With the rise of the cloud and increased security awareness, the use of private Amazon VPCs with no public internet access also expanded rapidly. This setup is recommended to make sure of proper security through isolation. The isolation requirement also applies to code pipelines, in which developers deploy their application modules, software packages, and other dependencies and bundles throughout the development lifecycle. This is done without having to push larger bundles from the developer space to the staging space or the target environment. Furthermore, AWS CodeArtifact is used as an artifact management service that will help organizations of any size to securely store, publish, and share software packages used in their software development process.
We’ll walk through the steps required to build a secure, private continuous integration/continuous development (CI/CD) pipeline with no public internet access while maintaining log retention in Amazon CloudWatch. We’ll utilize AWS CodeCommit for source, CodeArtifact for the Modules and software packages, and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) as artifact storage.
The prerequisites for following along with this post include:
An AWS Account
A Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC)
A CI/CD pipeline – This can be CodePipeline, Jenkins or any CI/CD tool you want to integrate CodeArtifact with, we will use CodePipeline in our walkthrough here.
The preceding diagram shows how the requests remain private within the VPC and won’t go through the Internet gateway, by going from CodeBuild over the private endpoint to CodeArtifact service, all within the private subnet.
The requests will use the following VPC endpoints to connect to these AWS services:
CloudWatch Logs endpoint (for CodeBuild to put logs in CloudWatch)
AWS Security Token Service (AWS STS) endpoint
Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) endpoint
Create a CodeCommit Repository:
Navigate to your CodeCommit Console then click on Create repository
Type in name for the repository then click Create
Scroll down and click Create file
Copy the example buildspec.yml file and paste it to the editor
Example buildspec.yml file:
Name the file buildspec.yml, type in your name and your email address then Commit changes
Navigate to your CodeArtifact Console then click on Create repository
Give it a name and select npm-store as public upsteam repository
For the Domain Select this AWS account and enter a domain name
Click Next then Create repository
Create a CI/CD using CodePipeline
Navigate to your CodePipeline Console then click on Create pipeline
Type a name, leave the Service role as “New service role” and click next
Select AWS CodeCommit as your Source provider
Then choose the CodeCommit repository you created earlier and for branch select main then click Next
For the Build Stage, Choose AWS CodeBuild as the build provider, then click Create Project
This will open new window to create the new Project, Give this project a name
Scroll down to the Environment section: select pick Managed image,
For Operating system select “Amazon Linux 2”,
Runtime “Standard” and
For Image select the aws/codebuild/amazonlinux2-x86+64-standard:4.0
For the Image version: Always use the latest image for this runtime version
Select Linux for the Environment type
Leave the Privileged option unchecked and set Service Role to “New service role”
Expand Additional configurations and scroll down to the VPC section, select the desired VPC, your Subnets (we recommend selecting multiple AZs, to ensure high availability), and Security Group (the security group rules must allow resources that will use the VPC endpoint to communicate with the AWS service to communicate with the endpoint network interface, default VPC security group will be used here as an example)
Scroll down to the Buildspec and select “Use a buildspec file” and type “buildspec.yml” for the Buildspec name
Select the CloudWatch logs option you can leave the group name and stream empty this will let the service use the default values and click Continue to CodePipeline
This will create the new CodeBuild Project, update the CodePipeline page, now you can click Next
Since we are not deploying this to any environment, you can skip the deploy stage and click “Skip deploy stage”
After you get the popup click skip again you’ll see the review page, scroll all the way down and click Create Pipeline
Create a VPC endpoint for Amazon CloudWatch Logs. This will enable CodeBuild to send execution logs to CloudWatch:
Navigate to your VPC console, and from the navigation menu on the left select “Endpoints”.
click Create endpoint Button.
For service Category, select “AWS Services”. You can set a name for the new endpoint, and make sure to use something descriptive.
From the list of services, search for the endpoint by typing logs in the search bar and selecting the one with com.amazonaws.us-west-2.logs.
This walkthrough can be done in any region that supports the services. I am going to be using us-west-2, please select the appropriate region for your workload.
Select the VPC that you want the endpoint to be associated with, and make sure that the Enable DNS name option is checked under additional settings.
Select the Subnets where you want the endpoint to be associated, and you can leave the security group as default and the policy as empty.
Select Create Endpoint.
Create a VPC endpoint for CodeArtifact. At the time of writing this article, CodeArifact has two endpoints: one is for API operations like service level operations and authentication, and the other is for using the service such as getting modules for our code. We’ll need both endpoints to automate working with CodeArtifact. Therefore, we’ll create both endpoints with DNS enabled.
In addition, we’ll need AWS Security Token Service (AWS STS) endpoint for get-caller-identity API call:
Follow steps a-c from the steps that were used from the creating the Logs endpoint above.
a. From the list of services, you can search for the endpoint by typing codeartifact in the search bar and selecting the one with com.amazonaws.us-west-2.codeartifact.api.
Follow steps e-g from Part 4.
Then, repeat the same for com.amazon.aws.us-west-2.codeartifact.repositories service.
Enable a VPC endpoint for AWS STS:
Follow steps a-c from Part 4
a. From the list of services you can search for the endpoint by typing sts in the search bar and selecting the one with com.amazonaws.us-west-2.sts.
Then follow steps e-g from Part 4.
Create a VPC endpoint for S3:
Follow steps a-c from Part 4
a. From the list of services you can search for the endpoint by typing sts in the search bar and selecting the one with com.amazonaws.us-west-2.s3, select the one with type of Gateway
Then select your VPC, and select the route tables for your subnets, this will auto update the route table with the new S3 endpoint.
Now we have all of the endpoints set. The last step is to update your pipeline to point at the CodeArtifact repository when pulling your code dependencies. I’ll use CodeBuild buildspec.yml as an example here.
Make sure that your CodeBuild AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) role has the permissions to perform STS and CodeArtifact actions.
Navigate to IAM console and click Roles from the left navigation menu, then search for your IAM role name, in our case since we selected “New service role” option in step 2.k was created with the name “codebuild-Private-service-role” (codebuild-<BUILD PROJECT NAME>-service-role)
From the Add permissions menu, click on Create inline policy
Search for STS in the services then select STS
Search for “GetCallerIdentity” and select the action
Repeat the same with “GetServiceBearerToken”
Click on Review, add a name then click on Create policy
You should see the new inline policy added to the list
For CodeArtifact actions we will do the same on that role, click on Create inline policy
Search for CodeArtifact in the services then select CodeArtifact
Search for “GetAuthorizationToken” in actions and select that action in the check box
Repeat for “GetRepositoryEndpoint” and “ReadFromRepository”
Click on Resources to fix the 2 warnings, then click on Add ARN on the first one “Specify domain resource ARN for the GetAuthorizationToken action.”
You’ll get a pop up with fields for Region, Account and Domain name, enter your region, your account number, and the domain name, we used “private” when we created our domain earlier.
Then click Add
Repeat the same process for “Specify repository resource ARN for the ReadFromRepository and 1 more”, and this time we will provide Region, Account ID, Domain name and Repository name, we used “Private” for the repository we created earlier and “private” for domain
Note it is best practice to specify the resource we are targeting, we can use the checkbox for “Any” but we want to narrow the scope of our IAM role best we can.
Navigate to CodeCommit then click on the repo you created earlier in step1
Click on Add file dropdown, then Create file button
Paste the following in the editor space:
Add your name and email, and optional commit message
Repeat this process for “index.js” and paste the following in the editor space:
This will force the pipeline to kick off and start building the application
This is a very simple application that gets the square root of 49 and log it to the screen, if you click on the Details link from the pipeline build stage, you’ll see the output of running the NodeJS application, the logs are stored in CloudWatch and you can navigate there by clicking on the link the View entire log “Showing the last xx lines of the build log. View entire log”
We used npm example in the buildspec.yml above, Similar setup will be used for pip and twine,
For Maven, Gradle, and NuGet, you must set Environment variables and change your settings.xml and build.gradle, as well as install the plugin for your IDE. For more information, see here.
Navigate to VPC endpoint from the AWS console and delete the endpoints that you created.
Navigate to CodePipeline and delete the Pipeline you created.
Navigate to CodeBuild and delete the Build Project created.
Navigate to CodeCommit and delete the Repository you created.
Navigate to CodeArtifact and delete the Repository and the domain you created.
Navigate to IAM and delete the Roles created:
For CodeBuild: codebuild-<Build Project Name>-service-role
For CodePipeline: AWSCodePipelineServiceRole-<Region>-<Project Name>
In this post, we deployed a full CI/CD pipeline with CodePipeline orchestrating CodeBuild to build and test a small NodeJS application, using CodeArtifact to download the application code dependencies. All without going to the public internet and maintaining the logs in CloudWatch.
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