Off-by-none: Issue #134

March 23, 2021

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Ooh, S3 Object Lambdas! 🤗

Welcome to Issue #134 of Off-by-none. This issue is sponsored by our friends at Epsagon, Lumigo, and Stackery.

Last week, S3 celebrated 15 years, serverless helped the homeless, and planning for disaster recovery got a new anthem. This week, S3 Object Lambdas are now a thing, we talk WebAssembly, and we share a bunch of great serverless use cases. Plus, we have plenty of awesome content from the community.

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Serverless News & Announcements 📣

A few notable press releases this week including Netlify’s announcement of Next.js integration and the news that TrendMicro released something that “simplifies security for those building in the cloud.”

Deeper Network broke a record with its Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, most definitely hinting at the fact that online privacy actually does matter.

And interestingly, Google Cloud disclosed its carbon performance for data centers, which is quite underwhelming, especially in the United States. But, hey, I guess transparency is a good first step.

Serverless Stories 📖

If you’re going crosseyed staring at your cloud bill, Yann Stoneman can explain how he conquers his AWS costs.

I had to look up who Jack Henry was, and came to find out that his private cloud is pretty popular for banks looking to go serverless. Apparently, the State Department Federal Credit Union doesn’t want to miss out on the opportunity either. 😜

Serverless Use Cases 🗺

I came across quite a few interesting use cases over the last few days, including building a Serverless API usage tracker on AWS by Fraser Sequeira, using serverless to update a widget on your blog by going for a run, something crazy with serverless genomics using WebAssembly and Cloudflare Workers.

There are some really great image manipulation use cases like Felix Haus’ serverless image optimizer for Next.js and Elspeth Stalter-Clouse’s cleverly named, Dinner.png is served, post.

Arjav Dave uses Azure Functions & wkhtmltopdf to convert HTML to PDFs, which is pretty cool, plus Jonathan Bernales used EventBridge to centralize log management in a distributed AWS infrastructure.

Lastly, Vikas Solegaonkar shows you how to optimize with AWS Cost Explorer by using serverless to generate cost reports.

Webinar: How Medtronic Scaled Up to a Billion Lambda Requests a Month
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Serverless Concepts 🏗

Eoin Shanaghy wrote about the ins and outs of using S3 Object Lambdas to generate and transform on the fly. We’ll talk more about this later.

Daniele Frasca shares some thoughts on what should be tested in serverless, Filip Pýrek gives us an overview of the basic AWS serverless services, and Shashank Pandey puts together a quick cheat sheet for AWS Amplify.

If you’re still mostly baffled by AWS IAM policies like I am, Chase Douglas will show you some IAM policy basics and how to use to build resilient secure policies.

Pawel Zubkiewicz shares an Amazon DynamoDB pointer strategy to help make the transition from RDBMS to NoSQL a little bit easier for you. And Arek Nawo argues that Cloudflare Workers are  the best serverless FaaS platform. 🤷‍♂️

Serverless Tutorials 👷‍♀️

David Raleche shows you how to install Serverless on a Mac. It’s not long, but it’s got the potential for some great SEO juice.

AWS has a couple of new digital courses that look promising, including AWS Cloud Technical Essentials and Amazon S3 Cost Optimization. I think the latter is well worth your time.

Sebastian Bille outlines a production ready Typescript Serverless project configuration for you to use. It’ll get you up and running quickly with everything you need including testing, linting, and webpacking.

This is a simple one but may help you out if you can’t find it in the AWS documentation. Beez Fedia shows you how to check if a user is part of a Cognito group in AWS Amplify.

Serverless Security 🔒

Not specific to serverless, but Nick Frichette did some research that shows you how to enumerate permissions from an IAM role without logging to CloudTrail. This may have already been fixed, but always a good reminder to keep security top of mind.

Just released: to audit your CloudFormation templates
Stackery just launched, a public tool to help you improve your serverless security and reliability. Drop in any GitHub link to see how your template scores against best practices, identify specific errors, and find the resources you need to build better serverless applications. Sponsored

Serverless Reads 🤓

A Reddit user asked, “How is serverless the future if 3rd parties go down all the time?” The comments are a mixed bag, but worth a read for the sheer entertainment value. 🍿

Eugen Sawitzki gives a few examples where serverless is the wrong tool for you. There is truth in some of these, but I really wish people would stop comparing the redundancy, resiliency, capacity, and availability of serverless services to a t4g.small EC2 instance.

This isn’t about serverless specifically either, but it makes a good point about why loosely coupled state in public clouds is better. I agree. Even if you’re not using serverless, distributed systems scale much better with loosely coupled state.

Serkan Özal explains how observability powers better DevOps collaboration, Dunith Dhanushka tells us about 3 specifications to consider when designing event-driven applications, and Anna Anisienia gives you 7 reasons why you should consider a Data Lake (and Event-Driven ETL).

Podcasts, Videos, and more 🎧

On Serverless Chats Episode #93: WebAssembly and WASI, I had a chance to chat with Aaron Turner about the use cases for WebAssembly, how WASI makes serverless compute at the edge even more portable and powerful, some popular WASM toolchains, and what the future of this technology looks like.

Marcia Villalba shows you how to build an app that tracks devices in real-time with AWS Amplify and Amazon Location Services.

New from AWS 🆕

The most exciting AWS announcement this week (for me anyway) was S3 Object Lambda, and how it allows you to add your own code to S3 GET requests to modify and process data as it is returned to an application. Danilo Poccia wrote a great post about it as well, but the basic idea is that you can create access points for your S3 buckets and then use Lambda functions to transform the data before you send it back. The set-up is a bit convoluted, but the use cases are quite compelling.

A few other interesting announcements include the General Availability of AWS Fault Injection Simulator, the fact that IAM Access Analyzer now supports over 100 policy checks with actionable recommendations to help you author secure and functional policies, and Amazon Comprehend now identifies documents that contain personally identifiable information (PII).

Apparently, they’re still working AWS Proton, plus they announced a Developer Preview release of an opinionated deployment tool for .NET CLI.

Amazon RDS Proxy added read-only endpoints for Amazon Aurora Replicas and Amazon RDS Proxy now supports database connectivity from multiple Amazon VPCs, which could be very useful.

Upcoming Serverless Events 🗓

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

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

March 25, 2021 – Enterprise Serverless Migration and Adoption (webinar)

March 29, 2021 – Fixed Cost Cloud Migration with Operations and Compliance (webinar)

April 30, 2021 – CDK Day (be a speaker)

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 Sushant Bhatia (@AboutDev). Sushant is a Principal Product Manager for AWS Lambda at Amazon Web Services and a Lambda pioneer. Thank you for building amazing serverless tools, Sushant! 🙌

Final Thoughts 🤔

I hope you and your families are all safe after the tragic events over the last 7 days in the US. This is just a friendly reminder to be good to one another.

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 #133March 16, 2021

Next Issue

Issue #135March 30, 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 ⭐️!