AWS Architecture Blog

Let’s Architect! Using open-source technologies on AWS

With open-source technology, authors make software available to the public, who can view, use, or change it and add new features or support new capabilities. Open-source technology promotes collaboration across different teams, organizations, and people because the process often includes different perspectives and ideas, which typically results a stronger solution.

It can be difficult to create a multi-use solution when building to solve for a specific challenge. With an open-source project or an initiative, multiple teams work together, which prevents coupling and makes the solution easier to generalize.

In this edition of Let’s Architect!, we show you some open-source technologies built with AWS and options for running well-known, open-source projects on AWS.

Firecracker: Secure and Fast microVMs for Serverless Computing

Firecracker was developed at AWS to improve the customer experience of services like AWS Lambda and AWS Fargate. This technology is used to deploy workloads in lightweight virtual machines (VMs), called microVMs. For example, when a new Lambda function is triggered in response to an event, AWS Lambda provisions a microVM (if none already exists) to handle the request. Behind the scenes, this is powered by Firecracker.

This video introduces Firecracker and the concept of virtual machine monitor as a technology to create and manage microVMs. This talk explains Firecracker’s foundation, the minimal device model, and how it interacts with various containers. You’ll learn about the performance, security, and utilization improvements enabled by Firecracker and how Firecracker is used for Lambda and Fargate.

An example host running Firecracker microVMs

An example host running Firecracker microVMs

Deep dive into AWS Cloud Development Kit

AWS Cloud Development Kit (CDK) is an open-source software development framework that allows you to define your cloud application resources using familiar programming languages. It uses object-oriented design to create resources and build an end-to-end process for application development from infrastructure and software-development perspectives.

This video introduces AWS CDK core concepts and demonstrates how to create custom resources and deploy them to the cloud. With AWS CDK, you can make deployments repeatable, automate operations through infrastructure as code, and use the software design patterns while coding your architecture.

AWS CDK is an open-source software development framework for defining cloud infrastructure as code

AWS CDK is an open-source software development framework for defining cloud infrastructure as code

Using Apollo Server on AWS Lambda with Amazon EventBridge for real-time, event-driven streaming

Apollo Server is an open-source, spec-compliant GraphQL server that’s compatible with any GraphQL client. This blog posts covers how you can architect Apollo Server on AWS Lambda in an event-driven architecture. It shows you how to use the Apollo Server on AWS Lambda, integrate it with REST and WebSocket APIs and communicate asynchronously via event bus.

Sample application: a chat app that receives a text message from the client and responds with French and German translations of the message

Sample application: a chat app that receives a text message from the client and responds with French and German translations of the message

Observability the open-source way

Removing the undifferentiated heavy lifting for implementing open-source software can allow you to plug-and-play your favorite solutions with existing AWS services. This video addresses best practices and real-world use cases for Amazon Managed Service for Prometheus, Amazon Managed Grafana, and AWS Distro for OpenTelemetry to gain observability. Observability is fundamental to collect and analyze data coming from your architecture, understand the status of your system, and take action to improve application performance.

Setting up Amazon Managed Service for Prometheus

Setting up Amazon Managed Service for Prometheus

See you next time!

See you in a couple of weeks when we discuss strategies for running serverless applications on AWS!

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Other posts in this series

Luca Mezzalira

Luca Mezzalira

Luca is Principal Solutions Architect based in London. He has authored several books and is an international speaker. He lent his expertise predominantly in the solution architecture field. Luca has gained accolades for revolutionizing the scalability of front-end architectures with micro-frontends, from increasing the efficiency of workflows, to delivering quality in products.

Laura Hyatt

Laura Hyatt

Laura Hyatt is a Solutions Architect for AWS Public Sector and helps Education customers in the UK. Laura helps customers not only architect and develop scalable solutions but also think big on innovative solutions facing the education sector at present. Laura's specialty is IoT, and she is also the Alexa SME for Education across EMEA.

Vittorio Denti

Vittorio Denti

Vittorio Denti is a Solutions Architect based in London. After completing his M.Sc. in Computer Science and Engineering at Politecnico di Milano (Milan) and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Stockholm), he joined AWS. Vittorio has a background in Distributed Systems and Machine Learning, and a strong interest in cloud technologies. He’s especially passionate for building ML solutions, putting ML in production and designing distributed architectures using serverless technologies.

Zamira Jaupaj

Zamira Jaupaj

Zamira is an Enterprise Solutions Architect based in the Netherlands. She is highly passionate IT professional with over 10 years of multi-national experience in designing and implementing critical and complex solutions with containers, serverless, and data analytics for small and enterprise companies.