About Lee Atchison

Lee Atchison is a software architect, author, public speaker, and recognized thought leader on cloud computing and application modernization. His most recent book, Architecting for Scale (O’Reilly Media), is an essential resource for technical teams looking to maintain high availability and manage risk in their cloud environments. Lee has been widely quoted in multiple technology publications, including Cloud Native Now (formerly Container Journal), InfoWorld, Diginomica, IT Brief, Programmable Web, CIO Review, and DZone, and has been a featured speaker at events across the globe. 

Lee has more than three decades of industry experience, including seven years at Amazon, where he built the company’s Elastic Beanstalk service. In addition, Lee built Amazon’s first software download store and led its retail website’s early migration to a service-based architecture. Lee also spent eight years at observability software provider New Relic, helping grow the company’s product architecture from early startup stage to the large enterprise SaaS business it is today. Lee is also the author of the operational framework STOSA, which helps companies modernize and scale their organizations in a modern world.

To begin learning from Lee, see a full list of his books and available online courses. Also be sure to check out Lee’s Cloud Native Now column, where he writes regularly about cloud computing. He also has a regular blog and hosts the Modern Digital Business podcast.

Lee provides consulting services for organizations that want to modernize and move their applications into the cloud. To book a consultation with Lee, schedule a call.

Is AI Code Automation Contributing to Code Complexity?

GitHub has published research on the growth and impact of AI on software development. Among their findings is that developers write code “55% faster” when using the GitHub Copilot code automation tool. But this finding doesn’t tell the whole story. Is this code high-quality? Is this code necessary? Is the code contributing to the long-term value of our applications? Does the code contribute to the operation of the application in a clear and concise manner? In other words, is Co

The Fatal Mistake Companies Make with Their Cloud Migration

Migrating to the cloud is a commitment. It’s a commitment of time, resources, and corporate energy. Perhaps you are migrating an on-premises application to the cloud. Or maybe you’re moving a monolithic application to service-oriented or microservice architecture. Migrations are not easy to pull off, and can involve long transitions. Because the benefit is not always immediately obvious—and, in fact, sometimes things get worse at the beginning—it’s tempting to want

What’s the Difference Between an Agile Retrospective and an Incident Retrospective?

Blameless Chief Operating Officer Ken Gavranovic recently sat down with me to discuss the topic of conducting effective incident retrospectives.  You can watch our engaging, informative discussion below, or read on for an overview of the greatest hits from our talk. Agile development and incident management are the backbones of any tech-driven development cycle. At the heart of these practices lies the art of retrospectives. But what sets apart an Agile retrospective from an inci

Moving Beyond the Microservices Hype

In the fast-paced world of software development, buzzwords and trends often dominate discussions around application architecture. One term that has garnered significant attention and, at times, confusion is microservice.  While the concept of breaking down applications into smaller components has significant value, as anyone who reads my writings regularly will attest, there is also significant hype around the term microservices itself that leads to misconceptions and oversim

Improve Software Application Availability in 5 Steps

As a software application scales, it invariably becomes more complex. And with that increase in complexity comes the increased risk of problems that could potentially impact the application’s availability. Take, for example, the case of a well-known monitoring company that suffered from serious availability problems while it was growing from a small to a midsize company. Its traffic was increasing dramatically, but its infrastructure couldn’t keep up. Worse yet, the company didn&rsqu

5 Rules for Getting Your Data Architecture Right

Architecting modern applications is a tough job, and architecting a solid data model for modern applications is one of the toughest, yet most important, parts of modern application architecture. Failure to create a reasonable data architecture can cause your application to fail in many bad ways, including issues related to performance, data integrity, data sovereignty, data safety, and scalability. Poor data architecture can leave your application and your company in bad shape. Building a prope

Make Sure You Understand How Cloud Costs Differ from Other Business Costs

Do you know what “color” your cloud money is? An odd question, perhaps, but an important one. Because the emergence of the cloud hasn’t only changed how we leverage software applications, it has also changed the type of money it takes businesses to operate those applications. To better understand this, a brief overview of corporate finances is needed. There are three distinct types of money that most companies use for various business expenditures: 1. Capital expenditure A ca

Are You Using the Right Analytics to Keep Your Applications Running Smoothly?

Analytics are essential to the successful operation of every modern SaaS application. Effectively managing a SaaS application requires continuous tracking of its performance, what’s going on inside the application, and whether or not it’s accomplishing its goals. However, there is a wide variety of analytics that need to be monitored and tracked to successfully run an application. The purpose, value, accuracy, and reliability of those analytics vary greatly depending on how they are

Getting What You Intend from Your Organizational Design: Business Breakthrough 3.0 with Ken Gavranovic [podcast]

On this special edition of Modern Digital Business, I’d like to introduce my co-author on my latest book that was just released, Business Breakthrough 3.0. Are you ready to break free of your old ways of doing business and transform your company from within?  Eager to build teams of engaged employees who bring their best selves to work—every day? Ready to weave sustainability and cultural longevity into the very fabric of your company? Then BUSINESS BREAKTHROUGH 3.0 is

Castles in the Sky: Secure Your App Dev Pipeline From Laptop to Cloud

I had the pleasure this morning of joining some of my friends at Uptycs in a live panel discussion on securing the application development pipeline. Check out the recording here: Castles in the Sky Event Recording Modern cyber attacks are on the rise, and attackers are targeting the development process itself. The reason: developer laptops often operate in an insecure environment, and their repositories and templates are inadequately protected. So… how can we continue to unify #D

How Data Sharding Can Affect Your Ability to Scale

Seldom do emerging SaaS startups consider the scalability of their applications from the outset. While they may anticipate future expansion and incorporate growth into their financial strategies, their primary emphasis tends to be on developing marketable features rather than designing their applications for scalability. However, it’s important to think about scalability right from the start, even before landing your first customer. As the company introduces one feature after another and a

ICYMI: Do You Need a Cloud Center of Excellence? [podcast]

On this episode of Modern Digital Business, we explore the necessary transition to a digital business model and the challenges that come with it, specifically in the realm of cloud computing. As the leader in enterprise IT, it’s important to adapt to newer, more flexible and scalable technologies. The solution? Establishing a Cloud Center of Excellence! We dive into the benefits of a CCoE and how it can help guide organizations towards a common goal. Tune in for expert insights, actionable

3 Important Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Centralize Your Data

Modern applications and systems are commonly built using microservice architectures. Their distinguishing feature is the division of the business responsibility of a complex application into discrete, self-contained units that can be developed, managed, operated, and scaled independently. Microservice architectures offer a viable approach for scaling an application, enabling larger and less connected development teams to work autonomously on their respective components while contributing to a c

5 Steps to Bring Your Enterprise Application into the Modern World

Modern web applications are the backbone of our digital world. Customers today expect a smooth and seamless digital experience whenever they visit a commercial website. Without high-performing applications, you risk losing customer trust and your business could suffer. That’s why it’s important to modernize enterprise applications. Of course, keeping web apps running smoothly is easier said than done. They need to be able to handle all the traffic that gets thrown at them, without an

How to Ensure Continuous Availability with Multiple AWS Accounts

To ensure that a modern, high-performance application can operate smoothly even if a data center experiences an outage, it’s crucial to distribute individual application instances across multiple data centers. This approach is widely recognized as a best practice within the industry and is an essential characteristic to incorporate into your application architecture to increase resilience against potential data center issues. When constructing an application in the cloud, a similar princip

How to Overcome the 5 Major Pain Points of Modern Software Development

Today’s customers have become increasingly demanding when it comes to software and website quality, expecting regular updates with new features and functionalities from their vendors. However, meeting these expectations and ensuring customer satisfaction requires the use of agile application development methods and techniques, as well as highly skilled software engineers who can adeptly use the latest development tools, technologies, and methodologies. Consequently, the world of software d

Automating Your Automation with Tyson Kunovsky, CEO of AutoCloud [podcast]

AutoCloud is an enterprise software platform companies use to assist in their infrastructure-as-code (IaC) deployments. Customers using AutoCloud can reduce cloud costs, security risks, complexity, and adoption time for IaC using Terraform in all the major cloud providers, including AWS, Azure, and GCP.  AutoCloud is a critical risk-mitigation tool for cyber security, compliance, and ongoing infrastructure monitoring and management. Tyson Kunovsky is the founder and CEO of AutoCloud, and h

New Course Available: ‘Basics of Cloud Security’

How do you keep your private data safe in the public cloud? Is it even possible? The truth is, your data and your application are likely safer in the public cloud than in your own private data center. But how can this be true? Do you want to learn what you must you do to build security into your cloud-native application architecture? I’m excited to announce that my latest course, Basics of Cloud Security, is now live at Atchison Academy! This course will show you, at a hig

The Long March: Cloud Native Panel Discussion

This January I was fortunate enough to be a panelist at Predict 2023, for an engaging panel discussion titled The Long March. The other panelists and I discussed how to make Kubernetes more accessible to a larger group of companies, and the cloud-native technologies needed to support mission-critical workloads in the data center and in less compute-intensive environments. You can watch the full panel discussion here: The Long March: Predict 2023 Panel Discussion If you enjoyed this conver

What’s in Store for DevOps in 2023?

In the past couple of years, businesses have been leveraging DevOps to drive their digital and cloud transformations and enable rapid innovation. Now it’s time to look back at lessons learned as well as look forward into the future. With so much change happening in the industry, what does 2023 have in store for DevOps? What are the DevOps practices and technologies that will shape the future of business? Join me on the Techstrong.tv panel of experts as we talk about our predictions for the

Independent Third-Party Observability with Jeff Martens, CEO of Metrist [podcast]

The applications used by modern businesses rely on services. Some of those services are built internally for the company, and some of those services are software-as-a-service (SaaS) products offered by external companies. More and more companies depend on third-party applications for their overall business needs. Yet often, using a third-party application is an observability black hole. Your ability to check whether a third-party application is working is often limited to checking to see the las

Testing at Scale with Nate Lee of Speedscale [podcast]

Modern businesses rely on applications, and they also rely on continued innovation in those applications to drive their business. This strive for innovation creates a need for improved techniques for validating that an application will work as expected. But constant innovation means a constant chance for problems, and testing applications at scale is not an easy task. This is where Speedscale comes into play. The company assists in stress-testing applications by recreating real-world traffic loa

Overcoming IT Complexity—My Latest O’Reilly Book

The complexity of modern IT systems can impact your application’s quality and security. It’s that simple. Business pressures have caused IT organizations to focus on creating new applications as well as adding new features and capabilities to existing applications in order to meet the increasingly competitive demands. The result is insufficient time to work on managing, operating, and maintaining existing applications and capabilities. Ignoring ongoing issues increases technical deb

Simplifying Cloud Complexity with Tim Holm of Nitric [podcast]

The cloud has enabled various software and software-enabled infrastructure options for application development. It’s easy to get lost in the variety of shapes and sizes of offerings available: ECS EKS, Lambda, Fargate Azure functions, Google Cloud Containers—IT complexity is a real issue. And this means we need better tools to help us simplify our complex cloud infrastructure options. In this episode, I talk with Tim Holm, CTO of Nitric, a company that is trying to solve this exact

At This Year’s AWS re:Invent, the Focus Was on Data

Another AWS re:Invent is now over, and as has come to be expected, the cloud giant made a number of notable announcements during the event. This year was a bit different, however. Rather than focusing on a slew of new services and service capabilities, AWS instead decided to focus on data. How do you get raw data into AWS? How do you get data out of AWS systems and into other systems? And what do you do with the data once you get it? Answering these questions supports the company’s primar

Application Security: Securing Data at Rest and in Motion [podcast]

How seriously is your business taking application security? Creating a secure software application requires many actions, but by far the most important are those that involve securing the data in the application—and these are the most difficult actions. When it comes to securing application data, there are two unique and distinct types of data that must be secured. Typically, data at rest is data that is stored in a database, ready to be used by some part of the application, while data

Learning from Your Incident Response to Improve Availability

No matter how smoothly your services normally run, outages can happen to the best of us. The truth is, that occasional incidents are unavoidable. Dealing with those incidents is both an art and a science, and there are many products, systems, and procedures that can help you create incident response processes to help reduce the impact of incidents when they do happen to your application.  But what about after the incident? What then? Once an incident is finished, it’s just as importan

Cloud-Native Observability with Bruno Kurtic of Sumo Logic [podcast]

Operating a modern digital business means building and operating large, highly scaled applications that are more and more cloud native in their architecture and implementation. Observability is critical in maintaining the highly scaled, highly available, and highly adaptive nature of these modern cloud-native applications. You just can’t keep a large, complex, modern application operating without having a solid, modern observability platform as part of your system. And ideally, in today&rsq

Special Halloween Edition: The 3 Scariest Mistakes Companies Make in the Cloud [podcast]

Welcome to the special Halloween edition of the Modern Digital Business podcast. In this episode, we discuss the 3 scariest mistakes companies make in the cloud. It’s that special time of the year when we turn our attention to all things scary: scary movies and TV shows, scary books, scary decorations, scary costumes. Sometimes it’s fun to be scared. But when it comes to working with customers and clients on their cloud projects, sometimes I get quite scared … and not in

Do You Need a Cloud Center of Excellence? [podcast]

In the past few years, cloud computing has become a dominant trend in enterprise IT. The benefits of moving to the cloud are clear: lower costs, flexibility, and scalability. But as more companies move their infrastructure into public clouds such as AWS or Azure, they face a challenge that is often overlooked. How do I transform an organization from a typical on-premises company to a cloud-native, cloud-centric organization? A Cloud Center of Excellence, or a CCoE for short, is an organizational

ModernOps with Beth Long: Transferring Operational Expertise to the Cloud

Today on Modern Digital Business, we continue with another episode of our highly successful “ModernOps” series. ModernOps is a series of interviews co-hosted with my good friend and former colleague Beth Long, head of product at Jeli.io, an incident analysis company. This is our second podcast interview in a series of episodes. In the first episode, we talked about how the experience using the cloud varies from large companies to small companies. In this new episode, we talk ab

Talking DevOps with Mitch Ashley, CTO of Techstrong Group (DevOps.com)

DevOps has now gone mainstream. If you and your organization aren’t using DevOps principles, you are at a distinct disadvantage compared to your competition. And, “doing DevOps” does not mean simply “hiring a DevOps team”—there’s much more to it than that. My guest for the latest episode of the Modern Digital Business podcast is Mitch Ashley, CTO of Techstrong Group. Techstrong is the publishers of DevOps.com and other publications. In this episode, Mitc

8 Steps to Higher-Quality DNS Systems [podcast]

DNS (which stands for domain name system) is a highly available, highly redundant, and highly reliable service that is absolutely essential to your company’s application and business operations. A failure in your DNS system can bring your business to a sudden halt, jeopardizing your company’s future. DNS is essential to the operation of all aspects of the internet and modern digital businesses. The problem with DNS is that a very tiny mistake in a configuration file can cause ri

Avoiding the 4 Most Common Pitfalls of a Cloud Migration

  When starting a cloud migration, organizations often come in with lofty expectations: “Moving my applications to the cloud will modernize my business and solve all my problems!” But sometimes the cloud doesn’t meet all your expectations. Things you’ve been promised about migrating to the cloud may end up not being true. And you may find that some promises you’ve made to your stakeholder are impossible to keep. As it turns out, migrating to the cloud isn&rsqu

Don’t Let Technical Debt Sink Your Business [podcast]

The pandemic accelerated large-scale digital transformations for many companies. However, accelerated application growth often leads to increased technical debt. This debt makes it difficult for leaders to innovate and create new and improved customer experiences from their technologies. This stifled innovation means lower long-term revenue. Eventually, technical debt will sink your business. But what is technical debt—and how can you control it? In the latest episode of the Modern Digit

How Large Companies Use AWS vs. Smaller Companies [podcast]

The next episode of the Modern Digital Business podcast has just dropped. What’s it about? It’s the first episode of a new series that we are calling ModernOps. My guest host with this new series is Beth Long, a good friend of mine and infrastructure operations expert. Beth has served as Head of Product at Jeli.io, an incident analysis company, and Senior Software Engineer and DevOps Strategist at New Relic. This week is our first episode of the ModernOps series.

The Dynamic Cloud Helps Your Website Work When Customers Need It Most

Imagine you and your friends have been eagerly anticipating the season premiere of your favorite HBO show all year long. You decide to throw a viewing party, excited to show off your brand new 75-inch 4K super deluxe TV. The drinks are cold, the snacks are all set out, and everyone is excited. The show is just about to start, when suddenly your internet connection goes down and all that enormous new TV screen displays is one big, high-definition error message. This was the last thing you expecte

The Finances of a Cloud Migration [podcast]

The first episode of the Modern Digital Business podcast has just dropped. What’s it about? The finances of a cloud migration. How are the finances of your company affected by a cloud migration? Showing a financial benefit of using the cloud can be a bit tricky. You need to show that shutting down an operating data center and moving that money to pay the bill of a cloud provider will, in fact, save you money. How can a cloud provider provide technical resources cheaper than doi

Is a Cloud Center of Excellence Right for Your Organization?

Virtually all sizable organizations have a need to understand how the cloud and cloud computing impacts their organizational IT needs, to say nothing about impacting the overall culture and direction of your organization as a whole. If you work in enterprise IT, you are at the heart of this struggle, and finding your way around organizationally in this cloud-centric world can be a challenge. May I suggest looking into the benefits of building a Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE) in your organiza

Tapping the Full Potential of the Cloud for Your Business

The cloud has traditionally been thought of as a cost-effective method of hosting applications. While this mindset has led to some positive cloud migration cases and effective cloud native application development, the opportunities go much further for ambitious businesses wanting to make the move and realize the full potential of the cloud. A cloud-initiated transformation within a business can be the mechanism for providing consistent customer experiences on a global scale. What has often held

Edge Computing and IoT Is Everywhere, and the Cloud Plays a Key Role

What does edge computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) mean to you? Temperature probes monitoring crops? Microdrones monitoring wind speed in the atmosphere? Electronic GPS trackers embedded within your boxed shipments? Refrigerators that tell you when you need a gallon of milk? Fully automated homes with magical lighting and security systems? When many people hear about IoT and the whole field of edge computing, they think of these novel and rather futuristic use cases. But we don&rsquo

Assessing Your Organization’s Cloud Maturity Level

Operating successfully in the cloud is still a daunting challenge for many companies today. Too often, organizations have overly high expectations about the benefits of being in the cloud while underestimating the amount of work required to get there. An unfortunate result can be a vicious cycle of blame, finger pointing, and business leaders grasping for something—anything—that could be considered a victory. When they find that small bit of success, organizations may decide they&rsq

The Dangers of Data Partitioning While Scaling

Data partitioning is a common practice to make use of multiple databases to store larger datasets, or datasets accessed at a higher frequency than a single database can handle. It’s a common practice used in large software-as-a-service (SaaS) systems for scaling to handle larger quantities of traffic. Typically, a partitioning key is used to determine which partitioned database to use for a particular data request. A simple example of data partitioning is to partition all data for an appli

How to Become a Software Architect: Interview with Java Brains Founder

I was recently interviewed by Koushik Kothagal, founder of the popular Java Brains developer training portal, for his podcast show The Artifact. Koushik and I had a lively discussion about what it really takes to become a software architect—and specifically how software engineers who are ready for the next step in their careers can make the leap from developer to architect. Our conversation was inspired by my popular LinkedIn learning course Software Architecture: From Developer to Archite

Don’t Put Architecture at Risk in Rush to Build a Minimum Viable Product

Agile development and DevOps processes are in vogue now. It seems that most well-run development organizations either already have these processes ingrained in their culture, or are striving to. No matter which Agile development process you use, they all have one guiding principle: incremental software development. In its simplest form, Agile methodologies focus on  building the minimum viable product that will solve your business’s needs. Then, based on feedback and experience, you i

Tech Trends: First Look, Episode #1

Join Lee Atchison and Ken Gavranovic as we discuss the latest hot tech trends. We look at what’s getting funded and what’s getting traction in the marketplace. Finally, we take a look at a story behind a story in the news.   More articles from Lee Atchison: Dive into ‘Architecting for Scale’ in the Latest GOTO Book Club Podcast More Kubernetes, Less Serverless, According to Latest CNCF Report 2022 Is the Year of the Citizen Developer  

Availability vs. Reliability: What’s the Difference?

Availability and reliability are two similar but different concepts. When building a highly scaled, highly available web application, it is important to understand the difference between the two. Reliability generally refers to the quality of a system. Typically, it means the ability of a system to consistently perform according to specifications. You speak of software as reliable if it passes its test suites, and does generally what you think it should do. Reliability answers questions such as

Don’t Let Your Application Turn into Another Winchester Mystery House

Some time ago when I was living in Silicon Valley, I often drove by a curious-looking structure called the Winchester Mystery House every day on my way to work. The Winchester Mystery House is a San Jose mansion that was once the home of Sarah Winchester, the widow of William Winchester, and the heir to the Winchester Rifle fortune. Originally purchased in 1884 as an unfinished eight-room farmhouse, it was expanded over the course of 36 years to an overall footprint of 24,000 square feet.&nb

Your Business Has a Disaster Recovery Plan—But Have You Actually Tested It?

If the qualifications for playing in the Big Game were based entirely on regular season records, then the championship should’ve been between Tennessee and Green Bay. And yet, neither team made it to the game. In fact, both of the league’s best teams were gone by the end of the second round. The lesson is clear: Things that look good on paper don’t always play out well in practice.  This lesson extends far beyond sports. In fact, it’s a crucial one for businesses th

10-Step Checklist to Migrate Your Business to the Cloud

I have been involved in cloud computing for more than a decade, and I’ve heard from many IT executives about the challenges they faced trying to move key enterprise applications to the public cloud. Far too often, their teams struggled or had only limited success with their cloud migrations. In some cases, the migration failed altogether. If your organization is looking to modernize mission-critical applications and you’re planning a cloud migration as part of this process, you don&r

Building Right-Sized Application Services: The Goldilocks Calculation

In the world of applications, services are standalone components that, when connected and working together, create an application that performs some business purpose. But services come in a wide variety of sizes, from tiny, super-specialized microservices up to services that are big and complete enough to form their own monolithic applications. Just like Goldilocks looking for the perfect fit, it’s not always easy to determine the right size for the services you need to build your organizat

Dive into ‘Architecting for Scale’ in the Latest GOTO Book Club Podcast

What do technology expert Ken Gavranovic and I have in common? We are both featured in the GOTO Book Club video this month. The GOTO Book Club series brings in experts and authors to interview each other, with a focus on newly released and classic dev books. In the latest episode, Ken and I discuss some of the topics I cover in the new second edition of my book, Architecting for Scale. “Chaos shouldn’t be feared. Chaos is value. Chaos is an opportunity to learn.” —

More Kubernetes, Less Serverless, According to Latest CNCF Report

An interesting trend is emerging in the world of cloud computing: non-cloud native technologies are growing in popularity while cloud native technologies are decreasing in popularity. This is according to the December 2021 “State of Cloud Native Development,” released by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), developed in conjunction with research firm SlashData. This report reflects the change in use of various cloud-related technologies by the 6.8 million cloud native de

2022 Is the Year of the Citizen Developer

This past year has seen a rise in a new class of software developer, known collectively as the citizen developer. The term citizen developer is used to describe when non-programmers build applications that solve specific business needs. Citizen developers could be product managers, marketing managers, business executives, and others in an enterprise that are not in a traditional software development role. The role of the citizen developer has been growing for many years, with 2021 seeing an expo

What Will AWS Announce at re:Invent This Year? Hopefully, Less Than Usual

It’s the same old question technology industry insiders and people like myself ask every year at this time: What will AWS announce at re:Invent this year? Sometimes our predictions are pretty good, sometimes they are very far off. But there’s one sure answer to the question of what AWS will announce at its enormous annual conference: “A whole lot of things!”  As AWS has grown exponentially, so has AWS re:Invent. In a typical year, it’s safe to say, there will b

What Model Airplanes Teach Us About Avoiding Application Failures

I learned to fly radio-controlled airplanes when I was a kid, and one of the most important rules I remember was “Always keep your airplane at least ‘two mistakes’ high.” When you are learning to fly a model airplane, especially when you begin to attempt acrobatics, you learn this lesson quickly because mistakes equal altitude. You make a mistake, you lose altitude. As you can imagine, losing too much altitude makes for a very bad day for your airplane. So what does this h

6 Steps to Prepare Your E-Commerce Business for the Holidays

The holiday shopping season, which traditionally kicks off with Black Friday the day after Thanksgiving, is just around the corner. What started out as a uniquely American shopping holiday day has now become a global phenomenon, with retailers everywhere steeling themselves for the annual onslaught of shoppers, both in store and online.  If you’re running an e-commerce business, it’s crucial that your website be able to scale to meet the huge surges of traffic that you will (hop

The 3 Scariest Mistakes Companies Make in the Cloud

With Halloween just around the corner, I’ve been thinking lately about scary things. The truth is, I sometimes like being scared when watching a scary movie or reading a scary book. But when it comes to working with customers and clients on their cloud projects, sometimes I get quite scared—and not in a good way.  I get scared when I hear stories about how a company is preparing to migrate to the cloud incorrectly, or when someone shares a misguided plan about how their organiza

What Is DNS?

Facebook and its other networks Instagram and WhatsApp suffered their largest outage on Monday since 2008. By mid-day, The Verge speculated that DNS had caused the problem, and referred back to Slack’s outage last week to claim that “it’s always DNS.” We’re not going to speculate on what caused Facebook’s misfortune, but we will answer some of the most common questions about DNS. What is DNS? DNS stands for Domain Name System, which is akin to the internet&rs

Modern Application Caching With Redis

Our modern world demands modern applications. Today’s applications must be able to handle large quantities of data, perform complex operations, maintain numerous relationships among data elements, and operate on distinct and disparate states between transactions.Doing this at the high scale demanded by our modern world is a challenge that requires significant resources—and those demands are constantly growing based on ever-changing needs. Handling these needs while maintaining high av

Cloud Myth: ‘Lift and Shift’ Is a Cloud Migration

Early in the process of adopting the cloud, many companies consider moving applications to the cloud by simply taking the application off of servers running in their own data center and move them to servers they’ve created in the cloud. This type of migration is often called a simple “lift and shift.” Lift and shift is a valid way to very quickly get your application out of your data center and into a cloud-based data center. But while this approach is quick and easy, it isn&r

8 Things You Don’t Know About Architecting Your Business Infrastructure for Scale

What does it mean to “architect for scale” and why do you need to do so? Architecting for scale is about building and updating critical applications so they deliver what your increasingly demanding digital customers expect. Remember, your application’s performance, more and more, will be compared with the likes of Amazon and Instagram and Facebook. Architecting for scale is a way of thinking, designing, planning for, and executing so your applications meet the needs and demands

Cloud Providers Have Different Personalities: Whom Do They Remind You Of?

I recently wrote a blog post about the Pentagon’s decision to go multicloud instead of opting for a Microsoft Azure-only strategy. Because, after all, it IS the age of multicloud and polyclouds and hybrid clouds, and, well, it got me thinking about characterizing different vendors’ clouds and how those cloud vendors differ from one another. Some day I’ll get more serious and explain the functional differences, but not today.  Today I’ll give each cloud vendor di

Cloud Myth: Serverless Solves All My Problems

It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of the cloud, and the latest and greatest cloud service offering often seem like the solution to all your problems. However, like any new technology, understanding how and where to apply the technology is critical to successfully using the technology. This most certainly applies to the serverless computing, which many people believe will solve all their problems. Function as a Service (FaaS) offerings, better known as serverless computing, are provi

Dear Andy Jassy

Dear Andy, Congratulations on becoming CEO of Amazon. It seems like only yesterday that I worked with you at AWS, starting the Elastic Beanstalk service in 2009. You’ve done an amazing job with AWS over the years. And now, as of July 5, you’ve taken over the CEO role from the man himself, Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos, just as Steve Ballmer did for Bill Gates and Tim Cook for Steve Jobs. Congratulations! You’re in heady company. Of course, the media is asking, “Can Andy Jass

Was the Pentagon Smart to Ditch a Single Cloud Strategy and Embrace Multicloud Instead?

You may have seen the recent news that the Pentagon has decided to implement a multicloud strategy to replace the previous JEDI program. Essentially, Pentagon officials decided against a Microsoft-only cloud strategy and moved to a multi-vendor plan, which will now include Amazon AWS, Google Cloud, IBM, Oracle, and others. This decision is a great victory for the cloud and competitive cloud offerings in the government arena, but is it a good strategy for the U.S. military itself? Will it be

Cloud Myth: The Cloud Isn’t Secure

One of the biggest misconceptions that companies new to the cloud have is that the cloud isn’t secure. They wonder, can you trust the cloud? This can show up many ways, but a common way is in how a company deals with cloud security. Security is very important to nearly all companies. Moving to the public cloud means taking my application that is safely behind your company’s firewall, and putting it on a publicly accessible cloud service. This requires trust. Can I trust the cloud t

Lee Atchison Joins InfoWorld as a Regular Contributor

Stay tuned! On June 21, I’m joining InfoWorld as a contributing author and will be publishing a bi-weekly article. I will bring you articles about cloud computing and application modernization. I’ll have articles ranging from maintaining high availability to team organization. From data partitioning to sharding. From identity management to dealing with availability mistakes. From metric classes to cloud finances. From infrastructure architecture to organization architecture. I

What Is the Difference Between SLA and SLO?

What are SLAs? What are SLOs? SLAs, or Service Level Commitments, are measuring a commitment to a given level of reliability and performance. In software terms, SLAs are usually described by commitments given to customers on the availability and operational readiness of a software application or system. SLAs are a commitment to provide a given level of reliability and performance. They are used to create a solid contractual relationship between service owners and customers. An overnight delive

Why Is Single Ownership So Important to a STOSA Organization?

STOSA, or Single Team Oriented Service Architecture, is an important guiding principle for large organizations with many development teams that own and manage services comprising one or more applications. Modern organizations, operating modern applications at scale, require an ability to scale their organization as much as they require the ability to scale their application. As their application grows in complexity and sophistication, a larger development organization is required to build and ma

What Is a STOSA Organization?

STOSA, or Single Team Oriented Service Architecture, is an important guiding principle for large organizations with many development teams that own and manage services comprising one or more applications. Modern organizations, operating modern applications at scale, require an ability to scale their organization as much as they require the ability to scale their application. As their application grows in complexity and grows in sophistication, a larger development organization must build and man

Welcome to Modern Applications / Modern Organizations

I’ve been writing books and articles, recording podcasts and webinars, and presenting live keynotes and other talks for many years. My Lee@Scale blog started in 2016 and focused on building highly scalable, high-availability web applications. I thank everyone who has read my articles and wrote to me to ask questions or make comments on the ideas and thoughts I’ve written about. Now, however, it is time for a bit of a change. Rather than focusing on scalability and availabil