Terraform remote state and state locking

Terraform remote state and state locking is important part in team collaboration. What are challenges when working on Terraform in a team:
1. how to synchronize terraform state between people
2. how to avoid collisions of running terraform at the same time

Terraform remote state

Terraform remote state is a mechanism to share state file by hosting it on a shared resource like aws s3 bucket or consul server.

Example of storing state in s3 bucket.

Bucket have to be created beforehand. You the key to separate states from difference modules and projects.

Terraform state locking

Terraform locking state isolate state changes. As soon as lock is acquired by terraform plan or apply no other terraform plan/apply command will succeed until lock is released.

To store lock in dynamodb table you need:
– Create dynamodb table in your aws account in the same region as specified in your terramform backend configuration (us-east-1 in our case)
– primary key must have a name LockID without it locking will not work

Note that terraform provide a way to disable locking from command line using -lock=false flag, but it is not recommended.

One improvement is to set “key” keyword as variable and base it on module or project, so you don’t have to set it manually. One caveat with that approach is to make sure they key is unique across projects.

Best,
Iaroslav

 

 

AWS best practices for Lambda functions in Production

Hey folks,

just a month ago I have been involved in AWS project based on Lambda functions. In this article I will explain what I learned so far and how to create production Lambda AWS environment with best practices in mind.

I will start from top level and will explain everything you need to have basic infrastructure supporting your Lambda functions and other applications in your cloud.

VPC

First, you need to created dedicated VPC and reserve range of IPs which doesn’t conflict with your other networks in case you would need to pair them together. As a general rule you should never use default VPC for production needs.
Create a security group which only allow 80 and 443 incoming traffic.

Subnets

You would need at least 4 subnets, two private and two public. Each type of subnet have to split in at least two different availability zones.
Public subnet have to contain AWS services endpoints and your servers which needs to have direct connection to internet like ELB, API gateway endpoints or bastion host (your ssh jump server).
Private subnet have to contain all your infrastructure servers like web servers, database server or backend applications.

Note that You should never place your infrastructure servers in public subnets.

Internet gateway and NAT

To function properly your VPC have to be attached to internet gateway and your private subnet should have NAT service enabled.

MySQL

For the database I use MySQL RDS. You need to disable public access to the instance and deploy it into private subnet. In security group add port 3306 for incoming connections and only from internal IP range. So, we have double protection here with security group and internal dns name for database.
There are a lot of best practices of how to setup production ready mysql instance, so I will skip most of it, but what you definitely need is to have read replica and shadow copy enabled. Make sure you set maintenance window which is right for you.

Lambda functions

To have access to our private database Lambda functions needs to be deployed inside the same VPC in private subnets. To setup https endpoints for lambda functions you would need to attach API gateway. In Lambda security groups add ports 80 and 443 for incoming connections.

That’s pretty much it, but very often you will have other web applications running in your vpc and to route traffic properly between Lambda and other apps you would need some web proxy like nginx.

Nginx

To have common entry point for your web applications and Lambda function Nginx is the best way to go. There is a new possibility to use ELB for that, but it isn’t good enough yet.

To have reliable and secure setup of nginx you would need to use common pattern of AWS which include: ELB, Autoscaling group, Launch configuration and security groups.

On the configuration side nginx will proxy traffic to Lambda functions through API gateway.

Elastic load balancer

Here you need to decide what kind of ELB suits your needs. I choose ELB with HTTPS support which provide SSL termination.  In the ELB security group I added ports 80 and 443 for all incoming traffic.

Launch configuration

Within Launch configuration you need to define what kind of instance you want to launch when autoscaling is trigger in.

Autoscaling group

ASG define what is desired number of instance you want to run at any given moment. Using metrics such as CPU you can setup it to scale up or down to desired maximum or minimum number of instances.

Almost there!

Last step is to connect ELB with ASG and with Launch configuration!

Note I have skipped setting up of Target group and health checks, but they are pretty much basics.

That’s it!

Now you have a good start to develop with AWS Lambda in conjunction with general approach of web tier architecture.

What’s next?

Second part of the topic is to setup CI and automation. Next time I will write how to code infrastructure with terraform, create nginx image with packer and run configuration management with ansible.

Kubernetes sidecar pattern: nginx ssl proxy for nodejs

I learn about sidecar pattern from Kubernetes documentation and later from blog post by Brendan Burns The distributed system toolkit. Sidecar is very useful pattern and work nice with Kubernetes.
In the tutorial I want to demonstrate how “legacy” application can be extend with https support by using  sidecar pattern based on Kubernetes.

Problem

We have legacy application which doesn’t have HTTPS support. We also don’t want to send plain text traffic over network. We don’t want to make any changes to legacy application, but good thing that it is containerised.

Solution

We will use sidecar pattern to add HTTPS support to “legacy” application.

Overview

Main application
For our example main application I will use Nodejs Hello World service (beh01der/web-service-dockerized-example)
Sidecar container 
To add https support I will use Nginx ssl proxy (ployst/nginx-ssl-proxy) container

Deployment

TLS/SSL keys
First we need to generate TLS certificate keys and add them to Kubernetes secrets. For that I am using script from nginx ssl proxy repository which combine all steps in one:

Adding TLS files to Kubernetes secrets

Kubernetes sidecar deployment

In following configuration I have defined main application container “nodejs-hello” and nginx container “nginx”. Both containers run in the same pod and share pod resources, so in that way implementing sidecar pattern. One thing you want to modify is hostname, I am using not existing hostname appname.example.com for this example.

Save this file to deployment.yaml and create deployment Kubernetes object:

Wait for pods to be Read:

Testing

For testing I setup two port forwarding rules. First is for application port and second for nginx HTTPS port:

First lets validate that application respond on http and doesn’t respond on https requests

Note: SSL handshake issue is expected as our “legacy” application doesn’t support https and even if it would it must serve https connection on different port than http. The test goal was to demonstrate the response.

Time to test connection through sidecar nginx ssl proxy

Great! We have got expected output through https connection.

Conclusions

  • Nginx extended nodejs app with https support with zero changes to any of containers
  • Sidecar pattern modular structure provide great re-use of containers, so teams can be focused on application development
  • Ownership of containers can be split between teams as there is no dependency between containers
  • Scaling might not be very efficient, because sidecar container have to scale with main container

calculating md5 sum using go lang

Hi guys,
this is day 18 out of 100 days of code.

To get md5 sum of a file you crypto/md5 library and io/ioutil for reading files.

Thanks!

Slow algorithm to insert strings into indexed file in alphabetical order

Hi guys,
this is day 17 out of 100 days of code in go lang.

Today I have played with files, sorting, bytes and strings. The goal was to create a kind of indexed file where all lines are arranged alphabetically.
What I got is very slow algorithm which took 15 seconds to insert 10K strings in an empty file and 49 seconds to insert another 10K strings to the same file. So, it slowdown very quickly as size grow.

I have to convert between strings and bytes which was kind of annoying, but maybe I am doing it wrong? Please let me know in comments.

If you want to load test it here is how:

Source code at Github

Happy coding!

Random image file download with go

Hi guys,
this is day 16 out of 100 days of code.

With help of http and ioutil packages file download and storage is quite easy task.

In the example I am using Lorem Picsum service to get random image every run.

Happy coding!

Github issues reader in go lang

Hi guys,
this is day 15 out of 100 days of go land coding.

I continue github subject and today it is github issue reader. Example demonstrate how API results which come in json format convert into struct type.

Happy coding!

Create github issue ticket with golang

Hi guys,
today is day 14 out of 100 days of golang coding.

This time I was playing with github issues api and made small script which create new issues in given repository. However to use the code you would need to obtain github personal token key.

The interesting part was to make http post request with custom headers.

Example usage is as follow:

Source code at Github.

 

github issue tracker with categories by date in go

Hi guys,
today is day 13 out of 100 days of code in go!

This time it is example of fetching issues from github and categorizing by created date.
To run example you need to install github issue searcher package from The Go Progamming Language book

Full code

Happy coding!