Should you pack the AWS SDK in your deployment artefact?

Update 01/10/2019: a few of you have mentioned layers in the comments or on social media. Scroll to the bottom to see my thoughts on layers as a solution to the problems I mentioned in this post. A version of the AWS SDK is always bundled into the Lambda runtime for your language. So the …

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Weekly update 34

Hi, welcome to another weekly update! Let’s welcome back Blue Matador as this month’s sponsor! Blue Matador is monitoring alert automation for AWS and Kubernetes environments. Our proactive alerts take the time and toil out of monitoring. Trying to understand baselines and thresholds, and configuring alerts, especially in black boxes like Lambda and K8s, requires …

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How to include SNS and Kinesis in your e2e tests

Update 17/09/2019: based on feedback, I added a few more alternatives that do not require you to deploy additional Lambda functions to the e2e-test stage. Scroll to the end to find out more. Being event-driven is a key characteristic of a serverless architecture. Often our Lambda functions would publish events to SNS topics or Kinesis …

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Why you should use temporary stacks when you do serverless

One of the benefits of serverless is the pay-per-use pricing model you get from the platform. That is, if your code doesn’t run, you don’t pay for them! Combined with the simplified deployment flow (compared with applications running in containers or VMs) it has enabled many teams to make use of temporary CloudFormation stacks. In …

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How to use the power of CloudFormation custom resources for great good

Disclaimer: if you’re new to CloudFormation custom resources, then I recommend you start by reading this excellent post by Alex Debrie first. Custom resources bring a whole new dimension to CloudFormation and enable some fascinating use cases. For example: provision DataDog dashboards as part of your CloudFormation stack run a load test every time you …

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Weekly update 32

Hi, welcome to another weekly update :-) Let’s welcome Snap.hr as this month’s sponsor! Snap.hr is a transparent job hunting platform built for developers by developers. On Snap.hr, 3rd party recruiters are banned, and companies are always up front about the role and salary. Snap puts developers in the driving seat, so you never feel hassled …

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A simple event-sourcing example with snapshots using Lambda and DynamoDB

Recently, I have been helping a client implement an event-sourced system. In the process, I put together a very simple demo app to illustrate how one could build such a system using Lambda and DynamoDB. The source code is available on GitHub here. Before you go ahead and read all about the demo app, I …

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Weekly update 31

Hi, welcome to another weekly update :-) New posts Getting the most out of CloudWatch Logs. In this post, I took a deep dive into the CloudWatch Logs service, looking at how it works, its features (including metric filters and CloudWatch Logs Insights) as well as limitations. How to do blue-green deployment for Step Functions. …

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How to do blue-green deployment for Step Functions

A client asked me the other day: “What happens to the running executions when I update a state machine?” Sadly, the answer is likely that existing executions would break if you have changed the input/output of the Lambda functions they call. The solution is to use specific versions or aliases of the functions instead. But …

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