DevOps Pro Moscow 2019 conference

I am looking forward to be back to Russia in November and be a speaker at the DevOps Pro Moscow 2019 conference.

I will cover relational databases on the cloud – with examples of MySQL on AWS – and if and how to move from a managed database to a serverless one. How can you scale automatically keeping predictable performance and costs under control? What does serverless mean for a relation database? More at

Is Serverless the Future of Relational Databases?

I am very happy to talk about the new options available for running a relational database on the cloud and the serverless approach on AWS at the next DevOps Berlin tech event organized by Amsource Technology on June 5th. More information on the Eventbrite page

Amsource Technology Presents Tech

The abstract of my talk:

From AWS to Google Cloud, the major cloud providers offer different options to run a MySQL or a MySQL compatible database on the cloud. You can spin up virtual machines and configure your own cluster or rely on managed services with the ability to modify or scale vertically a database with the click of a button. The new trend is serverless (relational) databases that offer both traditional interfaces and HTTP API access. Can serverless databases be the future? Is Amazon Aurora Serverless really serverless?

Thanks Jack and Amsource Technology for the invitation and looking forward to see you in Berlin!

Think About! Conference 2019

Looking forward to be a speaker next month at Think About! in Cologne, an event about technology, design and their impacts on society. I will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of managed and serverless databases. You can find here the asbtract of my talk “Look Mom No Hands! Moving from a managed relational database to a serverless one”. See you soon in Cologne!

Cross Zone Load Balancing always on, right?

Cross Zone Load Balancing is one of the less known and most confusing options of the different load balancers on AWS. Until 2013 the choice was simple, Amazon offered only one load balancer as a service – the Classic Load Balancer – and there was no option to perform Cross Zone Load Balancing. No feature, no doubts, no extra costs.

In 2019, with three different load balancers (Classic Load Balancer, Application Load Balancer and Network Load Balancer), there is much more flexibility but as well a higher risk of an incorrect configuration or unexpected charges.

Photo by Daniele Levis Pelusi

What is Cross Zone Load Balancing?

As for AWS documentation:

“With cross-zone load balancing, (…) each load balancer node distributes requests evenly across the registered instances in all enabled Availability Zones. If cross-zone load balancing is disabled, each load balancer node distributes requests evenly across the registered instances in its Availability Zone only.”

What is the default for the Cross Zone Load Balancing?

Unfortunately the default is different on every load balancer and not very intuitive. As for AWS documentation:

Classic Load Balancer: with the API or CLI, cross-zone load balancing is disabled by default. With the AWS Management Console, the option to enable cross-zone load balancing is selected by default.

Application Load Balancer: cross-zone load balancing is always enabled

Network Load Balancer: cross-zone load balancing is disabled by default. You can enable or disable cross-zone load balancing at any time.

Should I always enable it?

There are many documents and posts on the benefits of enabling cross-zone load balancing. And if you have only one target in every Availability Zone, it is usually an easy choice . But what are the main reasons to disable it or keep it disabled?

Maybe you want to minimise the latency between your load balancer and the application nodes and have all the traffic in the subnet. Or you take advantage of the SSL termination on the load balancer and you do not want to manage not encrypted traffic across data centres and different subnets. Or maybe you want simply to save a few dollars.

Do I pay extra for Cross Zone Load Balancing?

You do not pay for the the feature itself but you might pay for the generated regional data transfer. The voice that in your billing ends up under

$0.010 per GB - regional data transfer - in/out/between EC2 AZs or using elastic IPs or ELB

and that can end in significant charges if you manage large binaries on your load balancers. According to the AWS FAQ, the cost varies according to the specific service.

Q: Am I charged for regional AWS data-transfer for cross-zone load balancing in Application Load Balancer?
A: No. Since cross-zone load balancing is always on with Application Load Balancer, you are not charged for this type of regional data transfer.

Q: Am I charged for regional AWS data-transfer when I enable cross-zone load balancing in Network Load Balancer?
A: Yes, you will be charged for regional data transfer between Availability Zones with Network Load Balancer when cross-zone load balancing is enabled

Q: Am I charged for regional AWS data-transfer when I enable cross-zone load balancing in Classic Load Balancer?
A: No, you are not charged for regional data transfer between Availability Zones when you enable cross-zone load balancing for your Classic Load Balancer.

To summarize…

Cross Zone Load Balancing is a very useful feature and you likely end up enabling it in many common scenarios. But it is vital to understand the default values and the implications according to the specific AWS service you choose.

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional – Recertification

I passed my first AWS Certified Solutions Architect exam in 2013 when there was only one option available. As recertification is (was) required every 2 years, I did take the (Professional) Architect exam in 2015, 2017 and (happily) again today. Now I can wait 3 more years, for a total of 9 years since my very first one. And I hope that by 2022 the questions with RRS or SWF will be finally gone.