AWS

AWS

For test and production, Boxfuse runs your apps on your AWS account.

Environments

By default Boxfuse creates two environments you can use for running your apps on AWS: test and prod.

You do however have the option to create any number of additional custom environments such as stage or demo to cover all your needs.

Regions

Your Boxfuse account comes preconfigured with its default region set to eu-central-1. This is the region that will be used for the test and prod environments. You can change this region using the button below the globe on the overview tab of the Boxfuse Console.

Boxfuse fully supports the ap-northeast-1, ap-south-1, ap-southeast-1, ap-southeast-2, ca-central-1, eu-central-1, eu-west-1, eu-west-2, sa-east-1, us-east-1, us-east-2, us-west-1 and us-west-2 regions.

We recommend the regions in Australia, the EU and the US (ap-southeast-2, eu-central-1, eu-west-1, us-east-1, us-west-1 and us-west-2) as we have optimized them for AMI creation speed with new Amazon Machine Images created in under 60 seconds. This is 5x to 10x faster than any other tool in the industry.

AWS Region AMI Creation Time
ap-northeast-1 Less than 5 minutes
ap-northeast-2 Less than 5 minutes
ap-south-1 Less than 5 minutes
ap-southeast-1 Less than 5 minutes
ap-southeast-2 Less than 60 seconds
ca-central-1 Less than 5 minutes
eu-central-1 Less than 60 seconds
eu-west-1 Less than 60 seconds
eu-west-2 Less than 5 minutes
sa-east-1 Less than 5 minutes
us-east-1 Less than 60 seconds
us-east-2 Less than 5 minutes
us-west-1 Less than 60 seconds
us-west-2 Less than 60 seconds

As Boxfuse expands its footprint, further regions will be optimized for fast deployment. The order will be based on customer usage and demand. This does not affect the runtime speed of your instance, which is determined by the instance type you selected.

VPCs

Virtual Private Clouds let you isolate sections of the cloud at the network layer. Each AWS account comes with a default VPC per region. You can create additional in the AWS Console should you have the need for it.

The test and prod environments are created within the default VPC of the default AWS region you selected for your Boxfuse account.

Note: It is currently not possible to select an AWS region that does not have a default VPC as your default region. If your AWS account is missing a default VPC, you can ask AWS support to (re-)create it. Requests are usually fulfilled within a few hours.

You can use non-default VPCs as well as alternate regions in any custom environments you create.

Instance Types

Boxfuse supports all t2, m3, m4, c3, c4, r3 and r4 instance types in all available regions.

App Types

All available app types are supported. Regardless of the app type you select, Boxfuse always performs transactional zero downtime upgrades of your apps when you redeploy them. Boxfuse uses healthchecks to ensure that a good version of your app can never be replaced by a bad one.

Security Groups

Security groups control access to your instances at the network layer. Boxfuse automatically creates security groups for you that match the ports you have specified when fusing your image. This effectively restricts inbound network traffic to just the necessary ports.

By default Boxfuse will create both a security group for each application as well as a security group for each deployment. The security group for the application can be used as a source in other security groups to restrict access to only allow inbound access from instances of your application, regardless of the version currently deployed.

This security group created for each deployment in turn opens the exact set of ports required for that version of your application with the appropriate restrictions if any were defined.

All security groups that have been created by Boxfuse are automatically removed when they are no longer in use.

Custom Security Groups

Alternatively you can also explicitly configure a custom security group for every app in each environment using the securitygroup property.. In this case, Boxfuse will not create any security groups for you and it is then your responsibility to properly create, configure and decommission your security group.

Tags

AWS Tags are a useful way to associate important metadata with AWS resources. Wherever supported by AWS and applicable all AWS resources created by Boxfuse are consistently tagged with one or more of the following tags:

AWS Tag Name Description Example
boxfuse:env The Boxfuse environment prod
boxfuse:app The Boxfuse application myuser/myapp
boxfuse:image The Boxfuse image myuser/myapp:1.2.3
Name (For EC2 instances only) The Boxfuse image and environment boxfuse myuser/myapp:[email protected]

Custom Tags

In addition to the standard tags created by Boxfuse you can also specify one or more custom tags that should be applied to all created AWS resources using the tags property. This is particularly useful for things like cost allocation in your monthly AWS bill.

Elastic IPs

An Elastic IP is a public IP address that can be freely remapped from one instance to another. When running a single-instance app, Boxfuse will automatically provision an AWS Elastic IP in that environment. As soon as healthchecks have passed for a deployment, your new instance becomes reachable via the Elastic IP (as opposed to its initial public IP which it replaces). This is effectively makes the Elastic IP the stable entry point into your application. Once the app is killed, the Elastic IP is also removed.

Custom Elastic IPs

If this auto-provisioning doesn’t work for you, you do have the option to set up your own Elastic IP and configure Boxfuse to use it for a specific environment using the elasticip property. This in turn means that it is then also your responsibility to dispose of it when not needed anymore.

ALBs

When running a load-balanced-https app, Boxfuse will automatically provision an AWS Application Load Balancer (ALB) in that environment to distribute incoming requests across all your instances. The ALB will also be tagged using the boxfuse:app and boxfuse:env tags described above as well as any additional custom tags you may have defined. Once the app is killed, the ALB will also be removed.

Boxfuse configures each ALB it provisions to load-balance all HTTP and HTTPS ports of an image at layer 7. The same ports and protocols exposed by your image are also exposed by the ALB. This means that for HTTPS ports, the ALB terminates HTTPS connections and initiates new HTTPS connections to your instances, ensuring data in motion remains fully encrypted at all times.

Target Groups

For an auto-scaling group to be able to attach instances to an ALB, the ALB needs a target group. Boxfuse will automatically provision and configure this target group for you and wire it up with both a listener for the ALB and the auto-scaling group for the instances.

Custom ALBs and Target Groups

If those defaults don’t work for you, you do have the option to set up your own ALB and Target Groups and configure Boxfuse to use a specific Target Group for a specific environment using the targetgroup property. This in turn means that it is then your entire responsibility to ensure it is configured correctly and decommissioned when not needed anymore.

ELBs

When running a load-balanced app, Boxfuse will automatically provision an AWS Elastic Load Balancer (ELB) in that environment to distribute incoming requests across all your instances. The ELB will also be tagged using the boxfuse:app and boxfuse:env tags described above as well as any additional custom tags you may have defined. Once the app is killed, the ELB will also be removed.

Boxfuse configures each ELB it provisions to load-balance all open ports of an image at layer 4 (TCP). Unlike for layer 7 (HTTP, HTTPS) load balancing this means that HTTPS connections are only terminated on your instance and ensures the entire path between client and instance remains fully encrypted.

Custom ELBs

If those defaults don’t work for you, you do have the option to set up your own ELB and configure Boxfuse to use it for a specific environment using the elb property. This in turn means that it is then your entire responsibility to ensure it is configured correctly and decommissioned when not needed anymore.

Auto Scaling Groups

When running a load-balanced-https, load-balanced or worker app, Boxfuse will automatically provision an AWS Auto Scaling Group for each deployment. This Auto Scaling Group will then automatically ensure the configured capacity will be met and automatically adjusted based on the configured triggers.

Instance Profiles

To access other AWS services (using the AWS SDK for example) you need IAM credentials. While it is possible to bake these directly into your image, AWS actually offers a better and more secure way to obtain them: IAM instance profiles. Once an EC2 instance has been configured to use an IAM instance profile, AWS will automatically inject temporary IAM credentials into the instance at launch time. They will then automatically be picked up by the AWS SDK when it connects to a service.

CloudWatch Logs

By default for apps using CloudWatch Logs, Boxfuse configures your instances to use an IAM Instance Profile that allows your application to invoke logs:PutLogEvents. This is required in order to be able to send log events to CloudWatch Logs.

Custom Instance Profiles

You can however also very easily configure your app to use your own custom Instance Profile (which replaces any default instance profile provided by Boxfuse) using the instanceprofile property.

Note that if your app uses CloudWatch Logs, you must explicitly ensure it is be able to send logs to CloudWatch Logs by including the following statement in the IAM policy attached to your custom instance profile:

{
  "Statement": [
    {
      "Effect": "Allow",
      "Action": [
        "logs:PutLogEvents"
      ],
      "Resource": [
        "arn:aws:logs:*:*:*"
      ]
    }
  ]
}

Custom Domains