Glen Knight

NYC Based IT Professional

Automatically Detect Operational Issues in Lambda Functions with Amazon DevOps Guru for Serverless

Today we are announcing Amazon DevOps Guru for Serverless, a new capability for Amazon DevOps Guru. It allows developers to improve the operational performance and availability of serverless applications.

AWS pioneered the serverless computing space with the launch of AWS Lambda in 2014. Today, hundreds of thousands of customers are using AWS Lambda. Lambda allows you to configure many parameters for your functions, like memory allocation, provisioned concurrency, and timeouts. For many customers, finding the right balance between all those parameters to optimize the performance and availability of their functions is challenging.

In December 2020, we announced DevOps Guru, a fully managed AIOps (Artificial Intelligence for IT operations) service that automatically detects and alerts customers about application issues and helps them to improve their applications’ availability. Today, we are announcing DevOps Guru for Serverless, a new capability for DevOps Guru, to help developers using Lambda automatically detect anomalous behavior at the function level and use ML-powered recommendations to remediate any issues that were detected.

DevOps Guru for Serverless uses ML to automatically identify and analyze a wide range of performance and availability-related issues for Lambda functions, such as low provisioned concurrency or underutilization of memory. To use this capability, you don’t need to be a serverless or ML expert.

The reactive insights of this capability help you troubleshoot ongoing issues affecting serverless applications efficiently with actionable recommendations that help you identify and fix the root cause in the shortest time possible.

DevOps Guru for Serverless also provides proactive insights that help you identify a wider range of operational anomalies long before your serverless application performance is affected. It also gives you recommendations on how to resolve the root cause of the issues.

When an issue is detected, DevOps Guru for Serverless displays the finding in the DevOps Guru console and sends notifications using Amazon EventBridge or Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS). This allows developers to automatically manage and take real-time action on the discovered issues.

DevOps Guru for Serverless Proactive Insights
DevOps Guru for Serverless enables developers to proactively detect application issues before an event that affects the customer occurs. For example, if provision concurrency is set too low for a Lambda function and traffic for this application is growing, DevOps Guru will detect the growing traffic and the application latency degradation and generate a proactive insight showing the issue.

ML algorithms create these insights from operational data and application metrics. An insight provides high-level information, severity, status, and a recommendation for how to solve this issue.

Nowadays, DevOps Guru for Serverless provides proactive insights for Lambda and Amazon DynamoDB. These are the operational issues and the proactive insights available today:

  • Lambda concurrent executions reaching account limit – Triggered when concurrent executions reach an account limit for a continuous period.
  • Lambda Provisioned Concurrency function limit breached – Triggered when the reserved amount of provisioned concurrency is not enough over a period.
  • Lambda timeout high compared to SQS’s visibility timeout – Triggered when the duration of the lambda function exceeds the visibility timeout for the event source Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS).
  • ­Lambda­ Provisioned Concurrency usage is lower than expected – Triggered when the utilization of the provisioned concurrency is too low.
  • Account read/write capacity for DynamoDB consumption reaching account limit – Triggered when the account consumed capacity is approaching account-level limits during a period of time.
  • DynamoDB table read/write consumed capacity reaching table limit – Triggered when the writes or reads in a table are reaching the ProvisionedWriteCapacityUnits or ProvisionedReadCapacityUnits limits for the table over a period.
  • DynamoDB table consumed capacity reaching AutoScaling Max parameter limit – Triggered when table consumed capacity is reaching AutoScaling Max parameters limit over a period.
  • DynamoDB read/write consumption lower than expected – Triggered when the value for ProvisionedWriteCapacityUnits or ProvisionedReadCapacityUnits is far from what is being consumed during a period of time.

Get started with DevOps Guru for Serverless
To get started, navigate to the DevOps Guru console to enable the service for your Lambda-based applications, other supported resources, or your entire account.

Configuring DevOps Guru

For this demo, create a new Lambda function with provisioned concurrency of 1. You can do this from the AWS console or programmatically. After you create it, you can check on the function overview page that the provisioned concurrency is set to 1.

Configuring Lambda provisioned concurrency

Add to the Lambda function a CloudWatch Event that triggers the function every minute. You can do that from the AWS console or programmatically. You can follow this tutorial to learn how to do it. Repeat that process five more times. Now the function will get triggered six times every minute from different events.

To trigger the proactive insight, you need to have six concurrent invocations of this Lambda function. To accomplish that, you need to ensure that the duration of each invocation is long enough. For this demo, you can make your function sleep for 30 seconds.

'use strict';

exports.handler = async (event) => {
    console.log('Sleep for 30 seconds')
    await new Promise(r => setTimeout(r, 30000));
    console.log('finish sleeping')


This configuration will trigger the proactive insight Lambda Provisioned Concurrency function limit breached for this function. You should see the insight in the console in three hours or less after the issue starts.

How to Check an Insight From the DevOps Guru Console
After a few hours, you can visit your DevOps Guru console, and you can verify that the proactive insight was triggered by exceeding the provisioned concurrency.

List of proactive insights

Select the Ongoing insight to see more details. The insight page opens, and it displays information relevant to the insight, metrics, events, and recommended actions for this issue.

Let’s examine this page in more detail. At the top of the page is the insight overview, with a description of what the insight is about and the severity of the issue. This is a proactive insight, so the user experience is not compromised by this issue. You also learn if the issue is ongoing and when it started. If the issue is not happening anymore, you can learn the end date for that insight. If you select the link for the affected applications, you can confirm all the Lambda functions that are affected by this insight.

Insight description information box

The next information box contains information about the CloudWatch metrics related to the proactive insight. This graph shows the metric ProvisionedConcurrecySpilloverInvocations with the summary of all the invocations in the last hours that the provisioned concurrency spilled.

Information about metrics

Relevant events are the next information box available on the page. These are AWS CloudTrail events that DevOps Guru uses combined with CloudWatch metrics and operational data to identify anomalous behavior that created the insight.

Relevant info about the insight

And finally on the page is the Recommendations information box, where DevOps Guru will output all the generated recommendations to help you address the issue. You can use the recommendations to learn the immediate steps you can take to remediate the issue.

Recommendations for the insights

In this proactive insight, DevOps Guru recommends you tune the provision concurrency of your Lambda function. It tells you to which value to set it, based on the past utilization of your function. You can also find the reasoning on why DevOps Guru recommends this insight.

Pricing and Availability
DevOps Guru for Serverless is offered to customers at no additional charge.

DevOps Guru for Serverless is available in all AWS Regions where DevOps Guru is available, US East (Ohio), US East (N. Virginia), US West (Oregon), Asia Pacific (Singapore), Asia Pacific (Sydney), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), Europe (Frankfurt), Europe (Ireland), and Europe (Stockholm).

Learn more about DevOps Guru for Serverless and register for the hands-on workshop on May 10 to learn more about this new launch.


Source: AWS News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields as marked *.