mentioned earlier, the first step after ECMP routing is Linux’s XDP stack where, among other things, we run DoS mitigations.

Historically our mitigations for volumetric attacks were expressed in classic BPF and iptables-style grammar. Recently we adapted them to execute in the XDP eBPF context, which turned out to be surprisingly hard. Read on about our adventures:

During this project we encountered a number of eBPF/XDP limitations. One of them was the lack of concurrency primitives. It was very hard to implement things like race-free token buckets. Later we found that Facebook engineer Julia Kartseva had the same issues. In February this problem has been addressed with the introduction of bpf_spin_lock helper.

Cloudflare architecture and how BPF eats the world

While our modern volumetric DoS defenses are done in XDP layer, we still rely on iptables for application layer 7 mitigations. Here, a higher level firewall’s features are useful: connlimit, hashlimits and ipsets. We also use the xt_bpf iptables module to run cBPF in iptables to match on packet payloads. We talked about this in the past:

Cloudflare architecture and how BPF eats the world

After XDP and iptables, we have one final kernel side DoS defense layer.

Consider a situation when our UDP mitigations fail. In such case we might be left with a flood of packets hitting our application UDP socket. This might overflow the socket causing packet loss. This is problematic – both good and bad packets will be dropped indiscriminately. For applications like DNS it’s catastrophic. In the past to reduce the harm, we ran one UDP socket per IP address. An unmitigated flood was bad, but at least it didn’t affect the traffic to other server IP addresses.

Nowadays that architecture is no longer suitable. We are running more than 30,000 DNS IP’s and running that number of UDP sockets is not optimal. Our modern solution is to run a single UDP socket with a complex eBPF socket filter on it – using the SO_ATTACH_BPF socket option. We talked about running eBPF on network sockets in past blog posts:

The mentioned eBPF rate limits the packets. It keeps the state – packet counts – in an eBPF map. We can be sure that a single flooded IP won’t affect other traffic. This works well, though during work on this project we found a rather worrying bug in the eBPF verifier:

I guess running eBPF on a UDP socket is not a common thing to do.

Cloudflare architecture and how BPF eats the world

Apart from the DoS, in XDP we also run a layer 4 load balancer layer. This is a new project, and we haven’t talked much about it yet. Without getting into many details: in certain situations we need to perform a socket lookup from XDP.

The problem is relatively simple – our code needs to look up the “socket” kernel structure for a 5-tuple extracted from a packet. This is generally easy – there is a bpf_sk_lookup helper available for this. Unsurprisingly, there were some complications. One problem was the inability to verify if a received ACK packet was a valid part of a three-way handshake when SYN-cookies are enabled. My colleague Lorenz Bauer is working on adding support for this corner case.

Cloudflare architecture and how BPF eats the world

After DoS and the load balancing layers, the packets are passed onto the usual Linux TCP / UDP stack. Here we do a socket dispatch – for example packets going to port 53 are passed onto a socket belonging to our DNS server.

We do our best to use vanilla Linux features, but things get complex when you use thousands of IP addresses on the servers.

Convincing Linux to route packets correctly is relatively easy with the “AnyIP” trick. Ensuring packets are dispatched to the right application is another matter. Unfortunately, standard Linux socket dispatch logic is not flexible enough for our needs. For popular ports like TCP/80 we want to share the port between multiple applications, each handling it on a different IP range. Linux doesn’t support this out of the box. You can call bind() either on a specific IP address or all IP’s (with

Cloudflare architecture and how BPF eats the world

In order to fix this, we developed a custom kernel patch which adds a SO_BINDTOPREFIX socket option. As the name suggests – it allows us to call bind() on a selected IP prefix. This solves the problem of multiple applications sharing popular ports like 53 or 80.

Then we run into another problem. For our Spectrum product we need to listen on all 65535 ports. Running so many listen sockets is not a good idea (see our old war story blog), so we had to find another way. After some experiments we learned to utilize an obscure iptables module – TPROXY – for this purpose. Read about it here:

This setup is working, but we don’t like the extra firewall rules. We are working on solving this problem correctly – actually extending the socket dispatch logic. You guessed it – we want to extend socket dispatch logic by utilizing eBPF. Expect some patches from us.

Cloudflare architecture and how BPF eats the world

Then there is a way to use eBPF to improve applications. Recently we got excited about doing TCP splicing with SOCKMAP:

This technique has a great potential for improving tail latency across many pieces of our software stack. The current SOCKMAP implementation is not quite ready for prime time yet, but the potential is vast.

Similarly, the new TCP-BPF aka BPF_SOCK_OPS hooks provide a great way of inspecting performance parameters of TCP flows. This functionality is super useful for our performance team.

Cloudflare architecture and how BPF eats the world

Some Linux features didn’t age well and we need to work around them. For example, we are hitting limitations of networking metrics. Don’t get me wrong – the networking metrics are awesome, but sadly they are not granular enough. Things like TcpExtListenDrops and TcpExtListenOverflows are reported as global counters, while we need to know it on a per-application basis.

Our solution is to use eBPF probes to extract the numbers directly from the kernel. My colleague Ivan Babrou wrote a Prometheus metrics exporter called “ebpf_exporter” to facilitate this. Read on:

With “ebpf_exporter” we can generate all manner of detailed metrics. It is very powerful and saved us on many occasions.

Cloudflare architecture and how BPF eats the world

In this talk we discussed 6 layers of BPFs running on our edge servers:

  • Volumetric DoS mitigations are running on XDP eBPF
  • Iptables xt_bpf cBPF for application-layer attacks
  • SO_ATTACH_BPF for rate limits on UDP sockets
  • Load balancer, running on XDP
  • eBPFs running application helpers like SOCKMAP for TCP socket splicing, and TCP-BPF for TCP measurements
  • “ebpf_exporter” for granular metrics

And we’re just getting started! Soon we will be doing more with eBPF based socket dispatch, eBPF running on Linux TC (Traffic Control) layer and more integration with cgroup eBPF hooks. Then, our SRE team is maintaining ever-growing list of BCC scripts useful for debugging.

It feels like Linux stopped developing new API’s and all the new features are implemented as eBPF hooks and helpers. This is fine and it has strong advantages. It’s easier and safer to upgrade eBPF program than having to recompile a kernel module. Some things like TCP-BPF, exposing high-volume performance tracing data, would probably be impossible without eBPF.

Some say “software is eating the world”, I would say that: “BPF is eating the software”.

Join Cloudflare & Yandex at our Moscow meetup! Присоединяйтесь к митапу в Москве!

Post Syndicated from Andrew Fitch original https://blog.cloudflare.com/moscow-developers-join-cloudflare-yandex-at-our-meetup/

Join Cloudflare & Yandex at our Moscow meetup! Присоединяйтесь к митапу в Москве!
Photo by Serge Kutuzov / Unsplash

Join Cloudflare & Yandex at our Moscow meetup! Присоединяйтесь к митапу в Москве!

Are you based in Moscow? Cloudflare is partnering with Yandex to produce a meetup this month in Yandex’s Moscow headquarters.  We would love to invite you to join us to learn about the newest in the Internet industry. You’ll join Cloudflare’s users, stakeholders from the tech community, and Engineers and Product Managers from both Cloudflare and Yandex.

Cloudflare Moscow Meetup

Tuesday, May 30, 2019: 18:00 – 22:00

Location: Yandex – Ulitsa L’va Tolstogo, 16, Moskva, Russia, 119021

Talks will include “Performance and scalability at Cloudflare”, “Security at Yandex Cloud”, and “Edge computing”.

Speakers will include Evgeny Sidorov, Information Security Engineer at Yandex, Ivan Babrou, Performance Engineer at Cloudflare, Alex Cruz Farmer, Product Manager for Firewall at Cloudflare, and Olga Skobeleva, Solutions Engineer at Cloudflare.


18:00 – 19:00 – Registration and welcome cocktail

19:00 – 19:10 – Cloudflare overview

19:10 – 19:40 – Performance and scalability at Cloudflare

19:40 – 20:10 – Security at Yandex Cloud

20:10 – 20:40 – Cloudflare security solutions and industry security trends

20:40 – 21:10 – Edge computing


The talks will be followed by food, drinks, and networking.

View Event Details & Register Here »

We’ll hope to meet you soon.

Разработчики, присоединяйтесь к Cloudflare и Яндексу на нашей предстоящей встрече в Москве!

Cloudflare сотрудничает с Яндексом, чтобы организовать мероприятие в этом месяце в штаб-квартире Яндекса. Мы приглашаем вас присоединиться к встрече посвященной новейшим достижениям в интернет-индустрии. На мероприятии соберутся клиенты Cloudflare, профессионалы из технического сообщества, инженеры из Cloudflare и Яндекса.

Вторник, 30 мая: 18:00 – 22:00

Место встречи: Яндекс, улица Льва Толстого, 16, Москва, Россия, 119021

Доклады будут включать себя такие темы как «Решения безопасности Cloudflare и тренды в области безопасности», «Безопасность в Yandex Cloud», “Производительность и масштабируемость в Cloudflare и «Edge computing» от докладчиков из Cloudflare и Яндекса.

Среди докладчиков будут Евгений Сидоров, Заместитель руководителя группы безопасности сервисов в Яндексе, Иван Бобров, Инженер по производительности в Cloudflare, Алекс Круз Фармер, Менеджер продукта Firewall в Cloudflare, и Ольга Скобелева, Инженер по внедрению в Cloudflare.


18:00 – 19:00 – Регистрация, напитки и общение

19:00 – 19:10 – Обзор Cloudflare

19:10 – 19:40 – Производительность и масштабируемость в Cloudflare

19:40 – 20:10 – Решения для обеспечения безопасности в Яндексе

20:10 – 20:40 – Решения безопасности Cloudflare и тренды в области безопасности

20:40 – 21:10 – Примеры Serverless-решений по безопасности


Вслед за презентациям последует общение, еда и напитки.

Посмотреть детали события и зарегистрироваться можно здесь »

Ждем встречи с вами!

Unit Testing Workers, in Cloudflare Workers

Post Syndicated from Tim Obezuk original https://blog.cloudflare.com/unit-testing-workers-in-cloudflare-workers/

Unit Testing Workers, in Cloudflare Workers

Unit Testing Workers, in Cloudflare Workers

We recently wrote about unit testing Cloudflare Workers within a mock environment using CloudWorker (a Node.js based mock Cloudflare Worker environment created by Dollar Shave Club’s engineering team). See Unit Testing Worker Functions.

Even though Cloudflare Workers deploy globally within seconds, software developers often choose to use local mock environments to have the fastest possible feedback loop while developing on their local machines. CloudWorker is perfect for this use case but as it is still a mock environment it does not guarantee an identical runtime or environment with all Cloudflare Worker APIs and features. This gap can make developers uneasy as they do not have 100% certainty that their tests will succeed in the production environment.

In this post, we’re going to demonstrate how to generate a Cloudflare Worker compatible test harness which can execute mocha unit tests directly in the production Cloudflare environment.

Directory Setup

Create a new folder for your project, change it to your working directory and run npm init to initialise the package.json file.

Run mkdir -p src && mkdir -p test/lib && mkdir dist to create folders used by the next steps. Your folder should look like this:


npm install --save-dev mocha exports-loader webpack webpack-cli

This will install Mocha (the unit testing framework), Webpack (a tool used to package the code into a single Worker script) and Exports Loader (a tool used by Webpack to import the Worker script into the Worker based Mocha environment.

npm install --save-dev git+https://github.com/obezuk/mocha-loader.git

This will install a modified version of Webpack’s mocha loader. It has been modified to support the Web Worker environment type. We are excited to see Web Worker support merged into Mocha Loader so please vote for our pull request here: https://github.com/webpack-contrib/mocha-loader/pull/77

Example Script

Create your Worker script in ./src/worker.js:

addEventListener('fetch', event => {

async function addition(a, b) {
  return a + b

async function handleRequest(request) {
  const added = await addition(1,3)
  return new Response(`The Sum is ${added}!`)

Add Tests

Create your unit tests in ./test/test.test.js:

const assert = require('assert')

describe('Worker Test', function() {

    it('returns a body that says The Sum is 4', async function () {
        let url = new URL('https://worker.example.com')
        let req = new Request(url)
        let res = await handleRequest(req)
        let body = await res.text()
        assert.equal(body, 'The Sum is 4!')

    it('does addition properly', async function() {
        let res = await addition(1, 1)
        assert.equal(res, 2)


Mocha in Worker Test Harness

In order to execute mocha and unit tests within Cloudflare Workers we are going to build a Test Harness. The Test Harness script looks a lot like a normal Worker script but integrates your ./src/worker.js and ./test/test.test.js into a script which is capable of executing the Mocha unit tests within the Cloudflare Worker runtime.

Create the below script in ./test/lib/serviceworker-mocha-harness.js.

import 'mocha';

import 'mocha-loader!../test.test.js';

var testResults;

async function mochaRun() {
    return new Promise(function (accept, reject) {
        var runner = mocha.run(function () {
            testResults = runner.testResults;

addEventListener('fetch', event => {

async function handleMochaRequest(request) {

    if (!testResults) {
        await mochaRun();

    var headers = new Headers({
        "content-type": "application/json"

    var statusCode = 200;

    if (testResults.failures != 0) {
        statusCode = 500;

    return new Response(JSON.stringify(testResults), {
        "status": statusCode,
        "headers": headers


Object.assign(global, require('exports-loader?handleRequest,addition!../../src/worker.js'));

Mocha Webpack Configuration

Create a new file in the project root directory called: ./webpack.mocha.config.js. This file is used by Webpack to bundle the test harness, worker script and unit tests into a single script that can be deployed to Cloudflare.

module.exports = {
  target: 'webworker',
  entry: "./test/lib/serviceworker-mocha-harness.js",
  mode: "development",
  optimization: {
    minimize: false
  performance: {
    hints: false
  node: {
    fs: 'empty'
  module: {
    exprContextCritical: false
  output: {
    path: __dirname + "/dist",
    publicPath: "dist",
    filename: "worker-mocha-harness.js"

Your file structure should look like (excluding node_modules):


Customising the test harness.

If you wish to extend the test harness to support your own test files you will need to add additional test imports to the top of the script:

import 'mocha-loader!/* TEST FILE NAME HERE */'

If you wish to import additional functions from your Worker script into the test harness environment you will need to add them comma separated into the last line:

Object.assign(global, require('exports-loader?/* COMMA SEPARATED FUNCTION NAMES HERE */!../../src/worker.js'));

Running the test harness

Deploying and running the test harness is identical to deploying any other Worker script with Webpack.

Modify the scripts section of package.json to include the build-harness command.

"scripts": {
  "build-harness": "webpack --config webpack.mocha.config.js -p --progress --colors"

In the project root directory run the command npm run build-harness to generate and bundle your Worker script, Mocha and your unit tests into ./dist/worker-mocha-harness.js.

Upload this script to a test Cloudflare workers route and run curl --fail https://test.example.org. If the unit tests are successful it will return a 200 response, and if the unit tests fail a 500 response.

Integrating into an existing CI/CD pipeline

You can integrate Cloudflare Workers and the test harness into your existing CI/CD pipeline by using our API: https://developers.cloudflare.com/workers/api/.

The test harness returns detailed test reports in JSON format:

Example Success Response

  "stats": {
    "suites": 1,
    "tests": 2,
    "passes": 2,
    "pending": 0,
    "failures": 0,
    "start": "2019-04-23T06:24:33.492Z",
    "end": "2019-04-23T06:24:33.590Z",
    "duration": 98
  "tests": [
      "title": "returns a body that says The Sum is 4",
      "fullTitle": "Worker Test returns a body that says The Sum is 4",
      "duration": 0,
      "currentRetry": 0,
      "err": {}
      "title": "does addition properly",
      "fullTitle": "Worker Test does addition properly",
      "duration": 0,
      "currentRetry": 0,
      "err": {}
  "pending": [],
  "failures": [],
  "passes": [
      "title": "returns a body that says The Sum is 4",
      "fullTitle": "Worker Test returns a body that says The Sum is 4",
      "duration": 0,
      "currentRetry": 0,
      "err": {}
      "title": "does addition properly",
      "fullTitle": "Worker Test does addition properly",
      "duration": 0,
      "currentRetry": 0,
      "err": {}

Example Failure Response

  "stats": {
    "suites": 1,
    "tests": 2,
    "passes": 0,
    "pending": 0,
    "failures": 2,
    "start": "2019-04-23T06:25:52.100Z",
    "end": "2019-04-23T06:25:52.170Z",
    "duration": 70
  "tests": [
      "title": "returns a body that says The Sum is 4",
      "fullTitle": "Worker Test returns a body that says The Sum is 4",
      "duration": 0,
      "currentRetry": 0,
      "err": {
        "name": "AssertionError",
        "actual": "The Sum is 5!",
        "expected": "The Sum is 4!",
        "operator": "==",
        "message": "'The Sum is 5!' == 'The Sum is 4!'",
        "generatedMessage": true,
        "stack": "AssertionError: 'The Sum is 5!' == 'The Sum is 4!'\n    at Context.<anonymous> (worker.js:19152:16)"
      "title": "does addition properly",
      "fullTitle": "Worker Test does addition properly",
      "duration": 0,
      "currentRetry": 0,
      "err": {
        "name": "AssertionError",
        "actual": "3",
        "expected": "2",
        "operator": "==",
        "message": "3 == 2",
        "generatedMessage": true,
        "stack": "AssertionError: 3 == 2\n    at Context.<anonymous> (worker.js:19157:16)"
  "pending": [],
  "failures": [
      "title": "returns a body that says The Sum is 4",
      "fullTitle": "Worker Test returns a body that says The Sum is 4",
      "duration": 0,
      "currentRetry": 0,
      "err": {
        "name": "AssertionError",
        "actual": "The Sum is 5!",
        "expected": "The Sum is 4!",
        "operator": "==",
        "message": "'The Sum is 5!' == 'The Sum is 4!'",
        "generatedMessage": true,
        "stack": "AssertionError: 'The Sum is 5!' == 'The Sum is 4!'\n    at Context.<anonymous> (worker.js:19152:16)"
      "title": "does addition properly",
      "fullTitle": "Worker Test does addition properly",
      "duration": 0,
      "currentRetry": 0,
      "err": {
        "name": "AssertionError",
        "actual": "3",
        "expected": "2",
        "operator": "==",
        "message": "3 == 2",
        "generatedMessage": true,
        "stack": "AssertionError: 3 == 2\n    at Context.<anonymous> (worker.js:19157:16)"
  "passes": []

This is really powerful and can allow you to execute your unit tests directly in the Cloudflare runtime, giving you more confidence before releasing your code into production. We hope this was useful and welcome any feedback.

The Serverlist Newsletter: A big week of serverless announcements, serverless Rust with WASM, cloud cost hacking, and more

Post Syndicated from Connor Peshek original https://blog.cloudflare.com/serverlist-4th-edition/

The Serverlist Newsletter: A big week of serverless announcements, serverless Rust with WASM, cloud cost hacking, and more

Check out our fourth edition of The Serverlist below. Get the latest scoop on the serverless space, get your hands dirty with new developer tutorials, engage in conversations with other serverless developers, and find upcoming meetups and conferences to attend.

Sign up below to have The Serverlist sent directly to your mailbox.

Rapid Development of Serverless Chatbots with Cloudflare Workers and Workers KV

Post Syndicated from Steven Pack original https://blog.cloudflare.com/rapid-development-of-serverless-chatbots-with-cloudflare-workers-and-workers-kv/

Rapid Development of Serverless Chatbots with Cloudflare Workers and Workers KV

Rapid Development of Serverless Chatbots with Cloudflare Workers and Workers KV

I’m the Product Manager for the Application Services team here at Cloudflare. We recently identified a need for a new tool around service ownership. As a fast growing engineering organization, ownership of services changes fairly frequently. Many cycles get burned in chat with questions like "Who owns service x now?

Whilst it’s easy to see how a tool like this saves a few seconds per day for the asker and askee, and saves on some mental context switches, the time saved is unlikely to add up to the cost of development and maintenance.

= 5 minutes per day
x 260 work days 
= 1300 mins 
/ 60 mins 
= 20 person hours per year

So a 20 hour investment in that tool would pay itself back in a year valuing everyone’s time the same. While we’ve made great strides in improving the efficiency of building tools at Cloudflare, 20 hours is a stretch for an end-to-end build, deploy and operation of a new tool.

Enter Cloudflare Workers + Workers KV

The more I use Serverless and Workers, the more I’m struck with the benefits of:

1. Reduced operational overhead

When I upload a Worker, it’s automatically distributed to 175+ data centers. I don’t have to be worried about uptime – it will be up, and it will be fast.

2. Reduced dev time

With operational overhead largely removed, I’m able to focus purely on code. A constrained problem space like this lends itself really well to Workers. I reckon we can knock this out in well under 20 hours.


At Cloudflare, people ask these questions in Chat, so that’s a natural interface to service ownership. Here’s the spec:

Use CaseInputOutput
Add@ownerbot add Jira IT http://chat.google.com/room/ABC123Service added
Delete@ownerbot delete JiraService deleted
Question@ownerbot KibanaSRE Core owns Kibana. The room is: http://chat.google.com/ABC123
Export@ownerbot export[{name: "Kibana", owner: "SRE Core"...}]

Hello @ownerbot

Following the Hangouts Chat API Guide, let’s start with a hello world bot.

  1. To configure the bot, go to the Publish page and scroll down to the Enable The API button:

  2. Enter the bot name

  3. Download the private key json file

  4. Go to the API Console

  5. Search for the Hangouts Chat API (Note: not the Google+ Hangouts API)

    Rapid Development of Serverless Chatbots with Cloudflare Workers and Workers KV

  6. Click Configuration onthe left menu

  7. Fill out the form as per below [1]

    • Use a hard to guess URL. I generate a guid and use that in the url.
    • The URL will be the route you associate with your Worker in the Dashboard
      Rapid Development of Serverless Chatbots with Cloudflare Workers and Workers KV
  8. Click Save

So Google Chat should know about our bot now. Back in Google Chat, click in the "Find people, rooms, bots" textbox and choose "Message a Bot". Your bot should show up in the search:

Rapid Development of Serverless Chatbots with Cloudflare Workers and Workers KV

It won’t be too useful just yet, as we need to create our Worker to receive the messages and respond!

The Worker

In the Workers dashboard, create a script and associate with the route you defined in step #7 (the one with the guid). It should look something like below. [2]

Rapid Development of Serverless Chatbots with Cloudflare Workers and Workers KV

The Google Chatbot interface is pretty simple, but weirdly obfuscated in the Hangouts API guide IMHO. You have to reverse engineer the python example.

Basically, if we message our bot like @ownerbot-blog Kibana, we’ll get a message like this:

    "type": "MESSAGE",
    "message": {
      "argumentText": "Kibana"

To respond, we need to respond with 200 OK and JSON body like this:

content-length: 27
content-type: application/json

{"text":"Hello chat world"}

So, the minimum Chatbot Worker looks something like this:

addEventListener('fetch', event => { event.respondWith(process(event.request)) });

function process(request) {
  let body = {
	text: "Hello chat world"
  return new Response(JSON.stringify(body), {
    status: 200,
    headers: {
        "Content-Type": "application/json",
        "Cache-Control": "no-cache"

Save and deploy that and we should be able message our bot:

Rapid Development of Serverless Chatbots with Cloudflare Workers and Workers KV



OK, on to the meat of the code. Based on the requirements, I see a need for an AddCommand, QueryCommand, DeleteCommand and HelpCommand. I also see some sort of ServiceDirectory that knows how to add, delete and retrieve services.

I created a CommandFactory which accepts a ServiceDirectory, as well as an implementation of a KV store, which will be Workers KV in production, but I’ll mock out in tests.

class CommandFactory {
    constructor(serviceDirectory, kv) {
        this.serviceDirectory = serviceDirectory;
        this.kv = kv;

    create(argumentText) {
        let parts = argumentText.split(' ');
        let primary = parts[0];       
        switch (primary) {
            case "add":
                return new AddCommand(argumentText, this.serviceDirectory, this.kv);
            case "delete":
                return new DeleteCommand(argumentText, this.serviceDirectory, this.kv);
            case "help":
                return new HelpCommand(argumentText, this.serviceDirectory, this.kv);
                return new QueryCommand(argumentText, this.serviceDirectory, this.kv);

OK, so if we receive a message like @ownerbot add, we’ll interpret it as an AddCommand, but if it’s not something we recognize, we’ll assume it’s a QueryCommand like @ownerbot Kibana which makes it easy to parse commands.

OK, our commands need a service directory, which will look something like this:

class ServiceDirectory {     
    get(serviceName) {...}
    async add(service) {...}
    async delete(serviceName) {...}
    find(serviceName) {...}
    getNames() {...}

Let’s build some commands. Oh, and my chatbot is going to be Ultima IV themed, because… reasons.

class AddCommand extends Command {

    async respond() {
        let cmdParts = this.commandParts;
        if (cmdParts.length !== 6) {
            return new OwnerbotResponse("Adding a service requireth Name, Owner, Room Name and Google Chat Room Url.", false);
        let name = this.commandParts[1];
        let owner = this.commandParts[2];
        let room = this.commandParts[3];
        let url = this.commandParts[4];
        let aliasesPart = this.commandParts[5];
        let aliases = aliasesPart.split(' ');
        let service = {
            name: name,
            owner: owner,
            room: room,
            url: url,
            aliases: aliases
        await this.serviceDirectory.add(service);
        return new OwnerbotResponse(`My codex of knowledge has expanded to contain knowledge of ${name}. Congratulations virtuous Paladin.`);

The nice thing about the Command pattern for chatbots, is you can encapsulate the logic of each command for testing, as well as compose series of commands together to test out conversations. Later, we could extend it to support undo. Let’s test the AddCommand

  it('requires all args', async function() {
            let addCmd = new AddCommand("add AdminPanel 'Internal Tools' 'Internal Tools'", dir, kv); //missing url            
            let res = await addCmd.respond();
            assert.equal(res.success, false, "Adding with missing args should fail");            

        it('returns success for all args', async function() {
            let addCmd = new AddCommand("add AdminPanel 'Internal Tools' 'Internal Tools Room' 'http://chat.google.com/roomXYZ'", dir, kv);            
            let res = await addCmd.respond();
            assert.equal(res.success, true, "Should have succeeded with all args");            
$ mocha -g "AddCommand"
      ✓ requires all args
      ✓ returns success for all args
  2 passing (19ms)

So far so good. But adding commands to our ownerbot isn’t going to be so useful unless we can query them.

class QueryCommand extends Command {
    async respond() {
        let service = this.serviceDirectory.get(this.argumentText);
        if (service) {
            return new OwnerbotResponse(`${service.owner} owns ${service.name}. Seeketh thee room ${service.room} - ${service.url})`);
        let serviceNames = this.serviceDirectory.getNames().join(", ");
        return new OwnerbotResponse(`I knoweth not of that service. Thou mightst asketh me of: ${serviceNames}`);

Let’s write a test that runs an AddCommand followed by a QueryCommand

describe ('QueryCommand', function() {
    let kv = new MockKeyValueStore();
    let dir = new ServiceDirectory(kv);
    await dir.init();

    it('Returns added services', async function() {    
        let addCmd = new AddCommand("add AdminPanel 'Internal Tools' 'Internal Tools Room' url 'alias' abc123", dir, kv);            
        await addCmd.respond();

        let queryCmd = new QueryCommand("AdminPanel", dir, kv);
        let res = await queryCmd.respond();
        assert.equal(res.success, true, "Should have succeeded");
        assert(res.text.indexOf('Internal Tools') > -1, "Should have returned the team name in the query response");


A lot of the code as been elided for brevity, but you can view the full source on Github. Let’s take it for a spin!

Rapid Development of Serverless Chatbots with Cloudflare Workers and Workers KV


Some of the things I learned during the development of @ownerbot were:

  • Chatbots are an awesome use case for Serverless. You can deploy and not worry again about the infrastructure
  • Workers KV means extends the range of useful chat bots to include stateful bots like @ownerbot
  • The Command pattern provides a useful way to encapsulate the parsing and responding to commands in a chat bot.

In Part 2 we’ll add authentication to ensure we’re only responding to requests from our instance of Google Chat

  1. For simplicity, I’m going to use a static shared key, but Google have recently rolled out a more secure method for verifying the caller’s authenticity, which we’ll expand on in Part 2. ↩︎

  2. This UI is the multiscript version available to Enterprise customers. You can still implement the bot with a single Worker, you’ll just need to recognize and route requests to your chatbot code. ↩︎

xdpcap: XDP Packet Capture

Post Syndicated from Arthur Fabre original https://blog.cloudflare.com/xdpcap/

xdpcap: XDP Packet Capture

Our servers process a lot of network packets, be it legitimate traffic or large denial of service attacks. To do so efficiently, we’ve embraced eXpress Data Path (XDP), a Linux kernel technology that provides a high performance mechanism for low level packet processing. We’re using it to drop DoS attack packets with L4Drop, and also in our new layer 4 load balancer. But there’s a downside to XDP: because it processes packets before the normal Linux network stack sees them, packets redirected or dropped are invisible to regular debugging tools such as tcpdump.

To address this, we built a tcpdump replacement for XDP, xdpcap. We are open sourcing this tool: the code and documentation are available on GitHub.

xdpcap uses our classic BPF (cBPF) to eBPF or C compiler, cbpfc, which we are also open sourcing: the code and documentation are available on GitHub.

xdpcap: XDP Packet Capture
CC BY 4.0 image by Christoph Müller

Tcpdump provides an easy way to dump specific packets of interest. For example, to capture all IPv4 DNS packets, one could:

$ tcpdump ip and udp port 53

xdpcap reuses the same syntax! xdpcap can write packets to a pcap file:

$ xdpcap /path/to/hook capture.pcap "ip and udp port 53"
XDPAborted: 0/0   XDPDrop: 0/0   XDPPass: 254/0   XDPTx: 0/0   (received/matched packets)
XDPAborted: 0/0   XDPDrop: 0/0   XDPPass: 995/1   XDPTx: 0/0   (received/matched packets)

Or write the pcap to stdout, and decode the packets with tcpdump:

$ xdpcap /path/to/hook - "ip and udp port 53" | sudo tcpdump -r -
reading from file -, link-type EN10MB (Ethernet)
16:18:37.911670 IP > 26445$ 1/0/1 A (56)

The remainder of this post explains how we built xdpcap, including how /path/to/hook/ is used to attach to XDP programs.


To replicate tcpdump, we first need to understand its inner workings. Marek Majkowski has previously written a detailed post on the subject. Tcpdump exposes a high level filter language, pcap-filter, to specify which packets are of interest. Reusing our earlier example, the following filter expression captures all IPv4 UDP packets to or from port 53, likely DNS traffic:

ip and udp port 53

Internally, tcpdump uses libpcap to compile the filter to classic BPF (cBPF). cBPF is a simple bytecode language to represent programs that inspect the contents of a packet. A program returns non-zero to indicate that a packet matched the filter, and zero otherwise. The virtual machine that executes cBPF programs is very simple, featuring only two registers, a and x. There is no way of checking the length of the input packet[1]; instead any out of bounds packet access will terminate the cBPF program, returning 0 (no match). The full set of opcodes are listed in the Linux documentation. Returning to our example filter, ip and udp port 53 compiles to the following cBPF program, expressed as an annotated flowchart:

Example cBPF filter flowchart

Tcpdump attaches the generated cBPF filter to a raw packet socket using a setsockopt system call with SO_ATTACH_FILTER. The kernel runs the filter on every packet destined for the socket, but only delivers matching packets. Tcpdump displays the delivered packets, or writes them to a pcap capture file for later analysis.


In the context of XDP, our tcpdump replacement should:

  • Accept filters in the same filter language as tcpdump
  • Dynamically instrument XDP programs of interest
  • Expose matching packets to userspace


XDP uses an extended version of the cBPF instruction set, eBPF, to allow arbitrary programs to run for each packet received by a network card, potentially modifying the packets. A stringent kernel verifier statically analyzes eBPF programs, ensuring that memory bounds are checked for every packet load.

eBPF programs can return:

  • XDP_DROP: Drop the packet
  • XDP_TX: Transmit the packet back out the network interface
  • XDP_PASS: Pass the packet up the network stack

eBPF introduces several new features, notably helper function calls, enabling programs to call functions exposed by the kernel. This includes retrieving or setting values in maps, key-value data structures that can also be accessed from userspace.


A key feature of tcpdump is the ability to efficiently pick out packets of interest; packets are filtered before reaching userspace. To achieve this in XDP, the desired filter must be converted to eBPF.

cBPF is already used in our XDP based DoS mitigation pipeline: cBPF filters are first converted to C by cbpfc, and the result compiled with Clang to eBPF. Reusing this mechanism allows us to fully support libpcap filter expressions:

Pipeline to convert pcap-filter expressions to eBPF via C using cbpfc

To remove the Clang runtime dependency, our cBPF compiler, cbpfc, was extended to directly generate eBPF:

Pipeline to convert pcap-filter expressions directly to eBPF using cbpfc

Converted to eBPF using cbpfc, ip and udp port 53 yields:

Example cBPF filter converted to eBPF with cbpfc flowchart

The emitted eBPF requires a prologue, which is responsible for loading a pointer to the beginning, and end, of the input packet into registers r6 and r7 respectively[2].

The generated code follows a very similar structure to the original cBPF filter, but with:

  • Bswap instructions to convert big endian packet data to little endian.
  • Guards to check the length of the packet before we load data from it. These are required by the kernel verifier.

The epilogue can use the result of the filter to perform different actions on the input packet.

As mentioned earlier, we’re open sourcing cbpfc; the code and documentation are available on GitHub. It can be used to compile cBPF to C, or directly to eBPF, and the generated code is accepted by the kernel verifier.


Tcpdump can start and stop capturing packets at any time, without requiring coordination from applications. This rules out modifying existing XDP programs to directly run the generated eBPF filter; the programs would have to be modified each time xdpcap is run. Instead, programs should expose a hook that can be used by xdpcap to attach filters at runtime.

xdpcap’s hook support is built around eBPF tail-calls. XDP programs can yield control to other programs using the tail-call helper. Control is never handed back to the calling program, the return code of the subsequent program is used. For example, consider two XDP programs, foo and bar, with foo attached to the network interface. Foo can tail-call into bar:

Flow of XDP program foo tail-calling into program bar

The program to tail-call into is configured at runtime, using a special eBPF program array map. eBPF programs tail-call into a specific index of the map, the value of which is set by userspace. From our example above, foo’s tail-call map holds a single entry:


A tail-call into an empty index will not do anything, XDP programs always need to return an action themselves after a tail-call should it fail. Once again, this is enforced by the kernel verifier. In the case of program foo:

int foo(struct xdp_md *ctx) {
    // tail-call into index 0 - program bar
    tail_call(ctx, &map, 0);

    // tail-call failed, pass the packet
    return XDP_PASS;

To leverage this as a hook point, the instrumented programs are modified to always tail-call, using a map that is exposed to xdpcap by pinning it to a bpffs. To attach a filter, xdpcap can set it in the map. If no filter is attached, the instrumented program returns the correct action itself.

With a filter attached to program foo, we have:

Flow of XDP program foo tail-calling into an xdpcap filter

The filter must return the original action taken by the instrumented program to ensure the packet is processed correctly. To achieve this, xdpcap generates one filter program per possible XDP action, each one hardcoded to return that specific action. All the programs are set in the map:

3 (XDP_TX)filter XDP_TX

By tail-calling into the correct index, the instrumented program determines the final action:

Flow of XDP program foo tail-calling into xdpcap filters, one for each action

xdpcap provides a helper function that attempts a tail-call for the given action. Should it fail, the action is returned instead:

enum xdp_action xdpcap_exit(struct xdp_md *ctx, enum xdp_action action) {
    // tail-call into the filter using the action as an index
    tail_call((void *)ctx, &xdpcap_hook, action);

    // tail-call failed, return the action
    return action;

This allows an XDP program to simply:

int foo(struct xdp_md *ctx) {
    return xdpcap_exit(ctx, XDP_PASS);


Matching packets, as well as the original action taken for them, need to be exposed to userspace. Once again, such a mechanism is already part of our XDP based DoS mitigation pipeline!

Another eBPF helper, perf_event_output, allows an XDP program to generate a perf event containing, amongst some metadata, the packet. As xdpcap generates one filter per XDP action, the filter program can include the action taken in the metadata. A userspace program can create a perf event ring buffer to receive events into, obtaining both the action and the packet.

  1. This is true of the original cBPF, but Linux implements a number of extensions, one of which allows the length of the input packet to be retrieved. ↩︎

  2. This example uses registers r6 and r7, but cbpfc can be configured to use any registers. ↩︎

7 Questions To Ask Yourself About Your Code

Post Syndicated from Bozho original https://techblog.bozho.net/7-questions-to-ask-yourself-about-your-code/

I was thinking the other days – why writing good code is so hard? Why the industry still hasn’t got to producing quality software, despite years of efforts, best practices, methodologies, tools. And the answer to those questions is anything but simple. It involves economic incentives, market realities, deadlines, formal education, industry standards, insufficient number of developers on the market, etc. etc.

As an organization, in order to produce quality software, you have to do a lot. Setup processes, get your recruitment right, be able to charge the overhead of quality to your customers, and actually care about that.

But even with all the measures taken, you can’t guarantee quality code. First, because that’s subjective, but second, because it always comes down to the individual developers. And not simply whether they are capable of writing quality software, but also whether they are actually doing it.

And as a developer, you may fit the process and still produce mediocre code. This is why my thoughts took me to the code from the eyes of the developer, but in the context of software as a whole. Tools can automatically catch code styles issues, cyclomatic complexity, large methods, too many method parameters, circular dependencies, etc. etc. But even if you cover those, you are still not guaranteed to have produced quality software.

So I came up with seven questions that we as developers should ask ourselves each time we commit code.

  1. Is it correct? – does the code implement the specification. If there is no clear specification, did you do a sufficient effort to find out the expected behaviour. And is that behaviour tested somehow – by automated tests preferably, or at least by manual testing,.
  2. Is it complete? – does it take care of all the edge cases, regardless of whether they are defined in the spec or not. Many edge cases are technical (broken connections, insufficient memory, changing interfaces, etc.).
  3. Is it secure? – does it prevent misuse, does it follow best security practices, does it validate its input, does it prevent injections, etc. Is it tested to prove that it is secure against these known attacks. Security is much more than code, but the code itself can introduce a lot of vulnerabilities.
  4. Is it readable and maintainable? – does it allow other people to easily read it, follow it and understand it? Does it have proper comments, describing how a certain piece of code fits into the big picture, does it break down code in small, readable units.
  5. Is it extensible? – does it allow being extended with additional use cases, does it use the appropriate design patterns that allow extensibility, is it parameterizable and configurable, does it allow writing new functionality without breaking old one, does it cover a sufficient percentage of the existing functionality with tests so that changes are not “scary”.
  6. Is it efficient? – does work well under high load, does it care about algorithmic complexity (without being prematurely optimized), does it use batch processing, does it read avoid loading big chunks of data in memory at once, does it make proper use of asynchronous processing.
  7. Is it something to be proud of? – does it represent every good practice that your experience has taught you? Not every piece of code is glorious, as most perform mundane tasks, but is the code something to be proud of or something you’d hope nobody sees? Would you be okay to put it on GitHub?

I think we can internalize those questions. Will asking them constantly make a difference? I think so. Would we magically get quality software If every developer asked themselves these questions about their code? Certainly not. But we’d have better code, when combined with existing tools, processes and practices.

Quality software depends on many factors, but developers are one of the most important ones. Bad software is too often our fault, and by asking ourselves the right questions, we can contribute to good software as well.

The post 7 Questions To Ask Yourself About Your Code appeared first on Bozho's tech blog.

Microsoft acquires GitHub

Post Syndicated from corbet original https://lwn.net/Articles/756443/rss

Here’s the
press release
announcing Microsoft’s agreement to acquire GitHub for a
mere $7.5 billion. “GitHub will retain its developer-first
ethos and will operate independently to provide an open platform for all
developers in all industries. Developers will continue to be able to use
the programming languages, tools and operating systems of their choice for
their projects — and will still be able to deploy their code to any
operating system, any cloud and any device.

Some quick thoughts on the public discussion regarding facial recognition and Amazon Rekognition this past week

Post Syndicated from Dr. Matt Wood original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/some-quick-thoughts-on-the-public-discussion-regarding-facial-recognition-and-amazon-rekognition-this-past-week/

We have seen a lot of discussion this past week about the role of Amazon Rekognition in facial recognition, surveillance, and civil liberties, and we wanted to share some thoughts.

Amazon Rekognition is a service we announced in 2016. It makes use of new technologies – such as deep learning – and puts them in the hands of developers in an easy-to-use, low-cost way. Since then, we have seen customers use the image and video analysis capabilities of Amazon Rekognition in ways that materially benefit both society (e.g. preventing human trafficking, inhibiting child exploitation, reuniting missing children with their families, and building educational apps for children), and organizations (enhancing security through multi-factor authentication, finding images more easily, or preventing package theft). Amazon Web Services (AWS) is not the only provider of services like these, and we remain excited about how image and video analysis can be a driver for good in the world, including in the public sector and law enforcement.

There have always been and will always be risks with new technology capabilities. Each organization choosing to employ technology must act responsibly or risk legal penalties and public condemnation. AWS takes its responsibilities seriously. But we believe it is the wrong approach to impose a ban on promising new technologies because they might be used by bad actors for nefarious purposes in the future. The world would be a very different place if we had restricted people from buying computers because it was possible to use that computer to do harm. The same can be said of thousands of technologies upon which we all rely each day. Through responsible use, the benefits have far outweighed the risks.

Customers are off to a great start with Amazon Rekognition; the evidence of the positive impact this new technology can provide is strong (and growing by the week), and we’re excited to continue to support our customers in its responsible use.

-Dr. Matt Wood, general manager of artificial intelligence at AWS

Amazon SageMaker Updates – Tokyo Region, CloudFormation, Chainer, and GreenGrass ML

Post Syndicated from Randall Hunt original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/sagemaker-tokyo-summit-2018/

Today, at the AWS Summit in Tokyo we announced a number of updates and new features for Amazon SageMaker. Starting today, SageMaker is available in Asia Pacific (Tokyo)! SageMaker also now supports CloudFormation. A new machine learning framework, Chainer, is now available in the SageMaker Python SDK, in addition to MXNet and Tensorflow. Finally, support for running Chainer models on several devices was added to AWS Greengrass Machine Learning.

Amazon SageMaker Chainer Estimator

Chainer is a popular, flexible, and intuitive deep learning framework. Chainer networks work on a “Define-by-Run” scheme, where the network topology is defined dynamically via forward computation. This is in contrast to many other frameworks which work on a “Define-and-Run” scheme where the topology of the network is defined separately from the data. A lot of developers enjoy the Chainer scheme since it allows them to write their networks with native python constructs and tools.

Luckily, using Chainer with SageMaker is just as easy as using a TensorFlow or MXNet estimator. In fact, it might even be a bit easier since it’s likely you can take your existing scripts and use them to train on SageMaker with very few modifications. With TensorFlow or MXNet users have to implement a train function with a particular signature. With Chainer your scripts can be a little bit more portable as you can simply read from a few environment variables like SM_MODEL_DIR, SM_NUM_GPUS, and others. We can wrap our existing script in a if __name__ == '__main__': guard and invoke it locally or on sagemaker.

import argparse
import os

if __name__ =='__main__':

    parser = argparse.ArgumentParser()

    # hyperparameters sent by the client are passed as command-line arguments to the script.
    parser.add_argument('--epochs', type=int, default=10)
    parser.add_argument('--batch-size', type=int, default=64)
    parser.add_argument('--learning-rate', type=float, default=0.05)

    # Data, model, and output directories
    parser.add_argument('--output-data-dir', type=str, default=os.environ['SM_OUTPUT_DATA_DIR'])
    parser.add_argument('--model-dir', type=str, default=os.environ['SM_MODEL_DIR'])
    parser.add_argument('--train', type=str, default=os.environ['SM_CHANNEL_TRAIN'])
    parser.add_argument('--test', type=str, default=os.environ['SM_CHANNEL_TEST'])

    args, _ = parser.parse_known_args()

    # ... load from args.train and args.test, train a model, write model to args.model_dir.

Then, we can run that script locally or use the SageMaker Python SDK to launch it on some GPU instances in SageMaker. The hyperparameters will get passed in to the script as CLI commands and the environment variables above will be autopopulated. When we call fit the input channels we pass will be populated in the SM_CHANNEL_* environment variables.

from sagemaker.chainer.estimator import Chainer
# Create my estimator
chainer_estimator = Chainer(
    hyperparameters={'epochs': 10, 'batch-size': 64}
# Train my estimator
chainer_estimator.fit({'train': train_input, 'test': test_input})

# Deploy my estimator to a SageMaker Endpoint and get a Predictor
predictor = chainer_estimator.deploy(

Now, instead of bringing your own docker container for training and hosting with Chainer, you can just maintain your script. You can see the full sagemaker-chainer-containers on github. One of my favorite features of the new container is built-in chainermn for easy multi-node distribution of your chainer training jobs.

There’s a lot more documentation and information available in both the README and the example notebooks.

AWS GreenGrass ML with Chainer

AWS GreenGrass ML now includes a pre-built Chainer package for all devices powered by Intel Atom, NVIDIA Jetson, TX2, and Raspberry Pi. So, now GreenGrass ML provides pre-built packages for TensorFlow, Apache MXNet, and Chainer! You can train your models on SageMaker then easily deploy it to any GreenGrass-enabled device using GreenGrass ML.


I want to give a quick shout out to all of our wonderful and inspirational friends in the JAWS UG who attended the AWS Summit in Tokyo today. I’ve very much enjoyed seeing your pictures of the summit. Thanks for making Japan an amazing place for AWS developers! I can’t wait to visit again and meet with all of you.


Hiring a Director of Sales

Post Syndicated from Yev original https://www.backblaze.com/blog/hiring-a-director-of-sales/

Backblaze is hiring a Director of Sales. This is a critical role for Backblaze as we continue to grow the team. We need a strong leader who has experience in scaling a sales team and who has an excellent track record for exceeding goals by selling Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions. In addition, this leader will need to be highly motivated, as well as able to create and develop a highly-motivated, success oriented sales team that has fun and enjoys what they do.

The History of Backblaze from our CEO
In 2007, after a friend’s computer crash caused her some suffering, we realized that with every photo, video, song, and document going digital, everyone would eventually lose all of their information. Five of us quit our jobs to start a company with the goal of making it easy for people to back up their data.

Like many startups, for a while we worked out of a co-founder’s one-bedroom apartment. Unlike most startups, we made an explicit agreement not to raise funding during the first year. We would then touch base every six months and decide whether to raise or not. We wanted to focus on building the company and the product, not on pitching and slide decks. And critically, we wanted to build a culture that understood money comes from customers, not the magical VC giving tree. Over the course of 5 years we built a profitable, multi-million dollar revenue business — and only then did we raise a VC round.

Fast forward 10 years later and our world looks quite different. You’ll have some fantastic assets to work with:

  • A brand millions recognize for openness, ease-of-use, and affordability.
  • A computer backup service that stores over 500 petabytes of data, has recovered over 30 billion files for hundreds of thousands of paying customers — most of whom self-identify as being the people that find and recommend technology products to their friends.
  • Our B2 service that provides the lowest cost cloud storage on the planet at 1/4th the price Amazon, Google or Microsoft charges. While being a newer product on the market, it already has over 100,000 IT and developers signed up as well as an ecosystem building up around it.
  • A growing, profitable and cash-flow positive company.
  • And last, but most definitely not least: a great sales team.

You might be saying, “sounds like you’ve got this under control — why do you need me?” Don’t be misled. We need you. Here’s why:

  • We have a great team, but we are in the process of expanding and we need to develop a structure that will easily scale and provide the most success to drive revenue.
  • We just launched our outbound sales efforts and we need someone to help develop that into a fully successful program that’s building a strong pipeline and closing business.
  • We need someone to work with the marketing department and figure out how to generate more inbound opportunities that the sales team can follow up on and close.
  • We need someone who will work closely in developing the skills of our current sales team and build a path for career growth and advancement.
  • We want someone to manage our Customer Success program.

So that’s a bit about us. What are we looking for in you?

Experience: As a sales leader, you will strategically build and drive the territory’s sales pipeline by assembling and leading a skilled team of sales professionals. This leader should be familiar with generating, developing and closing software subscription (SaaS) opportunities. We are looking for a self-starter who can manage a team and make an immediate impact of selling our Backup and Cloud Storage solutions. In this role, the sales leader will work closely with the VP of Sales, marketing staff, and service staff to develop and implement specific strategic plans to achieve and exceed revenue targets, including new business acquisition as well as build out our customer success program.

Leadership: We have an experienced team who’s brought us to where we are today. You need to have the people and management skills to get them excited about working with you. You need to be a strong leader and compassionate about developing and supporting your team.

Data driven and creative: The data has to show something makes sense before we scale it up. However, without creativity, it’s easy to say “the data shows it’s impossible” or to find a local maximum. Whether it’s deciding how to scale the team, figuring out what our outbound sales efforts should look like or putting a plan in place to develop the team for career growth, we’ve seen a bit of creativity get us places a few extra dollars couldn’t.

Jive with our culture: Strong leaders affect culture and the person we hire for this role may well shape, not only fit into, ours. But to shape the culture you have to be accepted by the organism, which means a certain set of shared values. We default to openness with our team, our customers, and everyone if possible. We love initiative — without arrogance or dictatorship. We work to create a place people enjoy showing up to work. That doesn’t mean ping pong tables and foosball (though we do try to have perks & fun), but it means people are friendly, non-political, working to build a good service but also a good place to work.

Do the work: Ideas and strategy are critical, but good execution makes them happen. We’re looking for someone who can help the team execute both from the perspective of being capable of guiding and organizing, but also someone who is hands-on themselves.

Additional Responsibilities needed for this role:

  • Recruit, coach, mentor, manage and lead a team of sales professionals to achieve yearly sales targets. This includes closing new business and expanding upon existing clientele.
  • Expand the customer success program to provide the best customer experience possible resulting in upsell opportunities and a high retention rate.
  • Develop effective sales strategies and deliver compelling product demonstrations and sales pitches.
  • Acquire and develop the appropriate sales tools to make the team efficient in their daily work flow.
  • Apply a thorough understanding of the marketplace, industry trends, funding developments, and products to all management activities and strategic sales decisions.
  • Ensure that sales department operations function smoothly, with the goal of facilitating sales and/or closings; operational responsibilities include accurate pipeline reporting and sales forecasts.
  • This position will report directly to the VP of Sales and will be staffed in our headquarters in San Mateo, CA.


  • 7 – 10+ years of successful sales leadership experience as measured by sales performance against goals.
    Experience in developing skill sets and providing career growth and opportunities through advancement of team members.
  • Background in selling SaaS technologies with a strong track record of success.
  • Strong presentation and communication skills.
  • Must be able to travel occasionally nationwide.
  • BA/BS degree required

Think you want to join us on this adventure?
Send an email to jobscontact@backblaze.com with the subject “Director of Sales.” (Recruiters and agencies, please don’t email us.) Include a resume and answer these two questions:

  1. How would you approach evaluating the current sales team and what is your process for developing a growth strategy to scale the team?
  2. What are the goals you would set for yourself in the 3 month and 1-year timeframes?

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope that this sounds like the opportunity for which you’ve been waiting.

Backblaze is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

The post Hiring a Director of Sales appeared first on Backblaze Blog | Cloud Storage & Cloud Backup.

Amazon Neptune Generally Available

Post Syndicated from Randall Hunt original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/amazon-neptune-generally-available/

Amazon Neptune is now Generally Available in US East (N. Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (Oregon), and EU (Ireland). Amazon Neptune is a fast, reliable, fully-managed graph database service that makes it easy to build and run applications that work with highly connected datasets. At the core of Neptune is a purpose-built, high-performance graph database engine optimized for storing billions of relationships and querying the graph with millisecond latencies. Neptune supports two popular graph models, Property Graph and RDF, through Apache TinkerPop Gremlin and SPARQL, allowing you to easily build queries that efficiently navigate highly connected datasets. Neptune can be used to power everything from recommendation engines and knowledge graphs to drug discovery and network security. Neptune is fully-managed with automatic minor version upgrades, backups, encryption, and fail-over. I wrote about Neptune in detail for AWS re:Invent last year and customers have been using the preview and providing great feedback that the team has used to prepare the service for GA.

Now that Amazon Neptune is generally available there are a few changes from the preview:

Launching an Amazon Neptune Cluster

Launching a Neptune cluster is as easy as navigating to the AWS Management Console and clicking create cluster. Of course you can also launch with CloudFormation, the CLI, or the SDKs.

You can monitor your cluster health and the health of individual instances through Amazon CloudWatch and the console.

Additional Resources

We’ve created two repos with some additional tools and examples here. You can expect continuous development on these repos as we add additional tools and examples.

  • Amazon Neptune Tools Repo
    This repo has a useful tool for converting GraphML files into Neptune compatible CSVs for bulk loading from S3.
  • Amazon Neptune Samples Repo
    This repo has a really cool example of building a collaborative filtering recommendation engine for video game preferences.

Purpose Built Databases

There’s an industry trend where we’re moving more and more onto purpose-built databases. Developers and businesses want to access their data in the format that makes the most sense for their applications. As cloud resources make transforming large datasets easier with tools like AWS Glue, we have a lot more options than we used to for accessing our data. With tools like Amazon Redshift, Amazon Athena, Amazon Aurora, Amazon DynamoDB, and more we get to choose the best database for the job or even enable entirely new use-cases. Amazon Neptune is perfect for workloads where the data is highly connected across data rich edges.

I’m really excited about graph databases and I see a huge number of applications. Looking for ideas of cool things to build? I’d love to build a web crawler in AWS Lambda that uses Neptune as the backing store. You could further enrich it by running Amazon Comprehend or Amazon Rekognition on the text and images found and creating a search engine on top of Neptune.

As always, feel free to reach out in the comments or on twitter to provide any feedback!


Join us at the Education Summit at PyCon UK 2018

Post Syndicated from Ben Nuttall original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/pycon-uk-2018/

PyCon UK 2018 will take place on Saturday 15 September to Wednesday 19 September in the splendid Cardiff City Hall, just a few miles from the Sony Technology Centre where the vast majority of Raspberry Pis is made. We’re pleased to announce that we’re curating this year’s Education Summit at the conference, where we’ll offer opportunities for young people to learn programming skills, and for educators to undertake professional development!

PyCon UK Education Summit logo

PyCon UK 2018 is your chance to be welcomed into the wonderful Python community. At the Education Summit, we’ll put on a young coders’ day on the Saturday, and an educators’ day on the Sunday.

Saturday — young coders’ day

On Saturday we’ll be running a CoderDojo full of workshops on Raspberry Pi and micro:bits for young people aged 7 to 17. If they wish, participants will get to make a project and present it to the conference on the main stage, and everyone will be given a free micro:bit to take home!

Kids’ tickets at just £6 will be available here soon.

Kids on a stage at PyCon UK

Kids presenting their projects to the conference

Sunday — educators’ day

PyCon UK has been bringing developers and educators together ever since it first started its education track in 2011. This year’s Sunday will be a day of professional development: we’ll give teachers, educators, parents, and coding club leaders the chance to learn from us and from each other to build their programming, computing, and digital making skills.

Educator workshop at PyCon UK

Professional development for educators

Educators get a special entrance rate for the conference, starting at £48 — get your tickets now. Financial assistance is also available.

Call for proposals

We invite you to send in your proposal for a talk and workshop at the Education Summit! We’re looking for:

  • 25-minute talks for the educators’ day
  • 50-minute workshops for either the young coders’ or the educators’ day

If you have something you’d like to share, such as a professional development session for educators, advice on best practice for teaching programming, a workshop for up-skilling in Python, or a fun physical computing activity for the CoderDojo, then we’d love to hear about it! Please submit your proposal by 15 June.

After the Education Summit, the conference will continue for two days of talks and a final day of development sprints. Feel free to submit your education-related talk to the main conference too if you want to share it with a wider audience! Check out the PyCon UK 2018 website for more information.

We’re looking forward to seeing you in September!

The post Join us at the Education Summit at PyCon UK 2018 appeared first on Raspberry Pi.