Lambda

A self-healing Kinesis function that adapts its throughput based on performance

I spent time with a client this week to solve an interesting problem – to adjust the number of concurrent requests to a downstream service dynamically based on response time and error rate. This is a common challenge when integrating with third parties, so we decided to share our approach so others might benefit from …

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AWS SAM + Cloudformation macros, a patch made in heaven

Over the last few weeks I have been working with a very ambitious client – Solve, who is building a new murder mystery game. They are doing some really cool things technically, and are building an entirely serverless stack. While working with Solve I have spent a lot of time with AWS SAM. That experience …

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How to include Serverless Repository apps in serverless.yml

Over the past year, the Serverless Application Repository (SAR) service has improved a lot. I have grown to enjoy it more and more, and have contributed a few applications myself: lambda-janitor: cron job to delete old, unused versions of all Lambda functions in the region to free up storage space. auto-subscribe-log-group-to-arn: subscribes new and existing …

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Using CloudWatch and Lambda to implement ad-hoc scheduling

A while back I wrote about using DynamoDB TTL to implement ad-hoc scheduling. It generated some healthy debate and a few of you have mentioned alternatives including using Step Functions. So let’s take a look at some of these alternatives, starting with the simplest – using a cron job. We will assess this approach using the …

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Introducing… CloudFormation extrinsic functions ;-)

Ok, ok, AWS hasn’t announced a whole new class of intrinsic functions for you to use in CloudFormation. But if you’re using the Serverless framework then I have a treat for you :-) I created a plugin for the Serverless framework that lets you use a number of custom Fn:: functions in your serverless.yml. The …

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Comparing Nuclio and AWS Lambda

With serverless, you delegate the responsibility of running your infrastructure to a platform provider as much as possible. This frees your engineers to focus on building what your customers want from you—the features that differentiate your business from your competitors’. For this philosophy to work, however, the platform needs to not only give you the …

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Just how expensive is the full AWS SDK?

If you’re not familiar with how cold start works within the context of AWS Lambda, then read this post first. update 24/03/2019: the tests include WebPack as well. When a Node.js Lambda function cold starts, a number of things happen: the Lambda service has to find a server with enough capacity to host the new …

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DynamoDB TTL as an ad-hoc scheduling mechanism

CloudWatch Events let you easily create cron jobs with Lambda. However, it’s not designed for running lots of ad-hoc tasks, each to be executed once, at a specific time. The default limit on CloudWatch Events is a lowly 100 rules per region per account. It’s a soft limit, so it’s possible to request a limit …

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Lambda optimization tip – enable HTTP keep-alive

I recently watched an excellent talk by Matt Lavin on optimization tips for Lambda and saw a slide on making DynamoDB use HTTP keep-alive. It reminded me of a conversation I had with Sebastian Cohnen, so I set out to test the effect this simple optimization has. What is it all about? As it turns …

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You are thinking about serverless costs all wrong

The Register published an article right before Christmas 2018. It had a somewhat provocative title, and somehow it ended up in my inbox from a few different sources. I felt the whitepaper the article refers to provided some interesting analysis. But the case studies it used to make its point are not representative of what …

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