Sometimes Dragons

What is Serverless Observability?

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One of the best parts of my job as a RedMonk analyst is interviewing super smart people and listening to what they have to tell me about tech. It’s even better when the smart people are also delightful, and the tech in question involves not one but two important trends we are following. Such was the case a few weeks ago when we recorded a video on “What is serverless observability, and why does it matter?” with folks from New Relic and AWS.

Some background

New Relic launched its Serverless for AWS Lambda offering in spring 2019. Notably, while most spaces in the industry are expanding definitions of serverless, at present “serverless observability” at New Relic is confined to AWS Lambda. To my mind this provides a stark contrast between the ways ideation and implementation often work in tech: while we may be willing to extend the name serverless ad infinitum, an observability solution has to start somewhere finite.

In November 2019 New Relic acquired IOpipe, which specialized in monitoring and observability for serverless applications. New Relic has positioned the acquisition of people and tech as complementary to their existing serverless offerings. While it promises improved and expanded support for serverless observability, I am particularly keen to see what it means for related developer tooling.

The conversation

Once the acquisition was announced, the idea of filming with New Relic on serverless observability seemed obvious. Check out the list of guests and topics covered:

  • Danilo Poccia, (Principal Evangelist, Serverless, at AWS) provides an efficient history of an evolution of architectures from monolith to serverless, and how AWS is seeing clients build with serverless. He also manages a quick overview of observability.
  • Erica Windisch, (co-founder and former CTO at IOpipe, now Principal Engineer at New Relic; also an AWS Serverless Hero) discusses some of the problems serverless solves and, conversely, some of the challenges it creates (especially regarding observability). 
  • Andrew Tunall (GM, Serverless at New Relic; formerly at AWS) explains how New Relic provides a serverless observability solution that can help developers address these challenges.

Graphic on “How New Relic provides serverless observability”

Graphic on “How New Relic provides serverless observability”

Additional Resources

If you are looking for related resources, New Relic has a product page for its Serverless for AWS Lambda offering; however, if you are like me you may want to start with the docs

Related posts:

Disclosure: New Relic and AWS are RedMonk clients. The video discussed in this post was sponsored by New Relic (but this post was not). 

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