Off-by-none: Issue #270

March 12, 2024

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

CloudFormation: Now 40% Faster! 🏃

In our previous issue, AWS made some meaningful incremental improvements, Mistral went GA on Bedrock, and Cloudflare announced a Firewall for AI. This week, CloudFormation gets up to 40% faster, AWS frees outbound data migrations, and PlanetScale focuses on profitability. Plus, we have lots of serverless content from our amazing community!

Serverless News & Announcements 📣

With the help of some parallel creation of dependent resources, you can now experience up to 40% faster stack creation with AWS CloudFormation. This is very cool and an example of one of those managed service optimizations that have a major positive impact on your workflows/workloads without changing anything on your side. For some more detail into how this is implemented, here's a detailed post that explains how [they] sped up AWS CloudFormation deployments with optimistic stabilization.

Another major announcement was that you now get FREE data transfer out to internet when moving out of AWS. You have to contact support and it will come in the form of an account credit, but it should certainly provide some extra piece of mind knowing that your data isn't being held for ransom.

AWS introduced the newest Heroes of the year including Serverless Hero Hazel Sáenz from Guatemala. Congratulations, welcome, and thank you to all of them for their contributions!

In other cloud news, Cloudflare just wrapped up Security Week 2024. Lots of really interesting stuff happening over there. 🙂

Also in other cloud news, PlanetScale made a few public choices to ensure "PlanetScale forever" by dropping their free tier and reducing staff to focus on profitability. There was a lot of animosity towards their CEO, Sam Lambert, especially on X/Twitter. Layoffs are never well received. I actually found the comments on Hacker News to be uncharacteristically supportive. If you ask me, I think developers have gotten so used to getting things for free (blame it on ZIRP), that the knee jerk reaction is to criticize. But in today's market, survivability is priority number one, and while giving things away for free might be a clever growth hack, it can't last forever. There may be a happy medium between $0 and $40/mo (I saw a tweet by Sam saying they were discussing a cheaper option), but the bottom line is the bottom line.

There are still some free options for MySQL, like TiDB Serverless, but I wouldn't be surprised if discontinuing free tiers starts to become a trend. Dashbird just discontinued theirs. Perhaps Sam was just one of the first people to have the courage to embrace the inevitable. 🤷‍♂️

Serverless Concepts 🏗

There were lots of great posts this week that can help expand your serverless mindset:

Serverless Tutorials 👷‍♀️

And there's always a treasure trove of excellent serverless tutorials:

Serverless Reads 🤓

The Hidden Cost of Using Managed Databases
Vignesh Ravichandran shares his thoughts on the pros and cons of choosing a managed database service. There are a lot of good points in here, but IMO, unless you have the resources to hire dedicated engineers to support your database workloads, it's hard to beat the TCO of a managed service.

Senior Developers I know are always hating on serverless
Interesting post on Reddit that's worth a read through the comments. Whether you love or hate serverless, you'll probably find plenty of opinions in here that will have you either nodding in agreement or screaming at your computer screen.

A framework for offloading and migration of serverless functions in the Edge-Cloud Continuum
This paper presents an extended version of Serverledge, a FaaS framework designed to span Edge and Cloud computing landscapes. Some interesting ideas in here.

Podcasts, Videos, and more 🎧

Step Functions Error Handling Mechanisms | FooBar
Marcia Villalba teaches you about Step Functions error handling mechanisms: retries, fallback states, and redrive.

Introducing .NET 8 for Lambda | Serverless Office Hours
James Eastham joins Julian Wood to show how to use the recently released .NET 8 runtime and container base image for Lambda.

Lessons from Leading the Serverless First Journey at CapitalOne
George Mao discusses CapitalOne's journey into serverless, the best practices they picked up, the lessons learned along the way, and the optimizations for Lambda.

Serverless Craic Ep53 ServerlessDays Belfast 2024
The theme is 'Building Beyond Boundaries: ServerlessDays Belfast celebrates the spirit of Innovation'. The Serverless Craic teams shares why you should come and what you can expect from this year's event.

Testing Copilot and ChatGPT as Coding Assistants: What We Found
Joan Westenberg demos Copilot and ChatGPT as coding assistants...and the results aren't great.

Buckle Up, We're Getting Event Driven with James Eastham
James Eastham talks about building event-driven applications, what it means to go event-driven, why it's useful, and what you might have to give up to get there.

Ampt Live: Creating AI-enabled apps on AWS using Mistral with Amazon Bedrock
I show you how to use the new Mistral models for Amazon Bedrock by building an app on AWS with Ampt.

New from AWS 🆕

Here are a few other AWS announcements that looked interesting:

Serverless Tools 🛠

Automated Cognito Hygiene

Thoughts from Social 🐦

Great little bit of inside baseball from Rick here. As he says, "having no support for 'update/delete where' functionality makes everything harder with DynamoDB."

Upcoming Serverless Events 🗓

March 26, 2024 -The State of Serverless Adoption with Jeff Barr, Daniela Miao, and Max Liu (webinar)

April 13, 2024 - Serverless Conf – Blumenau 2024

May 21, 2024 - ServerlessDays ANZ - Sydney, AU

May 23, 2024 - ServerlessDays Belfast

May 24, 2024 - ServerlessDays ANZ - Auckland, NZ

June 13, 2024 - ServerlessDays Milano 2024 🗣️

Please send me your serverless events!

Star of the Week ⭐️

This week’s star is Sheen Brisals (@sheenbrisals). Sheen is a Senior Engineering Manager at The LEGO Group and co-author of the new book Serverless Development on AWS. Sheen has been a staple in the serverless community for as long as I can remember. All of his writing and speaking has been tremendously influential, and his years of experience and learning have culminated in this latest gift to the serverless community. Thank you for all you do, Sheen!

Final Thoughts 🤔

A little extra opining from me in this one, but hopefully it added some helpful context. There is still a tremendous amount of innovation happening, but the (business) model has changed, for better or worse.

Keep building,

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 X, LinkedIn, or email.

Previous Issue

Issue #269March 5, 2024

Next Issue

Issue #271March 19, 2024

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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 ⭐️!