Off-by-none: Issue #124

January 12, 2021

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Welcome to re:Invent, Part Deux!

Welcome to Issue #124 of Off-by-none. This issue is sponsored by our friends at Epsagon, Stedi, Lumigo and Theodo.

Last week, we took the first step toward becoming serverless ML experts, we combatted some serverless FUD, and we saw how to continuously improve our serverless standards. This week, we get some bonus re:Invent content, find a better vantage point into our AWS accounts, and see some love for the monolith. Plus, we have lots of amazing serverless posts from the community.

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Serverless News & Announcements 📣

There were two noteworthy acquisitions recently. Red Hat is buying Kubernetes security startup StackRox to add more security to its OpenShift container orchestration product. And Cloudflare has acquired Aussie front-end delivery platform Linc to enhance its ‘Pages’ Jamstack offering.

This is apparently not new news, but I just discovered that Alibaba Cloud released EventBridge to support cloud native architecture. Now, if you’re thinking that AWS already has a product called EventBridge, which they do, then you’re probably just as confused as I am about the naming choice. Oh yeah, and it looks like Alibaba EventBridge is enabling the ability to connect to your AWS account, which won’t be confusing at all. 🙄

And, Alibaba’s not the only one that thinks they can build a better mousetrap than AWS. Vantage came out of stealth mode and says it makes managing AWS easier by giving you a better management console. The multi-region and consolidated billing views already have me interested.

Serverless Stories 📖

Corneliu Croitoru shares how a photo sharing website that costs less than a cup of coffee per month is made.

Kay Plößer has been using serverless for quite some time and is contemplating building a SaaS product with it. Sadly, it has nothing to do with maintaining his haircut.

Finally, Hassan Rahamathullah shares a developer story of building a serverless ETL project.

Serverless Use Cases 🗺

Guillaume Lannebere gives us several options for using a serverless proxy with AWS API Gateway and AWS Lambda to communicate between public and private subnets in AWS.

And Michael Bahr shows us multiple options for how to get random records from a serverless application. I’d choose DynamoDB, but that’s just me. 😉

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Serverless Concepts 🏗

Karen Tovmasyan gives us another Amazon DynamoDB Deep Dive into consistency, DynamoDB streams, TTL, global tables, and DAX. Excellent stuff in here.

Lou Bichard shows you how to debug AWS Lambda, while Taavi Rehemägi gives you a full rundown of AWS Lambda error handling.

Eren Akbulut explains why Netlify is his go-to choice, Serkan Özal tells you how and why you should use Amazon Kinesis for your data streams, and Sherri Wheeler gives an intro and her first impressions of DarkLang.

Serverless Tutorials 👷‍♀️

This post on how to deploy AWS Lambda with Docker Containers will show you how to do it, and share some of the benefits as well.

This tutorial by Allen Oliver Chun that shows you how to deploy a Rails App image in a serverless way using AWS Fargate doesn’t feel very serverless, but perhaps the line has been almost completely blurred?

Abdul Rahman has an in-depth tutorial that shows how to build a Lambda function triggered by an S3 PUT event to sort files in an S3 bucket.

Serverless Security 🔒

Mauricio Klein has a great post on automating S3 bucket compliance checks and remediation with AWS Config.

Michael Vizard explains how Trend Micro employs serverless computing to scan cloud files for malware. If anything, you’ve got to admire the architecture.

Dr. Swarup Kumar Sahoo has a post on the observability and security of Fargate serverless deployments. There are a lot of points made here that justify the need for the product he’s selling. I’m not 100% sure about the accuracy of all these, but probably worth researching if you’re going down this route.

Serverless Reads 🤓

Payam Moghaddam has a great piece arguing that we should think of AWS as a Framework and identify ourselves as AWS developers as we did with Rails and Django in the 2010s. As the responsibility continues to shift more toward developers, I tend to agree.

Maruti Sivakumar V explains why low code/no code will become the mainstay in 2021. I’m not sure about that, but I do agree that “microservices, monoliths, serverless will co-exist.”

Matt Asay asks, will microservices dominate 2021? That’s a good question because even though microservices have been all the rage, there are plenty of good reasons why building monoliths might be the right choice for your organization.

Yevgeni Krupetsky writes about policy automation over misconfiguration and how his team is working to make it easier for developers to avoid sidestepping these requirements when starting new projects.

Lessons learned from implementing an AWS Lambda FaaS architecture reads a bit like stream of consciousness, but there are several interesting takeaways, like the shifting nature of serverless management frameworks.

Podcasts, Videos, and more 🎧

On Serverless Chats Episode #83: Serverless and TypeScript, I chat with Tim Suchanek about why serverless developers should think about TypeScript, the benefits of type safety, how to equate TypeScript features with existing programming paradigms, how it can benefit edge computing, and much more.

Guy Podjarny discusses Armor CLAD Functions at InfoQ Live and on AzureFunBytes Episode 25, Jay Gordon chats with Maxime Rouiller about Azure Durable Functions.

I also found this video tutorial on how to send an email on form submissions with SendGrid and Serverless Functions using HTML/Javascript. It’s worth watching just for the interesting music choices.

New from AWS 🆕

AWS is back in the saddle after a few days off during the holidays with some interesting serverless announcements.

First up, Amazon API Gateway now supports data mapping in HTTP APIs, which lets you manipulate the data going in and out of service integrations. Not only that, but according to the announcement, “Defining data mappings is simple and doesn’t require customers to write velocity templates.” 👍

Also, Amazon SQS announced tiered pricing, so if you have over 100 BILLION requests per month, you’ll start to shave off a few extra dollars, and AWS Step Functions added support for AWS Glue DataBrew jobs to prepare data in analytics and machine learning workflows.

Something that’s definitely not, but kinda wish it was, a serverless announcement, is that Amazon CloudSearch announced updates to its search instances. That’s right, CloudSearch is still a thing, and it’s still not serverless.

Some other announcements I found interesting include that AWS CloudFormation now supports AWS DataSync, Amazon Redshift now supports fine-grained access control on COPY and UNLOAD commands, and AWS App Mesh achieves PCI DSS Certification.

And you can now monitor your Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS) storage usage with Amazon CloudWatch, which is probably long overdue.

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Have a job listing you’d like to share? Please contact me for more information.

Upcoming Serverless Events 🗓

There are a lot of upcoming serverless events, webinars, livestreams, and more. If you have an event you’d like me to mention, please email me.

January 12-14, 2021 – AWS re:Invent (Part Deux)

January 19, 2021 – Destination: Zero-Trust

January 21-22, 2021 – Predict 2021 Virtual Summit

January 28, 2021 – How to migrate a legacy system to Serverless and make it work post-transition? (webinar)

Serverless Star of the Week ⭐️

There is a very long list of people who are doing #ServerlessGood and contributing to the Serverless community. These people deserve recognition for their efforts. So each week, I will mention someone whose recent contribution really stood out to me. I love meeting new people, so if you know someone who deserves recognition, please nominate them.

This week’s star is Matt Coulter (@NIDeveloper). Matt is a Technical Architect at Liberty IT and an AWS Community Hero. Matt has a proven history of delivering scalable, serverless solutions on the public cloud, and has crafted CDK Patterns, an open source collection of AWS Serverless architecture patterns built with CDK for developers to use, the development of which he shared on Serverless Chats. Matt also created CDK Day, the first community-driven, global conference focused on everything CDK for which over a thousand people tuned in. In addition to his work on CDK Patterns, he shares his passion and knowledge of serverless through events like AWS Community Day Dublin and blog posts on We thank you, Matt, for making serverless more accessible to all! 🙌

Final Thoughts 🤔

2021 got off to a rocky start here in the United States, so any hopes of turning a corner from the-year-that-shall-not-be-named seemed instantly crushed. But I have faith in the continued evolution of serverless and cloud native technologies, and I’m sure we’ll see plenty of innovation over the course of the next few months. So stay positive, and stay tuned.

Also, the team at Off-by-none has been working on ways to make this newsletter even more community-friendly and to welcome more contributions from all of you. Look for some of these features in the weeks to come. We’re excited to hear your feedback!


I hope you enjoyed this newsletter. We’re always looking for ideas and feedback to make it better and more inclusive, so please feel free to reach out to me via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or email.

Previous Issue

Issue #123January 5, 2021

Next Issue

Issue #125January 19, 2021

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About the Author

Jeremy is an AWS Serverless Hero that has a soft spot for helping people solve problems using serverless, and frequently consults with companies and developers transitioning away from the traditional “server-full” approach. You can find him ranting about serverless on Twitter, in several forums and Slack groups, the Serverless Chats podcast, and at (virtual) conferences around the world.


Nominate a Serverless Star

Off-by-none is committed to celebrating the diversity of the serverless community and recognizing the people who make it awesome. If you know of someone doing amazing things with serverless, please nominate them to be a Serverless Star ⭐️!