How going Serverless enabled us to support an Agile transformation in the middle of a pandemic
This case study describes how we leveraged serverless technology and the AWS serverless application model (SAM) to support the needs of virtual training classes for a major US Federal agency. Our firm was excited to be selected as the main training partner to help a major US Federal government agency roll out Agile and DevOps processes across an organization comprising more than 1500 people. And then the pandemic hit—and what was to have been a series of in-person classes turned 100% virtual! We created a set of fully populated docker images containing all of the test data, plugins, and scenarios required for the student exercises. For our initial implementation, we simply pre-loaded our docker images into elastic beanstalk and then replicated them as many times as needed to provide the necessary number of instances for a given class. While this worked out fine at first, we found a number of shortcomings as we scaled up to more students and more classes. Eventually we came up with a much easier solution using serverless technology: we stood up a single page application that could kickoff tasks using AWS step functions to run docker images in elastic container service, all running under AWS Fargate. This application is a perfect fit for serverless technology and describing our evolution to serverless and SAM may help you gain insights into how these technologies may be beneficial in your situation.