Recently I built and open sourced a sample application called The application watches for open source packages on NPM, RubyGems, and PyPI. When a package is added or updated it crawls any changelog found in the package source code. It constructs a human readable HTML version of the changelog and a machine readable JSON version. You can search for specific projects that have been crawled or watch a realtime stream of open source projects as they are crawled.

I created the first version of this application a few years back as a learning project to figure out how to…

This is part four in an ongoing series on developing an application that runs in AWS Fargate:

  1. Deploying the initial application skeleton to AWS Fargate
  2. Making the application horizontally autoscale in AWS Fargate
  3. Building a continuous integration / deployment pipeline

In this article I’ll explore how to create a local development environment that lets me write code and test it in a container prior to using my CI/CD pipeline to deploy to the container to my production AWS Fargate environment.

Three popular approaches to local development

To get a broader understanding of the local development space I did an informal poll of the community to see…

This is part three of a series on developing a and AWS Fargate powered realtime chat application on AWS.

  1. Building a chat app and deploying it using AWS Fargate (In part one I just packaged up an open source chat application from and deployed it on AWS as a single container deployment)
  2. Scaling a realtime chat app on AWS using, Redis, and AWS Fargate (In part two I made the application horizontally scalable behind an application load balancer, put ElastiCache Redis behind it for interprocess communication, and configured autoscaling triggers)

At the end of part two…

One of the core benefits of containers is that they enable dynamic deployments. In the old days an application server might stay hosted on the same EC2 server for weeks, months, or even years. Application servers are no longer static in the modern containerized environment. They start up to serve traffic when demand is high and stop when demand is low. They get moved around to different EC2 instances to optimize EC2 usage and save costs. …

In the last article we deployed a realtime chat application using AWS Fargate. The result was a containerized Node.js process running a server. This container runs in AWS Fargate without needing a single EC2 server on the AWS account.

But one of the missing pieces in that first article is scaling. Ideally this application should be able to handle many connected clients at the same time, and dynamically adapt as more and more clients connect. This article will show the process of extending the application to automatically scale up as more people use it. …

This article walks through the process of building a chat application, containerizing it, and deploying it using AWS Fargate. The result of following along with this guide will be a working URL hosting a public, realtime chat web app. But all this will be accomplished without needing to have a single EC2 instance on your AWS account!

If you want to follow along with the article and build and deploy this application yourself you need to make sure that you have the following things:

  • Node.js (The runtime language of the chat app we are building)
  • Docker (The tool we will…

The Control Plane

When deploying containers on AWS the control plane is your entry point to running your application. It is the interface that you will interact with when you want to launch an application, query the state of an application, or shut an application down. AWS now offers two fully managed control planes to choose between:

The EU General Data Protection Regulation goes into enforcement in May 2018. It applies to “all companies processing the personal data of data subjects residing in the Union, regardless of the company’s location.” Once the GDPR grace period ends the penalties for a breach of data where the organization has been shown to violate basic privacy design concepts can be 4% of annual global turnover or €20 million, whichever is greater. I highly recommend that all companies that deal in customer data take some time to read through the GDPR thoroughly and understand its implications.

In addition to serious monetary…

Amazon Web Services recently released new second generation load balancers: Application Load Balancer (ALB), and Network Load Balancer (NLB). This was accompanied by a rename of the previous generation of load balancer to Classic Load Balancer. Understanding what these two new load balancers do and how they work will allow you to utilize the advantages of their new features, particularly their deep integration with EC2 Container Service to route traffic to your docker containers running in the cloud.

What is a load balancer?

A load balancer accepts incoming network traffic from a client, and based on some criteria in the traffic it distributes those communications…

One of the recent trends in server side application development is to decompose a large application into smaller pieces which are more granular. This article explores application architecture patterns, starting from the venerable monolithic application, to smaller microservices, and finally the most granular pattern of all: functions as a service. You can try deploying each of these architectures yourself by using the accompanying workshop code on Github.

The Monolith

This classic architecture pattern is most beneficial when used for small projects, and new greenfield projects where the core concepts and pieces of the system are not yet fully fleshed out. The basic…

Nathan Peck

Developer Advocate for Container Services at Amazon Web Services

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