The RightScale 2017 AWS re:Invent Plugin Challenge: How RightScale Connected to the New Amazon MQ Service in 64 Minutes

Cloud providers have been innovating at an incredible clip over the past few years. This is never more evident than the week of re:Invent when AWS announces dozens of new cloud services. In 2016 alone, AWS announced more than 40 new cloud services across AI, Storage, Containers, IoT, and more. This year, AWS has already announced 30 services by the end of the first keynote (with another full day to go).

RightScale Cloud Management Platform (CMP) is designed to let you quickly take advantage of the latest innovation from each cloud provider you use. Our plugin approach enables you to orchestrate virtually any cloud service. Plugins simply “teach” RightScale CMP about the API for a cloud service and can often be created in less than a day. RightScale currently makes nearly 30 plugins available on GitHub for popular new services such as AWS Lambda, Azure Container Services, and GCP BigTable.

To demonstrate how easy it is to develop a plugin, we challenged the RightScale Professional Services team to create a new plugin from scratch within 24 hours based on a brand-new service that was announced last night at AWS re:Invent 2017. The result? We met the challenge, taking just 64 minutes (we had it finished before the keynote was over) to create the new plugin for Amazon MQ that is now available on GitHub. The plugin supports all of the resources and actions available in the Amazon MQ API and enables you to orchestrate this new service — along with any other cloud service — using RightScale.

How Plugins Work

RightScale, as well as its customers and partners, develop plugins that enable users to easily deploy, orchestrate, and manage cloud services. This plugin capability extends RightScale’s deep out-of-the-box integration with compute, network, and storage services across AWS, Azure, Google, IBM, OpenStack, VMware vSphere, and other leading public and private clouds.

The RightScale plugin framework works with any service with an HTTP-based API. Once a plugin is created, it enables RightScale users to orchestrate that cloud service in our Cloud Application Templates and with RightScale Cloud Workflow code. This allows you to use RightScale to automate across a wide variety of services, including cloud provider services, third-party services, and even your own services.

Amazon MQ Plugin for RightScale

This year at re:invent, Amazon launched Amazon MQ, a managed service that makes it easy to set up and operate industry-standard Apache ActiveMQ message brokers in the cloud. This is important for enterprises that use different programming languages on different platforms and need to communicate across distributed applications and services such as order processing, inventory management, and fulfillment for e-commerce. Amazon MQ takes care of time-consuming tasks such as provisioning the infrastructure, setting up the broker, updating the software, and managing security.

Creating the plugin to integrate with RightScale CMP was quick and easy.

First, we described the external API resources, actions, types, and structures. Next, we created a resource pool that references a plugin declaration and provides the usage-specific elements such as endpoint information and credentials. In almost no time, we had a fully functioning plugin available for the RightScale platform to take full advantage of Amazon MQ before the keynote was even finished.

Later today we are going to be putting the final touches on and testing a sample Cloud Application Template that uses the service, but we wanted to demonstrate how easy it is to develop plugins for new services that can integrate directly into RightScale CMP. Watch for other new RightScale plugins later this week!