Using AWS X-Ray with Lambda@Edge

January 20, 2020 #aws #xray #cloudfront #monitoring

One of my original Lambda@Edge functions was still running on an old Node.js runtime, which I needed to update. That function dynamically generated images of a United States map with various states shaded based on the filename.

United States map with Minnesota highlighted

This image was created from a base SVG, which was parsed and the fill color set for each state. This was subsequently converted into either a JPEG or PNG. When I first authored this function, I used the X-Ray subsegment functionality to understand the duration of each of these steps.

    if (AWSXRay) {
        const subsegment = AWSXRay.getSegment().addNewSubsegment('generateSVG');

However, after updating the code and trying to “Deploy to Lambda@Edge”…

Deploy to Lambda@Edge"

…I saw this “X-Ray is not supported” error message:

X-Ray is not Support

Sure enough, when I look at the Lambda Function Supported Runtimes and Configuration I see this lack of X-Ray support explicitly listed.

  • AWS X-Ray is not supported.

How was it working for me before? What had I done differently, or was this a feature which has been disabled for new deployments? Instead of using the AWS Console, I used the AWS CLI publish-version command.

$ aws lambda publish-version --function-name LicensePlateZone-CloudFront-OriginRequest

I then used the AWS Console to update the Behavior on this CloudFront Distribution to specify the version as :2.

Lambda Function Associates

In CloudFront Monitoring, when you look at the “Lambda@edge function metrics” section, it indicates in which regions the functions are invoked.

Lambda@Edge functions are triggered in Regions close to your end users.

The metrics on this page provide an aggregate view of different Regions in which the Lambda@Edge function executed.

CloudFront > Monitoring > LicensePlateZone-CloudFront-OriginRequest:2

AWS X-Ray is supported in Ohio (us-east-2) where this executed…

AWS X-Ray Regions

..and my code dynamically detects X-Ray support and will console.log the awsRequestId to assist my future debugging.

    if (process.env.AWS_XRAY_DAEMON_ADDRESS) {
        const segmentName = process.env._HANDLER || 'index.handler';
        subsegment = AWSXRay.getSegment().addNewSubsegment(segmentName);
        subsegment.addMetadata('event', event);
        subsegment.addMetadata('context', context);
        if (context.awsRequestId) {
            subsegment.addAnnotation('awsRequestId', context.awsRequestId);
            console.log(`AWS X-Ray filter:  Annotation.awsRequestId = "${context.awsRequestId}"`);

When I go to CloudWatch > Log Groups > /aws/lambda/us-east-1.LicensePlateZone-CloudFront-OriginRequest in Ohio, I can just copy that X-Ray filter expression…

2020-01-20T04:25:45.932Z	c80d37f9-1805-4233-8ca3-b0f86d73cd02	INFO	AWS X-Ray filter:  Annotation.awsRequestId = "c80d37f9-1805-4233-8ca3-b0f86d73cd02"

…and use to find the Trace. Here is the Timeline for that request with a timing breakdown for generateSVG and generateImage.

AWS X-Ray Timeline

Also, some of the Raw data JSON for that Trace, which shows the request_id and resource_arn.

    "Document": {
        "id": "48105c4f14533917",
        "name": "us-east-1.LicensePlateZone-CloudFront-OriginRequest",
        "start_time": 1579494345.905,
        "end_time": 1579494346.164,
        "http": {
            "response": {
                "status": 200
        "aws": {
            "request_id": "c80d37f9-1805-4233-8ca3-b0f86d73cd02"
        "trace_id": "1-5e252bc9-e3c78f382891b2ccf6c99a18",
        "origin": "AWS::Lambda",
        "resource_arn": "arn:aws:lambda:us-east-2:0123456789012:function:us-east-1.LicensePlateZone-CloudFront-OriginRequest:2"

This shows that when CloudFront invokes a Lambda@Edge function in an AWS Region that supports AWS X-Ray, it works as expected. However, this still might not mean it is “supported” by AWS, so use at your own risk.

Kevin Hakanson

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