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Serverless

Serverless architecture refers to apps that depend on third-party services or custom code.
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PostgreSQL blog.replit.com

Neon is powering Replit's serverless Postgres

Yup, that Neon. Congrats to Nikita and team for this big win.

Databases and web apps go together like peanut butter and jelly. In a word, they’re inseparable. And despite all the amazing innovations in NoSQL data stores, often a good old relational database is the most reliable tool for the job.

We want to make it completely seamless to develop applications that need databases on Replit. Starting today, you can create and instantly begin to use PostgreSQL databases from within the Replit workspace.

The fine print.

Under the hood, this product is powered by our friends at Neon who have created a lightning-fast serverless database. The database will go to sleep after 5 minutes of inactivity. Most clients should handle the reconnection seamlessly.

Ruby rubyonjets.com

Ruby and Lambda had a baby and that child's name is Jets

Ruby on Jets allows you to create and deploy serverless services with ease, and to seamlessly glue AWS services together with the most beautiful dynamic language: Ruby. It includes everything you need to build an API and deploy it to AWS Lambda. Jets leverages the power of Ruby to make serverless joyful for everyone.

I’m not (yet) big on serverless things, but if I were, I’d love to run some Ruby code there.

Jerod Santo changelog.com/posts

SQLite's web renaissance

I won’t call SQLite’s current moment a comeback, because the most used database engine in the world doesn’t have anything to come back from. I’m going with “renaissance”, because despite its already mass adoption, there has been something of a rebirth of interest from one software sector that had previously relegated it to dev & test environments: web apps

PostgreSQL github.com

An open source alternative to AWS Aurora

When we had Paul Copplestone from Supabase on The Changelog I asked him what a cloud native Postgres would look like. He replied,

Decoupled compute and storage. So the idea is that you should be able to attach the compute part of it to a storage, hopefully like an infinite storage; you know, anything that is infinitely scalable. If you can do this, and in particular, if the compute can start up very fast, maybe in, say, a hundred milliseconds via some sort of HTTP response, then that’s cloud native, yeah.

Enter Neon, which sells itself as:

The multi-cloud fully managed Postgres with a generous free tier. We separated storage and compute to offer autoscaling, branching, and bottomless storage.

Behind this new business from MemSQL co-founder Nikita Shamgunov is the linked (Apache-licensed) server written in Rust.

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.

Learn 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… 😉

Amazon Web Services github.com

A fully functional local AWS cloud stack

LocalStack looks like an excellent way to develop & test your serverless apps without leaving your local host. It appears they are basically mocking 20+ AWS services which is undoubtedly a lot of work and I would expect to be error prone. Is anybody out there using LocalStack on the regular and can let us know if it actually works as advertised?

Amazon Web Services github.com

Lambcycle – a declarative lambda middleware with life cycle hooks

Lambcycle is a middleware for lambda functions. It defines a configurable life-cycle and allows you to focus on your application’s logic. It has a “Feature as Plugin” approach, so you can easily create your own plugins or reuse your favorite packages with very little effort 🐑 🛵.

The author goes deep on why Lambcycle solves a serious problem over on Medium.

Abraham Ingersoll gravitational.com

The curious case of serverless on Kubernetes

Abraham Ingersoll:

While AWS continues its Mr. Softy strategy of extend, embrace and extinguish with Lambda, Google is doubling down on its Kubernetes masterstroke with the upcoming “Knative.”

Using the CNCF’s trail map as a guide, he finds four serious “Serverless on Kubernets” contenders in addition to Knative and overviews them each in turn.

Vercel Icon Vercel

Serverless Slack apps with Now

Now you can easily build, deploy, and distribute Slack apps for free with serverless on ZEIT Now.

We recently built a simple Slack app. The app allows users to type /eval <JavaScript code> directly in Slack that evaluates JavaScript code and prints the output directly in a Slack response. Try it out!

In this blog post, we will show you exactly how we did it. We will demonstrate how you can easily build, deploy and distribute similar Slack apps for free, leveraging the power of serverless on Now.

John Demian dashbird.io

AWS Lambda limitations explained

John Demian lays out Lambda’s runtime environment limitations for your consideration.

I gave Lambda a chance to impress me after Pam Selle gave us the hard sell, but I hit up against the 5-minute function execution timeout. Needless to say I was not impressed.

It’s nice to see they’ve increased that to 15 minutes, but there are other constraints to consider as well.

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