Friday, January 20, 2017

A Chrome Plugin: IsItUp serverless service dashboard

A coworker created a Chrome Extension that acts as a zero-infrastructure dashboard. It provides a simple home page that displays service health and support or documentation links related to that service.  The plugin reads JSON file/text to make service calls and build the dashboard. The following picture shows 5 services across up to 6 environments.  The top service does not have a Production environment. The bottom service represents a 3rd external service that has one test environment and one production environment.

IsItUp assumes your browser has connectivity to the services being monitored.

Video Walk-through

The video explains various cell examples and describes how the extension might be used.

It was created with version available Jan 21 2017

The plugin used for the video was downloaded from the Chrome Web Store .

Cell Explanation

Each cell contains one Service Status plus any number of supporting links.  All link icons open up a new tab to the appropriate supporting web page. It could be documentation, log aggregation, real operations consoles, dashboards or something else.  The "reload" icon will refresh the service status by re-calling the service.

The image to the right represents a service deployed in AWS. It shows a healthy service status along with a chrome link and an AWS console link.

This example represents a service deployed in a development environment. The supporting icons link to swagger documentation, Jenkins, Sonar, a Confluence wiki and the GitHub repository for this service.

Cells in the top row represent the fact the service doesn't exist in that environment.

Cells in the bottom row represent the same application deployed in two different cloud environments. Each contains a link to some web site plus a link to the appropriate cloud console for that environment.

Basic Configuration 

IsItUp has an options panel that accepts JSON based configuration.  The extension comes with the sample file used in the video and these screen shots. The sample configuration can be extracted from the Configuration Text box on the options page. The sample will change over time as new features are added or as users make suggestions.

The file has two main sections, header information and site specifications. You can find the sample JSON containing these sections on the options screen.

Header Section

The header contains a description of this dashboard in "title", row header names and column header names. The extension validates the number of row headers matches the number of rows. It also validates that the number of column headers matches the number of columns.

  "title": "Demonstration Status",
  "headers": {
    "cols": "dev/ci,integration,func test,qa,prod azure,prod aws",
    "rows": "Web App 1,Web App 2,Service 1,Service 2,External Service"

Site Specification Section

A single cell contains a "healthUrl" and zero-N "other" links and corresponding icons.  This sample shows a healthUrl plus two additional links. One is a link to this Chrome extension's GIT repository. The other link is to the AWS console. This could have been to a deeper link like some CloudWatch dashboard.

    "healthUrl": "",
    "other": [
        "url": "",
        "icon": ""
        "url": "",
        "icon": ""

Plugin Source
Plugin source code is located on GitHub

Created 2017 Jan 20

Sunday, January 15, 2017

A Chrome Plugin: Highlighting your AWS Account

I'm working on a set of projects based in AWS. Our projects have somewhere between 7 and 9 different environments representing different levels of software maturity.  Production is the most restricted.  Development is the least restricted.  The rest fall somewhere in between.

The company partitions the different levels of their SDLC into separate AWS accounts. Each account can have multiple environments that are of similar concerns and access controls.

AWS account isolation makes it easy to identify and implement security rules and vary developer , dev-ops and operations access based on the account.

The diagram at right shows a typical 3 account set-up where some of the accounts contain multiple environments. Our company actually has over 20 accounts used for various pre-prod, prod and partner purposes

The AWS Console.

The AWS console lets a user operate in a single account at one time.  Enterprise users log into the AWS console with Federated User ids that can provide access to some portion of that Enterprise's accounts. The console displays the AWS Account Alias and some permission and user id information at the top of the screen.  It can be tedious to read that inform
ation when switching between AWS accounts in a short period of time.

A Chrome Extension

One of the developers on my team wrote a Chrome Plugin that highlights  he AWS account information. The plugin provides bassic account information for non-federated accounts like personal or standalone accounts. It optionally color codes a banner at the top of the screen based on some very simple rules related to Account (alias) names.   You can find this plugin 
Try it out or check out the source code.


Standalone Account

Non federated accounts are all treated the same.

Federated Accounts

With PROD in the AWS account name in any case / capitalization

With QA  or QC in the Aws account name in any case or capitalization

Any other Account name string.