AWS

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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Making Terraform and Serverless framework work together

The Serverless framework is the most popular deployment framework for serverless applications. It gives you a convenient abstraction over CloudFormation and some best practices out-of-the-box: Filters out dev dependencies for Node.js function. Update deployment packages to S3, which lets you work around the default 50MB limit on deployment packages. Enforces a consistent naming convention for …

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Understanding the scaling behaviour of DynamoDB OnDemand tables

Update 15/03/2019: Thanks to Zac Charles who pointed me to this new page in the DynamoDB docs. It explains how the OnDemand capacity mode works. Turns out you DON’T need to pre-warm a table. You just need to create the table with the desired peak throughput (Provisioned), and then change it to OnDemand. After you change the table to OnDemand …

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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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Subscribe SQS to a SNS topic in another AWS account with CloudFormation, and gotchas!

A use case happened at work recently, where we need to subscribe a SQS queue to a SNS topic running in another AWS account. On the surface this seems like something many people would need to do, and indeed I was able to find an official tutorial pretty quickly. But the tutorial is all “click …

Subscribe SQS to a SNS topic in another AWS account with CloudFormation, and gotchas! Read More »

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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Production-Ready Serverless is coming to a workshop near you!

As we approach the completion of my video course Production-Ready Serverless, I have also delivered the course in a classroom setting with both SimplyBusiness and the DVLA in the UK. In the coming months, I will also be running public workshops at various conferences and user groups: AWS User Group 17th Oct @ The Telegraph, London (sold …

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Step Functions : apply try-catch to a block of states

In my last post we talked about how we can implement semaphores with Step Functions. Another common scenario that many people have is to handle errors from a block of states like we’re used to with a try-catch block. try { step1() step2() step3() } catch (States.Timeout) { … } catch (States.ALL) { … } …

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