Using Amazon Athena from Perl

At ZipRecruiter we write “a lot” of logs, so actually looking at the logs can be a lot of work. Amazon Athena provides a nice solution, and recently an API was (finally) provided to allow us to use it in our code. I wrote some code recently to leverage the API.

We have so many logs at ZipRecruiter that we can barely keep an ElasticSearch cluster with one week of logs running. That is a frustrating post for another day, but another option is to use Athena. Athena is some open source software put together by Amazon that will do MapReduce jobs on structured data stored in S3, using SQL as an interface. What a mouthful.

If none of that made any sense to you, basically it’s a slow SQL database on text files that costs money per query. It’s pretty cheap though, with a cost of 5$ per Terrabyte queried. We are spending hugely more than that on our crashy ElasticSearch cluster, and that doesn’t include the (so far, mostly unhelpful) Elastico support contract.

The following is a basic script (which I expect to refactor, improve, etc) that simply runs a query against Athena and immediately downloads the results. I will publish another tiny script on Wednesday that I like to use to work with the results.

#!/usr/bin/env perl

use 5.26.0;
use warnings;

use experimental 'signatures';

use Data::GUID 'guid_string';
use DateTime;
use Getopt::Long::Descriptive;
use Net::Amazon::S3;
use Paws;

my ($opt, $usage) = describe_options(
  '$0 %o <some-arg>',
  [ 'sql=s', "sql to run", { required => 1  } ],
  [ 'database=s', 'db to run in', { default => 'adhoc'  } ],
  [ 's3-output-location=s',
      'S3 Prefix to store to',
      { default  => "s3://$ENV{USER}-test" }
  [ 'local-output-location=s',
    'Location to download s3 files to', { default  => '.' }
  [ ],
  [ 'verbose',    'print extra info'            ],
  [ 'help',       'print usage message and exit', { shortcircuit => 1 } ],
  { show_defaults => 1 },

print($usage->text), exit if $opt->help;

my $athena = Paws->service('Athena', region => 'us-east-1');

my $query = $athena->StartQueryExecution(
  QueryString => $opt->sql,
  ResultConfiguration => {
    OutputLocation => $opt->s3_output_location,
  QueryExecutionContext => {
    Database => $opt->database,
  ClientRequestToken => guid_string(),

my $status;
do {
  $status = $athena->GetQueryExecution(
    QueryExecutionId => $query->QueryExecutionId,
  sleep 1;
} until _is_complete($status);

my $s = $status->QueryExecution->Status;
my $start = DateTime->from_epoch( epoch => $s->SubmissionDateTime );
my $end = DateTime->from_epoch( epoch => $s->CompletionDateTime );
warn sprintf <<'OUT', $s->State, $start, $end if $opt->verbose;
Query %s!
  started at %s
 finished at %s

if ($s->State eq 'FAILED') {
  warn $s->StateChangeReason . "\n";
  exit 1;
} elsif ($s->State eq 'CANCELLED') {
  warn "query cancelled\n";
  exit 0;

warn "results are at " .
  $status->QueryExecution->ResultConfiguration->OutputLocation . "\n"
  if $opt->verbose;

my $a = Paws::Credential::ProviderChain->new->selected_provider;

# Paws::S3 is marked as unstable; the following wouldn't work with IAM roles.
my $s3 = Net::Amazon::S3->new(
  aws_access_key_id     => $a->access_key,
  aws_secret_access_key => $a->secret_key,

my ($bucket_name, $key, $file) =

my $bucket = $s3->bucket($bucket_name);
my $local = $opt->local_output_location . '/' . $file;

warn "downloading $key to $local\n" if $opt->verbose;

$bucket->get_key_filename( $key, 'GET', $local );

sub _is_complete ($s) {
  $s->QueryExecution->Status->State =~ m/^(?:succeeded|failed|cancelled)$/i

sub parse_s3_url ($url) {
  $url =~ s/^s3:\/\///;

  my ($bucket, $key) = split qr(/), $url, 2;

  my ($file) = ($key =~ m(.*?/?([^/]+)$));

  return ($bucket, $key, $file);

It’s not a work of art but I am thrilled to finally have this to use to run my queries. Note that this is using Paws 0.33 which is not yet released, but I would be really surprised if the interface changed at all, given how closely Paws hews to the AWS API.

I don’t know of any resources you could purchase to learn more about this tech and I wouldn’t know if it was any good anyway. Instead I’ll just link to some media that I’m enjoying right now.

(The following includes affiliate links.)

I just started the eigth book in The Malazan Series and as usual I’m enjoying it a lot.

In a totally different vein I just ordered a thermocouple in the hopes that it would give me more insight while roasting my coffee and allow me to make my roasts that much better.

Posted Mon, Jun 12, 2017

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