Day Two Cloud 093: Don’t Get Your Whittling Badge

Ethan and I had the privilege to talk to Kit Colbert and Dormain Drewitz from VMware for this episode of Day Two Cloud. Kit has been on several Tech Field Day presentations, and I have always found him insightful and plain spoken. He doesn’t try to dress things up in marketing fluff and is open to criticism about VMware and its position in the market. I’ve been following Dormain on Twitter for a while now, and I’ve always found her content to be equally insightful and a bit humorous.

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Day Two Cloud 092: Rethinking Serverless

In episode 92 of Day Two Cloud, Ethan and I got a chance to chat with Julian Wood from AWS. We focused on serverless technology in general and Lambda in particular. While I’ve used Lambda in the AWS console for some simple demos, I’ve never moved beyond that. But Julian got me thinking about all the cool things I could be doing with it. There is one thing that holds me back though, and that is a complete lack of understanding when it comes to Javascript.

When I first tried working with Lambda, the preferred language was Javascript, and I was immediately lost. I guess for some people the nested and loopy nature of Javascript makes sense. It does not come naturally to me. The nested functions with multiple parentheses and curly braces, combined with seemingly random semi-colons and inscrutable alternative syntax give me agita. It’s like everything I dislike about JSON turned up to 11, and yes I realize that JSON is Javascript Object Notation.

The one programming language I know with any degree of certainty is PowerShell, followed by bash. Beyond that, I am quickly out of my depth. I keep meaning to dig into Python, but I don’t have a solid goal to work towards. Without a goal pushing me, I’ll never get past the getting started chapter of Python or any other language for that matter.

Back to the episode, the one thing that I walked away with is the sheer flexibility of the platform. While Julian did highlight the constraints like a 15 minute runtime and 10GB memory limit, neither of those things seem like limits given the scope of a single function. If you need more power, spin up more instances and parallelize your process. Or break your process into smaller pieces that sit below the threshold. Julian even made the point that a traditional PHP website could be serviced with Lambda by having different Lambda functions handle each routing call type. While I may not be a developer, it strikes me as odd that there hasn’t been more uptake on serverless. I know that some sites, like A Cloud Guru, famously run entirely serverless.

There is an aspect of cost, and we addressed that a bit in the episode. But my larger understanding is if you have steady state workloads with a predictable load curve, then Lambda might not be a great fit over EC2 or EKS pricing. But it could be supplementary for portions of your application that are spiky and unpredictable.

All in all, I thought is was a great episode and Julian’s energy was infectious. I came into the recording feeling a bit bogged down, and by the end I was ready to take on the world! Many thanks to Julian for being a guest, and thanks to you dear reader for being an exceptional human being.

Day Two Cloud 091: BGP is a Data Exchange Protocol

This episode of Day Two Cloud is a conversation between me and Ethan about BGP, Border Gateway Protocol. As someone who does not have a lot of experience managing WANs and internet facing network gear, BGP is somewhat of a mystery to me. And to be honest, although Ethan answered a lot of my questions, I still don’t feel like I truly understand BGP. But at least I have a mental framework for learning more if the situation requires it.

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Day Two Cloud 090: Winging it with HashiCorp Vault

This episode of Day Two Cloud featured yours truly talking Ethan through the world of HashiCorp Vault. It sprung from some conversations we’d had earlier about how he could better secure the secrets and API keys he uses in his Python scripts. We had a last minute guest cancellation, so we decided to wing it and do a whole episode without a script. I think it went well! In part because Ethan is an excellent interviewer, and also because all the Vault knowledge was fresh in my head. There is one thing that bothers me about the episode, and it’s too late to change it now. It’s about the master key.

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Day Two Cloud 089: AWS Networking Updates

The call is coming from inside the house! Our most recent episode of Day Two Cloud features Nick Matthews, who works for AWS on their VPC team. That means Nick has in depth and insider knowledge on what is going on with AWS networking these days. We really nerd out about all things networking, and I’m not gonna lie, some of the topics went over my head. Fortunately, Ethan is taller than me and was able to catch those things and wrestle them to the ground. What were these confusing things? So glad you asked!

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