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AWS Serverless Events into Knative (or anywhere!)

A lot of services inside AWS produces events to be consumed by services inside AWS, that’s one of the Serverless foundations. The classic example is executing an AWS Lambda function to resize an image after being uploaded to AWS S3. Receive the event, process the data. Event-driven. Serverless-styles.

Introducing Konnek

Konnek is this little project I’ve been working on to extract events from cloud providers – like AWS and GCP –, package them into CloudEvents and send them anywhere – including Knative.

It works by deploying a central AWS Lambda receiving events from anywhere inside AWS in a generic way, parsing those events according to the CloudEvents spec and send them via an HTTP POST to a webserver. Here is the list of AWS events supported by Konnek.

Konnek -> Knative

Consuming events emitted by Konnek into Knative can be quite simple. For the next steps, I assume you already have a Knative platform up and running with Service and Eventing installed and with a Broker named default in the default namespace. You can achieve all these steps by following the Knative Installation docs.

Here it’s how it looks like:

On Knative

First, let’s create a receiver Knative Service. It will be responsible to receive the event from Konnek.

Create a file named receiver.yaml with the following content and apply it with kubectl -f receiver.yaml.

kind: Service
  name: konnek-receiver
        # avoiding cold start for fun and profit "1"
      # You can find the code for the `knative-receiver` service here
      - image: konnek/knative-receiver

Next, we will deploy a SinkBinding. What it does is to connect a Kubernetes (or Knative) component that wants to generate events, called the subject, to a resource that can consume events, called the sink. In our case, the receiver Service is forwarding the events to the default Broker – a central place in Knative to manage events:

Create a file named sinkbinding.yaml with the following content and apply it with kubectl -f sinkbinding.yaml.

kind: SinkBinding
  name: konnek-sinkbinding
    kind: Service
    name: konnek-receiver
      kind: Broker
      name: default

The third step is to set up a Knative Trigger. It will watch the Broker for an event with a specific type and trigger the code that will finally consume the event. In our example, we will consume an SQS event.

Create a file named trigger.yaml with the following content and apply it with kubectl -f trigger.yaml.

kind: Trigger
  name: konnek-trigger-aws-sqs
  broker: default
      # Here we say we want SQS events
      # And trigger the consumer function
      kind: Service
      name: konnek-consumer

Finally, let’s deploy the Knative consumer Service, which will log the event in the logs – but we could do anything with it!

Create a file named consumer.yaml with the following content and apply it with kubectl -f consumer.yaml.

kind: Service
  name: konnek-consumer
  labels: cluster-local
      - image: konnek/consumer

Before deploying the Konnek function in AWS, we need the address from the receiver Knative Service – since Konnek will forward the AWS events there. Let’s fetch it and add into the KONNEK_CONSUMER environment variable.

export KONNEK_CONSUMER=$(kubectl get ksvc konnek-receiver -o jsonpath="{.status.url}")


The setup is way simpler in AWS. We will use the Serverless Framework to deploy the function, so make sure it is installed and configured.

First, get the latest version of konnek-aws. For now, it’s v0.0.3, but you can check the latest version here:

wget -O

Get the official Konnek serverless.yml file:


Make sure the KONNEK_CONSUMER environment variable is set to the Knative receiver Service and deploy the function!

export KONNEK_CONSUMER=$(kubectl get ksvc konnek-receiver -o jsonpath="{.status.url}")
serverless deploy

That should be it! Let’s give it a spin!

First, start looking into the Knative consumer logs with stern, since the event will end up there:

stern -l -c user-container

In another terminal, get a SQS mock data:


And invoke our Konnek function with the Serverless Framework invoke command using the mock data:

serverless invoke -f konnek -p sqs.json

Look in the stern terminal, you should see something like:

... user-container 2020/04/25 18:35:50 Validation: valid
... user-container Context Attributes,
... user-container   specversion: 1.0
... user-container   type:
... user-container   source: arn:aws:sqs:eu-central-1:123456789012:MyQueue
... user-container   id: 1b6a181f-42bb-40e0-a95a-b54baf2795f0
... user-container   time: 2020-04-25T18:35:50.821658085Z
... user-container   datacontenttype: application/json
... user-container Extensions,
... user-container   knativearrivaltime: 2020-04-25T18:35:50.826800825Z
... user-container   knativehistory: default-kne-trigger-kn-channel.default.svc.cluster.local
... user-container   traceparent: 00-1fdfa2325a20d35b622a8ad2262566ff-d8445a2b188ba72f-00
... user-container Data,
... user-container   {
... user-container     "Records": [
... user-container       {
... user-container         "attributes": {
... user-container           "ApproximateFirstReceiveTimestamp": "1523232000001",
... user-container           "ApproximateReceiveCount": "1",
... user-container           "SenderId": "123456789012",
... user-container           "SentTimestamp": "1523232000000"
... user-container         },
... user-container         "awsRegion": "eu-central-1",
... user-container         "body": "Hello from SQS!",
... user-container         "eventSource": "aws:sqs",
... user-container         "eventSourceARN": "arn:aws:sqs:eu-central-1:123456789012:MyQueue",
... user-container         "md5OfBody": "7b270e59b47ff90a553787216d55d91d",
... user-container         "messageAttributes": {},
... user-container         "messageId": "19dd0b57-b21e-4ac1-bd88-01bbb068cb78",
... user-container         "receiptHandle": "MessageReceiptHandle"
... user-container       }
... user-container     ]
... user-container   }

WE DID IT! An AWS event directly into your Knative infrastructure 😮

To receive events from a real SQS queue, just add its AWS ARN in the serverless.yaml file, it will look like this:

    handler: main
      - sqs: arn:aws:sqs:us-east-1:123456789012:queue1

And redeploy your function 🙂

What can I do with it?

We’ve just opened the AWS Serverless world to Knative! Take a look at the source code of the consumer Knative Service:

package main
import (
	cloudevents ""
func display(event cloudevents.Event) {
func main() {
	client, err := cloudevents.NewDefaultClient()
	if err != nil {
		log.Fatalf("could not create client: %vn", err)
	ctx := context.Background()
	log.Printf("server started on port %d", 8080)
	err = client.StartReceiver(ctx, display)
	if err != nil {
		log.Fatalf("failed to start server, %v", err)

In this case, the display function is printing the function to the stdout, but you can implement whatever you want! Add the event to a database, send a message to Slack, resize images and all the cool Serverless things ⚡️

Knative (or anywhere!)

Today we saw an example to receive the events in the Knative platform, but Konnek can send them to any webserver that understands CloudEvents ? Try it out receiving in your local machine!.

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