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An example project for using AWS Lambda functions to run transient EC2 instances for periodic jobs.
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Transient EC2 instances with Lambda

This is an example project accompanying a blog post on using AWS Lambda functions to run transient EC2 instances for periodic jobs. Review the post for details of the motivation behind the application.


The project consists of the following components:


Deploying the project to AWS depends on Packer and Python.

The Python dependencies are listed under requirements.txt and can be installed using pip.

pip install -r requirements.txt

The EC2 image must be built before deploying the CloudFormation stack.

make build-image

The output will include the AMI ID of the new image, which will look something like the following example.

==> Builds finished. The artifacts of successful builds are:
--> amazon-ebs: AMIs were created:
us-east-1: <AMI ID>

The Lambda function must be uploaded to a preexisting S3 bucket. You can use any bucket under the same account or create a new one. An example of how to do that with the AWS CLI is included below.

aws s3api create-bucket --acl private --bucket <bucket name> --region us-east-1

Set the following environment variables to configure CloudFormation stack deployment.

Environment Variable Default Value Description
ARTIFACTS_BUCKET S3 bucket to store AWS Lambda function.
STACK_NAME Name of the CloudFormation stack.
INSTANCE_TYPE t2.micro The EC2 instance type to run.
DURATION 300 Seconds to run Pi calculation for.

Deploy the CloudFormation stack.

make deploy

The stack will configure a Lambda function, that will run a new EC2 instance with the built image according to the schedule defined in template.yaml (by default every day at 11PM). Alternatively you can test the function by triggering it manually from the Lambda Management Console, the contents of the test event can be arbitrary.

When you've satisfied your curiosity you can delete all the provisioned resources by running the following command. Ensure you're using the same environment variables, as when you provisioned the resources.

make destroy

The S3 buckets you used for storing the Lambda function will not be deleted. If you created a new bucket, you can delete it manually.

aws s3 rm s3://<bucket name> --recursive
aws s3api delete-bucket --bucket <bucket name>
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