Tag Archives: Docker

How to run AWS CloudHSM workloads in container environments

Post Syndicated from Derek Tumulak original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/security/how-to-run-aws-cloudhsm-workloads-on-docker-containers/

January 25, 2023: We updated this post to reflect the fact that CloudHSM SDK3 does not support serverless environments and we strongly recommend deploying SDK5.


AWS CloudHSM provides hardware security modules (HSMs) in the AWS Cloud. With CloudHSM, you can generate and use your own encryption keys in the AWS Cloud, and manage your keys by using FIPS 140-2 Level 3 validated HSMs. Your HSMs are part of a CloudHSM cluster. CloudHSM automatically manages synchronization, high availability, and failover within a cluster.

CloudHSM is part of the AWS Cryptography suite of services, which also includes AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS), AWS Secrets Manager, and AWS Private Certificate Authority (AWS Private CA). AWS KMS, Secrets Manager, and AWS Private CA are fully managed services that are convenient to use and integrate. You’ll generally use CloudHSM only if your workload requires single-tenant HSMs under your own control, or if you need cryptographic algorithms or interfaces that aren’t available in the fully managed alternatives.

CloudHSM offers several options for you to connect your application to your HSMs, including PKCS#11, Java Cryptography Extensions (JCE), OpenSSL Dynamic Engine, or Microsoft Cryptography API: Next Generation (CNG). Regardless of which library you choose, you’ll use the CloudHSM client to connect to HSMs in your cluster.

In this blog post, I’ll show you how to use Docker to develop, deploy, and run applications by using the CloudHSM SDK, and how to manage and orchestrate workloads by using tools and services like Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS), Kubernetes, Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS), and Jenkins.

Solution overview

This solution demonstrates how to create a Docker container that uses the CloudHSM JCE SDK to generate a key and use it to encrypt and decrypt data.

Note: In this example, you must manually enter the crypto user (CU) credentials as environment variables when you run the container. For production workloads, you’ll need to consider how to secure and automate the handling and distribution of these credentials. You should work with your security or compliance officer to ensure that you’re using an appropriate method of securing HSM login credentials. For more information on securing credentials, see AWS Secrets Manager.

Figure 1 shows the solution architecture. The Java application, running in a Docker container, integrates with JCE and communicates with CloudHSM instances in a CloudHSM cluster through HSM elastic network interfaces (ENIs). The Docker container runs in an EC2 instance, and access to the HSM ENIs is controlled with a security group.

Figure 1: Architecture diagram

Figure 1: Architecture diagram

Prerequisites

To implement this solution, you need to have working knowledge of the following items:

  • CloudHSM
  • Docker 20.10.17 – used at the time of this post
  • Java 8 or Java 11 – supported at the time of this post
  • Maven 3.05 – used at the time of this post

Here’s what you’ll need to follow along with my example:

  1. An active CloudHSM cluster with at least one active HSM instance. You can follow the CloudHSM getting started guide to create, initialize, and activate a CloudHSM cluster.

    Note: For a production cluster, you should have at least two active HSM instances spread across Availability Zones in the Region.

  2. An Amazon Linux 2 EC2 instance in the same virtual private cloud (VPC) in which you created your CloudHSM cluster. The Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instance must have the CloudHSM cluster security group attached—this security group is automatically created during the cluster initialization and is used to control network access to the HSMs. To learn about attaching security groups to allow EC2 instances to connect to your HSMs, see Create a cluster in the AWS CloudHSM User Guide.
  3. A CloudHSM crypto user (CU) account. You can create a CU by following the steps in the topic Managing HSM users in AWS CloudHSM in the AWS CloudHSM User Guide.

Solution details

In this section, I’ll walk you through how to download, configure, compile, and run a solution in Docker.

To set up Docker and run the application that encrypts and decrypts data with a key in AWS CloudHSM

  1. On your Amazon Linux EC2 instance, install Docker by running the following command.

    # sudo yum -y install docker

  2. Start the docker service.

    # sudo service docker start

  3. Create a new directory and move to it. In my example, I use a directory named cloudhsm_container. You’ll use the new directory to configure the Docker image.

    # mkdir cloudhsm_container
    # cd cloudhsm_container

  4. Copy the CloudHSM cluster’s trust anchor certificate (customerCA.crt) to the directory that you just created. You can find the trust anchor certificate on a working CloudHSM client instance under the path /opt/cloudhsm/etc/customerCA.crt. The certificate is created during initialization of the CloudHSM cluster and is required to connect to the CloudHSM cluster. This enables our application to validate that the certificate presented by the CloudHSM cluster was signed by our trust anchor certificate.
  5. In your new directory (cloudhsm_container), create a new file with the name run_sample.sh that includes the following contents. The script runs the Java class that is used to generate an Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) key to encrypt and decrypt your data.
    #! /bin/bash
    
    # start application
    echo -e "\n* Entering AES GCM encrypt/decrypt sample in Docker ... \n"
    
    java -ea -jar target/assembly/aesgcm-runner.jar -method environment
    
    echo -e "\n* Exiting AES GCM encrypt/decrypt sample in Docker ... \n"

  6. In the new directory, create another new file and name it Dockerfile (with no extension). This file will specify that the Docker image is built with the following components:
    • The CloudHSM client package.
    • The CloudHSM Java JCE package.
    • OpenJDK 1.8 (Java 8). This is needed to compile and run the Java classes and JAR files.
    • Maven, a build automation tool that is needed to assist with building the Java classes and JAR files.
    • The AWS CloudHSM Java JCE samples that will be downloaded and built as part of the solution.
  7. Cut and paste the following contents into Dockerfile.

    Note: You will need to customize your Dockerfile, as follows:

    • Make sure to specify the SDK version to replace the one specified in the pom.xml file in the sample code. As of the writing of this post, the most current version is 5.7.0. To find the SDK version, follow the steps in the topic Check your client SDK version. For more information, see the Building section in the README file for the Cloud HSM JCE examples.
    • Make sure to update the HSM_IP line with the IP of an HSM in your CloudHSM cluster. You can get your HSM IPs from the CloudHSM console, or by running the describe-clusters AWS CLI command.
      	# Use the amazon linux image
      	FROM amazonlinux:2
      
      	# Pass HSM IP address as a build argument
      	ARG HSM_IP
      
      	# Install CloudHSM client
      	RUN yum install -y https://s3.amazonaws.com/cloudhsmv2-software/CloudHsmClient/EL7/cloudhsm-jce-latest.el7.x86_64.rpm
      
      	# Install Java, Maven, wget, unzip and ncurses-compat-libs
      	RUN yum install -y java maven wget unzip ncurses-compat-libs
              
      	# Create a work dir
      	WORKDIR /app
              
      	# Download sample code
      	RUN wget https://github.com/aws-samples/aws-cloudhsm-jce-examples/archive/refs/heads/sdk5.zip
              
      	# unzip sample code
      	RUN unzip sdk5.zip
             
      	# Change to the create directory
      	WORKDIR aws-cloudhsm-jce-examples-sdk5
      
      # Build JAR files using the installed CloudHSM JCE Provider version
      RUN export CLOUDHSM_CLIENT_VERSION=`rpm -qi cloudhsm-jce | awk -F': ' '/Version/ {print $2}'` \
              && mvn validate -DcloudhsmVersion=$CLOUDHSM_CLIENT_VERSION \
              && mvn clean package -DcloudhsmVersion=$CLOUDHSM_CLIENT_VERSION
              
        # Configure cloudhsm-client
        COPY customerCA.crt /opt/cloudhsm/etc/
        RUN /opt/cloudhsm/bin/configure-jce -a $HSM_IP
             
        # Copy the run_sample.sh script
        COPY run_sample.sh .
              
        # Run the script
        CMD ["bash","run_sample.sh"]

  8. Now you’re ready to build the Docker image. Run the following command, with the name jce_sample. This command will let you use the Dockerfile that you created in step 6 to create the image.

    # sudo docker build --build-arg HSM_IP=”<your HSM IP address>” -t jce_sample .

  9. To run a Docker container from the Docker image that you just created, run the following command. Make sure to replace the user and password with your actual CU username and password. (If you need help setting up your CU credentials, see prerequisite 3. For more information on how to provide CU credentials to the AWS CloudHSM Java JCE Library, see Providing credentials to the JCE provider in the CloudHSM User Guide).

    # sudo docker run --env HSM_USER=<user> --env HSM_PASSWORD=<password> jce_sample

    If successful, the output should look like this:

    	* Entering AES GCM encrypt/decrypt sample in Docker ... 
    
    	737F92D1B7346267D329C16E
    	Successful decryption
    
    	* Exiting AES GCM encrypt/decrypt sample in Docker ...

Conclusion

This solution provides an example of how to run CloudHSM client workloads in Docker containers. You can use the solution as a reference to implement your cryptographic application in a way that benefits from the high availability and load balancing built in to CloudHSM without compromising the flexibility that Docker provides for developing, deploying, and running applications.

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

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Derek Tumulak

Derek Tumulak

Derek joined AWS in May 2021 as a Principal Product Manager. He is a data protection and cybersecurity expert who is enthusiastic about assisting customers with a wide range of sophisticated use cases.

Monitoring Kubernetes with Zabbix

Post Syndicated from Michaela DeForest original https://blog.zabbix.com/monitoring-kubernetes-with-zabbix/25055/

There are many options available for monitoring Kubernetes and cloud-native applications. In this multi-part blog series, we’ll explore how to use Zabbix to monitor a Kubernetes cluster and understand the metrics generated within Zabbix. We’ll also learn how to exploit Prometheus endpoints exposed by applications to monitor application-specific metrics.

Want to see Kubernetes monitoring in action? Watch the step-by-step Zabbix Kubernetes monitoring configuration and deployment guide.

Why Choose Zabbix to Monitor Kubernetes?

Before choosing Zabbix as a Kubernetes monitoring tool, we asked ourselves, “why would we choose to use Zabbix rather than Prometheus, Grafana, and alertmanager?” After all, they have become the standard monitoring tools in the cloud ecosystem. We decided that our minimum criteria for Zabbix would be that it was just as effective as Prometheus for monitoring both Kubernetes and cloud-native applications.

Through our discovery process, we concluded that Zabbix meets (and exceeds) this minimum requirement. Zabbix provides similar metrics and triggers as Prometheus, alert manager, and Grafana for Kubernetes, as they both use the same backend tools to do this. However, Zabbix can do this in one product while still maintaining flexibility and allowing you to monitor pretty much anything you can write code to collect. Regarding application monitoring, Zabbix can transform Prometheus metrics fed to it by Prometheus exporters and endpoints. In addition, because Zabbix can make calls to any HTTP endpoint, it can monitor applications that do not have a dedicated Prometheus endpoint, unlike Prometheus.

The Zabbix Helm Chart

Zabbix monitors Kubernetes by collecting metrics exposed via the Kubernetes API and kube-state-metrics. The components necessary to monitor a cluster are installed within the cluster using this helm chart provided by Zabbix. The helm chart includes the Zabbix agent installed as a daemon set and is used to monitor local resources and applications on each node. A Zabbix proxy is also installed to collect monitoring data and transfer it to the external Zabbix server.

Only the Zabbix proxy needs access to the Zabbix server, while the agents can send data to the proxy installed in the same namespace as each agent. A cluster role allows Zabbix to access resources in the cluster via the Kubernetes API. While the cluster role could be modified to restrict privileges given to Zabbix, this will result in some items becoming unsupported. We recommend keeping this the same if you want to get the most out of Kubernetes monitoring with Zabbix.

The Zabbix helm chart installs the kube-state-metrics project as a dependency. You may already be familiar with this project under the Kubernetes organization, which generates Prometheus format metrics based on the current state of the Kubernetes resources. In addition, if you have experience using Prometheus to monitor a cluster, you may already have this installed. If that is the case, you can point to this deployment rather than installing another one.

In this tutorial, we will install kube-state-metrics via the Zabbix helm chart.

For more information on skipping this step, refer to the values file in the Zabbix Kubernetes helm chart.

Installing the Zabbix Helm Chart

Now that we’ve explained how the Zabbix helm chart works, let’s go ahead and install it. In this example, we will assume that you have a running Zabbix 6.0 (or higher) instance that is reachable from the cluster you wish to monitor. I am running a 6.0 instance in a different cluster than the one we want to monitor. The server is reachable via the DNS name mdeforest.zabbix.atsgroup.io with a non-standard port of 31103.

We will start by installing the latest Zabbix helm chart. I recommend visiting zabbix.com/integrations/kubernetes to get any sources that may be referred to in this tutorial. There you will find a link to the Zabbix helm chart and templates. For the most part, we will follow the steps outlined in the readme.

 

Using a terminal window, I am going to make sure the active cluster is set to the cluster that I want to monitor:

kubectl config use-context <cluster context name>

I’m then going to add the Zabbix chart repo to my local helm repository:

helm repo add zabbix-chart-6.0 https://cdn.zabbix.com/zabbix/integrations/kubernetes-helm/6.0/

If you’re running Zabbix 6.2 or newer, change the references to 6.0 in this command to 6.2.

Depending on your circumstances, you will need to set a few values for the installation. In most cases, you only need to set a few environment variables for the Zabbix agent and the proxy. The complete list of values and environment variables is available in the helm chart repo, alongside the agent and proxy images on Docker Hub.

In this case, I’m setting the passive server environment variable for the agent to allow any IP to connect. For the proxy, I am setting the server host accessible from the proxy alongside the non-standard port. I’ve also set here some variables related to cache size. These variables may depend on your cluster size, so you may need to play around with them to find the correct values.

Now that I have the values file ready, I’m ready to install the chart. So, we’ll use the following command. Of course, the chart path might vary depending on what version of the chart you’re using.

helm install -f </path/to/values/file> [-n <namespace>] zabbix zabbix-chart-6.0/zabbix-helm-chart

You can also optionally add a namespace. You must wait until everything is running, so I’ll check just that with the following:

watch kubectl get pods

Now that everything is installed, we’re ready to set up hosts in Zabbix that will be associated with the cluster. The last step before we have all the information we need is to obtain the token created via the service account installed with the helm chart. We’ll get this by running the next command, which is the name of the service account that was created:

kubectl get secret -o jsonpath={.data.token} zabbix service-account | base64 -d

This will get the secret created for the service account and grab just the token from that, which is passed to the base64 utility to decode it. Be sure to copy that value somewhere because you’ll need it for later.

You’ll also need the Kubernetes API endpoint. In most cases, you’ll use the proxy installed rather than the server directly or a proxy outside the cluster. If this is the case, you can use the service DNS for the API. We should be able to reach it by pointing to https://kubernetes.default.svc.cluster.local:443/api.

If this is not the case, you can use the output from the command:

kubectl cluster-info

Now, let’s head over to the Zabbix UI. All the templates we need are shipped in Zabbix 6. If for some reason, you can’t find them, they are available for download and import by visiting the integrations page that I pointed out earlier on the Zabbix site.

Adding the Proxy

We will add our proxy by heading to Administration -> Proxies:

  1. Click Create Proxy. Because this is an active proxy by default, we only need to specify the proxy name. If you didn’t make any changes to the helm chart, this should default to zabbix-proxy. If you’d like to name this differently, you can change the environment variable zbx_hostname for the proxy in the helm chart. We’re going to leave it as the default for now. You’re going to enter this name and then click “Add.” After a few minutes, you’ll start to see that it says that the proxy has been seen.
  2. Create a Host Group to put hosts related to Kubernetes. For this example, let’s create one, which we’ll call Kubernetes.
  3. Head to the host page under configuration and click Create Host. The first host will collect metrics related to monitoring Kubernetes nodes, and we’ll discover nodes and create new hosts using Zabbix low-level discovery.
  4. Give this host the name Kubernetes Nodes. We’ll also assign this host to the Kubernetes host group we created and attach the template Kubernetes nodes by HTTP.
  5. Change the line “Monitored by proxy” to the proxy created earlier, called zabbix-proxy.
  6. Click the Macros tab and select “Inherited and host macros.” You should be able to see all the macros that may be set to influence what is monitored in your cluster. In this case, we need to change the first two macros. The first, {KUBE.API.ENDPOINT.URL}, should be set to the Kubernetes API endpoint. In our case, we can set it to what I mentioned earlier: default.svc.cluster.local:443/api. Next, the token should be set to the previously retrieved value from the command line.
  7. lick Add. After a few minutes, you should start seeing data on the latest data page and new hosts on the host page representing each node.

Creating an Additional Host

Now let’s create another host that will represent the metrics available via the Kubernetes API and the kube-state-metrics endpoint.

  1. Click Create Host again, name this host Kubernetes Cluster State, and add it to the Kubernetes group again.
  2. Let’s also attach the Kubernetes Cluster State template by HTTP. Again, we’re going to choose the proxy that we created earlier.
  3. In the Macro section, change the kube.api.url to the same thing we used before, but this time leave off the /api at the end. Simply: default.svc.cluster.local:443. Be sure to set the token as we did before.
  4. Assuming nothing else was changed in the installation of the helm chart, we can now add that host.

After a few minutes, you should receive metrics related to the cluster state, including hosts representing the kubelet on each node.

What’s Next?

Now you’re all set to start monitoring your Kubernetes cluster in Zabbix! Give it a try, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.

In the next blog post, we’ll look at what you can do with your newly monitored cluster and how to get the most out of it.

If you’d like help with any of this, ATS has advanced monitoring, orchestration, and automation skills to make this process a snap. Set up a 15-minute with our team to go through any questions you have.

About the Author

Michaela DeForest is a Platform Engineer for The ATS Group.  She is a Zabbix Certified Specialist on Zabbix 6.0 with additional areas of expertise, including Terraform, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Ansible, and Kubernetes, to name a few.  As ATS’s resident authority in DevOps, Michaela is critical in delivering cutting-edge solutions that help businesses improve efficiency, reduce errors, and achieve a faster ROI.

About ATS Group: The ATS Group provides a fully inclusive set of technology services and tools designed to innovate and transform IT.  Their systems integration, business resiliency, cloud enablement, infrastructure intelligence, and managed services help businesses of all sizes “get IT done.” With over 20 years in business, ATS has become the trusted advisor to nearly 500 customers across multiple industries.  They have built their reputation around honesty, integrity, and technical expertise unrivaled by the competition.

Docker Container Monitoring With Zabbix

Post Syndicated from Dmitry Lambert original https://blog.zabbix.com/docker-container-monitoring-with-zabbix/20175/

In this blog post, I will cover Docker container monitoring with Zabbix. We will use the official Docker by Zabbix agent 2 template to make things as simple as possible. The template download link and configuration steps can be found on the Zabbix Integrations page. If you require a visual guide, I invite you to check out my video covering this topic.

Importing the official Docker template

Importing the Docker by Zabbix agent 2 template

Since we will be using the official Docker by Zabbix agent 2 template, first, we need to make sure that the template is actually available in our Zabbix instance. The template is available for Zabbix versions 5.0, 5.4, and 6.0. If you cannot find this template under Configuration – Templates, chances are that you haven’t imported it into your environment after upgrading Zabbix to one of the aforementioned versions. Remember that Zabbix does not modify or import any templates during the upgrade process, so we will have to import the template manually. If that is so, simply download the template from the official Zabbix git page (or use the link in the introduction) and import it into your Zabbix instance by using the Import button in the Configuration – Templates section.

Installing and configuring Zabbix agent 2

Before we get started with configuring our host, we first have to install Zabbix agent 2 and configure it according to the template guidelines. Follow the steps in the download section of the Zabbix website and install the zabbix-agent2 package. Feel free to use any other agent deployment methods if you want to (like compiling the agent from the source files)

Installing Zabbix agent2 from packages takes just a few simple steps:

Install the Zabbix repository package:

rpm -Uvh https://repo.zabbix.com/zabbix/6.0/rhel/8/x86_64/zabbix-release-6.0-1.el8.noarch.rpm

Install the Zabbix agent 2 package:

dnf install zabbix-agent2

Configure the Server parameter by populating it with your Zabbix server/proxy address

vi /etc/zabbix/zabbix_agent2.conf
### Option: Server
# List of comma delimited IP addresses, optionally in CIDR notation, or DNS names of Zabbix servers and Zabbix proxies.
# Incoming connections will be accepted only from the hosts listed here.
# If IPv6 support is enabled then '127.0.0.1', '::127.0.0.1', '::ffff:127.0.0.1' are treated equally
# and '::/0' will allow any IPv4 or IPv6 address.
# '0.0.0.0/0' can be used to allow any IPv4 address.
# Example: Server=127.0.0.1,192.168.1.0/24,::1,2001:db8::/32,zabbix.example.com
#
# Mandatory: yes, if StartAgents is not explicitly set to 0
# Default:
# Server=

Server=192.168.50.49

Plugin specific Zabbix agent 2 configuration

Zabbix agent 2 provides plugin-specific configuration parameters. Mostly these are optional parameters related to a specific plugin. You can find the full list of plugin-specific configuration parameters in the Zabbix documentation. In the newer versions of Zabbix agent 2, the plugin-specific parameters are defined in separate plugin configuration files, located in /etc/zabbix/zabbix_agent2.d/plugins.d/, while in older versions, they are defined directly in the zabbix_agent2.conf file.

For the Zabbix agent 2 Docker plugin, we have to provide the Docker daemon unix-socket location. This can be done by specifying the following plugin parameter:

### Option: Plugins.Docker.Endpoint
# Docker API endpoint.
#
# Mandatory: no
# Default: unix:///var/run/docker.sock
# Plugins.Docker.Endpoint=unix:///var/run/docker.sock

The default socket location will be correct for your Docker environment – in that case, you can leave the configuration file as-is.

Once we have made the necessary changes in the Zabbix agent 2 configuration files, start and enable the agent:

systemctl enable zabbix-agent2 --now

Check if the Zabbix agent2 is running:

tail -f /var/log/zabbix/zabbix_agent2.log

Before we move on to Zabbix frontend, I would like to point your attention to the Docker socket file permission – the zabbix user needs to have access to the Docker socket file. The zabbix user should be added to the docker group to resolve the following error messages.

[Docker] cannot fetch data: Get http://1.28/info: dial unix /var/run/docker.sock: connect: permission denied
ZBX_NOTSUPPORTED: Cannot fetch data.

You can add the zabbix user to the Docker group by executing the following command:

usermod -aG docker zabbix

Configuring the docker host

Configuring the host representing our Docker environment

After importing the template, we have to create a host which will represent our Docker instance. Give the host a name and assign it to a Host group – I will assign it to the Linux servers host group. Assign the Docker by Zabbix agent 2 template to the host. Since the template uses Zabbix agent 2 to collect the metrics, we also have to add an agent interface on this host. The address of the interface should point to the machine running your Docker containers. Finish up the host configuration by clicking the Add button.

Docker by Zabbix agent 2 template

Regular docker template items

The template contains a set of regular items for the general Docker instance metrics, such as the number of available images, Docker architecture information, the total number of containers, and more.

Docker tempalte Low-level discovery rules

On top of that, the template also gathers container and image-specific information by using low-level discovery rules.

Once Zabbix discovers your containers and images, these low-level discovery rules will then be used to create items, triggers, and graphs from prototypes for each of your containers and images. This way, we can monitor container or image-specific metrics, such as container memory, network information, container status, and more.

Docker templates Low-level discovery item prototypes

Verifying the host and template configuration

To verify that the agent and the host are configured correctly, we can use Zabbix get command-line tool and try to poll our agent. If you haven’t installed Zabbix get, do so on your Zabbix server or Zabbix proxy host:

dnf install zabbix-get

Now we can use zabbix-get to verify that our agent can obtain the Docker-related metrics. Execute the following command:

zabbix_get -s docker-host -k docker.info

Use the -s parameter to specify your agent host’s host name or IP address. The -k parameter specifies the item key for which we wish to obtain the metrics by polling the agent with Zabbix get.

zabbix_get -s 192.168.50.141 -k docker.info

{"Id":"SJYT:SATE:7XZE:7GEC:XFUD:KZO5:NYFI:L7M5:4RGO:P2KX:QJFD:TAVY","Containers":2,"ContainersRunning":2,"ContainersPaused":0,"ContainersStopped":0,"Images":2,"Driver":"overlay2","MemoryLimit":true,"SwapLimit":true,"KernelMemory":true,"KernelMemoryTCP":true,"CpuCfsPeriod":true,"CpuCfsQuota":true,"CPUShares":true,"CPUSet":true,"PidsLimit":true,"IPv4Forwarding":true,"BridgeNfIptables":true,"BridgeNfIP6tables":true,"Debug":false,"NFd":39,"OomKillDisable":true,"NGoroutines":43,"LoggingDriver":"json-file","CgroupDriver":"cgroupfs","NEventsListener":0,"KernelVersion":"5.4.17-2136.300.7.el8uek.x86_64","OperatingSystem":"Oracle Linux Server 8.5","OSVersion":"8.5","OSType":"linux","Architecture":"x86_64","IndexServerAddress":"https://index.docker.io/v1/","NCPU":1,"MemTotal":1776848896,"DockerRootDir":"/var/lib/docker","Name":"localhost.localdomain","ExperimentalBuild":false,"ServerVersion":"20.10.14","ClusterStore":"","ClusterAdvertise":"","DefaultRuntime":"runc","LiveRestoreEnabled":false,"InitBinary":"docker-init","SecurityOptions":["name=seccomp,profile=default"],"Warnings":null}

In addition, we can also use the low-level discovery key – docker.containers.discovery[false] to check the result of the low-level discovery.

zabbix_get -s 192.168.50.141 -k docker.containers.discovery[false]

[{"{#ID}":"a1ad32f5ee680937806bba62a1aa37909a8a6663d8d3268db01edb1ac66a49e2","{#NAME}":"/apache-server"},{"{#ID}":"120d59f3c8b416aaeeba50378dee7ae1eb89cb7ffc6cc75afdfedb9bc8cae12e","{#NAME}":"/mysql-server"}]

We can see that Zabbix will discover and start monitoring two containers – apache-server and mysql-server. Any agent low-level discovery rule or item can be checked with Zabbix get.

Docker template in action

Discovered items on our Docker host

Now that we have configured our agent and host, applied the Docker template, and verified that everything is working, we should be able to see the discovered entities in the frontend.

Collected Docker container metrics

In addition, our metrics should have also started coming in. We can check the Latest data section and verify that they are indeed getting collected.

Macros inherited from the Docker template

Lastly, we have a few additional options for further modifying the template and the results of our low-level discovery. If you open the Macros section of your host and select Inherited and host macros, you will notice that there are 4 macros inherited from the Docker template. These macros are responsible for filtering in/out the discovered containers and images. Feel free to modify these values if you wish to filter in/out the discovery of these entities as per your requirements.

Notice that the container discovery item also has one parameter, which is defined as false on the template:

  • docker.containers.discovery[false] – Discover only running containers
  • docker.containers.discovery[true] – Discover all containers, no matter their state.

And that’s it! We successfully imported the template, installed and configured Zabbix agent 2, created a host, and applied the Docker template. Finally – our Zabbix instance is now monitoring our Docker environment! If you have any other questions or comments, feel free to leave a response in the comments section of this post.

 

The post Docker Container Monitoring With Zabbix appeared first on Zabbix Blog.

Deploy and Manage Gitlab Runners on Amazon EC2

Post Syndicated from Sylvia Qi original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/devops/deploy-and-manage-gitlab-runners-on-amazon-ec2/

Gitlab CI is a tool utilized by many enterprises to automate their Continuous integration, continuous delivery and deployment (CI/CD) process. A Gitlab CI/CD pipeline consists of two major components: A .gitlab-ci.yml file describing a pipeline’s jobs, and a Gitlab Runner, an application that executes the pipeline jobs.

Setting up the Gitlab Runner is a time-consuming process. It involves provisioning the necessary infrastructure, installing the necessary software to run pipeline workloads, and configuring the runner. For enterprises running hundreds of pipelines across multiple environments, it is essential to automate the Gitlab Runner deployment process so as to be deployed quickly in a repeatable, consistent manner.

This post will guide you through utilizing Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC) to automate Gitlab Runner deployment and administrative tasks on Amazon EC2. With IaC, you can quickly and consistently deploy the entire Gitlab Runner architecture by running a script. You can track and manage changes efficiently. And, you can enforce guardrails and best practices via code. The solution presented here also offers autoscaling so that you save costs by terminating resources when not in use. You will learn:

  • How to deploy Gitlab Runner quickly and consistently across multiple AWS accounts.
  • How to enforce guardrails and best practices on the Gitlab Runner through IaC.
  • How to autoscale Gitlab Runner based on workloads to ensure best performance and save costs.

This post comes from a DevOps engineer perspective, and assumes that the engineer is familiar with the practices and tools of IaC and CI/CD.

Overview of the solution

The following diagram displays the solution architecture. We use AWS CloudFormation to describe the infrastructure that is hosting the Gitlab Runner. The main steps are as follows:

  1. The user runs a deploy script in order to deploy the CloudFormation template. The template is parameterized, and the parameters are defined in a properties file. The properties file specifies the infrastructure configuration, as well as the environment in which to deploy the template.
  2. The deploy script calls CloudFormation CreateStack API to create a Gitlab Runner stack in the specified environment.
  3. During stack creation, an EC2 autoscaling group is created with the desired number of EC2 instances. Each instance is launched via a launch template, which is created with values from the properties file. An IAM role is created and attached to the EC2 instance. The role contains permissions required for the Gitlab Runner to execute pipeline jobs. A lifecycle hook is attached to the autoscaling group on instance termination events. This ensures graceful instance termination.
  4. During instance launch, CloudFormation uses a cfn-init helper script to install and configure the Gitlab Runner:
    1. cfn-init installs the Gitlab Runner software on the EC2 instance.
    2. cfn-init configures the Gitlab Runner as a docker executor using a pre-defined docker image in the Gitlab Container Registry. The docker executor implementation lets the Gitlab Runner run each build in a separate and isolated container. The docker image contains the software required to run the pipeline workloads, thereby eliminating the need to install these packages during each build.
    3. cfn-init registers the Gitlab Runner to Gitlab projects specified in the properties file, so that these projects can utilize the Gitlab Runner to run pipelines.
  1. The user may repeat the same steps to deploy Gitlab Runner into another environment.

Architecture diagram previously explained in post.

Walkthrough

This walkthrough will demonstrate how to deploy the Gitlab Runner, and how easy it is to conduct Gitlab Runner administrative tasks via this architecture. We will walk through the following tasks:

  • Build a docker executor image for the Gitlab Runner.
  • Deploy the Gitlab Runner stack.
  • Update the Gitlab Runner.
  • Terminate the Gitlab Runner.
  • Add/Remove Gitlab projects from the Gitlab Runner.
  • Autoscale the Gitlab Runner based on workloads.

The code in this post is available at https://github.com/aws-samples/amazon-ec2-gitlab-runner.git

Prerequisites

For this walkthrough, you need the following:

  • A Gitlab account (all tiers including Gitlab Free self-managed, Gitlab Free SaaS, and higher tiers). This demo uses gitlab.com free tire.
  • A Gitlab Container Registry.
  • Git client to clone the source code provided.
  • An AWS account with local credentials properly configured (typically under ~/.aws/credentials).
  • The latest version of the AWS CLI. For more information, see Installing, updating, and uninstalling the AWS CLI.
  • Docker is installed and running on the localhost/laptop.
  • Nodejs and npm installed on the localhost/laptop.
  • A VPC with 2 private subnets and that is connected to the internet via NAT gateway allowing outbound traffic.
  • The following IAM service-linked role created in the AWS account: AWSServiceRoleForAutoScaling
  • An Amazon S3 bucket for storing Lambda deployment packages.
  • Familiarity with Git, Gitlab CI/CD, Docker, EC2, CloudFormation and Amazon CloudWatch.

Build a docker executor image for the Gitlab Runner

The Gitlab Runner in this solution is implemented as docker executor. The Docker executor connects to Docker Engine and runs each build in a separate and isolated container via a predefined docker image. The first step in deploying the Gitlab Runner is building a docker executor image. We provided a simple Dockerfile in order to build this image. You may customize the Dockerfile to install your own requirements.

To build a docker image using the sample Dockerfile:

  1. Create a directory where we will store our demo code. From your terminal run:
mkdir demo-repos && cd demo-repos
  1. Clone the source code repository found in the following location:
git clone https://github.com/aws-samples/amazon-ec2-gitlab-runner.git
  1. Create a new project on your Gitlab server. Name the project any name you like.
  2. Clone your newly created repo to your laptop. Ignore the warning about cloning an empty repository.
git clone <your-repo-url>
  1. Copy the demo repo files into your newly created repo on your laptop, and push it to your Gitlab repository. You may customize the Dockerfile before pushing it to Gitlab.
cp -r amazon-ec2-gitlab-runner/* <your-repo-dir>
cd <your-repo-dir>
git add .
git commit -m “Initial commit”
git push
  1. On the Gitlab console, go to your repository’s Package & Registries -> Container Registry. Follow the instructions provided on the Container Registry page in order to build and push a docker image to your repository’s container registry.

Deploy the Gitlab Runner stack

Once the docker executor image has been pushed to the Gitlab Container Registry, we can deploy the Gitlab Runner. The Gitlab Runner infrastructure is described in the Cloudformation template gitlab-runner.yaml. Its configuration is stored in a properties file called sample-runner.properties. A launch template is created with the values in the properties file. Then it is used to launch instances. This architecture lets you deploy Gitlab Runner to as many environments as you like by utilizing the configurations provided in the appropriate properties files.

During the provisioning process, utilize a cfn-init helper script to run a series of commands to install and configure the Gitlab Runner.

          commands:
            01InstallDocker:
              command: sudo yum -y install docker
            02StartDocker:
              command: sudo service docker start
            03DownloadGitlabRunner:
              command: sudo wget -O /usr/bin/gitlab-runner https://gitlab-runner-downloads.s3.amazonaws.com/latest/binaries/gitlab-runner-linux-amd64
            04ChmodGitlabRunner:
              command: sudo chmod a+x /usr/bin/gitlab-runner
            05AddUser:
              command: sudo useradd --comment 'GitLab Runner' --create-home gitlab-runner --shell /bin/bash
            06InstallGitlabRunner:
              command: sudo gitlab-runner install --user=gitlab-runner --working-directory=/home/gitlab-runner
            07SetRegion:
              command: !Sub 'aws configure set default.region ${AWS::Region}'
            08ConfigureDockerExecutor:
              command: !Sub 
                - |
                  for GitlabGroupToken in `aws ssm get-parameters --names /${AWS::StackName}/ci-tokens --query 'Parameters[0].Value' | sed -e "s/\"//g" | sed "s/,/ /g"`;do
                      sudo gitlab-runner register \
                      --non-interactive \
                      --url "${GitlabServerURL}" \
                      --registration-token $GitlabGroupToken \
                      --executor "docker" \
                      --docker-image "${DockerImagePath}" \
                      --description "Gitlab Runner with Docker Executor" \
                      --locked="${isLOCKED}" --access-level "${ACCESS}" \
                      --docker-volumes "/var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock" \
                      --tag-list "${RunnerEnvironment}-${RunnerVersion}-docker"
                  done
                - isLOCKED: !FindInMap [GitlabRunnerRegisterOptionsMap, !Ref RunnerEnvironment, isLOCKED]
                  ACCESS: !FindInMap [GitlabRunnerRegisterOptionsMap, !Ref RunnerEnvironment, ACCESS]                              
            09StartGitlabRunner:
              command: sudo gitlab-runner start

The helper script ensures that the Gitlab Runner setup is consistent and repeatable for each deployment. If a configuration change is required, users simply update the configuration steps and redeploy the stack. Furthermore, all changes are tracked in Git, which allows for versioning of the Gitlab Runner.

To deploy the Gitlab Runner stack:

  1. Obtain the runner registration tokens of the Gitlab projects that you want registered to the Gitlab Runner. Obtain the token by selecting the project’s Settings > CI/CD and expand the Runners section.
  2. Update the sample-runner.properties file parameters according to your own environment. Refer to the gitlab-runner.yaml file for a description of these parameters. Rename the file if you like. You may also create an additional properties file for deploying into other environments.
  3. Run the deploy script to deploy the runner:
cd <your-repo-dir>
./deploy-runner.sh <properties-file> <region> <aws-profile> <stack-name> 

<properties-file> is the name of the properties file.

<region> is the region where you want to deploy the stack.

<aws-profile> is the name of the CLI profile you set up in the prerequisites section.

<stack-name> is the name you chose for the CloudFormation stack.

For example:

./deploy-runner.sh sample-runner.properties us-east-1 dev amazon-ec2-gitlab-runner-demo

After the stack is deployed successfully, you will see the Gitlab Runner autoscaling group created in the EC2 console:

After the stack is deployed successfully, you will see the Gitlab Runner autoscaling group created in the EC2 console.

Under your Gitlab project Settings > CICD > Runners > Available specific runners, you will see the fully configured Gitlab Runner. The green circle indicates that the Gitlab Runner is ready for use.

Now go to your Gitlab project Settings  CICD  Runners  Available specific runners, you will see the fully configured Gitlab Runner. The green circle indicates that the Gitlab Runner is ready for use.

Updating the Gitlab Runner

There are times when you would want to update the Gitlab Runner. For example, updating the instance VolumeSize in order to resolve a disk space issue, or updating the AMI ID when a new AMI becomes available.

Utilizing the properties file and launch template makes it easy to update the Gitlab Runner. Simply update the Gitlab Runner configuration parameters in the properties file. Then, run the deploy script to udpate the Gitlab Runner stack. To ensure that the changes take effect immediately (e.g., existing instances are replaced by new instances with the new configuration), we utilize an AutoscalingRollingUpdate update policy to automatically update the instances in the autoscaling group.

    UpdatePolicy:
      AutoScalingRollingUpdate:
        MinInstancesInService: !Ref MinInstancesInService
        MaxBatchSize: !Ref MaxBatchSize
        PauseTime: "PT5M"
        WaitOnResourceSignals: true
        SuspendProcesses:
          - HealthCheck
          - ReplaceUnhealthy
          - AZRebalance
          - AlarmNotification
          - ScheduledActions

The policy tells CloudFormation that when changes are detected in the launch template, update the instances in batch size of MaxBatchSize, while keeping a number of instances (specified in MinInstanceInService) in service during the update.

Below is an example of updating the Gitlab Runner instance type.

To update the instance type of the runner instance:

  1. Update the “InstanceType” parameter in the properties file.

InstanceType=t2.medium

  1. Run the deploy-runner.sh script to update the CloudFormation stack:
cd <your-repo-dir>
./deploy-runner.sh <properties-file> <region> <aws-profile> <stack-name> 

In the CloudFormation console, you will see that the launch template is updated first, then a rolling update is initiated. The instance type update requires a replacement of the original instance, so a temporary instance was launched and put in service. Then, the temporary instance was terminated when the new instance was launched successfully.

In the CloudFormation console, you will see that the launch template is updated first, then a rolling update is initiated. The instance type update requires a replacement of the original instance, so a temporary instance was launched and put in service. Then, the temporary instance was terminated when the new instance was launched successfully.

After the update is complete, you will see that on the Gitlab project’s console, the old Gitlab Runner, ez_5x8Rv, is replaced by the new Gitlab Runner, N1_UQ7yc.

After the update is complete, you will see that on the Gitlab project’s console, the old Gitlab Runner, ez_5x8Rv, is replaced by the new Gitlab Runner, N1_UQ7yc.

Terminate the Gitlab Runner

There are times when an autoscaling group instance must be terminated. For example, during an autoscaling scale-in event, or when the instance is being replaced by a new instance during a stack update, as seen previously. When terminating an instance, you must ensure that the Gitlab Runner finishes executing any running jobs before the instance is terminated, otherwise your environment could be left in an inconsistent state. Also, we want to ensure that the terminated Gitlab Runner is removed from the Gitlab project. We utilize an autoscaling lifecycle hook to achieve these goals.

The lifecycle hook works like this: A CloudWatch event rule actively listens for the EC2 Instance-terminate events. When one is detected, the event rule triggers a Lambda function. The Lambda function calls SSM Run Command to run a series of commands on the EC2 instances, via a SSM Document. The commands include stopping the Gitlab Runner gracefully when all running jobs are finished, de-registering the runner from Gitlab projects, and signaling the autoscaling group to terminate the instance.

The lifecycle hook works like this: A CloudWatch event rule actively listens for the EC2 Instance-terminate events. When one is detected, the event rule triggers a Lambda function. The Lambda function calls SSM Run Command to run a series of commands on the EC2 instances, via a SSM Document. The commands include stopping the Gitlab Runner gracefully when all running jobs are finished, de-registering the runner from Gitlab projects, and signaling the autoscaling group to terminate the instance.

There are also times when you want to terminate an instance manually. For example, when an instance is suspected to not be functioning properly. To terminate an instance from the Gitlab Runner autoscaling group, use the following command:

aws autoscaling terminate-instance-in-auto-scaling-group \
    --instance-id="${InstanceId}" \
    --no-should-decrement-desired-capacity \
    --region="${region}" \
    --profile="${profile}"

The above command terminates the instance. The lifecycle hook ensures that the cleanup steps are conducted properly, and the autoscaling group launches another new instance to replace the old one.

Note that if you terminate the instance by using the “ec2 terminate-instance” command, then the autoscaling lifecycle hook actions will not be triggered.

Add/Remove Gitlab projects from the Gitlab Runner

As new projects are added to your enterprise, you may want to register them to the Gitlab Runner, so that those projects can utilize the Gitlab Runner to run pipelines. On the other hand, you would want to remove the Gitlab Runner from a project if it no longer wants to utilize the Gitlab Runner, or if it qualifies to utilize the Gitlab Runner. For example, if a project is no longer allowed to deploy to an environment configured by the Gitlab Runner. Our architecture offers a simple way to add and remove projects from the Gitlab Runner. To add new projects to the Gitlab Runner, update the RunnerRegistrationTokens parameter in the properties file, and then rerun the deploy script to update the Gitlab Runner stack.

To add new projects to the Gitlab Runner:

  1. Update the RunnerRegistrationTokens parameter in the properties file. For example:
RunnerRegistrationTokens=ps8RjBSruy1sdRdP2nZX,XbtZNv4yxysbYhqvjEkC
  1. Update the Gitlab Runner stack. This updates the SSM parameter which stores the tokens.
cd <your-repo-dir>
./deploy-runner.sh <properties-file> <region> <aws-profile> <stack-name> 
  1. Relaunch the instances in the Gitlab Runner autoscaling group. The new instances will use the new RunnerRegistrationTokens value. Run the following command to relaunch the instances:
./cycle-runner.sh <runner-autoscaling-group-name> <region> <optional-aws-profile>

To remove projects from the Gitlab Runner, follow the steps described above, with just one difference. Instead of adding new tokens to the RunnerRegistrationTokens parameter, remove the token(s) of the project that you want to dissociate from the runner.

Autoscale the runner based on custom performance metrics

Each Gitlab Runner can be configured to handle a fixed number of concurrent jobs. Once this capacity is reached for every runner, any new jobs will be in a Queued/Waiting status until the current jobs complete, which would be a poor experience for our team. Setting the number of concurrent jobs too high on our runners would also result in a poor experience, because all jobs leverage the same CPU, memory, and storage in order to conduct the builds.

In this solution, we utilize a scheduled Lambda function that runs every minute in order to inspect the number of jobs running on every runner, leveraging the Prometheus Metrics endpoint that the runners expose. If we approach the concurrent build limit of the group, then we increase the Autoscaling Group size so that it can take on more work. As the number of concurrent jobs decreases, then the scheduled Lambda function will scale the Autoscaling Group back in an effort to minimize cost. The Scaling-Up operation will ignore the Autoscaling Group’s cooldown period, which will help ensure that our team is not waiting on a new instance, whereas the Scale-Down operation will obey the group’s cooldown period.

Here is the logical sequence diagram for the work:

Sequence diagram

For operational monitoring, the Lambda function also publishes custom CloudWatch Metrics for the count of active jobs, along with the target and actual capacities of the Autoscaling group. We can utilize this information to validate that the system is working properly and determine if we need to modify any of our autoscaling parameters.

For operational monitoring, the Lambda function also publishes custom CloudWatch Metrics for the count of active jobs, along with the target and actual capacities of the Autoscaling group. We can utilize this information to validate that the system is working properly and determine if we need to modify any of our autoscaling parameters.

Congratulations! You have completed the walkthrough. Take some time to review the resources you have deployed, and practice the various runner administrative tasks that we have covered in this post.

Troubleshooting

Problem: I deployed the CloudFormation template, but no runner is listed in my repository.

Possible Cause: Errors have been encountered during cfn-init, causing runner registration to fail. Connect to your runner EC2 instance, and check /var/log/cfn-*.log files.

Cleaning up

To avoid incurring future charges, delete every resource provisioned in this demo by deleting the CloudFormation stack created in the “Deploy the Gitlab Runner stack” section.

Conclusion

This article demonstrated how to utilize IaC to efficiently conduct various administrative tasks associated with a Gitlab Runner. We deployed Gitlab Runner consistently and quickly across multiple accounts. We utilized IaC to enforce guardrails and best practices, such as tracking Gitlab Runner configuration changes, terminating the Gitlab Runner gracefully, and autoscaling the Gitlab Runner to ensure best performance and minimum cost. We walked through the deploying, updating, autoscaling, and terminating of the Gitlab Runner. We also saw how easy it was to clean up the entire Gitlab Runner architecture by simply deleting a CloudFormation stack.

About the authors

Sylvia Qi

Sylvia is a Senior DevOps Architect focusing on architecting and automating DevOps processes, helping customers through their DevOps transformation journey. In her spare time, she enjoys biking, swimming, yoga, and photography.

Sebastian Carreras

Sebastian is a Senior Cloud Application Architect with AWS Professional Services. He leverages his breadth of experience to deliver bespoke solutions to satisfy the visions of his customer. In his free time, he really enjoys doing laundry. Really.

Handy Tips #21: Deploying Zabbix Server with Docker containers

Post Syndicated from Arturs Lontons original https://blog.zabbix.com/handy-tips-21-deploying-zabbix-server-with-docker-containers/18972/

Deploy Zabbix components in docker containers for advanced automation, scalability, and maintenance.

In the past few years, containers have gained prevalence and are being used for many different tasks – from application development to improving automation and management of existing software.

Deploy Zabbix components in Docker containers:

  • Official Docker images are available for individual components
  • Automate the deployment of your Zabbix containers

  • Use containers to quickly scale your environment
  • Upgrade to a newer Zabbix version by deploying containers from the latest container images

Check out the video to learn how to deploy the Zabbix server with Docker containers.

How to deploy Zabbix server with Docker containers:
 
  1. Connect to your Docker container host
  2. Create a new docker network. Specify the subnet and the IP range for containers.
  3. Deploy your Zabbix server container
    1. Give the container a name and assign it to the newly created network
    2. Pass the Database host, user, and password in environment variables
    3. Map the port 10051 on the host to the port 10051 on the container
    4. Select the required Docker image and tag
  4. Deploy your Zabbix frontend container
    1. Give the container a name and assign it to the newly created network
    2. Pass the Database host, user, and password in environment variables
    3. Pass the Zabbix server address in the environment variable
    4. Map port 80 on your host to port 8080 on the container
  5. Use docker ps and docker logs to check if the containers are running
  6. Connect to your Zabbix frontend and confirm that there are no issues with the environment

Tips and best practices:
  • Container logs can be accessed by using the docker logs command
  • Zabbix server checks for an existing Zabbix database. If it does not exist – it will get created.
  • Use the docker exec command to run commands inside a container
  • All of the supported container environment variables are available in https://hub.docker.com/u/zabbix

The post Handy Tips #21: Deploying Zabbix Server with Docker containers appeared first on Zabbix Blog.

Using AWS CodePipeline for deploying container images to AWS Lambda Functions

Post Syndicated from Kirankumar Chandrashekar original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/devops/using-aws-codepipeline-for-deploying-container-images-to-aws-lambda-functions/

AWS Lambda launched support for packaging and deploying functions as container images at re:Invent 2020. In the post working with Lambda layers and extensions in container images, we demonstrated packaging Lambda Functions with layers while using container images. This post will teach you to use AWS CodePipeline to deploy docker images for microservices architecture involving multiple Lambda Functions and a common layer utilized as a separate container image. Lambda functions packaged as container images do not support adding Lambda layers to the function configuration. Alternatively, we can use a container image as a common layer while building other container images along with Lambda Functions shown in this post. Packaging Lambda functions as container images enables familiar tooling and larger deployment limits.

Here are some advantages of using container images for Lambda:

  • Easier dependency management and application building with container
    • Install native operating system packages
    • Install language-compatible dependencies
  • Consistent tool set for containers and Lambda-based applications
    • Utilize the same container registry to store application artifacts (Amazon ECR, Docker Hub)
    • Utilize the same build and pipeline tools to deploy
    • Tools that can inspect Dockerfile work the same
  • Deploy large applications with AWS-provided or third-party images up to 10 GB
    • Include larger application dependencies that previously were impossible

When using container images with Lambda, CodePipeline automatically detects code changes in the source repository in AWS CodeCommit, then passes the artifact to the build server like AWS CodeBuild and pushes the container images to ECR, which is then deployed to Lambda functions.

Architecture diagram

 

DevOps Architecture

Lambda-docker-images-DevOps-Architecture

Application Architecture

lambda-docker-image-microservices-app

In the above architecture diagram, two architectures are combined, namely 1, DevOps Architecture and 2, Microservices Application Architecture. DevOps architecture demonstrates the use of AWS Developer services such as AWS CodeCommit, AWS CodePipeline, AWS CodeBuild along with Amazon Elastic Container Repository (ECR) and AWS CloudFormation. These are used to support Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment/Delivery (CI/CD) for both infrastructure and application code. Microservices Application architecture demonstrates how various AWS Lambda Functions that are part of microservices utilize container images for application code. This post will focus on performing CI/CD for Lambda functions utilizing container containers. The application code used in here is a simpler version taken from Serverless DataLake Framework (SDLF). For more information, refer to the AWS Samples GitHub repository for SDLF here.

DevOps workflow

There are two CodePipelines: one for building and pushing the common layer docker image to Amazon ECR, and another for building and pushing the docker images for all the Lambda Functions within the microservices architecture to Amazon ECR, as well as deploying the microservices architecture involving Lambda Functions via CloudFormation. Common layer container image functions as a common layer in all other Lambda Function container images, therefore its code is maintained in a separate CodeCommit repository used as a source stage for a CodePipeline. Common layer CodePipeline takes the code from the CodeCommit repository and passes the artifact to a CodeBuild project that builds the container image and pushes it to an Amazon ECR repository. This common layer ECR repository functions as a source in addition to the CodeCommit repository holding the code for all other Lambda Functions and resources involved in the microservices architecture CodePipeline.

Due to all or the majority of the Lambda Functions in the microservices architecture requiring the common layer container image as a layer, any change made to it should invoke the microservices architecture CodePipeline that builds the container images for all Lambda Functions. Moreover, a CodeCommit repository holding the code for every resource in the microservices architecture is another source to that CodePipeline to get invoked. This has two sources, because the container images in the microservices architecture should be built for changes in the common layer container image as well as for the code changes made and pushed to the CodeCommit repository.

Below is the sample dockerfile that uses the common layer container image as a layer:

ARG ECR_COMMON_DATALAKE_REPO_URL
FROM ${ECR_COMMON_DATALAKE_REPO_URL}:latest AS layer
FROM public.ecr.aws/lambda/python:3.8
# Layer Code
WORKDIR /opt
COPY --from=layer /opt/ .
# Function Code
WORKDIR /var/task
COPY src/lambda_function.py .
CMD ["lambda_function.lambda_handler"]

where the argument ECR_COMMON_DATALAKE_REPO_URL should resolve to the ECR url for common layer container image, which is provided to the --build-args along with docker build command. For example:

export ECR_COMMON_DATALAKE_REPO_URL="0123456789.dkr.ecr.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/dev-routing-lambda"
docker build --build-arg ECR_COMMON_DATALAKE_REPO_URL=$ECR_COMMON_DATALAKE_REPO_URL .

Deploying a Sample

  • Step1: Clone the repository Codepipeline-lambda-docker-images to your workstation. If using the zip file, then unzip the file to a local directory.
    • git clone https://github.com/aws-samples/codepipeline-lambda-docker-images.git
  • Step 2: Change the directory to the cloned directory or extracted directory. The local code repository structure should appear as follows:
    • cd codepipeline-lambda-docker-images

code-repository-structure

  • Step 3: Deploy the CloudFormation stack used in the template file CodePipelineTemplate/codepipeline.yaml to your AWS account. This deploys the resources required for DevOps architecture involving AWS CodePipelines for common layer code and microservices architecture code. Deploy CloudFormation stacks using the AWS console by following the documentation here, providing the name for the stack (for example datalake-infra-resources) and passing the parameters while navigating the console. Furthermore, use the AWS CLI to deploy a CloudFormation stack by following the documentation here.
  • Step 4: When the CloudFormation Stack deployment completes, navigate to the AWS CloudFormation console and to the Outputs section of the deployed stack, then note the CodeCommit repository urls. Three CodeCommit repo urls are available in the CloudFormation stack outputs section for each CodeCommit repository. Choose one of them based on the way you want to access it. Refer to the following documentation Setting up for AWS CodeCommit. I will be using the git-remote-codecommit (grc) method throughout this post for CodeCommit access.
  • Step 5: Clone the CodeCommit repositories and add code:
      • Common Layer CodeCommit repository: Take the value of the Output for the key oCommonLayerCodeCommitHttpsGrcRepoUrl from datalake-infra-resources CloudFormation Stack Outputs section which looks like below:

    commonlayercodeoutput

      • Clone the repository:
        • git clone codecommit::us-east-2://dev-CommonLayerCode
      • Change the directory to dev-CommonLayerCode
        • cd dev-CommonLayerCode
      •  Add contents to the cloned repository from the source code downloaded in Step 1. Copy the code from the CommonLayerCode directory and the repo contents should appear as follows:

    common-layer-repository

      • Create the main branch and push to the remote repository
        git checkout -b main
        git add ./
        git commit -m "Initial Commit"
        git push -u origin main
      • Application CodeCommit repository: Take the value of the Output for the key oAppCodeCommitHttpsGrcRepoUrl from datalake-infra-resources CloudFormation Stack Outputs section which looks like below:

    appcodeoutput

      • Clone the repository:
        • git clone codecommit::us-east-2://dev-AppCode
      • Change the directory to dev-CommonLayerCode
        • cd dev-AppCode
      • Add contents to the cloned repository from the source code downloaded in Step 1. Copy the code from the ApplicationCode directory and the repo contents should appear as follows from the root:

    app-layer-repository

    • Create the main branch and push to the remote repository
      git checkout -b main
      git add ./
      git commit -m "Initial Commit"
      git push -u origin main

What happens now?

  • Now the Common Layer CodePipeline goes to the InProgress state and invokes the Common Layer CodeBuild project that builds the docker image and pushes it to the Common Layer Amazon ECR repository. The image tag utilized for the container image is the value resolved for the environment variable available in the AWS CodeBuild project CODEBUILD_RESOLVED_SOURCE_VERSION. This is the CodeCommit git Commit Id in this case.
    For example, if the CommitId in CodeCommit is f1769c87, then the pushed docker image will have this tag along with latest
  • buildspec.yaml files appears as follows:
    version: 0.2
    phases:
      install:
        runtime-versions:
          docker: 19
      pre_build:
        commands:
          - echo Logging in to Amazon ECR...
          - aws --version
          - $(aws ecr get-login --region $AWS_DEFAULT_REGION --no-include-email)
          - REPOSITORY_URI=$ECR_COMMON_DATALAKE_REPO_URL
          - COMMIT_HASH=$(echo $CODEBUILD_RESOLVED_SOURCE_VERSION | cut -c 1-7)
          - IMAGE_TAG=${COMMIT_HASH:=latest}
      build:
        commands:
          - echo Build started on `date`
          - echo Building the Docker image...          
          - docker build -t $REPOSITORY_URI:latest .
          - docker tag $REPOSITORY_URI:latest $REPOSITORY_URI:$IMAGE_TAG
      post_build:
        commands:
          - echo Build completed on `date`
          - echo Pushing the Docker images...
          - docker push $REPOSITORY_URI:latest
          - docker push $REPOSITORY_URI:$IMAGE_TAG
  • Now the microservices architecture CodePipeline goes to the InProgress state and invokes all of the application image builder CodeBuild project that builds the docker images and pushes them to the Amazon ECR repository.
    • To improve the performance, every docker image is built in parallel within the codebuild project. The buildspec.yaml executes the build.sh script. This has the logic to build docker images required for each Lambda Function part of the microservices architecture. The docker images used for this sample architecture took approximately 4 to 5 minutes when the docker images were built serially. After switching to parallel building, it took approximately 40 to 50 seconds.
    • buildspec.yaml files appear as follows:
      version: 0.2
      phases:
        install:
          runtime-versions:
            docker: 19
          commands:
            - uname -a
            - set -e
            - chmod +x ./build.sh
            - ./build.sh
      artifacts:
        files:
          - cfn/**/*
        name: builds/$CODEBUILD_BUILD_NUMBER/cfn-artifacts
    • build.sh file appears as follows:
      #!/bin/bash
      set -eu
      set -o pipefail
      
      RESOURCE_PREFIX="${RESOURCE_PREFIX:=stg}"
      AWS_DEFAULT_REGION="${AWS_DEFAULT_REGION:=us-east-1}"
      ACCOUNT_ID=$(aws sts get-caller-identity --query Account --output text 2>&1)
      ECR_COMMON_DATALAKE_REPO_URL="${ECR_COMMON_DATALAKE_REPO_URL:=$ACCOUNT_ID.dkr.ecr.$AWS_DEFAULT_REGION.amazonaws.com\/$RESOURCE_PREFIX-common-datalake-library}"
      pids=()
      pids1=()
      
      PROFILE='new-profile'
      aws configure --profile $PROFILE set credential_source EcsContainer
      
      aws --version
      $(aws ecr get-login --region $AWS_DEFAULT_REGION --no-include-email)
      COMMIT_HASH=$(echo $CODEBUILD_RESOLVED_SOURCE_VERSION | cut -c 1-7)
      BUILD_TAG=build-$(echo $CODEBUILD_BUILD_ID | awk -F":" '{print $2}')
      IMAGE_TAG=${BUILD_TAG:=COMMIT_HASH:=latest}
      
      cd dockerfiles;
      mkdir ../logs
      function pwait() {
          while [ $(jobs -p | wc -l) -ge $1 ]; do
              sleep 1
          done
      }
      
      function build_dockerfiles() {
          if [ -d $1 ]; then
              directory=$1
              cd $directory
              echo $directory
              echo "---------------------------------------------------------------------------------"
              echo "Start creating docker image for $directory..."
              echo "---------------------------------------------------------------------------------"
                  REPOSITORY_URI=$ACCOUNT_ID.dkr.ecr.$AWS_DEFAULT_REGION.amazonaws.com/$RESOURCE_PREFIX-$directory
                  docker build --build-arg ECR_COMMON_DATALAKE_REPO_URL=$ECR_COMMON_DATALAKE_REPO_URL . -t $REPOSITORY_URI:latest -t $REPOSITORY_URI:$IMAGE_TAG -t $REPOSITORY_URI:$COMMIT_HASH
                  echo Build completed on `date`
                  echo Pushing the Docker images...
                  docker push $REPOSITORY_URI
              cd ../
              echo "---------------------------------------------------------------------------------"
              echo "End creating docker image for $directory..."
              echo "---------------------------------------------------------------------------------"
          fi
      }
      
      for directory in *; do 
         echo "------Started processing code in $directory directory-----"
         build_dockerfiles $directory 2>&1 1>../logs/$directory-logs.log | tee -a ../logs/$directory-logs.log &
         pids+=($!)
         pwait 20
      done
      
      for pid in "${pids[@]}"; do
        wait "$pid"
      done
      
      cd ../cfn/
      function build_cfnpackages() {
          if [ -d ${directory} ]; then
              directory=$1
              cd $directory
              echo $directory
              echo "---------------------------------------------------------------------------------"
              echo "Start packaging cloudformation package for $directory..."
              echo "---------------------------------------------------------------------------------"
              aws cloudformation package --profile $PROFILE --template-file template.yaml --s3-bucket $S3_BUCKET --output-template-file packaged-template.yaml
              echo "Replace the parameter 'pEcrImageTag' value with the latest built tag"
              echo $(jq --arg Image_Tag "$IMAGE_TAG" '.Parameters |= . + {"pEcrImageTag":$Image_Tag}' parameters.json) > parameters.json
              cat parameters.json
              ls -al
              cd ../
              echo "---------------------------------------------------------------------------------"
              echo "End packaging cloudformation package for $directory..."
              echo "---------------------------------------------------------------------------------"
          fi
      }
      
      for directory in *; do
          echo "------Started processing code in $directory directory-----"
          build_cfnpackages $directory 2>&1 1>../logs/$directory-logs.log | tee -a ../logs/$directory-logs.log &
          pids1+=($!)
          pwait 20
      done
      
      for pid in "${pids1[@]}"; do
        wait "$pid"
      done
      
      cd ../logs/
      ls -al
      for f in *; do
        printf '%s\n' "$f"
        paste /dev/null - < "$f"
      done
      
      cd ../
      

The function build_dockerfiles() loops through each directory within the dockerfiles directory and runs the docker build command in order to build the docker image. The name for the docker image and then the ECR repository is determined by the directory name in which the DockerFile is used from. For example, if the DockerFile directory is routing-lambda and the environment variables take the below values,

ACCOUNT_ID=0123456789
AWS_DEFAULT_REGION=us-east-2
RESOURCE_PREFIX=dev
directory=routing-lambda
REPOSITORY_URI=$ACCOUNT_ID.dkr.ecr.$AWS_DEFAULT_REGION.amazonaws.com/$RESOURCE_PREFIX-$directory

Then REPOSITORY_URI becomes 0123456789.dkr.ecr.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/dev-routing-lambda
And the docker image is pushed to this resolved REPOSITORY_URI. Similarly, docker images for all other directories are built and pushed to Amazon ECR.

Important Note: The ECR repository names match the directory names where the DockerFiles exist and was already created as part of the CloudFormation template codepipeline.yaml that was deployed in step 3. In order to add more Lambda Functions to the microservices architecture, make sure that the ECR repository name added to the new repository in the codepipeline.yaml template matches the directory name within the AppCode repository dockerfiles directory.

Every docker image is built in parallel in order to save time. Each runs as a separate operating system process and is pushed to the Amazon ECR repository. This also controls the number of processes that could run in parallel by setting a value for the variable pwait within the loop. For example, if pwait 20, then the maximum number of parallel processes is 20 at a given time. The image tag for all docker images used for Lambda Functions is constructed via the CodeBuild BuildId, which is available via environment variable $CODEBUILD_BUILD_ID, in order to ensure that a new image gets a new tag. This is required for CloudFormation to detect changes and update Lambda Functions with the new container image tag.

Once every docker image is built and pushed to Amazon ECR in the CodeBuild project, it builds every CloudFormation package by uploading all local artifacts to Amazon S3 via AWS Cloudformation package CLI command for the templates available in its own directory within the cfn directory. Moreover, it updates every parameters.json file for each directory with the ECR image tag to the parameter value pEcrImageTag. This is required for CloudFormation to detect changes and update the Lambda Function with the new image tag.

After this, the CodeBuild project will output the packaged CloudFormation templates and parameters files as an artifact to AWS CodePipeline so that it can be deployed via AWS CloudFormation in further stages. This is done by first creating a ChangeSet and then deploying it at the next stage.

Testing the microservices architecture

As stated above, the sample application utilized for microservices architecture involving multiple Lambda Functions is a modified version of the Serverless Data Lake Framework. The microservices architecture CodePipeline deployed every AWS resource required to run the SDLF application via AWS CloudFormation stages. As part of SDLF, it also deployed a set of DynamoDB tables required for the applications to run. I utilized the meteorites sample for this, thereby the DynamoDb tables should be added with the necessary data for the application to run for this sample.

Utilize the AWS console to write data to the AWS DynamoDb Table. For more information, refer to this documentation. The sample json files are in the utils/DynamoDbConfig/ directory.

1. Add the record below to the octagon-Pipelines-dev DynamoDB table:

{
"description": "Main Pipeline to Ingest Data",
"ingestion_frequency": "WEEKLY",
"last_execution_date": "2020-03-11",
"last_execution_duration_in_seconds": 4.761,
"last_execution_id": "5445249c-a097-447a-a957-f54f446adfd2",
"last_execution_status": "COMPLETED",
"last_execution_timestamp": "2020-03-11T02:34:23.683Z",
"last_updated_timestamp": "2020-03-11T02:34:23.683Z",
"modules": [
{
"name": "pandas",
"version": "0.24.2"
},
{
"name": "Python",
"version": "3.7"
}
],
"name": "engineering-main-pre-stage",
"owner": "Yuri Gagarin",
"owner_contact": "[email protected]",
"status": "ACTIVE",
"tags": [
{
"key": "org",
"value": "VOSTOK"
}
],
"type": "INGESTION",
"version": 127
}

2. Add the record below to the octagon-Pipelines-dev DynamoDB table:

{
"description": "Main Pipeline to Merge Data",
"ingestion_frequency": "WEEKLY",
"last_execution_date": "2020-03-11",
"last_execution_duration_in_seconds": 570.559,
"last_execution_id": "0bb30d20-ace8-4cb2-a9aa-694ad018694f",
"last_execution_status": "COMPLETED",
"last_execution_timestamp": "2020-03-11T02:44:36.069Z",
"last_updated_timestamp": "2020-03-11T02:44:36.069Z",
"modules": [
{
"name": "PySpark",
"version": "1.0"
}
],
"name": "engineering-main-post-stage",
"owner": "Neil Armstrong",
"owner_contact": "[email protected]",
"status": "ACTIVE",
"tags": [
{
"key": "org",
"value": "NASA"
}
],
"type": "TRANSFORM",
"version": 4
}

3. Add the record below to the octagon-Datsets-dev DynamoDB table:

{
"classification": "Orange",
"description": "Meteorites Name, Location and Classification",
"frequency": "DAILY",
"max_items_process": 250,
"min_items_process": 1,
"name": "engineering-meteorites",
"owner": "NASA",
"owner_contact": "[email protected]",
"pipeline": "main",
"tags": [
{
"key": "cost",
"value": "meteorites division"
}
],
"transforms": {
"stage_a_transform": "light_transform_blueprint",
"stage_b_transform": "heavy_transform_blueprint"
},
"type": "TRANSACTIONAL",
"version": 1
}

 

If you want to create these samples using AWS CLI, please refer to this documentation.

Record 1:

aws dynamodb put-item --table-name octagon-Pipelines-dev --item '{"description":{"S":"Main Pipeline to Merge Data"},"ingestion_frequency":{"S":"WEEKLY"},"last_execution_date":{"S":"2021-03-16"},"last_execution_duration_in_seconds":{"N":"930.097"},"last_execution_id":{"S":"e23b7dae-8e83-4982-9f97-5784a9831a14"},"last_execution_status":{"S":"COMPLETED"},"last_execution_timestamp":{"S":"2021-03-16T04:31:16.968Z"},"last_updated_timestamp":{"S":"2021-03-16T04:31:16.968Z"},"modules":{"L":[{"M":{"name":{"S":"PySpark"},"version":{"S":"1.0"}}}]},"name":{"S":"engineering-main-post-stage"},"owner":{"S":"Neil Armstrong"},"owner_contact":{"S":"[email protected]"},"status":{"S":"ACTIVE"},"tags":{"L":[{"M":{"key":{"S":"org"},"value":{"S":"NASA"}}}]},"type":{"S":"TRANSFORM"},"version":{"N":"8"}}'

Record 2:

aws dynamodb put-item --table-name octagon-Pipelines-dev --item '{"description":{"S":"Main Pipeline to Ingest Data"},"ingestion_frequency":{"S":"WEEKLY"},"last_execution_date":{"S":"2021-03-28"},"last_execution_duration_in_seconds":{"N":"1.75"},"last_execution_id":{"S":"7e0e04e7-b05e-41a6-8ced-829d47866a6a"},"last_execution_status":{"S":"COMPLETED"},"last_execution_timestamp":{"S":"2021-03-28T20:23:06.031Z"},"last_updated_timestamp":{"S":"2021-03-28T20:23:06.031Z"},"modules":{"L":[{"M":{"name":{"S":"pandas"},"version":{"S":"0.24.2"}}},{"M":{"name":{"S":"Python"},"version":{"S":"3.7"}}}]},"name":{"S":"engineering-main-pre-stage"},"owner":{"S":"Yuri Gagarin"},"owner_contact":{"S":"[email protected]"},"status":{"S":"ACTIVE"},"tags":{"L":[{"M":{"key":{"S":"org"},"value":{"S":"VOSTOK"}}}]},"type":{"S":"INGESTION"},"version":{"N":"238"}}'

Record 3:

aws dynamodb put-item --table-name octagon-Pipelines-dev --item '{"description":{"S":"Main Pipeline to Ingest Data"},"ingestion_frequency":{"S":"WEEKLY"},"last_execution_date":{"S":"2021-03-28"},"last_execution_duration_in_seconds":{"N":"1.75"},"last_execution_id":{"S":"7e0e04e7-b05e-41a6-8ced-829d47866a6a"},"last_execution_status":{"S":"COMPLETED"},"last_execution_timestamp":{"S":"2021-03-28T20:23:06.031Z"},"last_updated_timestamp":{"S":"2021-03-28T20:23:06.031Z"},"modules":{"L":[{"M":{"name":{"S":"pandas"},"version":{"S":"0.24.2"}}},{"M":{"name":{"S":"Python"},"version":{"S":"3.7"}}}]},"name":{"S":"engineering-main-pre-stage"},"owner":{"S":"Yuri Gagarin"},"owner_contact":{"S":"[email protected]"},"status":{"S":"ACTIVE"},"tags":{"L":[{"M":{"key":{"S":"org"},"value":{"S":"VOSTOK"}}}]},"type":{"S":"INGESTION"},"version":{"N":"238"}}'

Now upload the sample json files to the raw s3 bucket. The raw S3 bucket name can be obtained in the output of the common-cloudformation stack deployed as part of the microservices architecture CodePipeline. Navigate to the CloudFormation console in the region where the CodePipeline was deployed and locate the stack with the name common-cloudformation, navigate to the Outputs section, and then note the output bucket name with the key oCentralBucket. Navigate to the Amazon S3 Bucket console and locate the bucket for oCentralBucket, create two path directories named engineering/meteorites, and upload every sample json file to this directory. Meteorites sample json files are available in the utils/meteorites-test-json-files directory of the previously cloned repository. Wait a few minutes and then navigate to the stage bucket noted from the common-cloudformation stack output name oStageBucket. You can see json files converted into csv in pre-stage/engineering/meteorites folder in S3. Wait a few more minutes and then navigate to the post-stage/engineering/meteorites folder in the oStageBucket to see the csv files converted to parquet format.

 

Cleanup

Navigate to the AWS CloudFormation console, note the S3 bucket names from the common-cloudformation stack outputs, and empty the S3 buckets. Refer to Emptying the Bucket for more information.

Delete the CloudFormation stacks in the following order:
1. Common-Cloudformation
2. stagea
3. stageb
4. sdlf-engineering-meteorites
Then delete the infrastructure CloudFormation stack datalake-infra-resources deployed using the codepipeline.yaml template. Refer to the following documentation to delete CloudFormation Stacks: Deleting a stack on the AWS CloudFormation console or Deleting a stack using AWS CLI.

 

Conclusion

This method lets us use CI/CD via CodePipeline, CodeCommit, and CodeBuild, along with other AWS services, to automatically deploy container images to Lambda Functions that are part of the microservices architecture. Furthermore, we can build a common layer that is equivalent to the Lambda layer that could be built independently via its own CodePipeline, and then build the container image and push to Amazon ECR. Then, the common layer container image Amazon ECR functions as a source along with its own CodeCommit repository which holds the code for the microservices architecture CodePipeline. Having two sources for microservices architecture codepipeline lets us build every docker image. This is due to a change made to the common layer docker image that is referred to in other docker images, and another source that holds the code for other microservices including Lambda Function.

 

About the Author

kirankumar.jpeg Kirankumar Chandrashekar is a Sr.DevOps consultant at AWS Professional Services. He focuses on leading customers in architecting DevOps technologies. Kirankumar is passionate about DevOps, Infrastructure as Code, and solving complex customer issues. He enjoys music, as well as cooking and traveling.

 

Build and deploy .NET web applications to ARM-powered AWS Graviton 2 Amazon ECS Clusters using AWS CDK

Post Syndicated from Matt Laver original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/devops/build-and-deploy-net-web-applications-to-arm-powered-aws-graviton-2-amazon-ecs-clusters-using-aws-cdk/

With .NET providing first-class support for ARM architecture, running .NET applications on an AWS Graviton processor provides you with more choices to help optimize performance and cost. We have already written about .NET 5 with Graviton benchmarks; in this post, we explore how C#/.NET developers can take advantages of Graviton processors and obtain this performance at scale with Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS).

In addition, we take advantage of infrastructure as code (IaC) by using the AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK) to define the infrastructure .

The AWS CDK is an open-source development framework to define cloud applications in code. It includes constructs for Amazon ECS resources, which allows you to deploy fully containerized applications to AWS.

Architecture overview

Our target architecture for our .NET application running in AWS is a load balanced ECS cluster, as shown in the following diagram.

Show load balanced Amazon ECS Cluster running .NET application

Figure: Show load balanced Amazon ECS Cluster running .NET application

We need to provision many components in this architecture, but this is where the AWS CDK comes in. AWS CDK is an open source-software development framework to define cloud resources using familiar programming languages. You can use it for the following:

  • A multi-stage .NET application container build
  • Create an Amazon Elastic Container Registry (Amazon ECR) repository and push the Docker image to it
  • Use IaC written in .NET to provision the preceding architecture

The following diagram illustrates how we use these services.

Show pplication and Infrastructure code written in .NET

Figure: Show Application and Infrastructure code written in .NET

Setup the development environment

To deploy this solution on AWS, we use the AWS Cloud9 development environment.

  1. On the AWS Cloud9 console, choose Create environment.
  2. For Name, enter a name for the environment.
  3. Choose Next step.
  4. On the Environment settings page, keep the default settings:
    1. Environment type – Create a new EC2 instance for the environment (direct access)
    2. Instance type – t2.micro (1 Gib RAM + 1 vCPU)
    3. Platform – Amazon Linux 2(recommended)
    Show Cloud9 Environment settings

    Figure: Show Cloud9 Environment settings

  5. Choose Next step.
  6. Choose Create environment.

When the Cloud9 environment is ready, proceed to the next section.

Install the .NET SDK

The AWS development tools we require will already be setup in the Cloud9 environment, however the .NET SDK will not be available.

Install the .NET SDK with the following code from the Cloud9 terminal:

curl -sSL https://dot.net/v1/dotnet-install.sh | bash /dev/stdin -c 5.0
export PATH=$PATH:$HOME/.local/bin:$HOME/bin:$HOME/.dotnet

Verify the expected version has been installed:

dotnet --version
Show installed .NET SDK version

Figure: Show installed .NET SDK version

Clone and explore the example code

Clone the example repository:

git clone https://github.com/aws-samples/aws-cdk-dotnet-graviton-ecs-example.git

This repository contains two .NET projects, the web application, and the IaC application using the AWS CDK.

The unit of deployment in the AWS CDK is called a stack. All AWS resources defined within the scope of a stack, either directly or indirectly, are provisioned as a single unit.

The stack for this project is located within /cdk/src/Cdk/CdkStack.cs. When we read the C# code, we can see how it aligns with the architecture diagram at the beginning of this post.

First, we create a virtual private cloud (VPC) and assign a maximum of two Availability Zones:

var vpc = new Vpc(this, "DotNetGravitonVpc", new VpcProps { MaxAzs = 2 });

Next, we define the cluster and assign it to the VPC:

var cluster = new Cluster(this, "DotNetGravitonCluster", new ClusterProp { Vpc = vpc });

The Graviton instance type (c6g.4xlarge) is defined in the cluster capacity options:

cluster.AddCapacity("DefaultAutoScalingGroupCapacity",
    new AddCapacityOptions
    {
        InstanceType = new InstanceType("c6g.4xlarge"),
        MachineImage = EcsOptimizedImage.AmazonLinux2(AmiHardwareType.ARM)
    });

Finally, ApplicationLoadBalancedEC2Service is defined, along with a reference to the application source code:

new ApplicationLoadBalancedEc2Service(this, "Service",
    new ApplicationLoadBalancedEc2ServiceProps
    {
        Cluster = cluster,
        MemoryLimitMiB = 8192,
        DesiredCount = 2,
        TaskImageOptions = new ApplicationLoadBalancedTaskImageOptions
        {
            Image = ContainerImage.FromAsset(Path.Combine(Directory.GetCurrentDirectory(), @"../app")),                        
        }                             
    });

With about 30 lines of AWS CDK code written in C#, we achieve the following:

  • Build and package a .NET application within a Docker image
  • Push the Docker image to Amazon Elastic Container Registry (Amazon ECR)
  • Create a VPC with two Availability Zones
  • Create a cluster with a Graviton c6g.4xlarge instance type that pulls the Docker image from Amazon ECR

The AWS CDK has several useful helpers, such as the FromAsset function:

Image =  ContainerImage.FromAsset(Path.Combine(Directory.GetCurrentDirectory(), @"../app")),  

The ContainerImage.FromAsset function instructs the AWS CDK to build the Docker image from a Dockerfile, automatically create an Amazon ECR repository, and upload the image to the repository.

For more information about the ContainerImage class, see ContainerImage.

Build and deploy the project with the AWS CDK Toolkit

The AWS CDK Toolkit, the CLI command cdk, is the primary tool for interaction with AWS CDK apps. It runs the app, interrogates the application model you defined, and produces and deploys the AWS CloudFormation templates generated by the AWS CDK.

If an AWS CDK stack being deployed uses assets such as Docker images, the environment needs to be bootstrapped. Use the cdk bootstrap command from the /cdk directory:

cdk bootstrap

Now you can deploy the stack into the AWS account with the deploy command:

cdk deploy

The AWS CDK Toolkit synthesizes fresh CloudFormation templates locally before deploying anything. The first time this runs, it has a changeset that reflects all the infrastructure defined within the stack and prompts you for confirmation before running.

When the deployment is complete, the load balancer DNS is in the Outputs section.

Show stack outputs

Figure: Show stack outputs

You can navigate to the load balancer address via a browser.

Browser navigating to .NET application

Figure: Show browser navigating to .NET application

Tracking the drift

Typically drift is a change that happens outside of the Infrastructure as Code, for example, code updates to the .NET application.

To support changes, the AWS CDK Toolkit queries the AWS account for the last deployed CloudFormation template for the stack and compares it with the locally generated template. Preview the changes with the following code:

cdk diff

If a simple text change within the application’s home page HTML is made (app/webapp/Pages/Index.cshtml), a difference is detected within the assets, but not all the infrastructure as per the first deploy.

Show cdk diff output

Figure: Show cdk diff output

Running cdk deploy again now rebuilds the Docker image, uploads it to Amazon ECR, and refreshes the containers within the ECS cluster.

cdk deploy
Show browser navigating to updated .NET application

Figure: Show browser navigating to updated .NET application

Clean up

Remove the resources created in this post with the following code:

cdk destroy

Conclusion

Using the AWS CDK to provision infrastructure in .NET provides rigor, clarity, and reliability in a language familiar to .NET developers. For more information, see Infrastructure as Code.

This post demonstrates the low barrier to entry for .NET developers wanting to apply modern application development practices while taking advantage of the price performance of ARM-based processors such as Graviton.

To learn more about building and deploying .NET applications on AWS visit our .NET Developer Center.

About the author

Author Matt Laver

 

Matt Laver is a Solutions Architect at AWS working with SMB customers in the UK. He is passionate about DevOps and loves helping customers find simple solutions to difficult problems.

 

Build and Deploy Docker Images to AWS using EC2 Image Builder

Post Syndicated from Joseph Keating original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/devops/build-and-deploy-docker-images-to-aws-using-ec2-image-builder/

The NFL, an AWS Professional Services partner, is collaborating with NFL’s Player Health and Safety team to build the Digital Athlete Program. The Digital Athlete Program is working to drive progress in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of injuries; enhance medical protocols; and further improve the way football is taught and played. The NFL, in conjunction with AWS Professional Services, delivered an EC2 Image Builder pipeline for automating the production of Docker images. Following similar practices from the Digital Athlete Program, this post demonstrates how to deploy an automated Image Builder pipeline.

“AWS Professional Services faced unique environment constraints, but was able to deliver a modular pipeline solution leveraging EC2 Image Builder. The framework serves as a foundation to create hardened images for future use cases. The team also provided documentation and knowledge transfer sessions to ensure our team was set up to successfully manage the solution.”—Joseph Steinke, Director, Data Solutions Architect, National Football League

A common scenario you may face is how to build Docker images that can be utilized throughout your organization. You may already have existing processes that you’re looking to modernize. You may be looking for a streamlined, managed approach so you can reduce the overhead of operating your own workflows. Additionally, if you’re new to containers, you may be seeking an end-to-end process you can use to deploy containerized workloads. With either case, there is need for a modern, streamlined approach to centralize the configuration and distribution of Docker images. This post demonstrates how to build a secure end-to-end workflow for building secure Docker images.

Image Builder now offers a managed service for building Docker images. With Image Builder, you can automatically produce new up-to-date container images and publish them to specified Amazon Elastic Container Registry (Amazon ECR) repositories after running stipulated tests. You don’t need to worry about the underlying infrastructure. Instead, you can focus simply on your container configuration and use the AWS tools to manage and distribute your images. In this post, we walk through the process of building a Docker image and deploying the image to Amazon ECR, share some security best practices, and demonstrate deploying a Docker image to Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS). Additionally, we dive deep into building Docker images following modern principles.

The project we create in this post addresses a use case in which an organization needs an automated workflow for building, distributing, and deploying Docker images. With Image Builder, we build and deploy Docker images and test our image locally that we have created with our Image Builder pipeline.

 

Solution Overview

The following diagram illustrates our solution architecture.

Show the architecture of the Docker EC2 Image Builder Pipeline

Figure: Show the architecture of the Docker EC2 Image Builder Pipeline

 

We configure the Image Builder pipeline with AWS CloudFormation. Then we use Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) as our source for the pipeline. This means that when we want to update the pipeline with a new Dockerfile, we have to update the source S3 bucket. The pipeline assumes an AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) role that we generate later in the post. When the pipeline is run, it pulls the latest Dockerfile configuration from Amazon S3, builds a Docker image, and deploys the image to Amazon ECR. Finally, we use AWS Copilot to deploy our Docker image to Amazon ECS. For more information about Copilot, see Applications.

The style in which the Dockerfile application code was written is a personal preference. For more information, see Best practices for writing Dockerfiles.

 

Overview of AWS services

For this post, we use the following services:

  • EC2 Image BuilderImage Builder is a fully managed AWS service that makes it easy to automate the creation, management, and deployment of customized, secure, and up-to-date server images that are pre-installed and pre-configured with software and settings to meet specific IT standards.
  • Amazon ECRAmazon ECR is an AWS managed container image registry service that is secure, scalable, and reliable.
  • CodeCommit – AWS CodeCommit is a fully-managed source control service that hosts secure Git-based repositories.
  • AWS KMS – Amazon Key Management Service (AWS KMS) is a fully managed service for creating and managing cryptographic keys. These keys are natively integrated with most AWS services. You use a KMS key in this post to encrypt resources.
  • Amazon S3Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) is an object storage service utilized for storing and encrypting data. We use Amazon S3 to store our configuration files.
  • AWS CloudFormation – AWS CloudFormation allows you to use domain-specific languages or simple text files to model and provision, in an automated and secure manner, all the resources needed for your applications across all Regions and accounts. You can deploy AWS resources in a safe, repeatable manner, and automate the provisioning of infrastructure.

 

Prerequisites

To provision the pipeline deployment, you must have the following prerequisites:

 

CloudFormation templates

You use the following CloudFormation templates to deploy several resources:

  • vpc.yml – Contains all the core networking configuration. It deploys the VPC, two private subnets, two public subnets, and the route tables. The private subnets utilize a NAT gateway to communicate to the internet. The public subnets have full outbound access to the internet gateway.
  • kms.yml – Contains the AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS) configuration that we use for encrypting resources. The KMS key policy is also configured in this template.
  • s3-iam-config.yml – Contains the S3 bucket and IAM roles we use with our Image Builder pipeline.
  • docker-image-builder.yml – Contains the configuration for the Image Builder pipeline that we use to build Docker images.

 

Docker Overview

Containerizing an application comes with many benefits. By containerizing an application, the application is decoupled from the underlying infrastructure, greater consistency is gained across environments, and the application can now be deployed in a loosely coupled microservice model. The lightweight nature of containers enables teams to spend less time configuring their application and more time building features that create value for their customers. To achieve these great benefits, you need reliable resources to centralize the creation and distribution of your container images. Additionally, you need to understand container fundamentals. Let’s start by reviewing a Docker base image.

In this post, we follow the multi-stage pattern for building our Docker image. With this approach, we can selectively copy artifacts from one phase to another. This allows you to remove anything not critical to the application’s function in the final image. Let’s walk through some of the logic we put into our Docker image to optimize performance and security.

Let’s begin by looking at line 15-25. Here, we are pulling down the latest amazon/aws-cli Docker image. We are leveraging this image so that we can utilize IAM credentials to clone our CodeCommit repository. In lines 15-24 we are installing and configuring our git configuration. Finally, in line 25 we are cloning our application code from our repository.

In this next section, we set environment variables, installing packages, unpack tar files, and set up a custom Java Runtime Environment (JRE). Amazon Corretto is a no-cost, multi-platform, production-ready distribution of the Open Java Development Kit (OpenJDK). One important distinction to make here is how we are utilizing RUN and ADD in the Dockerfile. By configuring our own custom JRE we can remove unnecessary modules from our image. One of our goals with building Docker images is to keep them lightweight, which is why we are taking the extra steps to ensure that we don’t add any unnecessary configuration.

Let’s take a look at the next section of the Dockerfile. Now that we have all the package that we require, we will create a working directory where we will install our demo app. After the application code is pulled down from CodeCommit, we use Maven to build our artifact.

In the following code snippet, we use FROM to begin a new stage in our build. Notice that we are using the same base as our first stage. If objects on the disk/filesystem in in the first stage stay the same, the previous stage cache can be reused. Using this pattern can greatly reduce build time.

Docker images have a single unique digest. This is a SHA-256 value and is known as the immutable identifier for the image. When changes are made to your image, through a Dockerfile update for example, a new image with a new immutable identifier is generated. The immutable identifier is pinned to prevent unexpected behaviors in code due to change or update. You can also prevent man-in-the-middle attacks by adopting this pattern. Additionally, using a SHA can mitigate the risk of having to rely on mutable tags that can be applied or changed to the wrong image by mistake. You can use the following command to check to ensure that no unintended changes occured.

docker images <input_container_image_id> --digests

Lastly, we configure our final stage, in which we create a user and group to manage our application inside the container. As this user, we copy the binaries created from our first stage. With this pattern, you can clearly see the benefit of using stages when building Docker images. Finally, we note the port that should be published with expose for the container and we define our Entrypoint, which is the instruction we use to run our container.

 

Deploying the CloudFormation templates

To deploy your templates, complete the following steps:

1. Create a directory where we store all of our demo code by running the following from your terminal:

mkdir awsblogrepo && cd awsblogrepo

 

2. Clone the source code repository found in the following location:

git clone https://github.com/aws-samples/build-and-deploy-docker-images-to-aws-using-ec2-image-builder.git

You now use the AWS CLI to deploy the CloudFormation templates. Make sure to leave the CloudFormation template names as written in this post.

 

3. Deploy the VPC CloudFormation template:

aws cloudformation create-stack \
--stack-name vpc-config \
--template-body file://templates/vpc.yml \
--parameters file://parameters/vpc-params.json  \
--capabilities CAPABILITY_IAM \
--region us-east-1

The output should look like the following code:

{
    "StackId": "arn:aws:cloudformation:us-east-1:123456789012:stack/vpc-config/12e90fe0-76c9-11eb-9284-12717722e021"
}

 

4. Open the parameters/kms-params.json file and update the UserARN parameter with your account ID:

[
  {
      "ParameterKey": "KeyName",
      "ParameterValue": "DemoKey"
  },
  {
    "ParameterKey": "UserARN",
    "ParameterValue": "arn:aws:iam::<input_your_account_id>:root"
  }
]

 

5. Deploy the KMS key CloudFormation template:

aws cloudformation create-stack \
--stack-name kms-config \
--template-body file://templates/kms.yml \
--parameters file://parameters/kms-params.json \
--capabilities CAPABILITY_IAM \
--region us-east-1

The output should look like the following:

{
    "StackId": "arn:aws:cloudformation:us-east-1:123456789012:stack/kms-config/66a663d0-777d-11eb-ad2b-0e84b19d341f"
}

 

6. Open the parameters/s3-iam-config.json file and update the DemoConfigS3BucketName parameter to a unique name of your choosing:

[
  {
    "ParameterKey" : "Environment",
    "ParameterValue" : "dev"
  },
  {
    "ParameterKey": "NetworkStackName",
    "ParameterValue" : "vpc-config"
  },
  {
    "ParameterKey" : "EC2InstanceRoleName",
    "ParameterValue" : "EC2InstanceRole"
  },
  {
    "ParameterKey" : "DemoConfigS3BucketName",
    "ParameterValue" : "<input_your_unique_bucket_name>"
  },
  {
    "ParameterKey" : "KMSStackName",
    "ParameterValue" : "kms-config"
  }
]

 

7. Deploy the IAM role configuration template:

aws cloudformation create-stack \
--stack-name s3-iam-config \
--template-body file://templates/s3-iam-config.yml \
--parameters file://parameters/s3-iam-config.json \
--capabilities CAPABILITY_NAMED_IAM \
--region us-east-1

The output should look like the following:

{
    "StackId": "arn:aws:cloudformation:us-east-1:123456789012:stack/s3-iam-config/8b69c270-7782-11eb-a85c-0ead09d00613"
}

 

8. Open the parameters/kms-params.json file:

[
  {
      "ParameterKey": "KeyName",
      "ParameterValue": "DemoKey"
  },
  {
    "ParameterKey": "UserARN",
    "ParameterValue": "arn:aws:iam::1234567891012:root"
  }
]

 

9. Add the following values as a comma-separated list to the UserARN parameter key. Make sure to provide your AWS account ID:

arn:aws:iam::<input_your_aws_account_id>:role/EC2ImageBuilderRole

When finished, the file should look similar to the following:

[
  {
      "ParameterKey": "KeyName",
      "ParameterValue": "DemoKey"
  },
  {
    "ParameterKey": "UserARN",
    "ParameterValue": "arn:aws:iam::123456789012:role/EC2ImageBuilderRole,arn:aws:iam::123456789012:root"
  }
]

Now that the AWS KMS parameter file has been updated, you update the AWS KMS CloudFormation stack.

 

10. Run the following command to update the kms-config stack:

aws cloudformation update-stack \
--stack-name kms-config \
--template-body file://templates/kms.yml \
--parameters file://parameters/kms-params.json \
--capabilities CAPABILITY_IAM \
--region us-east-1

The output should look like the following:

{
    "StackId": "arn:aws:cloudformation:us-east-1:123456789012:stack/kms-config/66a663d0-777d-11eb-ad2b-0e84b19d341f"
}

 

11. Open the parameters/docker-image-builder-params.json file and update the ImageBuilderBucketName parameter to the bucket name you generated earlier:

[
  {
    "ParameterKey": "Environment",
    "ParameterValue": "dev"
  },
  {
      "ParameterKey": "ImageBuilderBucketName",
      "ParameterValue": "<input_your_s3_bucket_name>"
  },
  {
      "ParameterKey": "NetworkStackName",
      "ParameterValue": "vpc-config"
  },
  {
      "ParameterKey": "KMSStackName",
      "ParameterValue": "kms-config"
  },
  {
      "ParameterKey": "S3ConfigStackName",
      "ParameterValue": "s3-iam-config"
  },
  {
      "ParameterKey": "ECRName",
      "ParameterValue": "demo-ecr"
  }
]

 

12. Run the following commands to upload the Dockerfile and component file to S3. Make sure to update the s3 bucket name with the name you generated earlier:

aws s3 cp java/Dockerfile s3://<input_your_bucket_name>/Dockerfile && \
aws s3 cp components/component.yml s3://<input_your_bucket_name>/component.yml

The output should look like the following:

upload: java/Dockerfile to s3://demo12345/Dockerfile
upload: components/component.yml to s3://demo12345/component.yml

 

13. Deploy the docker-image-builder.yml template:

aws cloudformation create-stack \
--stack-name docker-image-builder-config \
--template-body file://templates/docker-image-builder.yml \
--parameters file://parameters/docker-image-builder-params.json \
--capabilities CAPABILITY_NAMED_IAM \
--region us-east-1

The output should look like the following:

{
    "StackId": "arn:aws:cloudformation:us-east-1:123456789012:stack/docker-image-builder/24317190-76f4-11eb-b879-0afa5528cb21"
}

 

Configure the Repository

You use AWS CodeCommit as your source control repository. You now walk through the steps of deploying our CodeCommit repository:

 

1. On the CodeCommit console, choose Repositories.

 

2. Locate your repository and under Clone URL, choose HTTPS.

Shows DemoRepo CodeCommit Repository

Figure: Shows DemoRepo CodeCommit Repository

You clone this repository in the build directory you created when deploying the CloudFormation templates.

 

3. In your terminal, past the Git URL from the previous step and clone the repository:

git clone https://git-codecommit.us-east-1.amazonaws.com/v1/repos/DemoRepo

 

4. Now let’s create and push your main branch:

cd DemoRepo
git checkout -b main
touch initial.txt
git add . && git commit -m "Initial commit"
git push -u origin main

 

5. On the Repositories page of the CodeCommit console, choose DemoRepo.

The following screenshot shows that we have created our main branch and pushed our first commit to our repository.

Shows the DemoRepo main branch

Figure: Shows the DemoRepo main branch

 

6. Back in your terminal, create a new feature branch:

git checkout -b feature/configure-repo

 

7. Create the build directories:

mkdir templates; \
mkdir parameters; \
mkdir java; \
mkdir components

You now copy over the configuration files from the cloned GitHub repository to our CodeCommit repository.

 

8. Run the following command from the awsblogrepo directory you created earlier:

cp -r build-and-deploy-docker-images-to-aws-using-ec2-image-builder/* DemoRepo/

 

9. Commit and push your changes:

git add . && git commit -m "Copying config files into source control." 
git push --set-upstream origin feature/configure-repo

 

10. On the CodeCommit console, navigate to DemoRepo.

Shows the DemoRepo CodeCommit Repository

Figure: Shows the DemoRepo CodeCommit Repository

 

11. In the navigation pane, under Repositories, choose Branches.

Shows the DemoRepo's code

Figure: Shows the DemoRepo’s code

 

12. Select the feature/configure-repo branch.

Shows the DemoRepo's branches

Figure: Shows the DemoRepo’s branches

 

13. Choose Create pull request.

Shows the DemoRepo code

Figure: Shows the DemoRepo code

 

14. For Title, enter Repository Configuration.

 

15. For Description, enter a brief description.

 

16. Choose Create pull request.

Shows a pull request for DemoRepo

Figure: Shows a pull request for DemoRepo

 

17. Choose Merge to merge the pull request.

Shows merge for DemoRepo pull request

Figure: Shows merge for DemoRepo pull request

Now that you have all the code copied into your CodeCommit repository, you now build an image using the Image Builder pipeline.

 

EC2 Image Builder Deep Dive

With Image Builder, you can build and deploy Docker images to your AWS account. Let’s look at how your Image Builder pipeline is configured.

A recipe defines the source image to use as your starting point to create a new image, along with the set of components that you add to customize your image and verify that everything is working as expected. Take note of the ParentImage property. Here, you’re declaring that the parent image that your pipeline pulls from the latest Amazon Linux image. This enables organizations to define images that they have approved to be utilized downstream by development teams. Having better control over what Docker images development teams are using improves an organization security posture while enabling the developers to have the tools they need readily available. The DockerfileTemplateUri property refers to the location of the Dockerfile that your Image Builder pipeline is deploying. Take some time to review the configuration.

 

Run the Image Builder Pipeline

Now you build a Docker image by running the pipeline.

1. Update your account ID and run the following command:

aws imagebuilder start-image-pipeline-execution \
--image-pipeline-arn arn:aws:imagebuilder:us-east-1:<input_your_aws_account_id>:image-pipeline/docker-image-builder-config-docker-java-container

The output should look like the following:

{
    "requestId": "87931a2e-cd74-44e9-9be1-948fec0776aa",
    "clientToken": "e0f710be-0776-43ea-a6d7-c10137a554bf",
    "imageBuildVersionArn": "arn:aws:imagebuilder:us-east-1:123456789012:image/docker-image-builder-config-container-recipe/1.0.0/1"
}

 

2. On the Image Builder console, choose the docker-image-builder-config-docker-java-container pipeline.

 Shows EC2 Image Builder Pipeline status

Figure: Shows EC2 Image Builder Pipeline status

At the bottom of the page, a new Docker image is building.

 

3. Wait until the image status becomes Available.

Shows docker image building in EC2 Image Builder console

Figure: Shows docker image building in EC2 Image Builder console

 

4. On the Amazon ECR console, open java-demo-ib.

The Docker image has been successfully created, tagged, and deployed to Amazon ECR from the Image Builder pipeline.

Shows demo-java-ib image in ECR

Figure: Shows demo-java-ib image in ECR

 

Test the Docker Image Locally

1. On the Amazon ECR console, open java-demo-ib.

 

2. Copy the image URI.

ECR Screenshot

 

3. Run the following commands to authenticate to your ECR repository:

aws ecr get-login-password --region us-east-1 | docker login --username AWS --password-stdin <input_your_account_id>.dkr.ecr.us-east-1.amazonaws.com

 

4. Run the following command in your terminal, and update the Amazon ECR URI with the content you copied from the previous step:

docker pull <input_ecr_image_uri>

You should see output similar to the following:

1.0.0-80: Pulling from demo-java-ib
596ba82af5aa: Pull complete 
6f476912a053: Pull complete 
3e7162a86ef8: Pull complete 
ec7d8bb8d044: Pull complete 
Digest: sha256:14668cda786aa496f406062ce07087d66a14a7022023091e9b953aae0bdf2634
Status: Downloaded newer image for 123456789012.dkr.ecr.us-east-1.amazonaws.com/demo-java-ib:1.0.0-1
123456789012.dkr.ecr.us-east-1.amazonaws.com/demo-java-ib:1.0.0-1

 

5. Run the following command from your terminal:

docker image ls

You should see output similar to the following:

REPOSITORY                                                  TAG        IMAGE ID       CREATED          SIZE
123456789012.dkr.ecr.us-east-1.amazonaws.com/demo-java-ib   1.0.0-1   ac75e982863c   34 minutes ago   47.3MB

 

6. Run the following command from your terminal using the IMAGE ID value from the previous output:

docker run -dp 8090:8090 --name java_hello_world -it <docker_image_id> sh

You should see an output similar to the following:

49ea3a278639252058b55ab80c71245d9f00a3e1933a8249d627ce18c3f59ab1

 

7. Test your container by running the following command:

curl localhost:8090

You should see an output similar to the following:

Hello World!

 

8. Now that you have verified that your container is working properly, you can stop your container. Run the following command from your terminal:

docker stop java_hello_world

 

Conclusion

In this article, we showed how to leverage AWS services to automate the creation, management, and distribution of Docker Images. We walked through how to configure EC2 Image Builder to create and distribute Docker images. Finally, we built a Docker image using our EC2 Image Builder pipeline and tested the image locally. Thank you for reading!

 

 

 

Joe Keating is a Modernization Architect in Professional Services at Amazon Web Services. He works with AWS customers to design and implement a variety of solutions in the AWS Cloud. Joe enjoys cooking with a glass or two of wine and achieving mediocrity on the golf course.

 

 

 

Virginia Chu is a Sr. Cloud Infrastructure Architect in Professional Services at Amazon Web Services. She works with enterprise-scale customers around the globe to design and implement a variety of solutions in the AWS Cloud.

 

 

 

BK works as a Senior Security Architect with AWS Professional Services. He love to solve security problems for his customers, and help them feel comfortable within AWS. Outside of work, BK loves to play computer games, and go on long drives.

Scaling Zabbix with containers

Post Syndicated from Robert Silva original https://blog.zabbix.com/scaling-zabbix-with-containers/13155/

In this post, a new approach with Zabbix in High Availability is explained, as well as discussed challenges when implementing Zabbix using Docker Swarm with CI / CD and such technologies as Containers, Docker Swarm, Gitlab, and CI/CD.

Contents

I. Zabbix project requirements (0:33)
II. New approach (3:06)

III. Compose file and Deploy (8:08)
IV. Notes (16:32)
V. Gitlab CI/CD (20:34)
VI. Benefits of the architecture (24:57)
VII. Questions & Answers (25:53)

Zabbix project requirements

The first time using Docker was a challenge. The Zabbix environment needed to meet the following requirements:

  • to monitor more than 3,000 NVPS;
  • to be fault-tolerant;
  • to be resilient;
  • to scale the environment horizontally.

There are five ways to install Zabbix — using packages, compiling, Docker, cloud, or appliance.

We used virtual machines or physical servers to install Zabbix directly on the operation system. In this scenario, it is necessary to install the operating system and update it to improve performance. Then you need to install Zabbix, configure the backup of the configuration files and the database.

However, with such an installation, when the services are unavailable as Zabbix Server or Zabbix frontend is down, the usual solution is a human intervention to restart the service or the server, create a new instance, or restore the backup.

Still, we don’t need to assign a specialist to manually solve such issues. The services must be able to restore themselves.

To create a more intelligent environment, we can use some standard solutions — Corosync and Pacemaker. However, there are better solutions for High Availability.

New approach

Zabbix can be deployed using advanced technologies, such as:

  • Docker,
  • Docker Swarm,
  • Reverse Proxy,
  • GIT,
  • CI/CD.

Initially, the instance was divided into various components.

Initial architecture

HAProxy

HAProxy is responsible for receiving incoming connections and directing them to the nodes of the Docker Swarm cluster. So, with each attempt to access the Zabbix frontend, the request is sent to the HAProxy. And it will detect where there is the service listening to HAProxy and redirect the request.

Accessing the frontend.domain

We are sending the request to the HAProxy address to check which nodes are available. If a node is unavailable, the HAProxy will not send the requests to these nodes anymore.

HAProxy configuration file (haproxy.cfg)

When you configure load balancing using HAProxy, two types of nodes need to be defined: frontend and backend. Here, the traefik service is used as an example.

HAProxy listens for connections by the frontend node. In the frontend, we configure the port to receive communications and associate the backend to it.

frontend traefik
mode http
bind 0.0.0.0:80
option forwardfor
monitor-uri /health
default_backend backend_traefik

HAProxy can forward requests by the backend nodes. In the backend we define, which services are using the traefik service, the check mode, the servers running the application, and the port to listen to. 

backend backend_traefik
mode http
cookie Zabbix prefix
server DOCKERHOST1 10.250.6.52:8080 cookie DOCKERHOST1 check
server DOCKERHOST2 10.250.6.53:8080 cookie DOCKERHOST2 check
server DOCKERHOST3 10.250.6.54:8080 cookie DOCKERHOST3 check
stats admin if TRUE
option tcp-check

We also can define where the Zabbix Server can run. Here, we have only one Zabbix Server container running.

frontend zabbix_server
mode tcp
bind 0.0.0.0:10051
default_backend backend_zabbix_server
backend backend_zabbix_server
mode tcp
server DOCKERHOST1 10.250.6.52:10051 check
server DOCKERHOST2 10.250.6.53:10051 check
server DOCKERHOST3 10.250.6.54:10051 check
stats admin if TRUE
option tcp-check

NFS Server

NFS Server is responsible for storing the mapped files in the containers.

NFS Server

After installing the packages, you need to run the following commands to configure the NFS Server and NFS Client:

NFS Server

mkdir /data/data-docker
vim /etc/exports
/data/data-docker/ *(rw,sync,no_root_squash,no_subtree_check)

NFS Client

vim /etc/fstab :/data/data-docker /mnt/data-docker nfs defaults 0 0

Hosts Docker and Docker Swarm

Hosts Docker and Docker Swarm are responsible for running and orchestrating the containers.

Swarm consists of one or more nodes. The cluster can be of two types:

  • Managers that are responsible for managing the cluster and can perform workloads.
  • Workers that are responsible for performing the services or the loads.

Reverse Proxy

Reverse Proxy, another essential component of this architecture, is responsible for receiving an HTTP and HTTPS connections, identifying destinations, and redirecting to the responsible containers.

Reverse Proxy can be executed using nginx and traefik.

In this example, we have three containers running traefik. After receiving the connection from HAProxy, it will search for a destination container and send the package to it.

Compose file and Deploy

The Compose file — ./docker-compose.yml — a YAML file defining services, networks, and volumes. In this file, we determine what image of Zabbix Server is used, what network the container is going to connect to, what are the service names, and other necessary service settings.

Reverse Proxy

Here is the example of configuring Reverse Proxy using traefik.

traefik:
image: traefik:v2.2.8
deploy:
placement:
constraints:
- node.role == manager
replicas: 1
restart_policy:
condition: on-failure
labels:
# Dashboard traefik
- "traefik.enable=true"
- "traefik.http.services.justAdummyService.loadbalancer.server.port=1337"
- "traefik.http.routers.traefik.tls=true"
- "traefik.http.routers.traefik.rule=Host(`zabbix-traefik.mydomain`)"
- "[email protected]"

where:

traefik: — the name of the service (in the first line).
image: — here, we can define which image we can use.
deploy: — rules for creating the deploy.
constraints: — a place of deployment.
replicas: — how many replicas we can create for this service.
restart_policy: — which policy to use if the service has a problem.
labels: — defining labels for traefik, including the rules for calling the service.

Then we can define how to configure authentication for the dashboard and how to redirect all HTTP connections to HTTPS.

# Auth Dashboard - "traefik.http.routers.traefik.middlewares=traefik-auth" - "traefik.http.middlewares.traefik-auth.basicauth.users=admin:" 
# Redirect all HTTP to HTTPS permanently - "traefik.http.routers.http_catchall.rule=HostRegexp(`{any:.+}`)" - "traefik.http.routers.http_catchall.entrypoints=web" - "traefik.http.routers.http_catchall.middlewares=https_redirect" - "traefik.http.middlewares.https_redirect.redirectscheme.scheme=https" - "traefik.http.middlewares.https_redirect.redirectscheme.permanent=true"

Finally, we define the command to be executed after the container is started.

command:
- "--api=true"
- "--log.level=INFO"
- "--providers.docker.endpoint=unix:///var/run/docker.sock"
- "--providers.docker.swarmMode=true"
- "--providers.docker.exposedbydefault=false"
- "--providers.file.directory=/etc/traefik/dynamic"
- "--entrypoints.web.address=:80"
- "--entrypoints.websecure.address=:443"

Zabbix Server

Zabbix Server configuration can be defined in this environment — the name of the Zabbix Server, image, OS, etc.

zabbix-server:
image: zabbix/zabbix-server-mysql:centos-5.0-latest
env_file:
- ./envs/zabbix-server/common.env
networks:
- "monitoring-network"
volumes:
- /mnt/data-docker/zabbix-server/externalscripts:/usr/lib/zabbix/externalscripts:ro
- /mnt/data-docker/zabbix-server/alertscripts:/usr/lib/zabbix/alertscripts:ro
ports:
- "10051:10051"
deploy:
<<: *template-deploy
labels:
- "traefik.enable=false"

In this case, we can use environment 5.0. Here, we can define, for instance, database address, database username, number of pollers we will start, the path for external and alert scripts, and other options.

In this example, we use two volumes — for external scripts and for alert scripts that must be stored in the NFS Server.

For this Zabbix, Server traefik is not enabled.

Frontend

For the frontend, we have another option, for instance, using the Zabbix image.

zabbix-frontend:
image: zabbix/zabbix-web-nginx-mysql:alpine-5.0.1
env_file:
- ./envs/zabbix-frontend/common.env
networks:
- "monitoring-network"
deploy:
<<: *template-deploy
replicas: 5
labels:
- "traefik.enable=true"
- "traefik.http.routers.zabbix-frontend.tls=true"
- "traefik.http.routers.zabbix-frontend.rule=Host(`frontend.domain`)"
- "traefik.http.routers.zabbix-frontend.entrypoints=web"
- "traefik.http.routers.zabbix-frontend.entrypoints=websecure"
- "traefik.http.services.zabbix-frontend.loadbalancer.server.port=8080"

Here, 5 replicas mean that we can start 5 Zabbix frontends. This can be used for more extensive environments, which also means that we have 5 containers and 5 connections.

Here, to access the frontend, we can use the ‘frontend.domain‘ name. If we use a different name, access to the frontend will not be available.

The load balancer server port defines to which port the container is listening and where the official Zabbix frontend image is stored.

Deploy

Up to now, deployment has been done manually. You needed to connect to one of the services with the Docker Swarm Manager function, enter the NFS directory, and deploy the service:

# docker stack deploy -c docker-compose.yaml zabbix

where -c defines the compose file’s name and ‘zabbix‘ — the name of the stack.

Notes

Docker Image

Typically, Docker official images from Zabbix are used. However, for the Zabbix Server and Zabbix Proxy is not enough. In production environments, additional patches are needed — scripts, ODBC drivers to monitor the database. You should learn to work with Docker and to create custom images.

Networks

When creating environments using Docker, you should be careful. The Docker environment has some internal networks, which can be in conflict with the physical network. So, it is necessary to change the default networks — Docker network overlay and Docker bridge.

Custom image

Example of customizing the Zabbix image to install ODBC drive.

ARG ZABBIX_BASE=centos 
ARG ZABBIX_VERSION=5.0.3 
FROM zabbix/zabbix-proxy-sqlite3:${ZABBIX_BASE}-${ZABBIX_VERSION}
ENV ORACLE_HOME=/usr/lib/oracle/12.2/client64
ENV LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$LD_LIBRARY_PATH:/usr/lib/oracle/12.2/client64/lib
ENV PATH=$PATH:/usr/lib/oracle/12.2/client64/lib

Then we install ODBC drivers. This script allows for using ODBC drivers for Oracle, MySQL, etc.

# Install ODBC 
COPY ./drivers-oracle-12.2.0.1.0 /root/ 
COPY odbc.sh /root 
RUN chmod +x /root/odbc.sh && \ 
/root/odbc.sh

Then we install Python packages.

# Install Python3 
COPY requirements.txt /requirements.txt
WORKDIR /
RUN yum install -y epel-release && \ 
yum search python3 && \ 
yum install -y python36 python36-pip && \ 
python3 -m pip install -r requirements.txt
# Install SNMP 
RUN yum install -y net-snmp-utils net-snmp wget vim telnet traceroute

With this image, we can monitor databases, network devices, HTTP connections, etc.

To complete the image customization, we need to:

  1. build the image,
  2. push to the registry,
  3. deploy the services.

This process is performed manually and should be automated.

Gitlab CI/CD

With CI/CD, you don’t need to run the process manually to create the image and deploy the services.

1. Create a repository for each component.

  • Zabbix Server
  • Frontend
  • Zabbix Proxy

2. Enable pipelines.
3. Create .gitlab-ci.yml.

Creating .gitlab-ci.yml file

Benefits of the architecture

  • If any Zabbix component stops, Docker Swarm will automatically start a new service/container.
  • We don’t need to connect to the terminal to start the environment.
  • Simple deployment.
  • Simple administration.

Questions & Answers

Question. Can such a Docker approach be used in extremely large environments?

Answer. Docker Swarm is already used to monitor extremely large environments with over 90,000 and over 50 proxies.

Question. Do you think it’s possible to set up a similar environment with Kubernetes?

Answer. I think it is possible, though scaling Zabbix with Kubernetes is more complex than with Docker Swarm. 

Evolving Container Security With Linux User Namespaces

Post Syndicated from Netflix Technology Blog original https://netflixtechblog.com/evolving-container-security-with-linux-user-namespaces-afbe3308c082

By Fabio Kung, Sargun Dhillon, Andrew Spyker, Kyle, Rob Gulewich, Nabil Schear, Andrew Leung, Daniel Muino, and Manas Alekar

As previously discussed on the Netflix Tech Blog, Titus is the Netflix container orchestration system. It runs a wide variety of workloads from various parts of the company — everything from the frontend API for netflix.com, to machine learning training workloads, to video encoders. In Titus, the hosts that workloads run on are abstracted from our users. The Titus platform maintains large pools of homogenous node capacity to run user workloads, and the Titus scheduler places workloads. This abstraction allows the compute team to influence the reliability, efficiency, and operability of the fleet via the scheduler. The hosts that run workloads are called Titus “agents.” In this post, we describe how Titus agents leverage user namespaces to improve the overall security of the Titus agent fleet.

Titus’s Multi-Tenant Clusters

The Titus agent fleet appears to users as a homogenous pool of capacity. Titus internally employs a cellular bulkhead architecture for scalability, so the fleet is composed of multiple cells. Many bulkhead architectures partition their cells on tenants, where a tenant is defined as a team and their collection of applications. We do not take this approach, and instead, we partition our cells to balance load. We do this for reliability, scalability, and efficiency reasons.

Titus is a multi-tenant system, allowing multiple teams and users to run workloads on the system, and ensuring they can all co-exist while still providing guarantees about security and performance. Much of this comes down to isolation, which comes in multiple forms. These forms include performance isolation (ensuring workloads do not degrade one another’s performance), capacity isolation (ensuring that a given tenant can acquire resources when they ask for them), fault isolation (ensuring that the failure of a part of the system doesn’t cause the whole system to fail), and security isolation (ensuring that the compromise of one tenant’s workload does not affect the security of other tenants). This post focuses on our approaches to security isolation.

Secure Multi-tenancy

One of Titus’s biggest concerns with multi-tenancy is security isolation. We want to allow different kinds of containers from different tenants to run on the same instance. Security isolation in containers has been a contentious topic. Despite the risks, we’ve chosen to leverage containers as part of our security boundary. To offset the risks brought about by the container security boundary, we employ some additional protections.

The building blocks of multi-tenancy are Linux namespaces, the very technology that makes LXC, Docker, and other kinds of containers possible. For example, the PID namespace makes it so that a process can only see PIDs in its own namespace, and therefore cannot send kill signals to random processes on the host. In addition to the default Docker namespaces (mount, network, UTS, IPC, and PID), we employ user namespaces for added layers of isolation. Unfortunately, these default namespace boundaries are not sufficient to prevent container escape, as seen in CVEs like CVE-2015–2925. These vulnerabilities arise due to the complexity of interactions between namespaces, a large number of historical decisions during kernel development, and leaky abstractions like the proc filesystem in Linux. Composing these security isolation primitives correctly is difficult, so we’ve looked to other layers for additional protection.

Running many different workloads multi-tenant on a host necessitates the prevention lateral movement, a technique in which the attacker compromises a single piece of software running in a container on the system, and uses that to compromise other containers on the same system. To mitigate this, we run containers as unprivileged users — making it so that users cannot use “root.” This is important because, in Linux, UID 0 (or root’s privileges), do not come from the mere fact that the user is root, but from capabilities. These capabilities are tied to the current process’s credentials. Capabilities can be added via privilege escalation (e.g., sudo, file capabilities) or removed (e.g., setuid, or switching namespaces). Various capabilities control what the root user can do. For example, the CAP_SYS_BOOT capability controls the ability of a given user to reboot the machine. There are also more common capabilities that are granted to users like CAP_NET_RAW, which allows a process the ability to open raw sockets. A user can automatically have capabilities added when they execute specific files via file capabilities. For example, on a stock Ubuntu system, the ping command needs CAP_NET_RAW:

One of the most powerful capabilities in Linux is CAP_SYS_ADMIN, which is effectively equivalent to having superuser access. It gives the user the ability to do everything from mounting arbitrary filesystems, to accessing tracepoints that can expose vital information about the Linux kernel. Other powerful capabilities include CAP_CHOWN and CAP_DAC_OVERRIDE, which grant the capability to manipulate file permissions.

In the kernel, you’ll often see capability checks spread throughout the code, which looks something like this:

Notice this function doesn’t check if the user is root, but if the task has the CAP_SYS_ADMIN capability before allowing it to execute.

Docker takes the approach of using an allow-list to define which capabilities a container receives. These can be extended or attenuated by the user. Even the default capabilities that are defined in the Docker profile can be abused in certain situations. When we looked into running workloads as unprivileged users without many of these capabilities, we found that it was a non-starter. Various pieces of software used elevated capabilities for FUSE, low-level packet monitoring, and performance tracing amongst other use cases. Programs will usually start with capabilities, perform any activities that require those capabilities, and then “drop” them when the process no longer needs them.

User Namespaces

Fortunately, Linux has a solution — User Namespaces. Let’s go back to that kernel code example earlier. The pcrlock function called the capable function to determine whether or not the task was capable. This function is defined as:

This checks if the task has this capability relative to the init_user_ns. The init_user_ns is the namespace that processes are initialially spawned in, as it’s the only user namespace that exists at kernel startup time. User namespaces are a mechanism to split up the init_user_ns UID space. The interface to set up the mappings is via a “uid_map” and “gid_map” that’s exposed via /proc. The mapping looks something like this:

This allows UIDs in user-namespaced containers to be mapped to host UIDs. A variety of translations occur, but from the container’s perspective, everything is from the perspective of the UID ranges (otherwise known as extents) that are mapped. This is powerful in a few ways:

  1. It allows you to make certain UIDs off-limits to the container — if a UID is not mapped in the user namespace to a real UID, and you try to examine a file on disk with it, it will show up as overflowuid / overflowgid, a UID and GID specified in /proc/sys to indicate that it cannot be mapped into the current working space. Also, the container cannot setuid to a UID that can access files owned by that “outside uid.”
  2. From the user namespace’s perspective, the container’s root user appears to be UID 0, and the container can use the entire range of UIDs that are mapped into that namespace.
  3. Kernel subsystems can then proceed to call ns_capable with the specific user namespace that is tied to the resource. Many capability checks are now done to a user namespace that is relative to the resource being manipulated. This, in turn, allows processes to exercise certain privileges without having any privileges in the init user namespace. Even if the mapping is the same across many different namespaces, capability checks are still done relative to a specific user namespace.

One critical aspect of understanding how permissions work is that every namespace belongs to a specific user namespace. For example, let’s look at the UTS namespace, which is responsible for controlling the hostname:

The namespace has a relationship with a particular user namespace. The ability for a user to manipulate the hostname is based on whether or not the process has the appropriate capability in that user namespace.

Let’s Get Into It

We can examine how the interaction of namespaces and users work ourselves. To set the hostname in the UTS namespace, you need to have CAP_SYS_ADMIN in its user namespace. We can see this in action here, where an unprivileged process doesn’t have permission to set the hostname:

The reason for this is that the process does not have CAP_SYS_ADMIN. According to /proc/self/status, the effective capability set of this process is empty:

Now, let’s try to set up a user namespace, and see what happens:

Immediately, you’ll notice the command prompt says the current user is root, and that the id command agrees. Can we set the hostname now?

We still cannot set the hostname. This is because the process is still in the initial UTS namespace. Let’s see if we can unshare the UTS namespace, and set the hostname:

This is now successful, and the process is in an isolated UTS namespace with the hostname “foo.” This is because the process now has all of the capabilities that a traditional root user would have, except they are relative to the new user namespace we created:

If we inspect this process from the outside, we can see that the process still runs as the unprivileged user, and the hostname in the original outside namespace hasn’t changed:

From here, we can do all sorts of things, like mount filesystems, create other new namespaces, and in fact, we can create an entire container environment. Notice how no privilege escalation mechanism was used to perform any of these actions. This approach is what some people refer to as “rootless containers.”

Road to Implementation

We began work to enable user namespaces in early 2017. At the time we had a naive model that was simpler. This simplicity was possible because we were running without user namespaces:

This approach mirrored the process layout and boundaries of contemporary container orchestration systems. We had a shared metrics daemon on the machine that reached in and polled metrics from the container. User access was done by exposing an SSH daemon, and automatically doing nsenter on the user’s behalf to drop them into the container. To expose files to the container we would use bind mounts. The same mechanism was used to expose configuration, such as secrets.

This had the benefit that much of our software could be installed in the host namespace, and only manage files in the that namespace. The container runtime management system (Titus) was then responsible for configuring Docker to expose the right files to the container via bind mounts. In addition to that, we could use our standard metrics daemons on the host.

Although this model was easy to reason about and write software for, it had several shortcomings that we addressed by shifting everything to running inside of the container’s unprivileged user namespace. The first shortcoming was that all of the host daemons now needed to be aware of the UID translation, and perform the proper setuid or chown calls to transition across the container boundary. Second, each of these transitions represented a security risk. If the SSH daemon only partially transitioned into the container namespace by changing into the container’s pid namespace, it would leave its /proc accessible. This could then be used by a malicious attacker to escape.

With user namespaces, we can improve our security posture and reduce the complexity of the system by running those daemons in the container’s unprivileged user namespace, which removes the need to cross the namespace boundaries. In turn, this removes the need to correctly implement a cross-namespace transition mechanism thus, reducing the risk of introducing container escapes.

We did this by moving aspects of the container runtime environment into the container. For example, we run an SSH daemon per container and a metrics daemon per container. These run inside of the namespaces of the container, and they have the same capabilities and lifecycle as the workloads in the container. We call this model “System Services” — one can think of it as a primordial version of pods. By the end of 2018, we had moved all of our containers to run in unprivileged user namespaces successfully.

Why is this useful?

This may seem like another level of indirection that just introduces complexity, but instead, it allows us to leverage an extremely useful concept — “unprivileged containers.” In unprivileged containers, the root user starts from a baseline in which they don’t automatically have access to the entire system. This means that DAC, MAC, and seccomp policies are now an extra layer of defense against accessing privileged aspects of the system — not the only layer. As new privileges are added, we do not have to add them to an exclusion list. This allows our users to write software where they can control low-level system details in their own containers, rather than forcing all of the complexity up into the container runtime.

Use Case: FUSE

Netflix internally uses a purpose built FUSE filesystem called MezzFS. The purpose of this filesystem is to provide access to our content for a variety of encoding tools. Most of these encoding tools are designed to interact with the POSIX filesystem API. Our Media Cloud Engineering team wanted to leverage containers for a new platform they were building, called Archer. Archer, in turn, uses MezzFS, which needs FUSE, and at the time, FUSE required that the user have CAP_SYS_ADMIN in the initial user namespace. To accommodate the use case from our internal partner, we had to run them in a dedicated cluster where they could run privileged containers.

In 2017, we worked with our partner, Kinvolk, to have patches added to the Linux kernel that allowed users to safely use FUSE from non-init user namespaces. They were able to successfully upstream these patches, and we’ve been using them in production. From our user’s perspective, we were able to seamlessly move them into an unprivileged environment that was more secure. This simplified operations, as this workload was no longer considered exceptional, and could run alongside every other workload in the general node pool. In turn, this allowed the media encoding team access to a massive amount of compute capacity from the shared clusters, and better reliability due to the homogeneous nature of the deployment.

Use Case: Unintended Privileges

Many CVEs related to granting containers unintended privileges have been released in the past few years:

CVE-2020–15257: Privilege escalation in containerd

CVE-2019–5736: Privilege escalation via overwriting host runc binary

CVE-2018–10892: Access to /proc/acpi, allowing an attacker to modify hardware configuration

There will certainly be more vulnerabilities in the future, as is to be expected in any complex, quickly evolving system. We already use the default settings offered by Docker, such as AppArmor, and seccomp, but by adding user namespaces, we can achieve a superior defense-in-depth security model. These CVEs did not affect our infrastructure because we were using user namespaces for all of our containers. The attenuation of capabilities in the init user namespace performed as intended and stopped these attacks.

The Future

There are still many bits of the Kernel that are receiving support for user namespaces or enhancements making user namespaces easier to use. Much of the work left to do is focused on filesystems and container orchestration systems themselves. Some of these changes are slated for upcoming kernel releases. Work is being done to add unprivileged mounts to overlayfs allowing for nested container builds in a user namespace with layers. Future work is going on to make the Linux kernel VFS layer natively understand ID translation. This will make user namespaces with different ID mappings able to access the same underlying filesystem by shifting UIDs through a bind mount. Our partners at Kinvolk are also working on bringing user namespaces to Kubernetes.

Today, a variety of container runtimes support user namespaces. Docker can set up machine-wide UID mappings with separate user namespaces per container, as outlined in their docs. Any OCI compliant runtime such as Containerd / runc, Podman, and systemd-nspawn support user namespaces. Various container orchestration engines also support user namespaces via their underlying container runtimes, such as Nomad and Docker Swarm.

As part of our move to Kubernetes, Netflix has been working with Kinvolk on getting user namespaces to work under Kubernetes. You can follow this work via the KEP discussion here, and Kinvolk has more information about running user namespaces under Kubernetes on their blog. We look forward to evolving container security together with the Kubernetes community.


Evolving Container Security With Linux User Namespaces was originally published in Netflix TechBlog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Reducing Docker image build time on AWS CodeBuild using an external cache

Post Syndicated from Camillo Anania original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/devops/reducing-docker-image-build-time-on-aws-codebuild-using-an-external-cache/

With the proliferation of containerized solutions to simplify creating, deploying, and running applications, coupled with the use of automation CI/CD pipelines that continuously rebuild, test, and deploy such applications when new changes are committed, it’s important that your CI/CD pipelines run as quickly as possible, enabling you to get early feedback and allowing for faster releases.

AWS CodeBuild supports local caching, which makes it possible to persist intermediate build artifacts, like a Docker layer cache, locally on the build host and reuse them in subsequent runs. The CodeBuild local cache is maintained on the host at best effort, so it’s possible several of your build runs don’t hit the cache as frequently as you would like.

A typical Docker image is built from several intermediate layers that are constructed during the initial image build process on a host. These intermediate layers are reused if found valid in any subsequent image rebuild; doing so speeds up the build process considerably because the Docker engine doesn’t need to rebuild the whole image if the layers in the cache are still valid.

This post shows how to implement a simple, effective, and durable external Docker layer cache for CodeBuild to significantly reduce image build runtime.

Solution overview

The following diagram illustrates the high-level architecture of this solution. We describe implementing each stage in more detail in the following paragraphs.

CodeBuildExternalCacheDiagram

In a modern software engineering approach built around CI/CD practices, whenever specific events happen, such as an application code change is merged, you need to rebuild, test, and eventually deploy the application. Assuming the application is containerized with Docker, the build process entails rebuilding one or multiple Docker images. The environment for this rebuild is on CodeBuild, which is a fully managed build service in the cloud. CodeBuild spins up a new environment to accommodate build requests and runs a sequence of actions defined in its build specification.

Because each CodeBuild instance is an independent environment, build artifacts can’t be persisted in the host indefinitely. The native CodeBuild local caching feature allows you to persist a cache for a limited time so that immediate subsequent builds can benefit from it. Native local caching is performed at best effort and can’t be relied on when multiple builds are triggered at different times. This solution describes using an external persistent cache that you can reuse across builds and is valid at any time.

After the first build of a Docker image is complete, the image is tagged and pushed to Amazon Elastic Container Registry (Amazon ECR). In each subsequent build, the image is pulled from Amazon ECR and the Docker build process is forced to use it as cache for its next build iteration of the image. Finally, the newly produced image is pushed back to Amazon ECR.

In the following paragraphs, we explain the solution and walk you through an example implementation. The solution rebuilds the publicly available Amazon Linux 2 Standard 3.0 image, which is an optimized image that you can use with CodeBuild.

Creating a policy and service role

The first step is to create an AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) policy and service role for CodeBuild with the minimum set of permissions to perform the job.

  1. On the IAM console, choose Policies.
  2. Choose Create policy.
  3. Provide the following policy in JSON format:
    CodeBuild Docker Cache Policy:

    {
        "Version": "2012-10-17",
        "Statement": [
            {
                "Effect": "Allow",
                "Action": [
                    "ecr:GetAuthorizationToken",
                    "ecr:BatchCheckLayerAvailability",
                    "ecr:GetDownloadUrlForLayer",
                    "ecr:GetRepositoryPolicy",
                    "ecr:DescribeRepositories",
                    "ecr:ListImages",
                    "ecr:DescribeImages",
                    "ecr:BatchGetImage",
                    "ecr:ListTagsForResource",
                    "ecr:DescribeImageScanFindings",
                    "ecr:InitiateLayerUpload",
                    "ecr:UploadLayerPart",
                    "ecr:CompleteLayerUpload",
                    "ecr:PutImage"
                ],
                "Resource": "*"
            }
        ]
    }
  4. In the Review policy section, enter a name (for example, CodeBuildDockerCachePolicy).
  5. Choose Create policy.
  6. Choose Roles on the navigation pane.
  7. Choose Create role.
  8. Keep AWS service as the type of role and choose CodeBuild from the list of services.
  9. Choose Next.
  10. Search for and add the policy you created.
  11. Review the role and enter a name (for example, CodeBuildDockerCacheRole).
  12. Choose Create role.

Creating an Amazon ECR repository

In this step, we create an Amazon ECR repository to store the built Docker images.

  1. On the Amazon ECR console, choose Create repository.
  2. Enter a name (for example, amazon_linux_codebuild_image).
  3. Choose Create repository.

Configuring a CodeBuild project

You now configure the CodeBuild project that builds the Docker image and configures its cache to speed up the process.

  1. On the CodeBuild console, choose Create build project.
  2. Enter a name (for example, SampleDockerCacheProject).
  3. For Source provider, choose GitHub.
  4. For Repository, select Public repository.
  5. For Repository URL, enter https://github.com/aws/aws-codebuild-docker-images.
    CodeBuildGitHubSourceConfiguration
  6. In the Environment section, for Environment image, select Managed image.
  7. For Operating system, choose Amazon Linux 2.
  8. For Runtime(s), choose Standard.
  9. For Image, enter aws/codebuild/amazonlinux2-x86_64-standard:3.0.
  10. For Image version, choose Always use the latest image for this runtime version.
  11. For Environment type, choose Linux.
  12. For Privileged, select Enable this flag if you want to build Docker images or want your builds to get elevated privileges.
  13. For Service role, select Existing service role.
  14. For Role ARN, enter the ARN for the service role you created (CodeBuildDockerCachePolicy).
  15. Select Allow AWS CodeBuild to modify this service so it can be used with this build project.
    CodeBuildEnvironmentConfiguration
  16. In the Buildspec section, select Insert build commands.
  17. Choose Switch to editor.
  18. Enter the following build specification (substitute account-ID and region).
    version: 0.2
    
    env:
        variables:
        CONTAINER_REPOSITORY_URL: account-ID.dkr.ecr.region.amazonaws.com/amazon_linux_codebuild_image
        TAG_NAME: latest
    
    phases:
      install:
        runtime-versions:
          docker: 19
    
    pre_build:
      commands:
        - $(aws ecr get-login --no-include-email)
        - docker pull $CONTAINER_REPOSITORY_URL:$TAG_NAME || true
    
    build:
      commands:
        - cd ./al2/x86_64/standard/1.0
        - docker build --cache-from $CONTAINER_REPOSITORY_URL:$TAG_NAME --tag
    $CONTAINER_REPOSITORY_URL:$TAG_NAME .
    
    post_build:
        commands:
          - docker push $CONTAINER_REPOSITORY_URL
  19. Choose Create the project.

The provided build specification instructs CodeBuild to do the following:

  • Use the Docker 19 runtime to run the build. The following process doesn’t work reliably with Docker versions lower than 19.
  • Authenticate with Amazon ECR and pull the image you want to rebuild if it exists (on the first run, this image doesn’t exist).
  • Run the image rebuild, forcing Docker to consider as cache the image pulled at the previous step using the –cache-from parameter.
  • When the image rebuild is complete, push it to Amazon ECR.

Testing the solution

The solution is fully configured, so we can proceed to evaluate its behavior.

For the first run, we record a runtime of approximately 39 minutes. The build doesn’t use any cache and the docker pull in the pre-build stage fails to find the image we indicate, as expected (the || true statement at the end of the command line guarantees that the CodeBuild instance doesn’t stop because the docker pull failed).

The second run pulls the previously built image before starting the rebuild and completes in approximately 6 minutes, most of which is spent downloading the image from Amazon ECR (which is almost 5 GB).

We trigger another run after simulating a change halfway through the Dockerfile (addition of an echo command to the statement at line 291 of the Dockerfile). Docker still reuses the layers in the cache until the point of the changed statement and then rebuilds from scratch the remaining layers described in the Dockerfile. The runtime was approximately 31 minutes; the overhead of downloading the whole image first partially offsets the advantages of using it as cache.

It’s relevant to note the image size in this use case is considerably large; on average, projects deal with smaller images that introduce less overhead. Furthermore, the previous run had the built-in CodeBuild feature to cache Docker layers at best effort disabled; enabling it provides further efficiency because the docker pull specified in the pre-build stage doesn’t have to download the image if the one available locally matches the one on Amazon ECR.

Cleaning up

When you’re finished testing, you should un-provision the following resources to avoid incurring further charges and keep the account clean from unused resources:

  • The amazon_linux_codebuild_image Amazon ECR repository and its images;
  • The SampleDockerCacheProject CodeBuild project;
  • The CodeBuildDockerCachePolicy policy and the CodeBuildDockerCacheRole role.

Conclusion

In this post, we reviewed a simple and effective solution to implement a durable external cache for Docker on CodeBuild. The solution provides significant improvements in the execution time of the Docker build process on CodeBuild and is general enough to accommodate the majority of use cases, including multi-stage builds.

The approach works in synergy with the built-in CodeBuild feature of caching Docker layers at best effort, and we recommend using it for further improvements. Shorter build processes translate to lower compute costs, and overall determine a shorter development lifecycle for features released faster and at a lower cost.

About the Author

 

 

Camillo Anania is a Global DevOps Consultant with AWS Professional Services, London, UK.

 

 

 

 

James Jacob is a Global DevOps Consultant with AWS Professional Services, London, UK.

 

Five years of Raspberry Pi clusters

Post Syndicated from Ashley Whittaker original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/five-years-of-raspberry-pi-clusters/

In this guest blog post, OpenFaaS founder and Raspberry Pi super-builder Alex Ellis walks us down a five-year-long memory lane explaining how things have changed for cluster users.

I’ve been writing about running Docker on Raspberry Pi for five years now and things have got a lot easier than when I started back in the day. There’s now no need to patch the kernel, use a bespoke OS, or even build Go and Docker from scratch.

My stack of seven Raspberry Pi 2s running Docker Swarm (2016)

Since my first blog post and printed article, I noticed that Raspberry Pi clusters were a hot topic. They’ve only got even hotter as the technology got easier to use and the devices became more powerful.

Back then we used ‘old Swarm‘, which was arguably more like Kubernetes with swappable orchestration and a remote API that could run containers. Load-balancing wasn’t built-in, and so we used Nginx to do that job.

I built out a special demo using kit from Pimoroni.com. Each LED lit up when a HTTP request came in.

Docker load-balanced LED cluster Raspberry Pi

Ask questions and get all the details including the code over on the blog at: http://blog.alexellis.io/iot-docker-cluster/

After that, I adapted the code and added in some IoT sensor boards to create a smart datacenter and was invited to present the demo at Dockercon 2016:

IoT Dockercon Demo

Get all the write-up here: http://blog.alexellis.io/meet-me-at-dockercon/

Docker then released a newer version of Swarm also called ‘Swarm’ and I wrote up these posts:

Docker Swarm mode Deep Dive on Raspberry Pi (scaled)

Please Subscribe to the channel! Get all the details @ http://blog.alexellis.io/live-deep-dive-pi-swarm/

This is still my most popular video on my YouTube channel.

Now that more and more people were trying out Docker on Raspberry Pi (arm), we had to educate them about not running potentially poisoned images from third-parties and how to port software to arm. I created a Git repository (alexellis/docker-arm) to provide a stack of common software.

I wanted to share with users how to use GPIO for accessing hardware and how to create an IoT doorbell. This was one of my first videos on the topic, a live run-through in one take.

birds eye view of a raspberry pi in a red case

Did you know? I used to run blog.alexellis.io on my Raspberry Pi 3

Then we all started trying to run upstream Kubernetes on our 1GB RAM Raspberry Pis with kubeadm. Lucas Käldström did much of the groundwork to port various Kubernetes components and even went as far as to fix some issues in the Go language.

I wrote a recap on everything you needed to know including exec format error and various other things. I also put together a solid set of instructions and workarounds for kubeadm on Raspberry Pi 2/3.

Users often ask what a practical use-case is for a cluster. They excel at running distributed web applications, and OpenFaaS is loved by developers for making it easy to build, deploy, monitor, and scale APIs.

In this post you’ll learn how to deploy a fun Pod to generate ASCII text, from there you can build your own with Python or any other language:

This blog post was one of the ones that got pinned onto the front page of Hacker News for some time, a great feeling when it happens, but something that only comes every now and then.

The instructions for kubeadm and Raspbian were breaking with every other minor release of Kubernetes, so I moved my original gist into a Git repo to accept PRs and to make the content more accessible.

I have to say that this is the one piece of Intellectual Property (IP) I own which has been plagiarised and passed-off the most.

You’ll find dozens of blog posts which are almost identical, even copying my typos. To begin with I found this passing-off of my work frustrating, but now I take it as a vote of confidence.

Shortly after this, Scott Hanselman found my post and we started to collaborate on getting .NET Core to work with OpenFaaS.

Lego batman and his lego friend atop a cluster of Raspberry Pi

This lead to us co-presenting at NDC, London in early 2018. We were practising the demo the night before, and the idea was to use Pimoroni Blinkt! LEDs to show which Raspberry Pi a Pod (workload) was running on. We wanted the Pod to stop showing an animation and to get rescheduled when we pulled a network cable.

It wasn’t working how we expected, and Scott just said “I’ll phone Kelsey”, and Mr Hightower explained to us how to tune the kubelet tolerance flags.

As you can see from the demo, Kelsey’s advice worked out great!

Building a Raspberry Pi Kubernetes Cluster and running .NET Core – Alex Ellis & Scott Hanselman

Join Scott Hanselman and Alex Ellis as they discuss how you can create your own Raspberry Pi cluster that runs Kubernetes on the metal. Then, take it to the …

 

Fast forward and we’re no longer running Docker, or forcing upstream Kubernetes into 1GB of RAM, but running Rancher’s light-weight k3s in as much as 4GB of RAM.

k3s is a game-changer for small devices, but also runs well on regular PCs and cloud. A server takes just 500MB of RAM and each agent only requires 50MB of RAM due to the optimizations that Darren Shepherd was able to make.

I wrote a new Go CLI called k3sup (‘ketchup’) which made building clusters even easier than it was already and brought back some of the UX of the Docker Swarm CLI.

Kubernetes Homelab with Raspberry Pi 4

Join me for this hands-on tutorial where I build out a Kubernetes Homelab with a Raspberry Pi 4 and get internet access with a LoadBalancer, something normal…

To help combat the issues around the Kubernetes ecosystem and tooling like Helm, which wasn’t available for ARM, I started a new project named arkade . arkade makes it easy to install apps whether they use helm charts or kubectl for installation.

k3s, k3sup, and arkade are all combined in my latest post which includes installing OpenFaaS and the Kubernetes dashboard.

In late March I put together a webinar with Traefik to show off all the OpenFaaS tooling including k3sup and arkade to create a practical demo. The demo showed how to get a public IP for the Raspberry Pi cluster, how to integrate with GitHub webhooks and Postgresql.

The latest and most up-to-date tutorial, with everything set up step by step:

Cloud Native Tools for Developers with Alex Ellis and Alistair Hey

In this Traefik Online Meetup, Alex Ellis, Founder of OpenFaaS, and Alistair Hey, from the OpenFaaS community, will show you how to bootstrap a Kubernetes cl…

 

In the webinar you’ll find out how to get a public IP for your IngressController using the inlets-operator.

Take-aways

  • People will always hate

Some people try to reason about whether you should or should not build a cluster of Raspberry Pis. If you’re asking this question, then don’t do it and don’t ask me to convince you otherwise.

  • It doesn’t have to be expensive

You don’t need special equipment, you don’t even need more than one Raspberry Pi, but I would recommend two or three for the best experience.

  • Know what to expect

Kubernetes clusters are built to run web servers and APIs, not games like you do with your PC. They don’t magically combine the memory of each node into a single supercomputer, but allow for horizontal scaling, i.e. more replicas of the same thing.

  • Not everything will run on it

Some popular software like Istio, Minio, Linkerd, Flux and SealedSecrets do not run on ARM devices because the maintainers are not incentivised to make them do so. It’s not trivial to port software to ARM and then to support that on an ongoing basis. Companies tend to have little interest since paying customers do not tend to use Raspberry Pis. You have to get ready to hear “no”, and sometimes you’ll be lucky enough to hear “not yet” instead.

  • Things are always moving and getting better

If you compare my opening statement where we had to rebuild kernels from scratch, and even build binaries for Go, in order to build Docker, we live in a completely different world now. We’ve seen classic swarm, new swarm (swarmkit), Kubernetes, and now k3s become the platform of choice for clustering on the Raspberry Pi. Where will we be in another five years from now? I don’t know, but I suspect things will be better.

  • Have fun and learn

In my opinion, the primary reason to build a cluster is to learn and to explore what can be done. As a secondary gain, the skills that you build can be used for work in DevOps/Cloud Native, but if that’s all you want out of it, then fire up a few EC2 VMs on AWS.

Recap on projects

Featured: my 24-node uber cluster, chassis by Bitscope.

Featured: my 24-node uber cluster, chassis by Bitscope.

    • k3sup — build Raspberry Pi clusters with Rancher’s lightweight cut of Kubernetes called k3s
    • arkade — install apps to Kubernetes clusters using an easy CLI with flags and built-in Raspberry Pi support
    • OpenFaaS — easiest way to deploy web services, APIs, and functions to your cluster; multi-arch (arm + Intel) support is built-in
    • inlets — a Cloud Native Tunnel you can use to access your Raspberry Pi or cluster from anywhere; the inlets-operator adds integration into Kubernetes

Want more?

Well, all of that should take you some time to watch, read, and to try out — probably less than five years. I would recommend working in reverse order from the Traefik webinar back or the homelab tutorial which includes a bill of materials.

Become an Insider via GitHub Sponsors to support my work and to receive regular email updates from me each week on Cloud Native, Kubernetes, OSS, and more: github.com/sponsors/alexellis

And you’ll find hundreds of blog posts on Docker, Kubernetes, Go, and more on my blog over at blog.alexellis.io.

The post Five years of Raspberry Pi clusters appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

Introducing a new generation of AWS Elastic Beanstalk platforms

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

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

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

A sample application using the new Python 3.7 beta platform

A sample application using the new Python 3.7 beta platform

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

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

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

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

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

Platform hooks

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

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

For example, a Corretto application bundle might look like:

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

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

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

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

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

 

Building a Photo Diary Ghost on Amazon Lightsail

Post Syndicated from Emma White original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/building-a-photo-diary-ghost-on-amazon-lightsail/

This post was written by Robert Zhu, a principal technical evangelist at AWS and a member of the GraphQL Working Group. 

Ghost is a simple and flexible alternative to WordPress. With Ghost, you can build a beautiful company website, personal portfolio, photo diary, or anything in between.

In this post, I show you how to start a photo diary using Ghost on Amazon Lightsail, AWS’ easiest solution for hosting virtual private servers. Compared to Amazon EC2, Amazon Lightsail takes care of advanced concepts like VPCs, Security Groups, and IAM policies for you until you want to re-engage those services. Amazon Lightsail also bundles monthly network transfer with the instance, whereas Amazon EC2 charges separately for network transfer.

There are two easy ways to get up and running with Ghost on Lightsail:

1. Using the Ghost Blueprint

Lightsail includes a number of common instance images known as “Blueprints.” When you launch a Blueprint, the selected software is installed and preconfigured, along with any dependencies. This is especially handy for Ghost because it saves you from having to install and configure MySQL. You can find our click-to-launch stacks in the Amazon Lightsail console, as shown in the following image.

Lightsail has pre-built Blueprints for you to launch entire applications with your VPS.

To launch a Blueprint instance, navigate to the Lightsail console. Then, select “Apps + OS” on the “Create Instance” page, and choose “Ghost.” Select the $5/month instance (this is the cheapest instance that meets the minimum requirements for running Ghost and its database on a single box).

 

Once the instance is up and running, find its IP address and open it in your browser. It may take a few minutes for Ghost to start running, during which you may see an error in the browser. As you can see, it is easy to start running Ghost on Amazon Lightsail with the Blueprint.

 

2. Running Ghost in a Container

As an alternative to launching a Ghost Blueprint, you can also run Ghost within a Docker container. In order to run Ghost within a container, you must install Docker on the Lightsail instance. Compared to the Blueprint approach, there are two advantages:

  1. Ability to run other applications on your Lightsail instance, such as forums, static websites, APIs, etc.
  2. Painless upgrades to new Ghost versions. When a new version of Ghost is released, you can upgrade with just a single command.

To run Ghost in a container complete the following steps.

  1. Create a Lightsail Instance (select Ubuntu 18.04).
  2. Connect to it using Lightsail’s browser-based SSH client. Once the instance is up and running, run the following commands to install Docker on your Lightsail instance after connecting:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install docker.io -y

sudo systemctl start docker

sudo systemctl enable docker

       3. To make sure Docker is installed and running, run:

sudo docker run hello-world 

You should see:

      4. Start the ghost container by running:

sudo mkdir /var/lib/ghost

sudo mkdir /var/lib/ghost/content

sudo docker run -d --name blog -p 80:2368 -v /var/lib/ghost/content:/var/lib/ghost/content ghost

The last command runs the “ghost” container from the public Docker registry. It also maps port 80 (HTTP) on the host to port 2368 inside the container where Ghost is listening for HTTP requests. The -v argument maps a path on the host to a path inside the container. This way, any blog content is persisted into /var/lib/ghost/content and doesn’t disappear when you stop/delete/upgrade the container. The -d argument tells Docker to run the container in detached mode.

 

Now you can test your new blog.

  1. Find the public IP address of your Lightsail instance by selecting Manage from the Instance menu: You can find your IP address by clicking "Manage" on the instance.
  2. Paste the IP address into a browser, and you should see your brand new Ghost blog:After following these steps, you will see Ghost being served from the IP address of your VPS.

 

Installing a Custom Theme

You can customize the look and feel of your Ghost blog by installing a custom theme. There are plenty of free and paid themes online. If you’re a designer, you can even build your own theme from scratch.

For my photo diary, I use the London theme. Download the theme by clicking “Clone or download” > “Download ZIP.”

To download the London theme from Github, click on "Clone or download" and then click "Download ZIP".

 

Next, we need to log into the Ghost admin console. If you launched your Ghost instance using the Lightsail blueprint, follow these steps:

  1. SSH into your Ghost instance
  2. You should see the Bitnami welcome message and a bitnami_credentails file under your home directory.After SSHing into your Lightsail blueprint instance, you'll see a bitnami_credentials file in your home directory.
  3. Display the default admin user name and password by typing cat bitnami_credentials.
  4. Use your credentials to administer your ghost instance at http://INSTANCEIPADDRESS/ghost.

If you launched Ghost within a Docker container, then you can administer Ghost by going to http://INSTANCEIPADDRESS/admin.

Once you are logged into the Ghost admin console, click on Settings > Design > Upload a theme.

In the left menu, click on settings, design, then click "upload a theme" on the main page.

You then see a pop-up prompt to upload the theme file. Drag and drop the theme file you downloaded above. Once the upload is complete, click “activate.”

The london theme is perfect for showcasing your photographs

Refresh your ghost blog IP address in another tab, and you should see a bold, new look and feel.

The Ghost admin console is also used for managing content, plugins, users, and more. For example, you can use header and footer scripts to inject code to add features like analytics and comments. By combining these features, you can make your Ghost blog stand out and fit your workflow.

Managing DNS with Lightsail

If you want to add a custom domain for your blog, you can manage that domain within Lightsail. By managing all your DNS records in one place, you can simplify your workflows.

For example, Lightsail offers the ability to assign Static IP addresses to instances, and then automatically associate an A record to a static IP address. This is a quality-of-life improvement that helps you avoid typing the wrong IP address.

Here are the steps to manage your domain with Lightsail:

  1. Register your domain with a domain registrar, such as Route 53 or GoDaddy.
  2. Once registered, create a DNS Zone within Lightsail and note the nam eservers.
  3. In your domain registrar, replace the domain name servers with your Lightsail DNS Zone name servers. If you’re using Route 53, do not replace the name servers in the default hosted zone. Here’s a video that makes everything clear.
  4. After creating your DNS Zone in Lightsail, you can now associate A (address) records with your Lightsail instances.

Once you have a custom domain, you’ll want to consider adding SSL. Here are step-by-step instructions for issuing an SSL certificate using Let’s Encrypt and terminating SSL using NGNIX.

Conclusion

While Ghost is already a very flexible platform, the Ghost community constantly adds new plugins, themes, extensions, and features. Hosting Ghost yourself is a great way to learn some basic server workflows and get the most out of your Ghost blog. And with Lightsail, it’s simple and cheap! Please feel free to contact me with comments and questions. Go ahead and start running Ghost on Amazon Lightsail.

 

About the Author: 
Robert Zhu is a Principal Developer Evangelist at Amazon Web Services. He focuses on APIs, Web, Mobile, and Gaming. Prior to joining AWS, he worked on GraphQL at Facebook. While at Microsoft, he worked on the .net Framework, Windows Server, and Microsoft Game Studios. In his spare time, he loves learning about history, economics, and psychology. You can reach him @rbzhu on twitter or directly via telepathy.