ECS services management

Some applications running on the project's infrastructure are hosted in ECS clusters on our AWS account. This document explains the common maintenance procedures one should follow when operating them. Most of the actions explained here require AWS access.

Note: our ECS cluster is located in the Northern California (us-west-1) AWS region. Make sure it's the selected region when interacting with the AWS console.

Inspecting the logs

Logs for applications hosted on ECS are stored in CloudWatch Logs, and can be inspected in the AWS Console. Open the console, go to CloudWatch Logs and select the log group called /ecs/<service-name>. There are two ways to inspect the logs:

  • If you need to look at the application as a whole, you can get an aggregated view by clicking the "View all log events" button (or, on the classic interface, "Search Log Group").

  • If you need to debug a specific instance of a container, separate log streams for each running task are available. The streams are named after the container name and the task ID.

Logs are periodically purged (retention varies based on the specific application).

Restarting an application

To restart an application, you can force a new deployment without actually pushing any new code beforehand. To do so, run this command:

aws ecs update-service --cluster rust-ecs-prod --service <service-name> --force-new-deployment

Rolling back a deployment

To rollback a bad deployment you can run the script (stored in the simpleinfra repository) with your AWS credentials present in the shell. The script requires the name of the ECR container image repository as its first and only argument:

./ <image-repository-name>

The script will show the list of images available in the repository, and asks for the image number to rollback to. Once that's inserted the script will point the latest tag to the image you chose, and if an ECS service with the same name as the repository exists that service will be restarted too.

Deploying application changes

Each application stores its own Docker container in a ECR repository in our AWS account. You can deploy changes both manually and automatically (with GitHub Actions).

For production applications it's recommended to setup automatic deployment.

Manual deployments

To manually deploy a local build you first need it to tag your built image with its ECR name:

docker tag <image-tag><repository-name>:latest

Then you can authenticate with ECR and push it:

$(aws ecr get-login --no-include-email --region us-west-1)
docker push<repository-name>:latest

Finally, you need to force a new deployment of the ECS service with:

aws ecs update-service --cluster rust-ecs-prod --service <service-name> --force-new-deployment

Automatic deployments with GitHub Actions

The infrastructure team prepared an action for GitHub Actions that automates deployments from CI. To use it, ask a team member to setup AWS credentials in your repository, and then add this snippet to your workflow:

- name: Build the Docker image
  run: docker build -t deploy-image .

- name: Deploy to production
  uses: rust-lang/simpleinfra/github-actions/upload-docker-image@master
    image: deploy-image
    repository: <ecr-repository-name>
    region: us-west-1
    redeploy_ecs_cluster: rust-ecs-prod
    redeploy_ecs_service: <service-name>
    aws_access_key_id: "${{ secrets.AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID }}"
    aws_secret_access_key: "${{ secrets.AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY }}"
  if: github.ref == 'refs/heads/<deploy-branch>'

Be sure to replace <ecr-repository-name>, <service-name> and <deploy-branch> with the correct values for your workflow. Once the workflow changes are merged in the branch you chose for deploys, any future commits pushed there will be deployed to the ECS cluster.