AWS X-Ray Integrates with API Gateway

Aug 24,2021 by Raghav Bansal
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We have been encountering Amazon Web Service API gateway ‘X-Ray’ since a couple of years ago. Of course, customers are not expected to be so vigilant, hence a summary is in order: Amazon Web Service ‘X-Ray’ supports developers in determining and testing everything from simplified web-based applications to massive and complicated shared microservices that may be under production or still in development. Though the concept of ‘X-Ray’ became quite accessible in the year 2017, based on client feedback there have been improvements made to the concerned service, such as encryption with ‘Amazon Web Service Key Management Service (KMS)’. It supports the latest SDKs with language support (such as Python!), open sourcing the daemon, and various latency visualization tools.

The things of note are these two latest features:

  • Help for ‘Amazon API Gateway’, thus making it simpler for tracing and determining various requests as they move via customers’ APIs to the required services.
  • Support for controlling various ‘sampling rules’ under the Amazon Web Service ‘X-Ray console’ and ‘API’.

Allowing X-Ray Tracing

The first feature is a relatively easy-to-use API which is deployed to the API Gateway. Here we will sum up two endpoints. One is used to push various datasets inside ‘Amazon Kinesis Data Streams’, the other one to solicit a simplified Amazon Web Service ‘Lambda function’.

After deployment of the API, we can proceed to the ‘Stages sub console’, and choose a particular stage, such as “dev” or “production”. We can allow ‘X-Ray’ tracing by the process of navigating to the ‘Logs/Tracing’ tab, choosing ‘Enable X-Ray Tracing’, and clicking on ‘Save Changes’. Once the tracing is enabled, we can jump over to the ‘X-Ray’ console to view our sampling rules in the latest Sampling interface. We can simplify various sampling procedures within the console as well as with the ‘CLI’, ‘SDK’, or ‘API’. To move to the next feature, let’s glance at sampling rules.

Sampling Rules

AWS X-ray sampling rules enable us to customize, at a very fundamental level, the requests and various traces we desire to record. This enables us to control the volume of data which we store on the fly, over code executing anywhere (Amazon Web Service ‘Lambda’, ‘Amazon ECS’, ‘Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)’, or even on-premises) – all without the need to rewrite any code or redeploying an application.

The background rule acknowledges that it is going to record the initial request per second, and ‘five percent of some extra requests. We set the rule regarding one request per second as the ‘reservoir’, which assures at least a single trace is stored every second. The 5 percent of extra requests are basically what we call the ‘fixed rate’. Two of the reservoirs along with the fixed-rate are accurately configurable. If we plot the reservoir size to ‘50’ with the fixed rate to ‘10%’, then if ‘100’ requests every second matches the concerned rule, the complete amount of requests which is sampled is ‘55’ requests each second.

Configuration of our ‘API Gateway X-Ray’ recorders for reading various sampling rules from the provided ‘X-Ray’ service enables the ‘X-Ray’ service to maintain the respective sampling rate with a reservoir over each of our distributed compute instances. If we wish to allow this particular functionality, we just have to install the most recent version of the ‘X-Ray SDK’ and virtual drive on those particular instances.

With services such as ‘API Gateway’ and ‘Lambda’, we can configure everything straight in the ‘X-Ray’ console or ‘API’. In addition, we are able to utilize the various sampling rules for controlling costs even of a dynamic nature, and the granularity of various rules is exceptionally strong for the purpose of debugging production systems. If we are aware that only a single specific URL or service will require additional observing, we will set a rule for the concerned sampling rule. We will filter single stages of APIs, several service types, various service names, hosts, ‘ARNs’, ‘HTTP’ methods, some segment attributes, and more.

This will allow us to rapidly determine shared microservices, identify several issues, adjust various rules, and then diving in-depth into the production-based requests. We can also utilize this for developing insights regarding many problems that are happening within the ‘99th’ percentile of traffic, and even providing an enhanced and complete user experience.

After we have allowed tracing, we can refresh our service map and explore the results about 30 seconds later. We might click any particular node in the console for viewing various traces or dropping the traces from the console. From this point, we can also view the single URLs getting triggered, the ‘source IPs’, and various other beneficial metrics.

If we desire to go in further, we might even write various filtering rules under the search bar and search for a specific trace. An ‘API Gateway segment’ possesses annotations that users can utilize for filtering and grouping such as the ‘API ID’ and stage.

Summing up, ‘API Gateway’ support to the ‘X-Ray’ provides us an ‘end-to-end’ production ability of traces in various serverless based environments and configurable sampling rules provide us the ability for adjusting our traces in ‘real time’ without any need of redeploying the code. This updated feature makes it simpler for developers to debug and explore production-based applications.

Use X-Ray and Sampling Rules to the Max with Go4hosting

Considering cost optimization as the vital facet for any business growth, we at Go4hosting have designed client-dedicated plans with the help of an AWS server management system, so that you can save big on cost for your business. Also, with the exceedingly versatile Amazon IT infrastructure design, you can avail cloud services backed by a dedicated and managed support system which works in synchronization with AWS servers. You get a completely supported AWS plan system that fits snugly into your organization’s hierarchy. 

Conclusion

With the AWS server management system, not only do you cut down costs, but also make into reality your innovative business plans that boost business growth and expansion.

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