Off-by-none: Issue #146

June 15, 2021

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Here comes Proton, Akka Serverless, Lift, and more πŸš€

Welcome to Issue #146 of Off-by-none. This issue is sponsored by our friends at Lumigo and Fauna.

Last week, Akamai added a KV at the edge, we discussed local emulation, and we took another step toward closing the growing cloud skills gap. This week, we get more options for building and deploying serverless applications, we explore a serverless banking platform, and we learn why serverless buzz isn’t the measure of success. Plus, we’ve got a whole bunch of awesome serverless content from the community.

Serverless News & Announcements πŸ“£

AWS Dev Day: Easily debug serverless applications
In this joint workshop by AWS and Lumigo, we will demonstrate how to monitor and debug serverless apps. Learn how to best address timeouts, cold starts and business logic issues. Save your spot! Sponsored

AWS announced the general availability of AWS Proton this week, giving platform teams a streamlined way to configure consistent standards across services. It’s come a long way from the preview, and the new AWS CEO Adam Selipsky is pretty excited about it.

Lightbend launched Akka Serverless, described as a new class of Cloud Native Development Platform-as-a-Service. I really like all these new approaches to building and deploying serverless applications. There are a lot of very cool things happening in this space.

Also, Vendia was named a 2021 Gartner Cool Vendor in Cloud Computing, which is no surprise, Dashbird launched a new version of their serverless observability experience, and Check Point Software Technologies launched their new Automated Unified Cloud Workload Protection.

In case you missed it (like I did), Prosus is acquiring Stack Overflow for $1.8 Billion. It doesn’t have much to do with serverless, but a heck of a nod to the market for developer communities.

And finally, Lift, the plugin that leverages the AWS CDK to expand the Serverless Framework beyond functions, has now reached version 1.1. And it is awesome.

Serverless Stories πŸ“–

Anthony Campolo gives you a first look at the Serverless Framework, prefixed with some interesting history of how the project got started.

Alex Kates shares how they scaled their serverless SaaS platform in AWS, while Peter Sereda argues why you may not want to use AWS Amplify for your next serverless project.

And if you’re having trouble figuring out what’s going on in your serverless application, let Michael Bahr show you how they debugged and fixed ‘EMFILE: too many files open’ on AWS Lambda NodeJS. There’s some solid advice in here to help solve other problems as well.

Serverless Use Cases πŸ—Ί

Gregory Dickens show you an easy way to collect serverless email sign-ups with a simple AWS Lambda Function, Shubham Pandey does PDF generation with Serverless, AWS, and Puppeteer, and Marco Streng shows you how AWS AppSync Subscriptions with DynamoDB Streams, Lambda, and Serverless work.

Plus, Matteo Mazzarolo uses a serverless function to scrape web page metadata. Always the useful tool.

Serverless Concepts πŸ—

Nicholas Omer Chiasson gives us a Beginner’s Guide to Running Rust on AWS Lambda.

Kurtis Louie helps us understand serverless observability, and Ismail Egilmez gives us 4 best practices for it.

Anna Geller asks whether real-time data processing is worth it for your analytical use cases, plus Mariliis Retter shares some AWS updates for serverless builders in 2021. This is a helpful list because it’s really easy to miss stuff coming out of AWS.

And lastly, Shehreen Khan explains serverless orchestration using AWS Step Functions.

Serverless Tutorials πŸ‘·β€β™€οΈ

James Beswick has two excellent tutorials this week. One showing you how to serve dynamic website content with a serverless architecture, and the other explaining how to build serverless applications with streaming data (part 3 of a series).

Edis Gonuler has an option for running multiple serverless applications locally, Stef Morren explains AWS S3 replication with the Serverless Framework, and Marcin Oleksiak shares Part 6 of his fetching the Yelp API via a Netlify Function with React.js series.

Tobias Schmidt shows you how to get started with Step Functions for Serverless Workflows, and Jaira Encio has a tutorial that explains how to create an API that runs Selenium via AWS Lambda.

Serverless Security πŸ”’

We don’t see a lot of serverless security posts, but Meenal Kekre has a detailed article explaining how to enhance Information Security using the power of Lambda. Never hurts to strengthen your security chops.

Serverless Reads πŸ€“

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

David Anderson has a great piece on digital transformation finance, and what you need to understand about it. TCO is the name of the game, folks!

Not specifically about serverless, but this pedantic checklist for changing your data model in a web application just goes to show that it doesn’t matter what database technology you’re using. It’s just hard to change your data model.

James Governor has some thoughts on instrumentation, observability, and ecosystems and their importance to the AWS Well Architected Framework.

Mark Hinkle asks, “Has Serverless Jumped the Shark?” As he explains, it’s becoming so commonplace now, the hype machine has started to die down. I still believe serverless is just getting started.

And Hardik Shah shares six serverless frameworks to watch in 2021. Not a bad list.

Podcasts, Videos, and more 🎧

On Serverless Chats Episode #105: Building a Serverless Banking Platform, I spoke with Patrick Strzelec about the business and technical case for using serverless at NorthOne, what the adoption process looked like, how they used serverless to build their event driven architecture, the challenges they faced, and much more.

How do you add an existing Amazon Cognito user pool and identity pool to an Amplify App using AWS CDK? Marcia Villalba will show you.

New from AWS πŸ†•

There were some other interesting announcements from AWS this week, including the news that Amazon Translate is now integrated with Amazon CloudWatch Events and Amazon EventBridge and Amazon Cognito now supports targeted sign-out through refresh token revocation.

They also announced per-second billing for EC2 Windows Server and SQL Server Instances. I didn’t even realize that they switched other EC2 instances to the same billing model. Guess I’m out of the VM loop.

And finally, Jeff Barr mentioned that a new AWS Region in Tel Aviv, Israel is in the works. How many more of these things do they plan on building?

Serverless Tools πŸ› 

Serverless Rules is a compilation of rules to validate an infrastructure-as-code template against recommended practices. It currently provides a module for cfn-lint and a plugin for tflint.

Upcoming Serverless Events πŸ—“

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

June 22, 2021 – InfoQ Live (conference)

June 30, 2021 – AWSome Day Online Conference

August 15, 2021 – ServerlessDays – Student Edition

November 3-4, 2021 – CascadiaJS 2021

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 Guillermo Rauch (@rauchg). Guillermo is the CEO of Vercel, a deployment and collaboration platform that enables frontend developers to host websites and web services that deploy instantly and scale automatically without any configuration. A blogger since 2014 and a contributor to GitHub, Guillermo shares his expertise to make serverless accessible and better for developers. Guillermo, thank you for your contributions to the serverless and Jamstack communities! πŸ™Œ

Final Thoughts πŸ€”

Another exciting week for serverless! There are so many amazing things happening in this space that it’s hard to keep up. If you see any new and exciting serverless tools, projects, services, etc., please send them my way.


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 #145June 8, 2021

Next Issue

Issue #147June 22, 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 β€œserver-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 ⭐️!