AWS Sydney Summit Roundup: Serverless is here

This past week saw AWS’s Sydney Summit at the historic Hordern Pavilion. While many saw the “coming soon” announcements as a slight disappointment (Lambda coming soon. API gateway coming soon. Everything else: coming soon), I – and am not the only one – saw it as a bit of a wakeup call.

In fact, this is really my only major takeaway from the summit:

Serverless architecture is coming. Get on board.

Lambda was launched to beta in late 2014 and to general availability in April 2015 to much fanfare, but as always with AWS, only in a subset of regions. Since then, it’s expanded out to encompass Virginia, Oregon, Ireland, Frankfurt¬†and Tokyo.

It’s been much talked of in Australian Cloud circles – so much so that I freely admit to feeling a degree of Lambda Fatigue at meetups and conferences over the last year or so.

But the actual release of Lambda in ap-southeast-2 is imminent. And with it will come a fundamental shift in the way many of us in Australian Cloud circles need to think about Cloud infrastructure, because the potential advanatages¬†in cost, development time and scalability are just too big to ignore. If you’re going all-in on cloud and your plans don’t include Lambda somewhere, then you’re probably doing something badly wrong.

On a personal level, this has meant some retooling of skillsets. I’m primarily a Windows Engineer, so my day-to-day work is 90%+ PowerShell. With Lambda, I’m going to need to get fluent with something else. Node.js is the prime candidate, since I have a background in web development and I’m conversant with (though probably no longer fluent at) Javascript. Your mileage may vary, naturally. I spent the entire Saturday after the Summit setting up my Node.js tooling and getting comfortable with the key concepts in Lambda

I’m also going to have to become familiar with a whole new toolset, including developing a CI/CD pipeline for Lambda functions, and a way to reliably version, manage, deploy and troubleshoot them.I’m also going to need to get involved early so that adoption runs to a set of standards – there is potential for thousands of Lambda functions to get created here at Domain, and we’re going to need to manage them correctly or we’re in for a world of hurt.

Either way, a lot of the journey may end up documented on this blog, so stay tuned.

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