A common task when working in server infrastructure is to take inventory of what is available. This can be useful for figuring out what is out of date, when certain pieces were introduced to your environment, or even taking stock of what items might be hidden that you otherwise were not aware of.
For AWS users, there are a dozen ways to inspect your infrastructure:
- Bare AWS APIs
- AWS cli tools
- Internal service discovery platforms
- External dashboards such as Netflix’s Spinnaker
Early on in SeatGeek’s history, we relied heavily on the AWS API to figure out what ec2
instances were available in our infrastructure for the purposes of service discovery. As we
grew in both traffic and footprint, this became unwieldy, and suffered from rate-limiting
issues, retry bugs, and general auth errors across the various utilities that interacted
with the AWS API. Thus was born
haldane, a friendly http interface to the AWS API.
haldane to expose a simple http interface to the AWS API which can be
easily integrated into our toolchain. Here is an example haldane query:
The following are a few of the resources exposed via
/amis: Corresponding to AWS EC2 AMIs
/instances: Corresponding to AWS EC2 Instances
/instance-types: Corresponding to available AWS EC2 Instance Types
/rds-instances: Corresponding to AWS RDS Instances
Under the hood,
haldane queries the AWS API using Boto3, and caches the resultset in memory
for a configurable amount of time. This ensures relatively fresh data from AWS, while reducing
the probability of hitting the AWS rate-limit.
In the time since we initially developed
haldane, SeatGeek has seen explosive growth, and
it is no longer a solution we can depend upon for server discovery at scale. That said, it can
be very useful for any of the following use-cases:
- Static infrastructure
- Generating CSV reports
- Querying for outdated resources
- Inspecting the state of small clusters
- Retrieving the IP address of a random instance in a cluster
Internally, we’ve built a few such tools to support infrastructure spelunking, and while we
may not rely on it as heavily as we used to, we hope that others can find utility in using
You can find haldane on Github, under the BSD 3-Clause License.
If you think these kinds of things are interesting, consider working with us as an Infrastructure Engineer at SeatGeek. Or, if infrastructure isn’t your thing, we have other openings in engineering and beyond!