AWS SSM Parameter Store

What is the AWS SSM Parameter Store?

The SSM Parameter store belongs to a fleet of services under the AWS Systems Manager umbrella.

The AWS Systems Manager Parameter Store provides a service to maintain k/v parameters. Data can be store in plain or encrypted formats.

A huge benefit is provided through an option which allows to create a hierarchy of parameters – such like a parent-child relation. Since parameters can be pulled either by a dedicated key (parameter name) or as path it allows to group parameters logically.

During initial architecture and design it may make sense to invest a bit of time to outline a horizon on how parameters would want to be organized. While it help to keep things clean and in order it also helps to reduce API interactions with the AWS SSM Parameter API. Which in effectively results in less on-air traffic and API interactions – so less budget spend overall. Therefore an invest of time and planning at the very beginning will help to avoid increased budget needs later on.

Why AWS SSM Parameter Store?

The AWS SSM Parameter Store is an option which allows to provide configurations for applications. Also applications can just interact with the AWS SSM Parameter Store to not just read but also write and update parameters where and whenever needed.

The AWS SSM Parameter Store is a regional service. Example: whatever parameter, k/v would be stored in eu-west-1 (so Ireland) would not automatically be replicated to other regions which may be used.

Use case

While the number of uses cases where and how to involve the Parameter Store would be countless there is an example in this blog to illustrate and automated, programmatic usage of the AWS SSM Parameter Store:

The logic that is used to run the Docker Swarm cluster utilizes the SSM Parameter Store to maintain the various roles of nodes within a cluster and to automatically outline which role a newly joined node would have to consume.

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