AWS Solutions Update Feed

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a serverless monitoring and alerting service built by Kira Hammond

Amazon recently announced AWS Solutions, a central
catalog of well-designed, well-documented, CloudFormation templates
that solve common problems, or create standard solution
frameworks. My tweet about this announcement garnered more
interest than I expected.

One common request was to have a way to be alerted when Amazon
publishes new AWS Solutions to this catalog. Kira Hammond (yes
relation) has used AWS to built and launched a public service that
fills this need.

Kira’s “AWS Solutions Update Feed” monitors the AWS Solutions catalog
and posts a message to an SNS topic whenever new solutions are
added. The SNS topic is public, so anybody in the world can subscribe
to receive these alerts through email, AWS Lambda, or SQS.


Here’s an architecture diagram showing how Kira constructed this
monitoring and alerting service using serverless technologies on AWS:

architecture diagram showing data flows that are described next


The basic operation of the service includes:

  1. A scheduled trigger from a CloudWatch Event Rule runs an AWS Lambda
    function every N hours.

  2. The AWS Lambda function, written in Python, makes an HTTPS request
    to the AWS Solutions catalog to download the current list of solutions.

  3. The function retrieves the last known list of solutions from an S3

  4. The function compares the previous list with the current list,
    generating a list of any new AWS Solutions.

  5. If there are any new solutions, a message is posted to a public SNS
    topic, sending the message to all subscribers.

  6. The current list of solutions is saved to S3 for comparison in the
    future runs.


If you want to receive alerts when Amazon adds entries to the AWS
Solutions catalog, you can subscribe to this public SNS topic:


Here are aws-cli commands that can be used to subscribe an email
address to the AWS Solutions Update Feed public SNS topic:

email=YOUREMAIL@YOURDOMAIN sns_region=us-east-1
aws sns subscribe \ --region "$sns_region" \ --topic-arn "$sns_topic_arn" \ --protocol email \ --notification-endpoint "$email"

You will need to confirm this subscription by clicking on a link that
Amazon sends to your email.

Each time you receive an alert, the message will also have a link for

Sample Alert

Here’s a sample email message that was generated during testing:

email message with names and links for two AWS Solutions

Now we just wait for Amazon to expand the AWS Solutions catalog.

Privacy Notice

Please note that any time you subscribe to an SNS topic, the owner of
the topic can see your account number and the name of the resource
subscribed, such as: email address, Lambda function name, or SQS queue

Any information related to subscriptions of the AWS Solutions Update
Feed SNS topic will be kept confidential and will not be used for any
purpose other than the sending of SNS messages through the topic.

Original article and comments:

Posted by News Monkey