Serverless Beyond the Buzzword 2nd edition: Chapter 10. Case Studies

A series of articles and videos providing a summary of my latest book, Serverless Beyond the Buzzword - 2nd edition. This article focuses on Chapter 10. Case Studies.

The first edition was published in 2020, and with the pace of change being as brutal and unforgiving as it is, I started making notes for the second edition within a month of finishing the manuscript. The overall structure has remained the same, but I go far deeper into the different topics in the 2nd edition. There are also more visuals and a couple of new topics. This series of articles provides a summary of each of the chapters with some personal afterthoughts. Serverless Beyond the Buzzword 2nd edition can be purchased here:

Written article continues below the video

Where chapter 9 focuses on parts of applications and various patterns, the final chapter walks through several complex architectures for entire solutions.

Proactive logging

It starts with Proactive logging, providing examples of how to track, parse, and react to logs from different services. This could be for error tracking, cost tracking, security, or other reasons.

Data lake

Then we look at a Serverless Data Lake design. This solution can ingest data from various sources - with end-to-end encryption; decrypt, process and normalise the data in near-real-time, including scanning for validity, malware, and other issues; store the data, including high-level summaries for use in dashboards or reports; and query the data.

Video analysis

AWS provides several services we can use to deeply analyse videos without needing any specialist data science knowledge. By stringing together multiple services in an automated video pipeline, we can automatically transcode video for different channels, create subtitles in multiple languages, and automatically create tags or flag videos for inappropriate content.


Minecraft gamers can run a server on their home PC or pay a specialist provider for a hosted Minecraft server. This is also a great way to set up a private safe environment for kids. However, for more casual gamers, this can be quite expensive. Chapter 10 provides a case study for running a serverless Minecraft server on AWS, where we only pay for actual utilisation.

CMS website

When people think of CMS websites, they often jump to WordPress. However, this requires a server to run on and be maintained or a third-party WordPress hosting provider. Both bill based on availability rather than actual utilisation, making it either costly or risky if you cut costs by only running it on a single small server. Chapter 10 provides a case study of how to build a fully serverless website with CMS, potentially saving hundreds of dollars per month.

Virtual host

The next case study is for creating a virtual host using AWS Sumerian. This is based on a project I did for a large telco. Sumerian is a 3D avatar that runs in the browser and can respond to spoken queries with its own voice. The chat logic can be a simple decision tree or backed with a more complex AI model running in the Lex service.

On-demand containers

The last case study looks at how we can make containers more serverless by launching them on-demand and shutting them down again once their task completes. This way, we only pay for actual utilisation instead of for availability.

Check out the book's mini site for more information and ordering here: