Off-by-none: Issue #131

March 2, 2021

Only have a few minutes? Check out this week's MOST POPULAR links as chosen by our email subscribers.

Even Google thinks Kubernetes is too hard... 🤦‍♂️

Welcome to Issue #131 of Off-by-none. This issue is sponsored by our friends at Epsagon and Lumigo

Last week, I shared my big announcement, Microsoft took Dapr GA, and we learned how to make CI/CD work with serverless. This week, Google Cloud puts Kubernetes on autopilot, we get a lesson in serverless security, and we learn how to use source maps with Lambda. Plus, we’ve got lots of awesome serverless content from the community.

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Serverless News & Announcements 📣

There are a lot of announcements this week in the cloud/serverless space, including OpsCruise emerging from stealth as yet another cloud observability company.

Speaking of cloud observability companies, Dashbird announced a new serverless Well-Architected Insights feature. The new feature provides serverless developers with insights and recommendations to continually improve their applications and keep them secure, compliant, optimized, and efficient. That’s pretty cool.

Plus, Epsagon is now available in the AWS Activate Console, allowing startups to get discounted offers on their observability platform.

In serverless database news, DataStax Astra goes serverless and provides an Apache Cassandra-like option that runs on all the major cloud providers.

Also, MongoDB and Google Cloud extended their partnership continuing to support MongoDB Atlas with unified billing. And the service is now available as a “pay as you go” offering on the Google Cloud Marketplace.

And that’s not all Google Cloud has been up to. Google Kubernetes Engine just went serverless with its new Autopilot Mode. So apparently even Google finally realized that nobody wants to manage their own Kubernetes cluster.

Google Cloud also recently acquired Cornerstone Technology to help you migrate your mainframe to the cloud. Looks like the Google Cloud folks have staved off a top spot on for at least a few more months.

And lastly, appfleet, a new edge compute platform goes live, allowing you to run your workloads in Docker containers without worrying about load balancing and routing. Interesting.

Serverless Stories 📖

Yuta Fujii walks you through his experiences of building a simple web-service using DynamoDB, Lambda, CloudFront and S3.

Ratnesh Neema explains how his team used serverless for serving millions of users on a budget of $1,000, and Grant Birkinbine shares a digital success story in the era of COVID-19.

Serverless Use Cases 🗺

Apparently Devin Nguyen found others to have similar frustrations to mine, so he decided to build a COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment Notification System with a Twilio Serverless Function.

Richard Cooke’s use case might not be as altruistic as the COVID-19 one, but generating dynamic meta tags for bots and crawlers using Firebase and Cloudflare Workers is still pretty darn cool.

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Serverless Concepts 🏗

Theodore Bourgeon shares LocalStack’s guide to run an AWS serverless environment locally, and Max Farver explains how to debug multiple serverless NodeJS microservices offline with VSCode. However, Emrah Samdan argues your local workstation can’t mimic the cloud, and Ismail Egilmez goes further to explain the pros and cons of developing in the cloud versus developing locally.

Jonah Andersson gives us a great overview of Azure Durable Functions and how we can use them to develop a serverless stateful workflow, Fortune Kelechi gives us an overview of monoliths, microservices and serverless, and Anna Anisienia outlines 10 ways to protect your mission-critical database.

And, Vishnu Prasad gives us a handy cheatsheet of AWS service limits to keep in mind while developing a serverless application.

Serverless Tutorials & Training 👷‍♀️

If you’re looking for some more formal training, AWS has a new digital class and lab on DevOps, plus there is a new digital curriculum to build modern apps with purpose-built databases. There’s also a boatload of free AWS training and certification on their official training site.

Eddy Nguyen explains how to deploy Prisma in AWS Lambda with Serverless, Allen Helton shares how to configure a static IP for your serverless app, and Charlie Thomas shows you how to spice up your serverless app using curried functions.

Ibrahim Cesar did some testing on the new CDK Construct to deploy a Serverless NextJS application in CloudFront and Lambda@Edge, which is quite interesting.

If you have any interest in Adobe’s serverless platform, Sarah Xu can help you learn more about Project Firefly. And in other really cool things, Chris Bongers shows you how to use Netlify Drop, as if you even need a tutorial.

If you’re looking for a drop-dead easy tutorial to deploy an Express app to AWS Lambda with Serverless, Prahveen Thiruchelvam will show you the way. Looking for something a bit more in-depth? Steven Staley can help you explore an OpenAPI/Swagger first approach to serverless development on AWS.

Last but not least, Slobodan Stojanović has an awesome tutorial on how to use source maps in AWS Lambda with Node.js. Great stuff in here.

Serverless Security 🔒

James Beswick has an excellent series on building a solid security foundation for AWS Lambda. And don’t forget Part 2.

Lawrence Abrams explains a recent “dependency confusion” attack with malicious NPM packages targeting Amazon, Slack, and others. This is terrible, but also quite clever. 🕵️‍♂️

Serverless Reads 🤓

Ed Anuff has a piece called Your database is in the cloud. So why doesn’t it behave like it is? It may be a sponsored post, but I’m 100% behind decoupling compute and storage.

Peter Njihia has some tips for reducing DynamoDB costs, namely, avoid reverse indexes. While inverted indexes were all the rage just a few years ago, I think you’ll find sparse indexes to be much cheaper, and a lot more flexible.

If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “What tools does a DevOps engineer actually use?“, perhaps Ran Ribenzaft can answer that for you.

Podcasts, Videos, and more 🎧

On Serverless Chats Episode #90: Full-Stack Observability with the New Relic Explorer, I chat with Buddy Brewer about the recently launched New Relic Explorer, the evolving role of a modern developer’s full-stack responsibilities, the need for simplicity amid microservice architectures, and how to make sense of all the noise in these environments.

What is AWS SAM? How to get started with SAM CLI? How to create your first serverless project? Marcia Villalba has a video to help you get started.

New from AWS 🆕

No amazing serverless announcements this week, but here are a few that caught my attention.

Serverless Tools 🛠

Serverless UI is a free, open source command-line utility for quickly building and deploying serverless applications on AWS.

Mohammad Moallemi created Serverless Micro Django, a lightweight, yet powerful Python utility for Lambda functions.

And if you need the Ultimate Serverless Framework Starter with ExpressJS and TypeScript, give this one a try.

Upcoming Serverless Events 🗓

If you have an event, webinar, etc. that you’d like me to mention, please email me.

March 9, 2021 – Using observability to scale AWS Lambda (webinar)

March 10, 2021 – NoSQL for Grownups: DynamoDB Single-Table Modeling with Rick Houlihan (webinar)

March 24 & 25, 2021 – Cloud Community Days – Learn Serverless & DevOps

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 Joe Emison (@JoeEmison). Joe has co-founded several companies, including Branch, and has consulted with many other companies on software development and cloud migrations. In addition to his many conference talks and blog posts about serverless, he appeared on Serverless Chats where he discussed how choosing for organization-wide maintainability should be a primary driver in building and delivering modern software. Thank you, Joe, for showing people what can be done with serverless! 🙌

Final Thoughts 🤔

It was another busy (and exciting) week for me over at Serverless, Inc., but I’m glad I still get the chance to collect these links and to see all the amazing things happening across the serverless ecosystem. I know I share a lot of links, but this is just a handful compared to the total amount of content that gets published every week. The momentum is there, the tools are getting better, and every day something new and amazing is happening in this space. It’s been an incredible journey so far, but we still have a long way to go!

Take care,

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 #130February 23, 2021

Next Issue

Issue #132March 9, 2021

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About the Author

Jeremy is the GM of Serverless Cloud at Serverless, Inc. and an AWS Serverless Hero that has a soft spot for helping people solve problems using serverless. He 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, hosting 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 ⭐️!