Sunday, January 31, 2016

CloudWatch + Lambda Case 3 -Controlling cross region EBS/RDS Snapshot copies for regulated industries

If you are part of regulated industry like Pharmaceutical/ Life sciences/BFSI running mission critical applications on AWS, at times as part of the compliance requirements you will have to restrict/control data movement to a particular geographic region in the cloud. This is becomes complex to restrict some times. Let us explore in detail:
We all know there are varieties of ways to move data from one AWS region to another, but one commonly used method is Snapshot copy across AWS regions. Usually you can restrict snapshot copy permission in IAM Policy, but what if you need the permission enabled for moving data between AWS accounts inside a region, but still want to control EBS/RDS snapshot copy action across regions. It can be only mitigated by automatically deleting the snapshot on destination AWS region in case snapshot copy activity is done.
Our Cloud operations team used to altogether remove this permission in IAM or monitor this activity using polling scripts for customers with multiple accounts who need this permission and still need control. Now after the introduction of CloudWatch Events we have configured a rule that points to an AWS Lambda which gets triggered in near real time when snapshot is copied to destination AWS region. The lambda function will initiate a deletion process immediately. Though it is reactive it is incomparably faster than manual intervention.
In this use case, Amazon CloudWatch Event will identify the EBS Snapshot copies across the regions and delete them.
As a first step, we will be creating a rule in Amazon CloudWatch Events dashboard. We have chosen AWS API Call as an Event to be processed by an AWSCloudTrail Lambda function as a target.

The next step would be configuring rule details with Rule definition

Finally we will review the Rules Summary

Amazon Lambda Function Code Snippet (Python)

GitHub Gist URL:

This post was co authored with Muthukumar and Ramprasad of 8KMiles

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