Video streaming giant Netflix, which has become something of an Amazon Web Services whisperer, is open sourcing code for a dynamic querying tool that can help engineers “learn the stories” of their AWS cloud deployments, according to a Netflix blog post. The tool, called Edda (known internally as Entrypoints), can poll a company’s cloud resources using APIs and record the results.
That’s handy to have in a world of quickly shifting virtual machines. Importantly, Edda augments the information that engineers get from AWS itself, which Netflix Engineer Cory Bennett characterized as fast and efficient but limited. With the AWS APIs alone, for example, “there is no way to find an instance by the hostname, or find all instances in a specific Availability Zone without first fetching all the instances and iterating through them,” Bennett wrote.
Edda gives its users a window into the kinds of historical information about their resources that Amazon’s own APIs don’t provide, by handling each resource as versioned documents “that can be recalled via the REST APIs.”
“For instance, if we see a host with an EC2 hostname that is causing problems on one of our API servers then we need to find out what that host is and what team is responsible, Edda allows us to do this.”
The Edda code, now available on Github, addresses that shortcoming. It enables Netflix personnel to query and analyze its AWS resources fast using lots of different search criteria. By making it available on Github, other companies use it and tweak it as needed, provided they make their changes broadly available.
This is just the latest of Netflix’s open-sourced goodies related to AWS. In late June, it released its Asgard technology that makes it easier for AWS customers to deploy code changes and manage their resources. In July, it was Netflix’s oft-cited Chaos Monkey for testing the reliability of cloud services. In September, it did the same with Eureka, its mid-tier load balancing technology.
Netflix is both one of Amazon’s biggest customers and a competitor since Amazon also offers streamed and downloadable video. It’s also becoming a go-to source for technologies that make core Amazon cloud services more reliable and scalable.