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Backstage on EKS¤


Backstage is an application that aims to facilitate introduction and maintenance of standards and best practices, across the organization, tying all infrastructure tooling, resources, owners, contributors, and administrators together in one place.

The base functionality is provided by the Core component, which is assembled together with Plugins into an Application. Plugins extend the Core with additional functionalities that can be open source, or proprietary to a company.

The objective of this pattern is to illustrate how to deploy a Backstage pre-built Docker image, using the Amazon EKS Blueprints Backstage add-on.


Backstage Architecture


This blueprint will include the following:

  • A new Well-Architected VPC with both Public and Private subnets
  • A new Well-Architected EKS cluster in the region and account you specify
  • An Application Load Balancer (ALB), implementing the Backstage Ingress rules
  • An Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL instance
  • A certificate, assigned to the ALB
  • A Secret in AWS Secrets Manager, storing the database credentials, imported into the cluster via ExternalsSecretsAddOn
  • Other popular add-ons


Ensure that you have installed the following tools on your machine:

Let’s start by setting the account and region environment variables:

ACCOUNT_ID=$(aws sts get-caller-identity --query 'Account' --output text)
AWS_REGION=$(aws configure get region)

Create the Backstage application, command reported here for your convenience:

npx @backstage/create-app@latest

Build the corresponding Docker image, commands reported here for your convenience:

cd ./backstage
yarn install --frozen-lockfile
yarn tsc
yarn build:backend --config app-config.yaml

Note: if the above command throws an error caused by app-config.yaml not found, you can explicitly set the path to the file:

yarn build:backend --config $(pwd)/app-config.yaml
Then you can progress with the docker image build:

docker image build . -f packages/backend/Dockerfile --tag backstage

Note: consider the platform you are building on, and the target platform the image will run on, you might want to use the --platform option, e.g.:

docker buildx build ... --platform=...

Note: If you are running a version of Docker Engine version earlier than 23.0, you might need to enable BuildKit manually, like explained in the Getting Started section of the BuildKit webpage.

(Optional) to show examples on the UI, add to Docker file:

COPY --chown=node:node examples /examples

Create an Amazon Elastic Container Registry (ECR) repository, named backstage:

aws ecr create-repository --repository-name backstage
DOCKER_IMAGE_ID=... #see output of image id from above image creation
aws ecr get-login-password --region $AWS_REGION | docker login --username AWS --password-stdin $ACCOUNT_ID.dkr.ecr.$
docker tag $DOCKER_IMAGE_ID $ACCOUNT_ID.dkr.ecr.$
docker push $ACCOUNT_ID.dkr.ecr.$

Setup a Hosted Zone in Route 53, with your parent domain. The pattern will create a new subdomain with format {backstage subdomain label}.{parent domain}. The default value for {backstage subdomain label} is backstage (see parameters below).


Clone the repository:

git clone
cd cdk-eks-blueprints-patterns

Set the pattern's parameters in the CDK context by overriding the cdk.json file (edit PARENT_DOMAIN_NAME as it fits):
HOSTED_ZONE_ID=$(aws route53 list-hosted-zones-by-name --dns-name $PARENT_DOMAIN_NAME --query "HostedZones[].Id" --output text | xargs basename)
cat << EOF > cdk.json
    "app": "npx ts-node dist/lib/common/default-main.js",
    "context": {
        "": "${ACCOUNT_ID}.dkr.ecr.${AWS_REGION}",
        "": "${HOSTED_ZONE_ID}"

(Optional) The full list of parameters you can set in the context is:

    "context": {
        "": ...,
        "": ...,
        "": ...,
        "": ...,
        "": ...,
        "backstage.subdomain.label": ...,
        "": ...,
        "": ...,
        "": ...,
        "backstage.database.instance.port": ...,
        "": ...,
        "backstage.database.username": ...,
        "": ...,

You can assign values to the above keys according to the following criteria (values are required where you don't see default mentioned):

  • "": Backstage's namespace, the default is "backstage"
  • "": the image registry for the Backstage Helm chart in Amazon ECR, a value similar to ""
  • "": the image repository for the Backstage Helm chart, the default is "backstage"
  • "": the image tag, the default is "latest"
  • "": the parent domain in your Hosted Zone
  • "backstage.subdomain.label": to be used as {"subdomain.label"}.{""}, the default is "backstage"
  • "": the Hosted zone ID (format: 20x chars/numbers)
  • "": resource name of the certificate, registered by the resource provider, the default is "backstage-certificate"
  • "": resource name of the database, registered by the resource provider, the default is "backstage-database"
  • "backstage.database.instance.port": the port the database will use, the default is 5432
  • "": resource name of the database's Secret, registered by the resource provider, the default is "backstage-database-credentials"
  • "backstage.database.username": the username for the database's credentials, the default is "postgres"
  • "": the name to be used when creating the Secret, the default is "backstage-database-secret"

If you haven't done it before, bootstrap your cdk account and region.

Run the following commands:

make deps
make build
make pattern backstage deploy
When deployment completes, the output will be similar to the following:

Backstage deployment output

Navigate to the URL indicated by the first line in the output (_backstage-blueprint.BackstagebaseURL ...), you should see the screen below:

Backstage console

To see the deployed resources within the cluster, please run:

kubectl get pod,svc,secrets,ingress -A

A sample output is shown below:

Backstage kubectl output

Next steps¤

You can go the AWS Blog to explore how to use Backstage e.g., as an API Developer Portal for Amazon API Gateway or to provision infrastructure using AWS Proton. On the Backstage website you can also see other examples of how to use and expand Backstage.


To clean up your EKS Blueprints, run the following commands:

make pattern backstage destroy