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All things DevOps

Tag: Python

How To: Create An AWS Lambda Function To Backup/Snapshot Your EBS Volumes

Published / by tuxninja / Leave a Comment

AWS Lambda functions are a great way to run some code on a trigger/schedule without needing a whole server dedicated to it. They can be cost effective, but be careful depending on how long they run, and the number of executions per hour, they can be quite costly as well.

For my use case, I wanted to create snapshot backups of EBS volumes for a Mongo Database every day. I originally implemented this using only CloudWatch, which is a monitoring service, but because it’s focused on scheduling, AWS also uses it for other things that require scheduling/cron like features. Unfortunately, the CloudWatch implementation of snapshot backups was very limited. I could not ‘tag’ the backups, which was certainly something I needed for easy finding and cleanups later (past a retention period).

Anyway, there were a couple pitfalls I ran into when creating this function.


  1. Make sure you security group allows you to communicate to the Internet for any AWS API’s you need to talk to.
  2. Make sure your time-out is set to 1 minute or greater depending on your use case. The default is seconds, and is likely not high enough.
  3. “The Lambda function execution role must have permissions to create, describe and delete ENIs. AWS Lambda provides a permissions policy, AWSLambdaVPCAccessExecutionRole, with permissions for the necessary EC2 actions (ec2:CreateNetworkInterface, ec2:DescribeNetworkInterfaces, and ec2:DeleteNetworkInterface) that you can use when creating a role”
    1. Personally, I did inline permissions and included the specific actions.
  4. Upload your zip file and make sure your handler section is configured with the exact file_name.method_in_your_code_for_the_handler
  5. Also this one is more of an FYI, Lambda Function have a maximum TTL of 5 minutes ( 300 seconds).

I think that was it, after that everything worked fine. To finish this short article off, screenshots and the code!




And finally the code…

Function Code

And here is an additional function to add for cleanup

The end, happy server-lessing (ha !)


Python & The Jira Rest API

Published / by tuxninja / Leave a Comment

Recently, while having to work a lot more in Jira than normal I got annoyed with the Jira Web GUI. So I wrote a script to do simple management of our jira issues.

Here is the basic usage

Here is the code…

Later, I found out that there is a Jira command line utility, I didn’t check and see what functionality it provided, but I enjoyed writing this anyway.

Happy coding !

How to use Boto to Audit your AWS EC2 instance security groups

Published / by tuxninja / Leave a Comment

Boto is a Software Development Kit for accessing the AWS API’s using Python.


Recently, I needed to determine how many of my EC2 instances were spawned in a public subnet, that also had security groups with wide open access on any port via any protocol to the instances. Because I have an IGW (Internet Gateway) in my VPC’s and properly setup routing tables, instances launched in the public subnets with wide open security groups (allowing ingress traffic from any source) is a really bad thing 🙂

Here is the code I wrote to identify these naughty instances. It will require slight modifications in your own environment, to match your public subnet IP Ranges, EC2 Tags, and Account names.

To run this you also need to setup your .aws/config and .aws/credentials file.


Email me tuxninja [at] tuxlabs.com if you have any issues.
Boto is awesome 🙂 Note so is the AWS CLI, but requires some shell scripting as opposed to Python to do cool stuff.

The github for this code here https://github.com/jasonriedel/AWS/blob/master/sg-audit.py

Enjoy !

Fun with Python, Tabular & AWS IP ranges

Published / by tuxninja / Leave a Comment

I have been spending a lot of time designing a Hybrid Cloud that consists of Openstack and public cloud platforms. In particular I have been spending a lot of time designing the AWS portion of the Hybrid Cloud Platform. Today I found myself continually needing to look up AWS public address space and then parsing out regions & services. Then I remembered something a mentor of mine told me…

if you are going to do something more than once, there is probably value in automating it.

I love writing command line tools and thus a short Python script was born. Since I rarely share Python code, even though I didn’t spend a lot time on this, and I certainly didn’t optimize it for DRY etc. I am sharing it anyway for others to use, enjoy and hack on,

but mainly to learn, which is…The entire purpose of the Tuxlabs site

I should mention I have strong views about when to use Python vs. Go a language I find myself writing in more and more and this tool falls under my rules for things that I should write in Go. So later as a follow up I will likely re-code this in Go and post the code for review & learning. For now here’s the Python code, enjoy !

Listing all IP Ranges


The code

How To: curl the Openstack API’s (v3 Keystone Auth)

Published / by tuxninja / Leave a Comment

While Openstack provides a python client(s) for interactions….

I frequently, finding myself needing to get data out of it without the pain of awk/sed’ing out the ASCII art.

Thus to quickly access the raw data, we can directly query the API’s using curl & parsing JSON instead, which is much better 🙂


Before we can interact with the other Openstack API’s we need to authenticate to Keystone openstack’s identity service. After authenticating we receive a token to use with our subequent API requests. So step 1 we are going to create a JSON object with the required authentication details.

Create a file called ‘token-request.json’ with an object that looks like this.

Btw, if you followed my tutorial on how to install Openstack Kilo, your authentication details for ‘admin’ is in your keystonerc_admin file.

Now we can use this file to authenticate like so:

The token is actually returned in the header of the HTTP response, so this is why we need ‘-i’ when curling. Notice we are parsing out the token and returning the value to an environment variable $TOKEN.

Now we can include this $TOKEN and run whatever API commands we want (assuming admin privileges for the tenant/project)

Curl Commands (Numerous Examples!)

I sometimes pipe the output to python -m json.tool, which provides formatting for JSON. Lets take a closer look at an example.

Listing servers (vm’s)

I only have 1 VM currently called spin1, but for the tutorials sake, if I had ten’s or hundred’s of VM’s and all I cared about was the VM name or ID, I would still need to parse this JSON object to avoid getting all this other meta-data.

My favorite command line way to do that without going full Python is using the handy JQ tool.

Here is how to use it !

The first command just takes whatever the STDOUT from curl is and indent’s and color’s the JSON making it pretty (colors gives it +1 vs. python -m json.tool).

The second example we actually parse what were after. As you can see it is pretty simple, but jq’s query language may not be 100% intuitive at first, but I promise it is pretty easy to understand if you have ever parsed JSON before. Read up more on JQ @ https://stedolan.github.io/jq/ & check out the Openstack docs for more API commands http://developer.openstack.org/api-ref.html

Hope you enjoyed this post ! Until next time.