Managed Redis instances are expensive. But Redis is amazing, I use it for handling cache, sessions and queues.
When speaking to the AWS team about ways of cutting our bills down they recommended moving to DynamoDB and SQS, my initial question was:

“How do I run the same stuff locally when developing so im not incurring costs?”

Their answer was:

“Just run it against a real instance?” - ¯_(ツ)_/¯

I’m really, really big on being able to run things locally. So I set out on working out how I could do the above.

Docker Configuration

Amazon actually provides a docker image for us to create a local DynamoDB instance from.
No such luck for SQS, instead the image we’re going to use is based on elasticmq which has an SQS compatible interface.

# docker-compose.yml
    driver: "local"

    # DynamoDB and Sqs are containers used to simulate the production aws environment...
      # In order to persist the data and table we need to mount the
      # volume which can only be done as root on this container...
      user: root
      image: amazon/dynamodb-local:latest
      container_name: myproject-dynamodb
        - "8000:8000"
      command: ["-jar", "DynamoDBLocal.jar", "-sharedDb", "-dbPath", "/home/dynamodblocal/data/"]
        - dynamodb:/home/dynamodblocal/data
        - default
      image: graze/sqs-local
      container_name: myproject-sqs
        - 9324:9324
        - ./elasticmq.conf:/elasticmq.conf
        - default

Notice that an elasticmq.conf file is mounted in the sqs section.
This file contains the queue configuration, you’ll need to create this file in your project and make sure the paths all match:

nano ./elasticmq.conf

And put the following in, it creates 2 queues, one called default and another called service-queue.

include classpath("application.conf")

node-address {
   protocol = http
   host = "*"
   port = 9324
   context-path = ""

rest-sqs {
   enabled = true
   bind-port = 9324
   bind-hostname = ""
   // Possible values: relaxed, strict
   sqs-limits = strict

queues {
   default {
     defaultVisibilityTimeout = 10 seconds
     delay = 5 seconds
     receiveMessageWait = 0 seconds
   service-queue {
     defaultVisibilityTimeout = 10 seconds
     delay = 5 seconds
     receiveMessageWait = 0 seconds

DynamoDb Configuration

When using the local instance we need to create a table within DynamoDB, first add / update the necessary environment files to .env:


Reload the .env file within your containers by restarting them docker-compose down && docker-compose up -d.

Then use the AWS CLI to create the table, notice that --table-name and DYNAMODB_CACHE_TABLE are the same here:

aws dynamodb create-table --table-name myproject-cache --attribute-definitions AttributeName=key,AttributeType=S --key-schema AttributeName=key,KeyType=HASH --endpoint-url http://localhost:8000 --provisioned-throughput ReadCapacityUnits=2,WriteCapacityUnits=2

You can confirm that the table was made by running the following:

aws dynamodb list-tables --endpoint-url http://localhost:8000

And should see:

    "TableNames": [

SQS Configuration

The following instructions will get everything running locally on a queue called service-queue.

Update the .env file:

# SQS Config

Restart the containers, docker-compose up -d.


You should be able to dispatch jobs to SQS now and see cache / session items appearing in the local DynamoDB instance!