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Serverless Architectures enable scalable and cost-effective apps to be built faster, so they can dramatically increase the odds of Your Startup's Success!
In "Startups + Serverless = Match made in Heaven" meetup, www.ServerlessToronto.org members discussed how to help Entrepreneurs push their businesses up to "other side of the teeterboard" (without failing) using the Serverless technologies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SqfJo47kMA
started visiting Startup Meetups in TO and interviewing successful business owners to learn that Technology is about the last thing Founders worry about!
Which ENTERPRISE itch to Scratch Opportunities for Startups
Which Enterprise Itch to Scratch? E.g. online insurance company,… E.g. what can you do with recognition API that can find celebrities in the crowd?
EC2 is AWS Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offering
3000 people in Toronto 2 moths ago! So why not go all-in Serverless 2 years ago, it was just a Cocoon, now it’s a Butterfly… escaping from “Zombies” blinded by the Containers
Chris Munns always defines SLS as: - Availability and fault tolerance built-in No servers to provision or manage Never pay for idle Scales with usage
Splitting the monolith, faster networking, more granular services, “SOA done right”
LEFT: Standard Building Blocks offered by Cloud vendor + your business logic was a GLUE between “AWS bricks” RIGHT: Breaking down Business Logic into smaller functions (Lambdas/FaaS = opinionated Microservice) + EPHEMERAL in nature
The only certain thing in It is that there is UNCERTAINTY Scrum creates MASSIVE technical debt, because the definition of MVP from Lean Startup got CORRUPTED
You just don’t go into the Cloud alone… unless you want to be Allice in the Wonderland… keep falling into “Rabbit Holes” SIMPLICITY IS THE KEY
#keepLearning Cloud vendors are like religions
I am sure Azure, Google PSO and consultancies will come up with similar offerings… Let’s work together! I will invest my free time to simplify the Enterprise LZZ offering for different niches: Serverless, Data Lakes,…
I would challenge you to go after companies “perceived” to be faster, because…
Simon has VERY funny stories about SWOT diagrams (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) Experience cannot be compressed
Serverless Toronto helps Startups
Startups + Serverless =
Match made in Heaven
www.ServerlessToronto.org October 30, 2018 Meetup
Daniel ZivKovic, Cloud solutions Architect
TriNimbus – an Onica Company
What to expect today?
• Presentation Style: 75% Cultural and 25% Technical
• Examples are from AWS, but principles are truly Cloud provider
3. HOW TO
2. WHICH ITCH
1. START WITH
5. WHERE TO GO
Why This Topic?
• Many of us in the Serverless Community were surprised about very
low Serverless adoption among Startups.
• Conducted a poll of successful Startup Founders (I know) to hear
their Point of View, and learned: Technology is about the LAST thing
Founders worry about!
Despite, how important
it is to start IT correctly
– and have a “smaller
rock to push”
Why Listen to ServerlessToronto.org?
• Home of “Less IT Mess”:
• Less Servers to Manage
• Less code to write
• Make work in the IT more purposeful & fun again
• We keep Learning…
• and sharing our experiences.
• How we run the User Group?
• Community comes first
• Corporate interest second
• Worldwide https://www.meetup.com/pro/serverless
Why Listen to Daniel?
• IT Veteran with 31-year of experience
• Seen it all, from when IT was 1-2 guys in the corner, till we “took over” office
spaces from the businesses… became dogmatic… and are now scrambling to
“plow through” the Digital Transformation.
• From “IT Mercenary” to “Serverless Missionary”
• Contractor since immigrating to Canada in 1992, till January 2018
• when I chose to join TriNimbus to do something meaningful with my life –
help simplify IT by spreading “serverless religion”.
• Failed a number of startups, so I can tell you what NOT to do
• Great Anti-Pattern for entrepreneurs
Opportunities for Building on Cloud
• Increment – faster, better, more scalable version of the same thing
• There is a clear market there
• Gap fillers – gaps close quickly so use it like a trampoline
• Product gaps that everyone can see, so you have to act quickly (e.g. when Docker came out
everyone wanted to do Enterprise version of Docker)
• Better to be really fast to market if you’re going to compete / gap-fill cloud provider
• Can be good to get you started, build momentum, but you cannot assume to own the gap
• Category creator – become Uber, Netflix, Docker “of thing”
• When no one understands what you’re doing, who would buy it, then start copying you
• They are the longshots – most of the attempts fail!
• Leverage – huge set of possibilities in the Cloud
• What can you for with GPU enabled monstrous machines, ML APIs (e.g. recognition)...
How do You Build The Leverage?
Wardley Maps show how
things evolve over time, and
move up the value chain:
• Everything starts new,
becomes a mainstream
products, then commodity
• Electricity => 20th century
• Internet => e.g. Cloud
• Cloud => e.g. ML, Serverless
• ML/DL => e.g. Voice First
• Serverless => ???
Not All Cloud Options are Equal
Yes – everyone is choosing Cloud, but it’s such a broad term that there
is so many ways to do it incorrectly – out o the gate!
Everybody promises to give you solutions
following Cloud Native principles
• Self service – no waiting
• Pay as you go, afterwards – not what you will use next year
• Globally distributed by default – no need to build data centres worldwide
• High Available – distribute over Zones within a Region by default
• Elasticity – turn idle resources off (unlike most data centres)
• Immutable code – Automated builds, Ephemeral instances (pets vs. cattle),
Blue-green deployments, Versioned services
These principles remained the same, but
• technologies and practices keep evolving… nowadays towards Serverless.
Here’s a recent “Weather Forecast”
• Serverless is the future of AWS Cloud:
Why go Serverless-First, if you are Startup?
• Infinite scalability – when you become infinitely popular
• Cost – don’t pay if nobody is using your systems
• Less Server Operations!
• Less lines of code to Maintain!
• Speed of innovation
• Serverless is New Agile – not by forcing people to “sprint faster”, but by using
standardized higher-level building blocks (like Lego bricks) to help developers iterate
and experiment faster.
• Serverless solutions may lack fine details, but are recognizable, easy to modify and
extend – just like Lego objects you build from “standard blocks”.
• And just like Lego does – you can optimize by building new custom components (to
look little bit more like the thing you wanted), which then becomes a new – more
specialized, common component in your toolbox.
Evolution of Business Logic (in plain English)
• A history of the Application Architectures condensed into 20 slides by
Evolution of Business Logic… continued
Slide #20: Microservices to Functions Slide #26: Microservices to Ephemeral Functions
Visualize “The Lego Analogy”
Traditional Development Rapid Development Optimization
• Full custom design
• Months of work
• Custom components may be
fragile and need to be debugged
• Too many detailed choices
• Long decision cycles
• Building bricks assembly
• Hours of work
• Standard reliable components
scale and are well understood
• Need to adjust requirements to
fit the patterns available
• Constraints tend to reduce debate
and speed up decisions
“Why Serverless First Is Like Building with Lego” – Adrian Cockcroft: https://youtu.be/5siD210Grr4
• Custom code and services
• Lots of choices of frameworks
and API mechanisms
• Where needed, optimize serverless
applications by also building services using
containers to solve for
• Lower startup latency
• Long running compute jobs
• Predictable high traffic
• Serverless events and functions
• Standardized choices
• Combine these building blocks
Amazon SNS, SQS
AWS Step Functions
“Why Serverless First Is Like Building with Lego” – Adrian Cockcroft: https://youtu.be/5siD210Grr4
Technologies are NOT excluding one another
• Containers are THE serverless “engine” – just under the hood
• So people like me can focus on “driving” (taking business places), and
• remain ignorant about how “cars” (containers) work
• We’re not saying Computing before Serverless is no good
• Our “religion” is all inclusive – “we believe” in everything before us
• And there are Use Cases where Serverless is still not good technology
• As far as I’m concerned “Serverless = FaaS + BaaS”, so
• you just give me an API – however you choose to implement it, and
• SLA (service level agreement), and
you’ll be BaaS (Backend-as-a-Service) to me – because I don’t have to
manage it, nor worry about your uptime.
“Adopting Serverless for Greenfield is easy,
except for the people”
– Joe Emison:
“Not Invented Here” obstacle
• Some people are just stuck in the past
• Capitalizing on the past successes – and that’s OK.
• There is also worry abut Job Security
• Sometimes IT can feel like a Syndicate – protecting one another’s
• The real problem is that
• IT industry is plagued by “Not Invented Here” syndrome
• Learn to love other people’s APIs like you love your own APIs!
• With arrival of Scrum – not saying agile
• IT became (too) often focused on making Developers “sprint
faster” – but going nowhere (driving business in circles).
• For success we need both good ideas & good implementations
(really experimentation), not just good looking Velocity Charts
Don’t follow the “White Rabbit” into Cloud
• Like Alice led into Wonderland by the
White Rabbit, geeks too easily fall into
“the rabbit hole”… and will take non-
technical people there too!
• We are lured into thinking we are
making progress, but
• the most subtle part of this “rabbit
hole” phenomenon is how unaware its
• SOLUTION IS TO
• Keep learning, and
• exchanging experiences with others!
• Simplicity is the key.
Developer, Ops, QA, or DevOps Engineer?
• Join our www.ServerlessToronto.org Community
• Membership in our User Group – totally free, community driven, monthly meetups,
soon to have Slack channel, and the website… stay tuned.
• We are 100% CLOUD AGNOSTIC – so if you were “born in another Cloud”, please
reach out to me to arrange the “stage time”: Daniel.Zivkovic@gmail.com
• I did not chose to be born as Christian Orthodox, and my wife did not choose to be born as
Bosnian Muslim… but that DID NOT stop us from loving one another.
• So don’t let organizational choices divide us in the cloud too
• The Community is always looking for mentors and knowledge sharing!
• Sign up for Serverless Workshops http://bit.ly/serverless-stack-workshop
• Run by www.Serverless-Stack.com creators Jay & Frank
• Low cost of entry
• Challenge your IT Leaders to adopt Serverless mindset
• Ask me about AWS Landing Zone solutions: firstname.lastname@example.org
• A pre-configured, secure, multi-account AWS environment
• Automated • Scalable • Self-service
• Guardrails NOT Blockers • Auditable • Flexible
Four Quadrants of Competitive Landscape
Speed to Implement
Enterprises Stuck in Digital Transformation
• Enterprises are bleeding in Dev vs. Ops vs.
DevOps wars, and cannibalizing one
another like the tribes of Easter Island:
• They have their hands tied behind
their back, so they are becoming
easier targets for faster competitors:
• Inspiration from Joe Emison – serial entrepreneur went through 4 “serverless
startups” in 3 years
• Serverlessconf San Francisco 2018: Better Application Architecture with Serverless
• Serverless Patterns and Anti-patterns https://www.infoq.com/presentations/serverless-
• Wisdom (and number of slides) from Adrian Cockcroft – the man behind
Netflix's AWS Cloud strategy, and my “boss” in Sun Microsystems days
• AWS re:Invent 2017: Digital Transformation (ARC219)
• AWS Topics (sampler)
• Strategy from Simon Wardley – UK Researcher (funny too “Mel Brooks of IT”)
• KubeCon Keynote: Crossing the River by Feeling the Stones
• Slides: https://www.slideshare.net/opensecsummit/wardley-maps-sec-15-keynote
• Experience is my own – and it cannot be compressed
Manning Publications Giveaways
1. Serverless Applications with Node.js - Slobodan Stojanović & Aleksandar Simović
2. Production-Ready Serverless - Yan Cui www.manning.com/livevideo/production-
3. Serverless Applications with AWS - Marcia Villalba
4. Serverless Architectures on AWS, 2nd Ed - Peter Sbarski
5. Voice Applications for Alexa and Google Assistant - Dustin Coates
6. The Quick Python Book, Third Edition - Naomi Ceder www.manning.com/books/the-
7. Google Cloud Platform in Action - JJ Geewax [PRINT]