Screaming in the Cloud

Episode 16: There are Still Servers, but We Don't Care About Them

Are you interested in going beyond basic monitoring and visibility? Need tools to build and operate serverless applications and extract business intelligence? IOpipe provides extended visibility and metrics around AWS Lambda, including profiling, core dumps, and incoming input events.

Today, we’re talking to Erica Windisch, who is the founder and CTO of IOpipe. She brings her experience in building developer and operational tooling to serverless applications. Erica also has more than 17 years of experience designing and building Cloud infrastructure management solutions. She was an early and longtime contributor to OpenStack and maintainer of the Docker project.

Some of the highlights of the show include:

  • Nomenclature Battle: Serverless vs. stateless
  • Building a window of visibility into Lambda: Talking to users and assessing needs/pain points
  • Observability of the infrastructure: Necessary evil to get to automated healing
  • Using Lambda at significant levels of scale; some companies grow usage, others go all in right away
  • Current state of Lambda ecosystem
  • Is Lambda stable? Indications and no formal SLA
  • How issues manifest and are exposed
  • Trends include cold starts, hours-long failures, and multiple function evokes
  • Infrastructure powering IOpipe: Lambda issues may impact performance of monitoring system, but IOpipe is not necessarily dependent on Lambda
  • Future of Lambda: Builds applications a specific way, but there are limitations
  • What would Erica change about Lambda? Run function and define handlers
  • Lambda functions can be difficult to understand; some developers do not have familiarity and create bottlenecks
  • Capacity limits around Lambda can be difficult to establish


Brought to you by Corey Quinn of Screaming in the Cloud