Are you considering building a new serverless app on AWS? Or maybe migrating an existing workload to a serverless architecture?
Then you probably have a lot of exploratory research ahead of you. Reading tutorials and technical docs on how Lambda and other services work is important and you might even decide to put together a proof of concept app to understand what it’s like to develop on.
But to really get a feel for what it will be like running your app in production, you need to get the warts-and-all lowdown from people who’ve already navigated this path rather than naively jumping in head-first.
Yes Amazon themselves provide a “Customer Success” website dedicated to case studies but this is effectively just a marketing exercise with no real insight into the more technical challenges that the customer encountered. Nice fluff for business execs but pretty useless to engineers.
To help with this, I’ve curated the following list of articles from across the web written by organisations who built their production workloads with real users on a serverless AWS architecture. The articles describe the problems they hit along the way, the solutions they arrived at and an overall summary of the impact on their organisation.
If you’re interested in learning more about the best practices of building and operating production-ready serverless apps using the techs described in these case studies, you should join my mailing list.
The Case Studies
I’ve ranked each article using a Pain Index — a score out of 5 based on how much the author goes into detail on the pains they encountered using serverless techs and tools.
- Pain IndexUse case IP Geolocation API Provider.Techs Lambda, API Gateway, and DynamoDB.
- Pain IndexUse case Cloud diagramming app.Techs Lambda, API Gateway, Serverless Framework, Secrets Manager, and VPC.
- Pain IndexUse case Website scraper.Techs Lambda, DynamoDB, RDS, and CloudWatch.
- Pain IndexUse case Revenue forecasting web application.Techs Lambda, API Gateway, S3, RDS, Python, Flask, and Zappa.
- Pain IndexUse case Migrating legacy interactive web-based programming tutorial.Techs Lambda, Python, API Gateway, Serverless Framework, and IAM.
- Pain IndexUse case Migration from EC2-backed to static hosted website.Techs CloudFront, S3, Route53, and TravisCI.
- Pain IndexUse case SaaS Product Management Portal.Techs Lambda, API Gateway, Netlify CDN, Apex, Parameter Store, and Node.js.
- Pain IndexUse case Audit and notification system for Fortune 500 company.Techs Lambda, DynamoDB, IAM, Service Catalog, RDS, CodePipeline, CloudFormation, and Python.
- Pain IndexUse case Integration between helpdesk and incident management products.Techs Lambda, Serverless Framework, and Python.
- Pain IndexUse case Translation Management System.Techs Lambda, API Gateway, DynamoDB, S3, CloudFront, SES, Node.js, and Claudia.js.
- Pain IndexUse case UK Government Vehicle Testing (MOT) Service.Techs Lambda and Java.Notes Code for service is open-sourced.
- Pain IndexUse case Application security monitoring.Techs Lambda, API Gateway, RDS, S3, and CloudFront.
- Pain IndexUse case Online learning platform.Techs Lambda, Node.js, API Gateway, Auth0, S3, Firebase, and Stripe.
- Pain IndexUse case Migration of vending machine management system from EC2 to Serverless.Techs Lambda and API Gateway.
Have your own serverless story? I will be evolving this list regularly, so if you’ve built a production serverless app on AWS and wrote about it somewhere, just drop me a message with a link to your article and I’ll happily add it.