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This is how I use the good parts of @awscloud, while filtering out all the distracting hype. ๐Ÿ‘‡ 1/25
281 replies and sub-replies as of Jul 29 2019

My background: I’ve been using AWS for 11 years — since before there was a console. I also worked inside AWS for 8 years (Nov 2010 - Feb 2019). 2/25
My experience is in web- sites/apps/services. From tiny personal projects to commercial apps running on 8,000 servers. If what you do is AI, ML, ETL, HPC, DBs, blockchain, or anything significantly different from web apps, what I’m writing here might not be relevant. 3/25
Step 1: Forget that all these things exist: Microservices, Lambda, API Gateway, Containers, Kubernetes, Docker. Anything whose main value proposition is about “ability to scale” will likely trade off your “ability to be agile & survive”. That’s rarely a good trade off. 4/25
Start with a t3.nano EC2 instance, and do all your testing & staging on it. It only costs $3.80/mo. Then before you launch, use something bigger for prod, maybe an m5.large (2 vCPU & 8 GB mem). It’s $70/mo and can easily serve 1 million page views per day. 5/25
1 million views is a lot. For example, getting on the front page of @newsycombinator will get you ~15-20K views. That’s just 2% of the capacity of an m5.large. 6/25
It might be tempting to use Lambda & API Gateway to save $70/mo, but then you’re going to have to write your software to fit a new immature abstraction and deal with all sorts of limits and constraints. 7/25
Basic stuff such as using a cache, debugging, or collecting telemetry/analytics data becomes significantly harder when you don’t have access to the server. But probably the biggest disadvantage is that it makes local development much harder. 8/25
And that’s the last thing you need. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is that you can easily start your entire application on your laptop, with one click. With Lambda & API Gateway you’re going to be constantly battling your dev environment. Not worth it, IMO. 9/25
CloudFormation: Use it. But too much of it can also be a problem. First of all, there are some things that CFN can’t do. But more importantly, some things are best left out of CFN because it can do more harm than good. 10/25
The rule of ๐Ÿ‘: If something is likely to be static, it’s a good candidate for CFN. Ex: VPCs, load balancers, build & deploy pipelines, IAM roles, etc. If something is likely to be modified over time, then using CFN will likely be a big headache. Ex: Autoscaling settings. 11/25
I like having a separate shell script to create things that CFN shouldn’t know about. And for things that are hard/impossible to script, I just do them manually. Ex: Route 53 zones, ACM cert creation/validation, CloudTrail config, domain registration. 12/25
The test for whether your infra-as-code setup is good enough is whether you feel confident that you can tear down your stack & bring it up again in a few minutes without any mistakes. Spending an unbounded amount of time in pursuit of scripting everything is dumb. 13/25
Load balancers: You should probably use one even if you only have 1 instance. For $16/mo you get automatic TLS cert management, and that alone makes it worth it IMO. You just set it up once & forget about it. An ALB is probably what you’ll need, but NLB is good too. 14/25
Autoscaling: You won’t need it to spin instances up & down based on utilization. Unless your profit margins are as thin as Amazon’s, what you need instead is abundant capacity headroom. Permanently. Then you can sleep well at night — unlike Amazon’s oncall engineers ๐Ÿคฃ 15/25
But Autoscaling is still useful. Think of it as a tool to help you spin up or replace instances according to a template. If you have a bad host, you can just terminate it and AS will replace it with an identical one (hopefully healthy) in a couple of minutes. 16/25
VPCs, Subnets, & Security Groups: These may look daunting, but they’re not that hard to grasp. You have no option but to use them, so it’s worth spending a day or two learning all there is about them. Learn through the console, but at the end set them up with CFN. 17/25
Route 53: Use it. It integrates nicely with the load balancers, and it does everything you need from a DNS service. I create hosted zones manually, but I set up A records via cfn. I also use Route 53 for .com domain registration. 18/25
CodeBuild/Deploy/Pipeline: This suite has a lot of rough edges and setup can be frustrating. But once you do set it up, the final result is simple and with few moving parts. Don’t bother with CodeCommit though. Stick with GitHub. Sample pipeline:… 19/25
A GitHub-to-EC2 CI/CD template using CodeBuild and CodeDeploy. - dvassallo/github-to-ec2-pipeline
S3: At 2.3 cents per GB/mo, don’t bother looking elsewhere for file storage. You can expect downloads of 90 MB/s per object and about a 50 ms first-byte latency. Use the default standard storage class unless you really know what you’re doing. 20/25
Database: Today, DynamoDB is an option you should consider. If you can live without “joins”, DDB is probably your best option for a database. With per-request pricing it’s both cheap and a truly zero burden solution. Remember to turn on point-in-time backups. 21/25
But if you want the query flexibility of SQL, I’d stick with RDS. Aurora is fascinating tech, and I’m really optimistic about it’s future, but it hasn’t passed the test of time yet. You’ll end up facing a ton of poorly documented issues with little community support. 22/25
CloudFront: I’d usually start without CloudFront. It’s one less thing to configure and worry about. But it’s something worth considering eventually, even just for the DDoS protection, if not for performance. 23/25
SQS: You likely won’t need it, and if you needed a message queue I’d consider something in-process first. But if you do have a good use case for it, SQS is solid, reliable, and reasonably straightforward to use. 24/25
Conclusion: I like to seperate interesting new tech from tech that has survived the test of time. EC2, S3, RDS, DDB, ELB, EBS, SQS definitely have. If you’re considering alternatives, there should be a strong compelling reason for losing all the benefits accrued over time. 25/25
I abandoned my $10k USD AWS promotion credit for @getRender. AWS is owing me big ๐Ÿ’ต for the time I spent learning how to use their products.
Interesting. What made you switch? I have to admit I never heard of render before. (AWS only gave me a $300 credit for my business account ๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜†)
No matter your experience level, AWS takes time to get right. With @getRender, I just push to @github. That's all. Performance is great and it's super affordable
That's true. I should check them out one day. ๐Ÿ™
Looks interesting!
Good thread. With infinite options to use this or that configured this or that way it's useful to get a high-level outlook from someone who's experienced.
I agree. In my experience as well, (EC2, RDS, S3, ELB/ALB, VPC, Route53) comprises 98% of the usage, rest 2% is SQS, SNS, Cloudwatch, Cloudtrail, etc
This is gold. We really don't need to master many AWS services to build something functional and scalable.
Question: what about changing an EC2 instance type based on a schedule. 2xlarge for 6 hours in the morning, micro the rest of the day?
I think that would be more trouble than it's worth. If the app can run on multiple servers, I'd rather use small instances, and just bring up a few more based on a schedule. But in general, for production, I prefer not scaling down at all.
Ok, yes. You mentioned this is about web apps. I'm thinking legacy batch processing servers. Anyhow, great thread, thanks!
I long ago figured out that ElasticBeanStalk + RDS + Route53 + Cloudfront was the easiest to get a simple project going. I hate managing EC2 instances and VPC manually. What do you think about ElasticBeanStalk?
For throwaway projects and dev environments I would not even bother with route53 and certs, just use the Elasticbeanstalk URL directly
I have no direct experience with it, but I don’t see any downside, except maybe that you might be locked into the runtime versions they support. I agree it simplifies the setup a lot.
Yeah you do get locked to specific runtime versions or you have to roll out a docker instance (which again, more setup required). I did run into a few really weird bugs when trying to delete elasticbeanstalk stuff.
Short version: if you manually delete anything created by elasticbeanstalk (VPC, EC2 or RDS instances) you can't delete your elasticbeanstalk, it will remain in a "zombie" mode
What do you use for deploying? We use CodeDeploy on but I never feel totally comfortable with it when we're being hit by 100k+ active users and one at a time takes for ever when you have 32 servers.
Petitions - UK Government and Parliament
Official online petitions in response to issues of the day, listing the number that got a Government response, and those that have been debated in the House of Parliament
I use CodeDeploy too. At Amazon we used it for deployments to thousands of servers. You can change the deployment preferences to deploy to more than 1 instance at a time, either as a % or a specific number:… ...
You can also check what deployment stage is taking a long time to execute. There could be something that can be optimized. My deploys take less than a minute on each server.
We're somewhere around 2.5 minutes per server - a lot of which is connection draining and installing dependencies. I guess building custom AMIs would be an option using something like
Packer by HashiCorp
Packer is a free and open source tool for creating golden images for multiple platforms from a single source configuration.
Seems like a good use case for Docker, despite Daniel's advice. Building custom AMIs is a step above modifying instances during deployments, but both are brittle and inefficient compared to Docker-based deployments, which would reduce your rollout time from 80 minutes to <10.
Yes, we're currently reworking our architecture and looking at using Fargate and Aurora after having a chat with AWS. Traffic to the site is very sporadic - 99% of the time it's at 100k active users per day but jumped to 6m at the time of the Revoke Article 50 petition.
That's quite a spike!
Awesome thread, thanks. Any thoughts about SES?
I have no experience with SES, but I intend to use it for something I’m working on.
Excellent thread.
I understand the approach of using the things that you know, but Lambda is a great technology. The fact that I don’t have to worry about money, scaling, OS updates, runtime updates, security (mostly), ... is just too big of an advantage not to use it. And I can still test locally
I know Lambda pretty well. I worked very closely with the team that built it. I agree it's great tech, and I am optimistic that abstracting away the OS is the future of compute. But the Lambda of today has too many restrictions to make it worth it (for the things I work on). IMO.
What would be the restrictions in your use case?
No file system access beyond tmp, no stateful web sockets (have to persist state in DDB, requiring 1 read and 1 write per message — plus handling new complex failure modes), the 15 min timeout (mostly related to the previous one), hard to send telemetry data async, ... [cont]
... the 250MB bundle limit (requires convoluted workarounds), no sticky sessions (calls from same user going to same proc). That's just off the top of my head, and just things related to what I'm doing.
I can’t relate to your use case, but replacing traditional LAMP stacks with Lambda+APIGW+SNS+SQS+DDB has proven to work for fragment the price compared to running EC2. My idea is to put anything into Lambda and if it doesn’t fit >> ECS Fargate. [cont...]
But the main issue in my case could be that I have no one to look after the setup. No one checks CVE vulns for OS, checks under/overprovisioning etc. All I have is a couple of CW Alarms and that’s it. Maybe it’s all about the solution architecture? Event-driven and EC2 don’t fit?
I believe the cost savings in the low end. But cost-optimizing ~$100/mo is not my goal. As for CVEs, I just run “yum update --security” in a cron once a week. If you do that, your patching will be more frequent and robust that Lambda's (wink!) Beware about scale: ...
Don't be fooled by Lambda's claims of capacity management. You still need to monitor your invoc & conc rate, & request limit โฌ†๏ธ when you get close. A single small-ish EC2 instance can give you more capacity than Lambda's default capacity, and IMO EC2 capacity is easier to monitor
Awesome thread! I suspect it will ruffle some feathers. Any chance you'd want to elucidate some more on a podcast?
I'm interested! DMs open.
Aren't tools like Heroku and Postgres much simpler?
Good sensible guidance #thanks for sharing and taking the time to pen this.
some interesting stuff in the thread and some that might get you a little upset ๐Ÿ˜€.
I was waiting for the dunk on EB... what a terrible service.
Elastic Beanstalk? I don’t have first hand experience with it, but I didn’t expect it to be horrible. What are the painful things you ran into?
extremely slow iteration speed, 10 years of partially undocumented behavior on the EC2 machine, broken environments need replacing and can't be updated, need to set up a -> nat routing table manually when unchecking allocate me EIPs option...
Lately the new docker images have also failed to start sshd when a key is set, so you can't even check what part of the machine didn't match up with your expectations. The unit it scales on is also "1 EC2 machine". There's a reason we moved to DIY Kubernetes years ago.
It's essentially CloudFormation + Glue in various stages of decay. Make of that metaphor what you want.
Doesn’t sound fun! I’m not surprised by the things you mention.
The update icon spinner is also unbalanced. And you stare at it a lot. (We run a few services that need extra 9s because they are prerequisites for other things working, think dockerhub mirror and ACS, but we've gone and make those EB via CF now so nobody has to see the spinner)
Lol about the spinner. ๐Ÿคฃ Pixel perfection is definitely not AWS’s strength! ๐Ÿคฃ
About sums up my experience the last 8 years. Disagree w both Docker and Lambda comments, as both solve your requirement about running locally being priority 1. We’ve bootstrapped several businesses w @goserverless & RDS w crazy easy velocity & it’s so easy
Fair point about Docker. In hindsight I should have probably not included it in the list. I still feel that the advantages are not that significant in reality, but I guess it depends on how complex the runtime env is. ...
About Lambda, it’s not that you can’t run the code locally—but the fact that it forces you to break up your app into methods/jobs/functions, which is what makes it harder to run & debug locally. There’s a big benefit in having all the app functionality running from one process.
If you’re working raw then yes. Especially in static/compiled stacks. But @goserverless + Serverless offline plugin completely addresses that to be like any other single process. Plenty of others do the same across most mainstream languages
It’s totally true that you still have to learn the quirks of lambda, and APIG can do crazy shiz until you learn the ropes. It’s no silver bullet. But I’ve watched so many miss on simple and insane time to market because they only look at raw lambda
I Experience with Lambda was that it’s not suited to experience the fast unlike EC2 and rolling your own Python was kinda weird
With SQS, I think it depends on your needs and experience... the failure modes in SQS may be surprising initially, and you have to have a plan to deal with those cases. Lambda + SQS is actually really nice depending on needs for certain work loads.
A few examples of in process message queue that u have used and would recommend?
Bumping this, came looking for the same.
Oh, I simply meant just queuing messages in memory (in a linked list, etc). Obviously if persistence/durability is required, then SQS is a decent choice. I made that comment when I was still comparing with Lambda in my head. ...
... With Lambda it’s common to use SQS for anything async even when durability is not necessary, either because of function timeout concerns, or concerns about cost from long execution time.
Oh i see. thanks for clarification ๐Ÿ™
Got it! Thanks again, you're confirming a lot of suspicions I had about using AWS in the simplest way possible.
CloudFront is so expensive. If all you need is static content then @BunnyCDN is much cheaper
Do you have any opinions on the CDK as well? The premise of using a programming language instead of YAML/JSON is much more appealing to me.
If I were to start from scratch, I'd give the CDK a go. I agree it's much more appealing than raw CloudFormation. Doing something as simple as lower casing a str is a nightmare in CFN, but should be straightforward in CDK. I did not use it yet, but one day I'll give it a shot.
We found CloudFront had a huge impact on performance in our use case - people downloading files from different parts of the world. You won’t notice the performance hit if you are based in the US without a CDN but drop yourself in NZ and you feel the pain. Pretty easy to set up.
Speaking of CloudFront, what do you think about hosting websites on S3+CF? I've found it to be a rather easy setup which takes care of all your website hosting needs. But I'd love to hear options and opinions.
Yep, I’m a big fan of that approach! If the website can be built into static assets I definitely go that route.
Mind mentioning about the cost of CloudFront ? Thanks.
Caching using @RedisLabs and storage on @PostgreSQL works well without the vendor lock-in that Ddb ensues. No?
Yes—But DDB remains much less burdensome to operate.
Giving up relational capabilities is also a huge self imposed constraint - one could do well without, just like not choosing lambda or Kubernetes. And redis brings enough chops in itself, write to disk and in interface with Postgres.
Thanks. A great thread with a lot of wisdom. Wisdom acquired through deep experience.
Hmmm... an example please. Aurora gives you faster failovers, better performance, elastic storage, 15 replicas, higher durability, better caching, etc. and full protocol compatibility without no issues. No comparison.
I agree 100% about the 'storage dichotomy' - try really REALLY hard to use S3 ... until the 'NoJoin' world (aka NoSQL) gets you down, then RDS all the way!
This is just wrong. We use Aurora Postgres and it easily handles the burstiest workloads with millions of monthly active users. It’s battle tested and works great.
Here’s some evidence of the kind of problems I describe:… — There’s no comparison in test of time fitness between Postgres & Aurora Postgres.
r/aws - Aurora Postgres - Disastrous experience
221 votes and 102 comments so far on Reddit
My argument isn’t weather Aurora works or not. Of course it works. I’m just describing how I’d choose between RDS and Aurora, and why.
The “battling your dev env” argument kind of applies here too, right? Similar to Lambda?
A bit maybe, but not as much. There’s a local version of DDB that’s quite good:…. But recently I started using the real DDB even for dev, with table names namespaced per developer (all devs sharing the same AWS account).
Ah, alright! Thanks ๐Ÿ‘Œ
DDB seems unsuitable for all use cases I have encountered because you have to overprovision by a large factor if your access to keys is ever not uniform
That used to be a big problem, but isn’t an issue anymore:…
Amazon DynamoDB adaptive capacity is now instant, which helps you maintain uninterrupted performance even for imbalanced workloads:
Millions shout out to you for this! Super cool! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘
1/2 Only one side of the Medal: CodePipeline doesn't integrate with CodeBuild very well. No .git context, pipelines can't be canceled programatically or manually. No post deployment hooks available so it can results in broken deplyoments.
2/2 If you configure CodePipeline with CodeBuild only one system can use webhooks otherwise two builds will start. This results in broken branch "badges" because CodePipeline doesn't communicate the correct "badge" state to CodeBuild.
In fact you can’t even use badges if the pipeline is set up through CloudFormation. See “BadgesEnabled”:… — There are many small annoying pitfalls like that.
FWIW, we agree. We're working on removing many of these sharp edges. Please keep the feedback coming!
Great thread! Curious for this part have you ever tried Azure Pipelines?
No, but many people have recommended it. I might give it a try some day.
It’s great to know you’ve heard of it. I was on the team and launched it so a bit biased but it’s a great product no matter which cloud you use
Do you know if there is a good guide to using Route53? I tried once for a static S3 website, and I couldn't make it work. I haven't had similar troubles with other web hosts and DNS management tools.
Agreed - even if you do not need to autoscale, having the "desired", "min" and "max" set to 1 is extremely useful. Whenever the instance is unreachable (i.e, your health checks fails), it'll automatically try to replace it. LOVE that!
I do a lot of large batch S3 file crunching jobs. Autoscaling w RabbitMQ vs SQS/AWS Batch/Lambda thoughts?
This is the best advice. Cloud or no cloud. Script or automate what matters.
You should try aws cdk, scripting complex infra is *significantly* faster. Specially using typescript. Also, scripting simple infra becomes a trivial task.…
Terraform > CF. It works with many more vendors so you can use the same language to automate your EC2 server creation, ALB, etc and your New Relic, DNS solution (cloudflare, etc) if not R53, logging solution, etc.
Fair. I have no experience with Terraform, but being able to configure non-AWS stuff seems very compelling!
I was resistant. CF was in the works then TF was brought up and I couldn't deny it. Having a modules registry makes it even better. The community builds solid modules to help decrease the learning curve; that can be good and bad since you should know what you're creating.
Experiencing this right now in a project. Tests can not really test all aspects of different aws products I am using so I have to deploy and then manually test everything. Cloud formation is also remarkably slow and takes 20-25 minutes on each deployment.
Just curious, how current are you with the latest tooling around Lambda & API Gateway? It's super easy to run a local dev environment and test Lambda functions, whether they're regular funcs or behind an API endpoint.
In my extensive experience using Lambda, the biggest pain point is having a place to centrally log everything from various functions so it's easy to track down errors or issues. I'm experimenting with a system using CloudWatch where every operation starts by logging to a..
"ledger" group with a uuid, and then each function can use that uuid in their respective logs so everything is searchable by that uuid.
Not very current, I'll admit. But I'm reasonably up-to-date on the limits of Lambda & API Gateway. The challenge you're facing with logging is one example of battling the environment. Another one relevant to the work I'm doing is WebSocket support. ...
Sure, it's technically supported, but one of the benefits of WS is that you can have a stateful session over a connection. But a separate Lambda function gets invoked for every message, so if you want to keep state you have to save it & fetch it from DynamoDB — on every message!
... Which not only makes things slower and more expensive, but introduces new complex failure modes that need to be handled.
Isn't that what I do with @AWSAmplify ? ๐Ÿคฃ
I've never used Amplify and I don't know anyone who uses it. But I like the concept a lot. What's your experience overall?
Things have improved significantly with SAM.
This is why Azure Functions > AWS Lambda
How are they better? I have no experience with Azure.
disagree with this point. Serverless is the future and the tech is improving every day. Look at JAMStack and Gatsby and you will find examples of easy debugging / CICD.
I agree it’s the future. But is it the present? JAMStacks are good for simple things, but there’s a limit (right now) on how much you can do with that approach. (I’m working on something to improve that ๐Ÿ˜)
It runs—but the Lambda environment is significantly more restricted. You can only run something for 15 minutes, filesystem access only for temp files, low network bandwidth, hard to use a cache, buffer work across invocations, etc, etc.
It does depend on the project. There are limitations for sure. Start up time could be a major issue for some. I just want to say it’s very easy to have a basic api without things like cache or file system etc to work cross platform and in Lambda without code changes.
I agree with everything else in your thread tho! Good thread!
Lambda/Cloud Funcs real value isn't in saving money (you won't). It's in making it 1000x easier to attribute cost.
This man gets it! ๐Ÿ‘†
There was a day when choosing a horse over a car made sense.
How do you perform system security updates on this EC2 instance?
I run “yum update --security” in a cron once a week. I make the script sleep a random amount of minutes before running the update so that multiple hosts won’t update at the same time. If there’s something really urgent, I run it manually. (I use the latest AmazonLinux 2 AMIs.)
But autoscaling can create new virtual machine based on AMI from CloudFormation which doesn't have security updates.
I run “yum update” automatically on instance start using a UserData script:… — And if the instance doesn’t pass the health check, it won’t go online.
A proof of concept for an end-to-end encrypted web app. - encrypted-dev/proof-of-concept
And how do you deploy application to this new instance?
CodeDeploy has an option to deploy to “outdated instances”. I just run this when the host boots up in the UserData script:…. CodeDeploy is configured to discover instances based on their tags, so the instance gets “registered” immediately.
A GitHub-to-EC2 CI/CD template using CodeBuild and CodeDeploy. - dvassallo/github-to-ec2-pipeline
I wish CodeDeploy did that automatically though. The deployment system we had at Amazon before CodeDeploy did that.
What do you think about Elastic Beanstalk?
Except, of course, the cost of maintaining and securing a Unix machine. Even if you pay that cost in time spent, you still will be paying it. Also if this is what you use AWS for, then Linode is far simpler and cheaper.
Lambda can be a pain, but often worth it. Separate your function logic from the Lambda API interface in/out for easier testing. Use the max memory and time options, you generally don't save by not using max options, and often will cause other issues down the road.
Except for docker comment
Not just ML or AI or ETL or HPC or any other profitless projects, these 25 steps are good only for small - medium web apps. Big web apps need microservices because of heavy computations all over the place. Web app can be quite heavy because it sync data with external third party
I disagree. Or maybe we disagree what “big” is ๐Ÿ˜ — Microservices might be necessary to scale the tech with the amount of people maintaining it. But I pretty convinced that app utilization scale is not increased by microservices.
big as in "1 server to handle the website", "1 server to handle CRON & daily computation", "1 server to handle requests from Android/iphone", and maybe 1 server for the bots, haha, also you have many devs with different skillset, so each use their language, combine it with SQS.
You don’t need microservices for horizontal scaling though. I ran monolithic apps on thousands of servers. You just host the same app on a fleet of servers and put a load balancer in front.
well yeah, but horizontal scaling just adds extra bother and maintenance and extra configurations, might as well just vertical scale the machine to be agile and survive. But to be frank, if "the market" isn't big, no matter how agile or efficient you are, it will still go zombie
the big problem isn't agile or survive, or efficient. The problem is more basic. The market isn't there. Which is why some use bots to jacked up their numbers. You need to go global with web these days, cannot just "one country", i learned this the hard way.
thousands of servers? Well tell you what, i made a maternity ecommerce that integrates with all marketplaces&warehouse system in Indonesia w/ promo, sms, email marketing, combo, mini store&brands inside it...alone, it handle thousands of visitors. Can you go more agile than that?
Now despite all that, i insist everyone else that try it will ends up as a zombie because the market isn't there. Unless you want to be a professional scammer, best to think an idea that go global. One country only = dead. The market is not big enough, even if you are "agile"
So it is not about agile or microservices that is the problem, it is more basic. It is the market. Telling people to ignore microservices can be the wrong advice because they might want to skip the monolith part and just go microservice or serverless.
The problem with monolith, is that it's only good for the "cheap and agile" early phase. When you become bigger, you go microservice, but to be frank, never was a fan of it. I think people should just skip it and go serverless. Cheaper.
if you combine all of it on 1 server and just scale that one server, it hits the CPU really fast. I tried it. It's really for "early phase" web apps. Middle and later stage, you still need to go microservices or serverless. Java for Big Data, Python for ML, etc. You need team.
Awesome stuff๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป
Great thread, thanks for taking the time to write it.
In terms of learning and figuring stuff out on AWS do you think any certifications might help?There are a number of certifications and I wasn't really sure what I needed to pick. Objective is to learn AWS and be aware of all the things that you talk about right now.
I don't know tbh. For me personally, I tend to learn more/faster while trying to accomplish something. But everyone is different. I hear that AWS's certifications are quite thorough, but I have no first hand experience with them.
Karthik- Pure learning can be done without certs. However, they provide a structured learning approach if you're just starting out (Recognition in the job market is a bonus). I recommend to start with AWS Solutions Architect-Associate.
Personally speaking, I think it helps. I am not sure if it adds value having a certified title, but it helped me expand my knowledge on several AWS services which otherwise I wouldn't have learnt.
That's good to hear. May I know which of the certifications you pursued? I would like the accomplish the exact same goal you mentioned.
AWS certified solutions architect - Associate level AWS certified developer - Associate level
Thank you very much!
AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate will give you a bit of knowledge on most AWS services and security/networking. Knowing what most of the services do can help you pick the right tool for the job.
You don’t need to know each service in depth. Knowing what’s out there is half the battle. e.g Simply knowing something like Athena can help you query csv files in S3 is useful and if you then decide to use it, you can do a deep dive and learn it in depth.
p.s The online courses from @acloudguru are good and not too expensive.
Architect associated is the most popular one. If your role is mostly business oriented start with the Cloud Practitioner one (it's not difficult to pass at all) and if you want to mark the difference in your resume do the professional level (challenging, even with experience).
I found them useful to give structure to my learning. But as per usual playing around is your best bet!
Certification if for service industry ( read India ) To make sure *engineer* study something. ๐Ÿ˜€
Route53 and hosted zones etc Terraform does a much better job than Cfn imho. Also while definitely having limitations. While there’s definitely a learning curve for lambda development, once you’re past it, I don’t think it’s a bad experience. Serverless Framework does a lot.
doesn't going AWS server-less guarantee a level of vendor lock in ? How does one use this without that risk?
AWS telling me not to worry about lock-in? lol
Personally, lock-in with AWS is the least of my worries. What is the worry? That they go out of business? Or they discontinue a product? Or they raise prices? I think there is more chance that I get hit by a comet vs that happening ๐Ÿ˜
Maybe the only downside of lock-in is a new vendor offering something better and not being able to migrate easily. But that’s a risk I’m willing to take.
Route53 is ๐Ÿ—‘ no DNSSEC, no CAA, no IPv6,..
True. Although Route 53 doesn’t really lock you in. Probably one of the easiest services to migrate from.
Sure but I know that when you are in the eco system, you probably stay there.
Personally dealing with hybrid clouds.. on and off premise.. so some of these features will restrict what I can do if I cannot easily replicate on premise , but I guess that's a subset of what is needed and can be managed thusly..
That makes sense.
isn't this entire article is based on the premise that I am a startup and need to rush to market with a product in order to return 10X on a VC's money... ?
and how does this work if I am doing hybrid clouds? I am seeing LXD being used for on-premise serverless... just unsure how to connect the two rn
Awesome info, thank you
Agree! Sometimes in striving to be lean, we think we need to use the latest cutting edge tech like Lambda and API gateway but if you factor employee hours into the total cost of ownership, it sometimes becomes more worthwhile/economic to run a server and leave a little headroom.
I think they are helpful for building ops supports tools , like sending slack messages based on events. Though aws has come up with a new product for this.
I love Lambda for one-off "microservices" (if you can even call it that) for exactly this type of thing.
I think you mean event driven stuff? Something happens and you need to run some code to handle the event? Yes, I agree. It’s great for those things.
Yeah precisely. Such as the example of responding to a slack command. I said 'microservice' as a joke bc people throw that term around, but may have just made it confusing!
This explanation makes me admire @taylorotwell work on even more ๐Ÿ‘
Exactly my thoughts :)
Lots of ppl mentioned vapor on this thread. I need to check it out!
Have to watch the keynote for now
Just started watching. ๐Ÿ™
I mean .. You have to be on laravel for starters .. But if thats your thing. Great. If not, Amplify.
This is a pretty great. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ
Fantasic read - I have just completed all 3 AWS associate certs and spent many hours contemplating this topic - Your experience and insight is really valuable!
This really speaks to how I feel about the AWS ecosystem, way better than I've ever managed to elucidate it. It's so much easier to just lament the mediocre (at best) docs of the various pieces of the AWS ecosystem, rather than the usual REAL issue - unnecessary overcomplexity.
Thank you for this. Great perspective when there's so many shiny new aws options to explore.
Thank you so so much for this
I don’t agree with the point on ignoring docket containers. They are used to define how time app is built and in different ways based on arguments. I think their main value proposition is that they put developers in charge of coding build and deployment process.
Yes, Docker is the only one I’m a bit on the fence on. I see some benefits, and the drawbacks are not huge. But the last time I tried it I realized that my EC2 image is already a decent container, and having an extra layer was probably not worth it.
Single-container VMs are underrated IMO. It's much faster than baking new AMIs for each release and decouple the system vs application configuration quite nicely.
Yes, if I were to use Docker that’s how I’d use it. Right now I’m not even baking new AMIs, but just add my stuff on instance start using UserData. Example:… But I agree that if this became more complicated, Docker would likely be better.
A proof of concept for an end-to-end encrypted web app. - encrypted-dev/proof-of-concept
LightSail is underrated
Do you use it? What's your experience with it? I never really looked at it in dept.
Not extensively, but people think just because it's simple, it's not flexible, they're wrong. ๐Ÿ™‚
We are here...
Is this not valid...…
Learn the 4 fundamental areas where serverless can help your organization drive business value:
I’m sure the stats are based on some real info, but IMO it is very misleading to interpret that chart as *you* will save money or become more agile. It’s just an ad after all.
The bandwidth cost is horrific though - 9 cents per gigabyte download. AWS must make most of its money from this alone.
Depends on what you do. If serving web pages, and each page view is 100 KB gripped, serving 1 million page views per day would cost $8.50/day. Doesn’t sound that insane for something so popular.
Depends hoy you finance the webpage. When you compare it to other Cloud Hostings like @hetznercloud where 20 TBs are included it is a LOT.
Parameter store of AWS Systems Manager. It's a centralized hierarchical store for managing secrets or plain-text data. You can integrate it easily in CodePipeline or Cloudformation templates but be aware of versioning it doesn't always point to the latest version as expected. 26
Agree with most of this, but I would make a point that Kubernetes is now the standard base layer for "l7 apps". Spend a bit of time deploying a minimal Kubernetes cluster and launch your containers directly on it. Scaling comes then for free.
Scaling your pods "come for free" (somewhat, you still have to configure that), but your nodes won't autoscale unless you tell them to.
Pragmatism is undervalued
What you want there, is a PaaS. Not a IaaS. And AWS don't have any nice PaaS
Docker, ECS, and Spot Fleets are a great next generation addition to this list if you haven’t used them together.
Nicely common-sense! Build it as simple as possible first. Cloud providers are very interested in locking you in.
Thanks for writing it โœŒ๏ธ
you might find this interesting
Side note: Consider using Terraform over CFN so that it’s portable between clouds
Terraform can be a good choice for the capabilities and its ability to configure stuff outside AWS. But for me, cloud portability is the least of my worries. What is the concern? That AWS would go out of business? Or they discontinue a product? Or they raise prices? Unlikely ๐Ÿ˜
Companies often want to have engineers focused on business features, when things like #microservices , #Kubernetes , #Serverless are pushing engineers to solve many technical and organizational problems.
Great thread. Taught me a lot!
Also check out @goconvox if you want to leverage lots of the good parts of @awscloud without all the complexity. Open-source and free for the first developer. You can get up and running with most web apps in minutes. Built by a few early heroku engineers.