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Serverless architecture refers to apps that depend on third-party services or custom code.
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Ship It! Ship It! #49

Improving an eCommerce fulfillment platform

Alex Sims, a Senior Software Engineer at James & James, an eCommerce fulfilment company, reached out to us about the Kaizen story of the third-party logistics (3PL) platform that he has been involved with for several years now.

The system delivered 16 millions of orders in 10 years, and 4.5 million in the last year alone. All the numbers are going up, and there is only so much that a single PHP monolith deployed as VM images can handle. So how do you even start thinking about the architectural improvements, and inspire everyone involved to move towards better?

We encourage you to look at the architectural diagrams in the show notes, especially the 10 year roadmap, and ask Alex for a blog post follow-up. While today’s episode was a good conversation starter, there is a lot that we did not have time to cover.

Founders Talk Founders Talk #85

Making the last database you’ll ever need

This week Adam is joined by Sam Lambert, CEO of PlanetScale. Now that PlanetScale is in general availability, Adam had to get Sam on the show to talk about the behind the scenes of building this database platform, how this is the last database you’ll ever need and what that means for developers, why serverless, its open source underpinnings with Vitess, and a preview of what’s to come.

Rust github.com

An open source alternative to Cloudflare Workers

Blueboat aims to be a developer-friendly, multi-tenant platform for serverless web applications. A monolithic approach is followed: we try to implement features of commonly used libraries (in the web application context) natively in Rust to replace native Node addons, improve performance and reduce duplicated code. Blueboat’s architecture ensures the security of the platform, prevents code duplication and keeps the overhead low.

CockroachDB cockroachlabs.com

How CockroachDB went serverless

This is a great post byu Andy Kimball on what they mean when they say CockroachDB is now serverless:

Serverless means you don’t have to think about servers. Of course there are servers hard at work handling your application’s requests, but that’s our problem, not yours. We do all the hard work behind the scenes of allocating, configuring, and maintaining the servers. Instead of paying for servers, you pay for the requests that your application makes to the database and the storage that your data consumes.

How they got here:

Before now, a single physical CockroachDB cluster was intended for dedicated use by a single user or organization. That is called single-tenancy. Over the past several CockroachDB releases, we’ve quietly been adding multi-tenancy support…

How they scale it:

Within every Serverless cluster, there is an autoscaler component that is responsible for determining the ideal number of SQL pods that should be assigned to each tenant, whether that be one, many, or zero.

And what it all means for Cockroach’s users.

JavaScript github.com

A first-party, fully-local simulator for Cloudflare Workers

Local development of remote/cloud functions has been various levels of painful ever since the computing trend started its rise, so it makes a lot of sense why Cloudflare would invest in easing that pain. Now they get to say developing with Cloudflare Workers is:

  • 🎉 Fun: develop workers easily with detailed logging, file watching and pretty error pages supporting source maps.
  • 🔋 Full-featured: supports most Workers features, including KV, Durable Objects, WebSockets, modules and more.
  • Fully-local: test and develop Workers without an internet connection. Reload code on change quickly.

Ryan Dahl deno.com

Deno Deploy Beta 2

Big news from Deno today.

Today we are releasing Deploy Beta 2. This is the second in a series of beta releases that will be made over the coming months. Each release will add features and refine the programming model. The releases will culminate in a General Availability announcement that we estimate will happen in Q4 2021.

Over the past eight months, we have been quietly designing this hosted service to supplement workflows with the open source Deno CLI. Deploy does not run on AWS Lambda nor does it use Cloudflare Workers; this is a new system with a unique design. We encourage people to look past the rough initial UI and explore this new JavaScript runtime.

What’s next: A general availability (GA) release is expected Q4 2021.

Ship It! Ship It! #13

A monorepo of serverless microservices

In this episode, Gerhard talks to his Skyhook Adventure friends: Alan Cooney, Saul Cullen & Wycliffe Maina. They are the ones that introduced Gerhard to the world of serverless in the context of Amazon Web Services. Gerhard shared his experience with remote work, how to ship software with confidence and consistency, and what to look for in infrastructure as code.

At the heart of Skyhook Adventure are adventure trips, and 2020 was not a good one for this business. As you can already tell, code and infrastructure was not the biggest challenge for this team. Having said that, serverless, microservices, a monorepo and the event-based architecture played a big part in successfully navigating the challenges.

This is a story about what happens when a good team allows itself to be guided by solid experience and keeps doing the right thing, long-term. It’s fun, real, and it applies to many.

Alex Ellis blog.alexellis.io

My first eBook - results & feedback from "Serverless For Everyone Else"

Alex Ellis:

I wanted to write to you all and share that I’ve launched my first eBook called “Serverless For Everyone Else” - within the first three hours of launch, nobody bought a single copy and I thought that I’d got it all wrong.

Alex digs into the gritty details of why he wrote the book and what happened after his initial failure. And since Alex is super nerdy like you and me, the post is filled with fun moments like this one:

How did I fulfil the upgrade / discount? I did it by writing a function and deploying it to my Raspberry Pi, so that Gumroad would send a webhook, my code would query the dollar amount, and then send out an email to the customer over AWS SES.

Peter Thaleikis releasecandidate.dev

How I discovered faas and what it changed for me

Peter Thaleikis tells the story of how he got started with functions as a service:

Regularly, I discover myself thinking “wow, that’s so simple I can build this in a weekend”. My rational brain kicks in at some point: “Waaaaiiit a second, if it’s so simple, why am I not seeing this done a million times?”

Often, my developer mind insists on “it’s actually just two API endpoints and then I could do this and that”. And often this holds true for the core functionality.

I’m willing to be you’ve had that very same impulse (I know I have). He continues:

Function as a service sounds like a great step towards “just having a few API endpoints”. AWS Lambda is the name everyone is having in mind here. But any gains from simplicity are eaten up by AWS complexity.

Peter landed on faasd and explains what he likes about it. A solid read for the serverless-curious.

Hardware github.com

Turn your Kindle into a HUD for every day life

David Hamp-Gonsalves created a really cool use for your old Kindle:

Second hand Kindles are waiting in drawers for someone to repurpose them into something great. Boasting large e-ink screens, wifi connectivity and ARM processors they are an amazing hacking platform.

In my case I created an information panel summarizing my day such as my calendar, surf and weather forecast, garbage schedule, school closures, etc. My favorite part is that any extra space is filled with a random Pokémon sprite which my kids(not me) like to come check in on.

Built with Rust plus some serverless backend data collection bits.

Turn your Kindle into a HUD for every day life

JavaScript github.com

Easy authentication for Next.js and Serverless

This auth lib has a nice set of features, including support for a bunch of oauth providers. What I really appreciate about a solution like this (vs relying on a 3rd party) is the own your own data bit:

  • An open source solution that allows you to keep control of your data
  • Supports Bring Your Own Database (BYOD) and can be used with any database
  • Built-in support for for MySQL, MariaDB, Postgres, MongoDB and SQLite
  • Works great with databases from popular hosting providers
  • Can also be used without a database (e.g. OAuth + JWT)

Amazon Web Services github.com

A serverless email server on AWS using S3 and SES

This stack was created out of frustration due to the fact that to this day there’s no easy way to have a full email server without the overhead of installing and configuring all servers needed to handle incoming and outgoing messages. We wanted something simple, with no interface and no server management, so we came up with S3-Email. This included AWS SES as our email server (receive and send) and S3 as our database and interface. Then we tied everything together with a bit of code via AWS Lambda.

All of this functionality and the repo is just some JSON, Yaml, and text files. Maybe 2020 really is the year of #nocode… 😉

The Changelog The Changelog #343

Running functions anywhere with OpenFaaS

We’re talking with Alex Ellis, the founder of OpenFaaS — serverless functions made simple for Docker and Kubernetes. We talked about the back story and details of OpenFaaS, “the curious case of serverless on Kubernetes,” the landscape of open source serverless platforms, how Alex is leading and building this community, getting involved, and maintainership vs leadership.

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