Discover more from Hacking SaaS
Hacking SaaS #10 - News from Re:Invent
We went over everything that AWS announced in the first 2 days of Re:Invent and collected the most exciting announcements for SaaS Developers. Also: Data contracts with Benn Stancil and a bit more.
Just two days into Re:Invent and there are already plenty of interesting news for those of us running our SaaS on AWS. AWS posts all the interesting news in their top announcements page and their what’s new page. But not every update is made equal, so let’s go through the ones that I found the most useful.
With just a few steps, you can use Blue/Green Deployments to create a separate, synchronized, fully managed staging environment that mirrors the production environment. The staging environment clones your production environment’s primary database and in-Region read replicas. Blue/Green Deployments keep these two environments in sync using logical replication.
A bit funny how a best practice that most experienced devops teams would do becomes a big announcement because previously it was straight out impossible on those managed services.
Amazon RDS Optimized Reads achieve faster query processing by placing temporary tables generated by MySQL on NVMe-based SSD block storage that is physically connected to the host server. Queries that use temporary tables, such as those involving sorts, hash aggregations, high-load joins, and Common Table Expressions (CTEs) can execute up to 50% faster with Optimized Reads.
Impressive throughput numbers if your application does serious data processing. Probably best for machine learning? It seems to go nicely with their new low-latency high-throughput network stack. And if you are into this kind of thing, they also published an interesting paper about their network protocol (and network cards!)
and few more impressive instance types - Graviton and Xeon based
Lambda SnapStart speeds up applications by re-using a single initialized snapshot to resume multiple execution environments. As a result, unique content included in the snapshot during initialization is reused across execution environments, and so may no longer remain unique.
This is interesting if you use EKS, but perhaps even more interesting if your SaaS offering (or demo) includes running something on K8s. Asking a customer to run something on K8s used to be a bit of a barrier to entry, but perhaps now less so.
Observability, Security, etc
Some Infra SaaS architectures require deploying some processes in the customer account. This raises all kinds of questions around how to provide support without asking for too much access rights from the customer. Cross-account observability may help with this use-case.
ECS Service Connect - unifies discovery, network configuration and observability between microservices
ECS Service Connect provides an easy network setup and seamless service communication deployed across multiple ECS clusters and virtual private clouds (VPCs). You can add a layer of resilience to your ECS service communication and get traffic insights with no changes to your application code.
Phew, that was a lot! And I probably didn’t cover half of it! Start a thread on our Slack or comment below with interesting AWS news that I may have missed.
New on SaaS Developer YouTube
I talked to Benn Stancil about data contracts and their use in SaaS development. How small changes in the application, such as a new pricing tier, can have unexpected impact on business reports or billing. And how to best prepare and manage these changes. I enjoyed Benn’s pragmatic approach - the business needs to ship new features, so data contracts can’t stop this from happening just help make things smoother.
And a bit more…
If you enjoyed Yeva’s blog post from last week about building an MVP DB-as-a-Service, you may be excited to hear that her Demo-DBaaS where you can provision and monitor databases is now up and running. She recommends following the playbook to try it out. As a reminder, this is a demo and an example of an MVP, so don’t expect 5 9’s or anything. Ping @yeva on Slack if you have feedback.
This community was a big deal for me in the last year, so you all have a place of honor in my Thanksgiving blog post.
Thanks for reading Hacking SaaS! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.