Off-by-none: Issue #232

May 2, 2023

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Athena Provisioned Capacity 📈

In our previous issue, AWS Lambda finally got Python 3.10, CodeCatalyst went GA, and we explored the value of value metrics. This week, Athena gets provisioned capacity, Lambda supports Java 17, and Vercel announces Postgres and Redis options for frontend developers. Plus, we’ve got some amazing content from the serverless community. Let’s get started!

Serverless News & Announcements 📣

AWS had some noteworthy announcements last week, including the introduction of Athena Provisioned Capacity (announcement here). They’re using DPUs (Data Processing Units) alongside other serverlessish acronyms like ACUs, OCUs, NCUs, etc. as billing units. The good news is, I consider Athena to actually be serverless since it’s easy to provision and doesn’t cost you anything when you’re not using it. Adding Provisioned Capacity appears to save you a lot of money if you have predictable workloads. And according to the announcement, the sweet spot starts at only a $100 per month spend. My initial reaction is very positive. Need to dig in a bit more though.

AWS also announced Amazon OpenSearch Ingestion, AWS Lambda support for Java 17, and TypeScript and source map support in AWS AppSync JavaScript resolvers, which is pretty cool.

In other cloud news, Google Cloud announced the GA of Cloud Run Jobs. I don’t follow along with GCP as much as I should, but these types of services definitely get my attention. I really do like the Google Cloud Run service, and this new flavor sounds similar to Fargate tasks, which have become very useful when building complex serverless applications.

Also, it’s Vercel Ship week, and yesterday Vercel announced Postgres and Redis options for developers on their platform. TechCrunch has an extensive article on theses releases as well. They’ve partnered with Neon, Upstash, and Cloudflare to provide wrappers on top of the respective services, which is certainly convenient. But based on this comment about the pricing, I need to take some more time to better understand the cost implications.

Finally, Momento released their Java Client Library last week, and Nsikan Essien had a great write up about Momento Topics, the new serverless event messaging system they recently released.

Serverless Concepts 🏗

Serverless AWS CDK Pipeline Best Practices & Patterns — Part 4
Lee Gilmore shares part 4 of his excellent series on CDK pipelines.

Database Proxies and Why You Should Use Them
Daniel Weiskopf explains the importance of database proxies with serverless compute services like AWS Lambda.

MongoDB vs DynamoDB vs Tigris – a NoSQL Database Comparison
I’ve been exploring Tigris a bit lately, and I think it’s worth taking a look at this comparison from Phil Leggetter.

Use Events internally and APIs externally
Yusuf Mayet shares some thoughts on how to integrate your AWS event-based system with external/legacy systems that use RESTful APIs.

Serverless Tutorials 👷‍♀️

Building private serverless APIs with AWS Lambda and Amazon VPC Lattice
Very interesting tutorial from Josh Kahn on how to start integrating Amazon VPC Lattice into your serverless apps.

Build an image resizer using AWS Lambda and the Serverless Framework
Quick and dirty tutorial from Manjurul Hoque Rumi that makes short work of building your own custom serverless image resizer.

Streaming ChatGPT API responses with Next.js and AWS Lambda via Serverless Framework
Sudhir Balaji shares the steps his team took to create this handy AI-driven serverless use case.

Learn serverless on AWS – Authentication with Cognito
I’m not a big fan of Cognito, but Pierre Chollet walks you through getting it set up and integrated with your serverless application.

Testing Step Functions Locally
Tom Bailey explains how his team tests Step Functions locally and how you can do the same.

AWS SES: Getting Started with Serverless Email Processing
Great tutorial by Richard Forshaw that shows you how to capture emails from SES and process them with Lambda.

Autonomous EventCatalog for documenting EventBridge Events
Kieran Wrenn demonstrate his take on the autonomous EventCatalog.

Serverless Reads 🤓

My Serverless Cold-Start And How I Stay Warm!
Sheen Brisals (one of my favorite serverless peeps), recounts how he discovered serverless, the path his journey took him on, and how the technology and community transformed his career.

Build What Matters
Serverless (and cloud in general) has gotten increasingly complex over the years, making it even more difficult for developers of all skill levels to master everything. Allen Helton says start small, iterate, and build what matters.

How (not) to spend $15000 per month with AWS Athena
Ivica Kolenkaš shares his story of this serverless service running amok and what you should be thinking about when given the power of limitless scale.

When Serverless Goes Wrong
Michael Walmsley shared this excellent post about the necessity of adding flow control to your serverless applications to mitigate downstream pressure.

BBC: Keeping up with a busy news day with an end-to-end serverless architecture
Neil Craig explains how they used Cloud Storage, Eventarc, Cloud Run and BigQuery to rebuild their log-processing infrastructure on a Google Cloud serverless platform.

Podcasts, Videos, and more 🎧

Lambda response streaming | Serverless Office Hours
Julian Wood is joined by Matthew Grasmick to explain how you can use Lambda response payload streaming to send response data to callers as soon as it becomes available.

Build a WebApp that uses DynamoDB in 6 steps | DynamoDB Expressions
Marcia Villalba has another great DynamoDB video showing how to integrate DDB into your app, plus some great explanations of DynamoDB expressions.

The Tao of Event-Driven Architectures – AWS Community Day Nordics 2023
Luc van Donkersgoed delivered an excellent talk that gives us 10 simple rules to organize and standardize event-driven systems.

New from AWS 🆕

Here are a few more interesting announcements from AWS:

Serverless Tools 🛠

Implements AWS Lambda Response Streaming in TypeScript for local development and testing.

Upcoming Serverless Events 🗓

May 6, 2023 – AWS Community Day Turkey

May 17, 2023 – AWS Serverless Innovation Day 2023

June 7, 2023 – ServerlessDays Paris

June 22, 2023 – ServerlessDays Zurich

September 21, 2023 – ServerlessDays Cardiff

Serverless Star of the Week ⭐️

This week’s star is Marco Troisi (@MarcoTroisi). Marco is the CTO at Trilo, a Belfast/UK based company on a mission to give local merchants the tools they need to “make sure that local never dies.” He’s also an AWS Community Builder and publishes The Serverless Mindset newsletter. He’s also spoken at the Serverless Architecture Conference on a topic near and dear to us here at Off-by-none: Serverless for Startups. Thank you for being a champion for local businesses and sharing your serverless knowledge, Marco!

Final Thoughts 🤔

Serverless seems to be getting quite the spotlight this week with Vercel’s recent announcements. Getting more people to realize just how powerful this way of building can be (and maybe why Kubernetes is likely overkill) is great for the serverless ecosystem. I’m excited to see if this helps move the needle.

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 TwitterLinkedIn, or email.

Previous Issue

Issue #231April 25, 2023

Next Issue

Issue #233May 9, 2023

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About the Author

Jeremy is the CEO and Founder of Ampt 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 conferences around the world.


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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 ⭐️!