Get AppScaled ECS Tasks served by AWS Network Load Balancer

This article is intended to be a quick and dirty snippet for anyone going to through the struggle of getting your ECS service, which might have one or more containers running the same App (being part of an Auto Scaling Group), with a Network Load Balancer (instead of the more common ELB or ALB).

ECS Service/Task Definition

Another particularity of this implementation is that I also decided to use the ECS task’s network mode as awsvpc. In the case that you are not acquainted with this new option, this means that:

  • Your container will get its own network interface and its own IP address;
  • The Host port and the Container port need to be the same, since there is not middleware managing port match between the two entities.

The cherry on top is that the ECS Service now has the option of automatically registering and deregistering LB targets by their IP address, which fits perfectly on the intention described.

Network Load Balancer

This post isn’t concretely about describing the technical details of what is a Network Load Balancer but about the caveats of using it in this scenario: because NLB is a layer 4 load balancer, you won’t be able to define Security Groups at the NLB level. Instead, you’ll have to make sure you make your tasks/containers secure by attaching the security groups to them – remember that with the awsvpc network mode, each container will get its own NIC.

Implementation

As for the actual code snippet to support what I’m trying to achieve: Continue reading “Get AppScaled ECS Tasks served by AWS Network Load Balancer”

Getting started with AWS IoT and a dockerized device

IoT isn’t a new term and has, actually, been one of the buzz words of the XXI century, right alongside Crypto Currency. The two of them are seen holding hand in hand in the good and the bad, from interesting crypto projects focused on IoT usage, or actual IoT devices being hacked to mine crypto currencies. But this article is actually about IoT: it seems the last few years have given us the perfect momentum between three main ingredients for its popularity: the exponential increase of network capable devices, the easily available processing power and, finally, the hungry-for-data dynamic we from most parties nowadays.

For someone working as a Data Engineer (or related) there isn’t there much of a more end-to-end project than one which goes from setting up an actual no-so-intelligence device, design the methods to connect these devices to a network and, still, go about designing all streaming/batch processing infrastructure needed to deal with all the data. It really is a huge challenge.

In the following lines, I’ll focus on how AWS IoT has come to help in the first and second challenge and show an example of how to emulate an actual IoT device with the help of docker and walk through some of the nice and easy features AWS IoT offers such as IoT Core, management, topics and rules as well as integration with other AWS services such as Kinesis, Firehose or Lambdas.

Continue reading “Getting started with AWS IoT and a dockerized device”

Build a Data Pipeline with AWS Athena and Airflow (part 2)

After learning the basics of Athena in Part 1 and understanding the fundamentals or Airflow, you should  now be ready to integrate this knowledge into a continuous data pipeline.

The idea is for it to run on a daily schedule, checking if there’s any new CSV file in a folder-like structure matching the day for which the task is running. For example, if the task is running for 2010-01-31, then then it will check if there is any file in s3://data/year=2010/month=01/day=31/*. If it finds a file there, it will add the “folder” as a partition to Athena so we can keep querying it.

Remind me again: why Athena?

At this point, if you are still wondering why Athena is so useful when you already have a pipeline in process to dump data somewhere (maybe a DB?) well, remember Athena is a “pay as you go” solution that will scale automatically for the desired queries you are running. The underlying costs are only associated with the S3 file hosting itself plus the execution of queries. Such queries, when combined with the Hive Metastore will provide a fast solution for querying heavy loads of data stored in several different types of files on an S3 bucket. On the other hand, provisioning a Database for dumping data will have fixed costs such as processing power, memory and storage amount which will surpass the first ones in case you are not using/needing the full blown features of having in place a proper database engine.

Before proceeding, there are three important assumptions: Continue reading “Build a Data Pipeline with AWS Athena and Airflow (part 2)”

Build a Data Pipeline with AWS Athena and Airflow (part 1)

In this post, I build up on the knowledge shared in the post for creating Data Pipelines on Airflow and introduce new technologies that help in the Extraction part of the process with cost and performance in mind. I’ll go through the options available and then introduce to a specific solution using AWS Athena. First we’ll establish the dataset and organize our data in S3 Buckets. Afterwards, you’ll learn how to make it so that this information is queryable through AWS Athena, while making sure it is updated daily.

Data dump files of not so structured data are a common byproduct of Data Pipelines that include extraction. dumps of not-so-structured data. This happens by design: business-wise and as Data Engineers, it’s never too much data. From an investment stand point, object-relational database systems can become increasingly costly to keep, especially if we aim at keeping performance while the data grows.

Having this said, this is not a new problem. Both Apache and Facebook have developed open source software that is extremely efficient in dealing with extreme amounts of data. While such softwares are written in Java, they maintain an abstracted interface to the data that relies on traditional SQL language to query data that is stored on filesystem storage, such as S3 for our example and in a wide range of different formats from HFDS to CSV.

Today we have many options to tackle this problem and I’m going to go through on how to welcome this problem in today’s serverless world with AWS Athena. For this we need to quickly rewind back in time and go through the technology Continue reading “Build a Data Pipeline with AWS Athena and Airflow (part 1)”

Airflow: create and manage Data Pipelines easily

This bootstrap guide was originally published at GoSmarten but as the use cases continue to increase, it’s a good idea to share it here as well.

What is Airflow

The need to perform operations or tasks, either simple and isolated or complex and sequential, is present in all things data nowadays. If you or your team work with lots of data on a daily basis there is a good chance you’re struggled with the need to implement some sort of pipeline to structure these routines. To make this process more efficient, Airbnb developed an internal project conveniently called Airflow which was later fostered under the Apache Incubator program. In 2015 Airbnb open-sourced the code to the community and, albeit its trustworthy origin played a role in its popularity, there are many other reasons why it became widely adopted (in the engineering community). It allows for tasks to be set up purely in Python (or as Bash commands/scripts).

What you’ll find in this tutorial

Not only we will walk you through setting up Airflow locally, but you’ll do so using Docker, which will optimize the conditions to learn locally while minimizing transition efforts into production. Docker is a subject for itself and we could dedicate a few dozen posts to, however, it is also simple enough and has all the magic needed to show off some of its advantages combining it with Airflow. Continue reading “Airflow: create and manage Data Pipelines easily”