Off-by-none: Issue #145

June 8, 2021

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To emulate locally, or not to emulate locally ⚙️

Welcome to Issue #145 of Off-by-none. This issue is sponsored by our friends at Lumigo and Fauna.

Last week, we learned about the long-term cost of cloud, thought twice about the AWS free tier, and yodeled about ELBs. This week, Akamai adds a KV at the edge, the local emulation debate rages on, and we take a step toward closing the growing cloud skills gap. Plus, we’ve got lots of awesome content from the serverless community.

Serverless News & Announcements 📣

Webinar: Making CI/CD Work with Serverless
Join AWS Serverless Hero & Lumigo VP Engineering Efi Merdler-Kravitz on a journey to build a 100% serverless CI/CD pipeline. Save your spot for the webinar on Thursday, June 10, at 10:00 AM PST. Sponsored

Amazon Location Service is now generally available, letting developers easily and securely add maps, points of interest, geocoding, routing, tracking, and geofencing to their applications. Marcia Villalba has a great post that shows you all the amazing things you can do with this.

AWS also introduced a new batch of AWS Heroes, including serverless hero, Hidetoshi Matsui. Lots of great people on this list!

TriggerMesh was recognized as a ‘Cool Vendor in Cloud Computing’ from Gartner’s latest report. Cool they definitely are.

Akamai released EdgeKV, a distributed key-value store this past week, as they continue to play catch-up with Cloudflare and some other edge networks.

And Pluralsight will acquire A Cloud Guru to help solve what they call the single biggest challenge in IT today: the growing cloud skills gap. Congrats to A Cloud Guru team.

Serverless Stories and Use Cases 🗺

Anthony Campolo published a really detailed and interesting history of hosting redwoodJS outlining how the universal deployment machine was built.

Richard Austin Melchior documented his experience deploying Next.js on AWS with the Serverless Framework. Things seemed to go very smoothly, which isn’t always the case for many serverless first-timers.

Ever wonder what the performance of Cloudflare with Fauna is? Kay Plößer ran the tests and has the breakdown for you.

And Akamai shares a case study on how Enigmo moved logic from client to origin to edge. Don’t forget that Akamai has EdgeWorkers.

Serverless Concepts 🏗

Whether you’re building new microservices or augmenting existing services and applications, Fauna lets you simplify code, reduce costs, and ship faster. Learn more. Sponsored

For those looking beyond AWS for orchestration solutions, Théo Rémy explains stateful serverless workflows using Azure Durable Functions.

Paul Swail has some quick tips on how to wait for an async task to complete inside an E2E test. His suggestions will definitely help, but there should be a better way to do this.

Sarjeel Yusuf discusses remote debugging and what it means for Java applications, Anuj Kothiyal adds an entry to his Serverless Diary, explaining 3 expert tips to designing distributed logging system, and Wojciech Matuszewski, shares two lesser-known ways to increase observability in AWS Lambda based applications.

Also, Anna Geller explains when and why to use AWS Kinesis over SNS or SQS, and Alex Williams gives you a crash course in NoSQL.

Serverless Tutorials 👷‍♀️

I spoke too soon about Salah Elhossiny’s “five-part” series. He’s now published Modern Full-Stack Serverless, Part VI, Part VII, and Part VIII.

Still haven’t tried App Runner? Daniel Bayerlein shares how to deploy a scalable app from scratch in minutes with it.

Nisarg-Satani wanted to share what he learned during a summer internship, so here’s his take on configuring an S3 bucket with a Lambda function and SQS.

Yan Cui demonstrates how to handle client errors gracefully with AppSync and Lambda, Nadir Saghar explains how on-demand provisioning your ECS/Serverless apps can save you money, and Paul Heath shares a method for pre-empting the AWS Lambda timeout.

Harshana Abeyaratne gives you a quick setup for Webpack 5 and Typescript with the Serverless Framework, Timo Schinkel shares a neat trick to use a Swagger UI in AWS’ serverless stack, and Bryson Tyrrell shows you how to dynamically configure your Lambda@Edge Functions.

Serverless Security 🔒

This article is behind Medium’s paywall, but it’s good enough to open in an incognito window if you need to. Sheen Brisals shares a few steps to conduct threat modeling in serverless applications.

Serverless Reads 🤓

Gareth McCumskey believes that local development for serverless is an anti-pattern. There’s much from this post that I agree with, which I shared on Twitter. A spirited debate followed. 😉

And there are many ways to implement a local developer workflow for serverless, like this one explained by Ben Smith.

Michał Czapracki asks why is it so hard to launch and maintain serverless? It’s a good pros and cons list that hits on the ones that resonate with a lot of developers.

And finally, Twain Taylor outlines 4 new Google cloud data services you should know about, and someone who goes by AsyncBanana does a database comparison for Serverless Functions and Containers.

Podcasts, Videos, and more 🎧

On Serverless Chats Episode #104: The Rise of Data Services, I spoke with Patrick McFadin about why the world is headed toward data services and away from databases, how this better enables “zero day developers”, why a shortage of specialists makes this even more necessary, and much, much more.

And Marcia Villalba helps you get started with Next JS and Server Side Rendering in the cloud using AWS Amplify in another helpful serverless video.

New from AWS 🆕

No major “serverless” announcements this week, but here are a few AWS announcements that might be of interest to you.

Thoughts from Twitter 🐦

The recent “All the ways to run containers on AWS” threads have left me super confused so I made this flowchart to help. It’s probably also wrong. ~ Forrest Brazeal
This wouldn’t be anywhere near as funny if it weren’t true.

Upcoming Serverless Events 🗓

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

June 9-10, 2021 – AWS Summit – Europe, Middle East & Africa

June 10, 2021 – Making CI/CD Work with Serverless (webinar)

June 22, 2021 – InfoQ Live (conference)

June 30, 2021 – AWSome Day Online Conference

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 Efi Merdler-Kravitz (@TServerless). Efi is Director of Engineering at Lumigo, where they monitor and debug for AWS serverless applications, and are built on a 100% serverless backend. Efi is a frequent speaker at serverless events around the globe and contributes to open source projects like lumigo-cli and writes regularly on the topic for the Lumigo blog. An AWS Serverless Hero, he has more than a decade of experience as a developer, team leader, group manager, and director in the healthcare, mobile, security, and agriculture industries. Efi, your passion for improving serverless code quality is a huge asset to the community. Thank you! 🙌

Final Thoughts 🤔

It was interesting to see the different perspectives on the local emulation debate. I think developers need to do what’s most productive for them. If a really tight feedback loop is important to you and can be achieved using local emulation, then that might be your best choice. For me, I’ve been working with serverless applications that are emitting events across accounts, running multiple orchestrations via Step Functions, queuing and processing messages asynchronously, and listening to DynamoDB Streams to handle change data capture. Local emulation simply doesn’t work for me, and I prefer the fidelity of the cloud. But, hey, maybe I’m an outlier? 😉

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 #144June 1, 2021

Next Issue

Issue #146June 15, 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 ⭐️!