Off-by-none: Issue #66

December 3, 2019

Live from AWS re:Invent… 🎥

Welcome to Issue #66 of Off-by-none. Thanks for join us! 🙌

Last week, we looked at the firehose of AWS pre:Invent announcements. This week, I’m at re:Invent and still trying to digest all of the recent launches and updates while also trying to keep up with all the new ones. In this issue, I’ve included some of the more exciting new AWS announcements, and included a bunch of content from the serverless community.

I also want to thank the sponsors of the #ServerlessForEveryone Community Party @ AWS re:Invent 2019 again. Stackery, Thundra, AWS, CloudZero, Lumigo, Protego (now Check Point), Serverless, Inc., Edrans, and New Relic Serverless have made this entire event possible.

Let’s jump in!

When you realize that you’ve been really busy… 🏃‍♂️

I’ve was running around like crazy last week trying to finish up some projects before re:Invent. I did end up publishing a beta version of the new DynamoDB Toolbox that gives you a whole set of tools that makes it much easier to work with data in DynamoDB. Take a look and let me know what you think.

Since I’ve been at re:Invent, I managed to meet up with several people, and share some thoughts on the EventBridge Schema Registry that was announced at Midnight Madness. Lots of interesting possibilities with this.

I also got a chance to attend a few sessions yesterday, including Rick Houlihan’s DynamoDB Advanced Modeling Session. Lots of amazing information in there, so I recapped some important takeaways and lessons in a Twitter thread for you.

Serverless News & Product Announcements 📣

All the Serverless announcements at re:Invent 2019
There are a ton of serverless announcements at re:Invent, so luckily the team over at Serverless, Inc. is compiling them all for us!

Check Point Extends Leadership in Cloud Security with Unmatched Serverless Protection
Check Point Software Technologies has acquired Protego. Congrats to TJ, Hillel, and the rest of the team.

Merry and Bright with Azure Advocates’ 25 Days of Serverless
I like challenges that engage developers like this. Microsoft is running a serverless coding challenge every day for 25 days. Solve it in the programming language of your choice and submit your solution via GitHub. Then they’ll showcase the best solutions every week.

Webiny – November Update
Lots of cool things happening in the serverless CMS world. The team at Webiny published a summary of the highlights and new things they launched in the last few weeks.

Serverless Concepts 🏗

Lessons learned using Single-table design with DynamoDB and GraphQL in production
Great post by Rafal Wilinski that recounts some of the important lessons learned when building single-table designs in DynamoDB.

Our Serverless Blueprint: The step-by-step guide
Ivan Breet outlines how his team at Simply Anvil creates and structures serverless applications.

Couple of Minutes: Serverless Microservices Decomposition
This short post by Loganathan Murugesan highlights an important concept when building microservices with serverless. Using the single responsibility principle, it’s likely that a single Lambda does not provide an entire business capability. Serverless microservices are structured as a collection of Lambdas and other resources that work together to provide the capability.

Fast Cloudfront log queries using AWS Athena and Serverless
Great post by Ben Hoyt that shows the power Athena and a simple Lambda function have to make querying massive amounts of log data fast and inexpensive.

Serverless Reads 🤓

Adrian’s top AWS updates
Adrian Hornsby summarizes some of his favorite announcements from AWS over the last few weeks.

A “Less Server” Data Infrastructure Solution for Ingestion and Transformation Pipelines
Michael Triska outlines how serverless architecture patterns and services like Snowflake, AWS Glue, and AWS Fargate have changed the way we build ETL pipelines.

How DynamoDB Is Gaining Popularity In The Developer Community
Nothing incredibly insightful in here, but this is a trend we’re starting to see. And of course, I think it’s a good thing.

EventBridge Schema Registry — what it is and why it matters for Serverless applications
Alex DeBrie has some thoughts on the new EventBridge Schema Registry.

Microsoft, not Amazon, is going to win the cloud wars
I think there is plenty of market share to spread around in the public cloud business. I like what Microsoft is doing with its serverless offerings, but IMO, the winners of the “cloud wars” will be consumer choice. Multi-cloud is going to mean something a lot different in a few years, and simply supporting deployments, won’t be a winning strategy.

For the audio enthusiast… 🎧

Episode #25: Using Serverless to Transform Careers and Communities with Farrah Campbell and Danielle Heberling
In this episode, I chat with Farrah Campbell and Danielle Heberling about how they found their way into tech, how serverless connected them, and the serverless project they built to help expand the community.

Just a handful of AWS re:Invent announcements…

Introducing Amazon EventBridge schema registry and discovery – In preview
These are new developer tool features, which allow you to automatically find events and their structure, or schema, and store them in a shared central location.

AWS Lambda Now Supports Maximum Event Age and Maximum Retry Attempts for Asynchronous Invocations
AWS Lambda now supports two new features to provide developers additional controls on how to process asynchronous invocations: Maximum Event Age and Maximum Retry Attempts.

Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) Data API Client Library Supports Java (Preview)
You can use the Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) Data API Client Library with support for Java, now available in preview, to quickly and easily build applications for Amazon Aurora Serverless.

Amazon SageMaker Autopilot – Automatically Create High-Quality Machine Learning Models With Full Control And Visibility
Amazon SageMaker Autopilot automatically creates the best classification and regression machine learning models, while allowing full control and visibility.

Introducing Amazon Detective
Amazon Detective is a new service in Preview that makes it easy to analyze, investigate, and quickly identify the root cause of potential security issues or suspicious activities.

Introducing AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) Access Analyzer
AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) Access Analyzer is a new feature that makes it simple for security teams and administrators to check that their policies provide only the intended access to resources.

AWS announces Amazon CodeGuru for automated code reviews and application performance recommendations
Amazon CodeGuru is a new machine learning service for development teams who want to automate code reviews, identify the most expensive lines of code in their applications, and receive intelligent recommendations on how to fix or improve their code.

Announcing Amazon Managed Apache Cassandra Service – Now in Preview
Amazon Managed Apache Cassandra Service (MCS) is a scalable, highly available, and managed Apache Cassandra-compatible database service. Amazon MCS is serverless, so you pay for only the resources you use and the service automatically scales tables up and down in response to application traffic.

Introducing Access Analyzer for Amazon S3 to review access policies
Access Analyzer for S3 is a new feature that monitors your access policies, ensuring that the policies provide only the intended access to your S3 resources.

Run Serverless Kubernetes Pods Using Amazon EKS and AWS Fargate
You can now use Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) to run Kubernetes pods on AWS Fargate, the serverless compute engine built for containers on AWS. This makes it easier than ever to build and run your Kubernetes applications in the AWS cloud.

Introducing the Amazon EventBridge Schema Registry – Now In Preview
The Amazon EventBridge schema registry stores event structure – or schema – in a shared central location and maps those schemas to code for Java, Python, and Typescript so it’s easy to use events as objects in your code.

Announcing UltraWarm (Preview) for Amazon Elasticsearch Service
UltraWarm is a fully managed, low-cost, warm storage tier for Amazon Elasticsearch Service.

Thoughts from Twitter 🐦

To be clear: I don’t advocate single-table DDB for nearly the breadth of cases that the AWS docs seem to (and the linked post has some helpful context on why). I think it’s a useful design pattern for a well-defined, narrow-ish workload, but pretty far up the hierarchy of needs. ~ Forrest Brazeal
I appreciate the different perspectives on this, but I’m still sticking with #TeamSingleTable. I agree with Forrest on many points, but as Rick Houlihan has shown us over and over again, this design pattern supports a very broad set of workloads (if you can understanding the modeling behind it, that is).

Upcoming Serverless Events 🗓

There are a lot of upcoming serverless events, webinars, livestreams, and more. If you have an event you’d like me to mention, please email me.

December 3, 2019 – Taco Tuesday with the AWS Heroes

December 4, 2019 – #ServerlessForEveryone Community Party @ AWS re:Invent 2019

December 14, 2019 – ServerlessDays Fukuoka Japan

Final Thoughts 🤔

re:Invent is keeping me extremely busy, so pardon the lightness of this week’s newsletter. Next week we’ll get back to normal.

I hope you enjoyed this issue of Off-by-none. Please send me your feedback and suggestions as they help to make this newsletter better each week. You can reach me via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or email and let me know your thoughts, criticisms, or (perhaps) even how you’d like to contribute to Off-by-none. If you like this newsletter, and think others would too, please do me the honor of sharing it with friends and coworkers who are interested in serverless.

Find me at re:Invent,

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Issue #65November 26, 2019

Next Issue

Issue #67December 10, 2019

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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.


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