An Overview of Serverless Architectures and a Deep Dive into AWS Lambda


Web services, the cloud, containers, microservices ... software architecture always has a new fad, and some of them even stick around for a while. This year’s hot, new buzzword is "serverless" — the idea of replacing your server applications with ... well, what, exactly? John Chapin and Mike Roberts of Symphonia introduce the concepts behind Serverless architectures to answer this question, explain how Serverless breaks from the past, and provide reasons why it is worthy of some of the hype it’s currently receiving — balanced with a few warnings of some rough edges.

Following that overview, John and Mike take a deep dive into the AWS Lambda platform, focusing on the challenges and tradeoffs of Java-based development in an ephemeral, Serverless environment. They discuss various runtime issues such as I/O, logging, and metrics collection from a Java perspective, and outline strategies for developing efficient, performant Java-based Lambdas using Java 8. Finally, John and Mike present a selection of open source libraries that address some of the idiosyncrasies of the Lambda execution environment.


John Chapin and Mike Roberts are co-founders of Symphonia (, an expert Serverless and Cloud Technology consultancy based in New York City. In addition to speaking at conferences and meetups, they write for Symphonia’s blog, The Symphonium (, tweet from @symphoniacloud (, and regularly release Serverless-focused open-source software (

John has over 15 years of experience as a technology executive and senior engineer. Most recently, he was VP Engineering at Intent Media, where he helped teams transform how they delivered business value through Serverless technology and agile practices. John can be reached at [masked] .

Mike is an engineering leader, a long-time proponent of Agile and DevOps values, and is excited by the role that cloud technologies have played in enabling such values for many high-functioning software teams. He sees Serverless as the next technological evolution of cloud systems and as such is optimistic about their ability to help teams be awesome. Mike can be reached at [masked] .

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