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AWS SQS Keepalive Service

We use SQS in one application as a simple lock for assigning Elastic IPs to instances (since the EIP can be 'stolen'). To do this, we have a queue with a single message in there - if the instance can read the message, it has obtained the lock.

The problem is that SQS has a maxium message duration of 14 days, after which messages will be purged. To workaround this, we run a cron task on our EC2 instances under Elastic Beanstalk that read and replace the message once a day. This works fine...until we want to 'pause' the eb environment.

This task then checks for SQS queues matching a pattern and will read the single message and re-post it.


  • VERBOSE - enable more logging. Default: False
  • FREQUENCY - How often to check the SQS queues (in seconds). Default: 86400
  • SQS_NAME_PATTERN - Process queues with this pattern in their name. Default: EIPQueue
  • EXCLUDE_REGIONS - Comma seperated list of SQS regions to ignore. Default: cn-north-1,us-gov-west-1

Example Docker run

docker run -d -e "FREQUENCY=90" \
          -e "SQS_NAME_PATTERN=foo \
              --name sqs-keepalive \

Running under the EC2 Container Service (ECS)

A sample task definition is included under the ecs folder.

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