• Setting up AWS Billing Alerts

    For beginners, Amazon Web Services has a Free Tier, which is very generous. However, as you start to stretch the free tier to it’s limits, it’s good to have billing alerts set up. Essentially you’ll get an email when your bill approaches a certain amount.

    Setting up billing alerts uses CloudWatch, which is not really the first service the beginners run into. This post shows how to set up AWS Billing Alerts, with screenshots, so you do not have to be familiar with CloudWatch to set one up. I strongly recommend setting the Billing Alerts up, regardless of free tier - having heard and seen horror stories in the recent past.

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  • Packer your AMIs for Immutable AWS Deployments

    In the world of MicroServices, immutable deployments is a highly recommended strategy. It demands that every release get a fresh environment, all the way down to the lowest level - or in case of AWS, the AMI.

    An AMI can bundle the base operating system, application server/runtime, scripts, agents, etc. along with a versioned application artifact. In the spirit of Infrastructure as Code, the AMI itself can be versioned as a simple json file, as we will see in this post.

    With respect to Automation, creation of the AMI can be triggered as a downstream Jenkins Job, after successful pre-release tests, and can then act as an upstream Job for the Infrastructure Build-out using CloudFormation, or Terraform. Once the infrastructure is built, it can be made live via blue/green, red/black or any other deployment plan.

    In this post, we will build an AMI that can be used to launch 100% identical instances in the infrastructure. We will use Packer to build the AMI, and create Jenkins Jobs to simulate a simplified, real-world CI/CD pipeline.

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  • AWS Lambda with Serverless Framework and Java/Maven - Part 3

    In this final post of the series on Java-based Serverless Lambda API, we will invoke the Transactions API using the Amazon API Gateway.

    Serverless Blog

    As Lambda is evented, the HTTP endpoints exposed via the Amazon API Gateway will act as the event to trigger the function synchronously. If you have been following the earlier two posts, by the end of this post you will be comfortable building RESTful APIs using AWS Lambda, Java, DynamoDB (or any persistence layer), API Gateway - all put together using simple configuration in Serverless Framework.

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  • AWS Lambda with Serverless Framework and Java/Maven - Part 2

    We continue to build our Lambda functions beyond the Hello World that we saw in the previous post. Our end goal is to build an API, and make it available via Amazon API Gateway. We will build the foundation of our Lambda-API-Gateway set up in this tutorial. We will also set up DynamoDB. Feel free to replace DynamoDB with any persistance layer, or even a mock.

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  • Fish and iTerm2

    So, out of boredom, I decided to upgrade my shell and terminal to something closer to 2017, instead of living in the early 90s. Clearly I’e been using bash all these years - mostly on Ubuntu and lately on OSX. But I’ve always been lazy and complacent with the terminal. I’ve always wanted to set up fish - Friendly Interactive SHell. for it’s git integration, and very rich interaction. Sure, all of this can be done on bash or zsh but I hate configuration, and combing hundreds of git repos for bashfiles and find what works for me.

    While at fish, I also decided to upgrade the default Mac terminal to iTerm2. This led me to a journey through installing fonts all the way to picking up the theme that works for me. But again, no configuration to mess with.

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