AWS Auto-Scaling Termination State Service

This page documents the configuration for Opencast module terminationstate-aws. This configuration is only required on nodes that are part of an AWS Auto Scaling group.

The purpose of this module to manage the termination of an AWS EC2 instance, triggered when an Auto Scaling Group "scales in", as the Opencast process may still be processing jobs which we want to complete. This is special implementation of the basic Termination State Service

It does not terminate the Opencast process or the instance itself.

Auto Scaling Groups can trigger a Lifecycle Hook when an instance is created or terminated which allow events to occur before the creation or termination is completed. The service can poll if the termination hook has been triggered, at which point it will:

  • put the node in maintenance mode, to stop accepting new jobs
  • periodically check for running jobs and if so emit a heartbeat
  • when no jobs are running it will tell the Auto Scaling group to complete the Terminate life-cycle action

Alternatively you can disable the Lifecycle state polling and call the REST endpoint (termination/aws/autoscaling) to signal that the instance is now terminating. The details of how to achieve this are beyond the scope of this document, but using a CloudWatch Alarm to trigger a Lambda function is a suggested route.

Amazon User Configuration

Configuration of Amazon users is beyond the scope of this documentation, instead we suggest referring to Amazon's documentation. You will, however, require to set up proper credentials by either:

The termination state service requires a number of permissions to query and respond to changes in the instance's lifecycle. You should follow these instructions to create a new policy that is assigned to the IAM profile or user account. The following policy contains all the necessary permissions. You will need to change the region and account number in the Resource ARN with your own.

    "Version": "2012-10-17",
    "Statement": [
            "Sid": "ReadInstanceLifcycle",
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": [
            "Resource": "*"
            "Sid": "UpdateLifcycle",
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": [
            "Resource": "arn:aws:autoscaling:<region>:<account>:autoScalingGroup:*:autoScalingGroupName/*"

A free Amazon account will work for small scale testing, but be aware that AutoScaling can incur costs if not correctly setup.

Amazon AutoScaling Configuration

Please consult the AWS documentation to create an AutoScaling Group. You will need to explicitly add a Lifecycle Hook for the "autoscaling:EC2_INSTANCE_TERMINATING" Lifecycle transition. The 'Heartbeat Timeout' should be set to something appropriate. The default 3600 seconds is fine for production but quite long when developing your deployment. NOTE: the service will tell the AutoScaling Group to complete termination even if the timeout hasn't expired once there are no jobs running.

Opencast Service Configuration

The Opencast AWS Autoscaling Termination State Service configuration can be found in the file

Key name Value Example
enable true to enable the service, false (default) otherwise true
lifecycle.polling.enabled true to poll the Lifecycle for the termination state true
lifecycle.polling.period frequency which to poll the Lifecycle in seconds 300
lifecycle.heartbeat.period frequency which to check if if jobs are running and emit Lifecycle heartbeat 300 AWS user's access ID 20 alphanumeric characters
access.secret AWS user's secret key 40 characters

If and access.secret are not explicitly provided, search for credentials will be performed in the order specified by the Default Credentials Provider Chain.

NOTE: both the lifecycle.polling.period and lifecycle.heartbeat.period should be less than the 'Heartbeat Timeout' of the Lifecycle Hook or else the instance could be terminated before the service can respond.