Presentation: Monitoring Serverless Architectures



2:55pm - 3:45pm

Day of week:



Key Takeaways

  • Learn how you can monitor the performance of systems using serverless architectures
  • Discuss tools and AWS services that can be used to monitor and audit cloud based systems
  • Gain knowledge, ideas, and practical advice to make your systems meet (and exceed) performance goals


Serverless architectures are attracting more and more interest from the IT professionals and companies hoping to lower the costs of creating and operating distributed systems without constant worrying about availability, scalability and capacity management. Despite all the attractive properties that serverless architectures offer, such systems still need to be comprehensively monitored to be effectively operated and maintain the expected quality of service and SLAs.

In this talk, I will provide the overview of monitoring capabilities required by system built on the Serverless stack, discuss various AWS services that can be used to deliver such capabilities. I will cover everything from metering and logging to tracing, auditing and alerting.

Additionally, I will share some top tips on how to monitor and optimise the spend on the cloud infrastructure as well as control and adjust provisioned capacity for the resources that use provisioned capacity model, like DynamoDB and Kinesis.

Lastly, I will also offer some suggestions on how to supplement provider’s own solutions with bespoke extensions, built using the Serverless stack, to provide even more comprehensive monitoring.


What’s the motivation for your talk?

Today, I’m working on replatforming an existing system to leverage serverless architectures on AWS. This talk is that experience working with serverless architectures. A couple of the big components of this project is obviously monitoring and observability. My talk is theory to practice. I will be looking at serverless architectures from a very practical angle. Monitoring and observability for serverless architectures is not that different than what you might be used to if you’re using AWS for more standard architures. As one of the major goals with serverless architectures is to get away from managing servers, a major difference with monitoring in serverless is to limit your tools to those that are offered by the provider first and foremost. For instance, I will be talking about how you can use CloudWatch for application monitoring, CloudWatch Logs, and CloudTail for auditing. Additionally, I will use AWS Lambda to build additional functionality to supplement the services that are available from the provider.

How would you rate the level of this talk?

Intermediate level, I expect attendees to have some basic understanding and working knowledge of cloud computing and AWS. I think that minimum level of understanding will be essential to keep people engaged. I will be trying to get from there to more advanced use cases.

QCon targets advanced architects and sr development leads, what do you feel will be the actionable that type of persona will walk away from your talk with?

I hope to give people ideas on how to monitor and instrument their systems better using tooling provided by AWS. While it’s a serverless focused talk, I think a good part of what I’ll be discussing can also be used for more traditional platforms. So I hope people will leave with ideas and practical recommendations for specific solutions for a variety of systems..

While observability is a big part of serverless, it’s not the only part. For example, one common question I often get is the feasibility of using serverless in the confines of a larger system. So, I expect to get a lot of questions from the audience about the full range of serverless implementation options. I hope to be able to answer those questions for people too.

Speaker: Rafal Gancarz

Lead Consultant @OpenCredo

Rafal is a Lead Consultant for OpenCredo, a London-based consultancy specialising in helping clients build and deploy emerging technologies to deliver business value. He is an experienced technologist with expertise in architecting and delivering large-scale distributed systems. Rafal is also an experienced Agile practitioner and a Certified Scrum Master, and is always interested in improving project delivery. Before OpenCredo, Rafal was a Technical Architect for companies such as Capita and Cisco.

Find Rafal Gancarz at

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