Posts Tagged ‘lambda’

I’m going all-in on Serverless at AWS! :-)

August 1st, 2019 No comments


I’m super excited to be joining AWS as a Senior Developer Advocate for the Serverless Product Group.

I’ve been busily working as an IT practitioner on the customer side my entire career. 20ish years (eek!) mixing up IT infrastructure with radio stations, journalism and finance. Now seems the perfect time to abstract that all away and transition to the vendor side starting in September.

I’ll be joining AWS to help drive the development and adoption of the AWS Serverless platform and serverless applications through community engagement. That’s the actual job spec…and its awesome! I’ll be working within the Serverless Product group who look after Lambda, API Gateway, Step Functions, SAM, and a whole surrounding serverless ecosystem. The team has been ramping up this year so I’m joining some amazing colleagues under the watchful eye of the superb Chris Munns.

Here are some of my thoughts and questions before starting the role. I’m going to add a BIG caveat. This is all swirling through my head at the moment, I’m likely going to be very wrong on lots of things and I have a HUGE amount to learn so I’m really hoping my ideas will be bashed to pieced and reformed into something better. That’s the point, to learn and explore.

Why even stay in IT?

Read more…

Categories: AWS, Serverless Tags: ,

Serverless: The Minimilism Mindset

July 9th, 2019 No comments

There’s always been a lot of talk about defining “Serverless”. That’s what you get for coming up with a term that describes what something isn’t rather than what something is.

There isn’t actually an authoritative definition of what “serverless” is, as it depends on what message your trying to convey, and that’s actually OK, we’ve somehow managed to eventually understand what “cloud” generally means.

Jeremy Daly recently did a presentation at ServerlessDays Milan, Stop calling everything serverless!,

Jeremy listed some of the terms the collective wisdom of the community has come up with, great presentation, worth watching.

  • Serverless as a Compute Model
  • Serverless as an Architectural Pattern
  • Serverless as an Operational Construct
  • Serverless as a Spectrum
  • Serverless as a Mindset

I’ll let you go through the presentation to see what Jeremy comes up with as his own definition.

Read more…

Categories: AWS, Serverless Tags: , ,

AWS re:Invent 2018: A Serverless Journey: AWS Lambda Under the Hood – SRV409

November 30th, 2018 No comments

20181129_214552864_iOSMarc Brooker & Holly Mesrobian from AWS

This looked like a super interesting session as AWS doesn’t often let you peek under the hood of how it runs its infrastructure. Of all the AWS services, Lambda is arguably the most interesting under the hood as the whole point of Lambda is you don’t have to worry about what’s underneath that hood and there’s a big engine!

Running Highly Available Large Scale systems is a lot of work.

  • needs load-balancing
  • scale up and down
  • handling failures

When you use Lambda as part of a serverless platform, you don’t need to provision, manage, and scale any servers although the servers are obviously there. As a developer you don’t need to concern yourself with any of the undifferentiated heavy lifting but there’s a very sophisticated architecture underneath to make that abstraction work.

Holly and Marc went through how AWS designed one of its fastest growing services. Lambda processes trillions of requests for customers across the world.

Read more…

AWS re:Invent 2017: Build a Multi-Region Serverless Application for Resilience and High Availability Workshop

November 28th, 2017 No comments

Steven Challis & Derek Felska from AWS were the workshop leaders and it was very hands on, basically up to you and anyone else you wanted to team up with.

2017-11-27 12.58.36 2017-11-27 12.58.45

This is one of the reasons to actually attend a conference, you get to do things in person and interact with other people rather than watching a recorded session or just follow a step by step plan when you can’t confer.


Availability and fast performance is key to user experience. Building a global application from the start is traditionally extremely difficult. Think before serverless how you would have to manage a global fleet of EC2 instances, load balancers, databases and storage. You would need to be a DNS guru and keeping your compute generic yet regionalised was super tough. Enter serverless and the promise was there but Lambda needed a whole lot of hacking to get functions to fire based on geographical access.

2017-11-27 13.15.14 2017-11-27 13.05.29

In the workshop we set up a fictional company called (would you use a ride sharing company called this!). This wasn’t just a normal rider sharing company though, the drivers were unicorns! They needed a customer support application which customers can use to report any issues, be it lost property or a grumpy unicorn! As the service was global and needed to be built, serverless was touted as the ideal platform to use as much as possible (of course, it’s re:Invent!). We needed to lash together Lambda, API Gateway, DynamoDB, Route 53, CloudFront and S3 for better availability. Cognito Federated Identities was also used for user authentication.

The workshop was also to highlight the new “API Gateway regional endpoints” feature which was recently released.

There’s no reason to feel left out though, you can go through it all at:

Read more…

Cloud Field Day 2 Preview: Platform9

July 20th, 2017 No comments

Cloud Field Day 2, part of the Tech Field Day family of events is happening in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, from 26-28 July and I’m super excited to be invited as a delegate.

We are hearing from a number of companies about how they cloud!

Platform9 is a regular Tech Field Day presenter and I am lucky to be able to heard from them directly when I attended Virtualisation Field Day 4 in 2015 when it was just starting

The company was founded in 2013 by some clever VMware people who wanted to create a company to provide managed cloud infrastructure with two important distinctions. They wanted their offerings to be SaaS managed and wanted it to use open source software.

It’s first product was a cloud managed OpenStack. OpenStack was (is?) hellishly complicated to set up and manage yourself so Platform9 stepped in and offered a cloud managed OpenStack which would run on-premises. Platform9 would take all the hassle away of deploying and upgrading OpenStack and you could spend your time using your OpenStack private cloud rather than managing it.

As the cloud landscape evolved and containers became the next big thing, Platform9 added a managed Kubernetes option. Kubernetes is also difficult to set up so Platform9 came to the rescue. Clouds don’t stand still and Platform9 now has an alpha version of its own Serverless offering called Fission (plenty to say about this).

Platform9 is a cloud infrastructure management company following the current cloud trajectory in what seems like an ideal evolving portfolio: Managed servers, then managed containers then managed Serverless.

The company has had a recent fund injection of $22m with a mix of existing a new investors to bring the total capital raised to date to £36.5m, a helpful war chest. It currently manages 200 enterprise clouds worldwide.

Hybrid Cloud

Read more…

Can I order some servers for my serverless please – London VMUG Presentation

June 22nd, 2017 No comments

I was super happy to be able to present again at the London VMUG today on some tech that’s going to make a huge impact, Serverless. Yes, its a dumb name, as dumb as cloud but basically refers to Functions as a Service. I went through what it is, covering the important points of event driven user defined functions spun up and down on demand. There’s no infrastructure to manage from the point of the developer, the provider does all the provisioning and scaling.

Here are the slides:

and continuing the summary of what I spoke about…

I went though some of the public cloud examples like Amazon Lambda, Azure Functions and Google Cloud Functions. There are also Kubernetes based options you can deploy yourself like Fission, Kubeless and Funktion as well as cross container platforms such as Apache OpenWhisk, IronFunctions and Funcatron. I spent time going through what events are, why they are so crticial to understanding serverless and gave some examples. How much it costs was covered, the differences between PaaS and containers. Listed the benefits and currently many disadvantages as its very new.

I also talked about how Ops is changing and doesn’t mean Ops goes away, just evolves. As it was a VMware user group I went through two connections to VMware, the kinds of things you could use serverless for to manage a VMware environment as well as the VMware cloud native story and using Photon Kubernetes as a Service as your private serverless hosting platform.

Functional billing was highlighted as probably the most important future benefit for serverless, being able to track the cost of every single function call you make which can very easily highlight the inefficiencies you have and the benefit of being now able to have business costings matching up to IT costings.

Looking into the future there’s lots that needs to evolve but perhaps this is the time to decide whether you skip PaaS and containers for some things that have event triggers and go straight to serverless?

JeffConf is also very soon so mentioned the London conference.

Thanks for having me London VMUG.

Categories: AWS, Serverless, VMware Tags: , , , ,