AWS Lambda, hello world

I found some hours to dedicate to create my first Lambda function on AWS. I read a lot about it, but I had not opportunity to practice.

I followed the easy way, which means I did the use case proposed by AWS:


  • You have to understand very well how to manage the different components of Lambda and how to connect with the different services.
  • Right now I see a limitation, I have not seen the way yo connect with external environments or launch external calls for retreiving data and track it. This is more than likely due to lack of knowledge and time to investigate.


Serverless is a buzzword

It points to the future of software development in a post cloud world.

The idea of “Serverless” is NOT about removing the servers completely (or you couldn’t use the internet at all), but essentially paying for services that mean that someone else manages the servers for you thereby reducing maintenance load.

It’s all about reducing the obscurity of cost.

Spend control is a necesary evil that enable the organizations to understand where they are allocating their resources. The allocation of the limited resources at the best place of the organization will enable itself to be more competitive.

Total cost of Ownership (TCO) enables to understand the end to end amount of resources that an visible element consumes at its whole lifecycle. When calculating the TCO, there are always assumptions required as not all costs are direct costs that clearly you can assign to a single asset.

Here is where serverless shows up.

The reduction in obscurity of cost through serverless will change the way we develop, build, refactor, invest, monitor, operate, organise & commercialise almost everything.

The idea is to move to a scenario where you are performing the billing per function, where you are investing as much as possible on visible value for your organization, reducing the OPEX as much as possible, and having understanding about where your resources are allocated.

Simon Wardley did a map that illustrates the case:


Serverless Framework

It is a free and open-source web framework written using Node.js. Serverless is the first framework that was originally developed for building applications exclusively on AWS Lambda, a serverless computing platform provided by Amazon as a part of the AWS.

From the framework, it birh Serverless, that is a toolkit for deploying and operating serverless architectures. Focus on your application, not your infrastructure.




Amazon QuickSight

QuickSight is the Business Intelligence solution offered in AWS. Today, I assisted to a presentation webinar where a demo of the solution was done (as usual this was the useful side of the event).

A no-brainier solution for all users that requires a BI tool. You can also use data from your own databases.

Spice is the component that makes all this possible, questions related to the time response provided by Spice is the key to see how useful is and if users accept it.


Enterprise Applications on AWS: SAP

I can access to the Amazon Partner Network and some of the interesting stuff you can find there is training and product information.

I did the one related to SAP, and there are some topics very interesting:

  • SAP invites to use the BYOL (Bring your own License) model for creating environments into AWS. You can also use pay per use payment, but is limited. This has been, is and will be the hottest topic in the relationship between the 2 organizations since years.
  • SAP controls the way to implement their systems on AWS with SAP Notes communications and guidance documents through their own channels.
  • They make difference between certified and non-certified implementations. This is a tricky thing for me.
  • The recommended way to migrate to AWS platform is to export/import the database on a new installation.
  • Before to implement it, they recommend to read a bunch of SAP Notes.
  • They recommend your own SAP installation better than the pre-build solutions you can find in the AWS marketplace.
  • For calculate the right size of your environment, they recommend to do it with SAP Quick Sizer tool. This is an interesting topic that I’m willing to know: how is the real performance?
  • For the implementation you can use AWS instances: Standard instances, EBS-optimized instances or cluster compute instances. For sure the last one is the best one, but if you are supposed to move to AWS to save money, you really want to take the right one without losing performance.


Blue/green deployments

Assist to events and learn about products behaviors, their benefits and how disruptive is something is nice. Assist to an event where someone explains you the problems s/he faced is extraordinary.

This is what Alec Lazarescu (@alec1a) did yesterday in the AWS loft in Manhathan, discussing about the Blue/green deployments.

blue-green-deploymentBehind the Scenes with LearnBop – “Bulletproof Blue/Green Deployments – Myths, Pitfalls and Solutions”

After the session some of the people where discussing about some of the services of AWS. One guy commented that they use MySql instead of AWS RDS because with MySql he can keep the control of the database and changes are faster than with RDS, which depends on a service and sometimes the execution of a simple change takes more time than required.

SAP and their cloud journey

Some years ago SAP announced the creation of SAP Business By Design (BBD). This solution was created to gather the ERP needs for mid-size companies and be one piece of puzzle on the journey to move the SAP services to cloud based solutions (other are: successfactors for HR, Ariba for procurement).

The relevancy of BBD in the market has been low, and SAP was losing the race to the cloud services in this area.

Then the strategy to reach the market changed. After so many discussions about the pricing models to offer SAP on Amazon Web Services, now you can acquire SAP on the AWS Market Place.

The market target is different, but it’s relevant how the synergies between infrastructure and applications (now cloud services) are established.

From the position point of view, it’s interesting to highlight the way SAP is sold. In the past SAP decided the pricing models and the way to acquire the software; now in the AWS marketplace, the rules are defined by Amazon: price per hour.



AWS CloudFront

I have started to work with AWS CloudFront with the purpose of improving the time response of the store.

Initial expectations:

  • Have an easy way to engage with the services.
  • Integrated and clear invoices explaining the consumed services and unit prices.
  • Training.


  • Need to understand how AWS and Google services are evolving in the market.

A diagram to remind:

AWS_CloudFront_Architectural_OverviewThe initial impression is that Amazon is this decade what Microsoft in the 90s: they are making the cloud accessible to the whole world in an understandable way.

Update, December 2014

  • Amazon communicated that the storage prices has decreased. This is the new normal behavior of the market: the vendor communicates the customer that the prices are decreasing proactively.