Athena Deployment


After the initial Athena Setup, a new Lambda function must be deployed.

The name of the Lambda function is Athena Partition Refresh.

The purpose of this function is to periodically refresh Athena tables to enable the search-ability of data.

The default refresh interval is 10 minutes.


The Athena Partition Refresh function utilizes:


StreamAlert Athena Refresh Partition Diagram


Each time the Athena Partition Refresh Lambda function starts up, it does the following:

  • Polls the SQS Queue for the latest S3 event notifications (up to 100)
  • S3 event notifications contain context around any new object written to a data bucket (as configured below)
  • A set of unique S3 Bucket IDs is deduplicated from the notifications
  • Queries Athena to verify the streamalert database exists
  • Refreshes the Athena tables as configured below in the repair_type key
  • Deletes messages off the Queue once partitions are created

Getting Started

Configure Lambda Settings

Open conf/lambda.json, and fill in the following required options below:

Key Required Default Description
enabled Yes true Enables/Disables the Athena Partition Refresh Lambda function
enable_metrics No false Enables/Disables logging of metrics for the Athena Partition Refresh Lambda function
log_level No info The log level for the Lambda function, can be either info or debug. Debug will help with diagnosing errors with polling SQS or sending Athena queries.
memory No 128 The amount of memory (in MB) allocated to the Lambda function
timeout No 60 The maximum duration of the Lambda function (in seconds)
refresh_interval No rate(10 minutes) The rate of which the Athena Lambda function is invoked in the form of a CloudWatch schedule expression.
refresh_type.add_hive_partition No {} Add specific Hive partitions for new S3 objects. This field is automatically populated when configuring your data tables.
refresh_type.repair_hive_table Yes {} Key value pairs of S3 buckets and associated Athena table names. Currently only supports the default alerts bucket created with every cluster.


  "athena_partition_refresh_config": {
    "enabled": true,
    "enable_metrics": false,
    "log_level": "info",
    "memory": 128,
    "refresh_type": {
      "add_hive_partition": {
        "...": "..."
      "repair_hive_table": {
        "<prefix>.streamalerts": "alerts"
    "...": "...",
    "timeout": 60


After configuring the above settings, deploy the Lambda function:

$ python lambda deploy --processor athena

This will create all of the underlying infrastructure to automatically refresh Athena tables.

Going forward, if the deploy flag --processor all is used, it will redeploy this function along with the rule_processor and alert_processor.


Once deployed, it’s recommended to monitor the following SQS metrics for streamalert_athena_data_bucket_notifications:

  • NumberOfMessagesReceived
  • NumberOfMessagesSent
  • NumberOfMessagesDeleted

All three of these metrics should have very close values.

If the NumberOfMessagesSent is much higher than the other two metrics, the refresh_interval should be increased in the configuration.

For high throughput production environments, an internal of 1 to 2 minutes is recommended.