The following is a list of major articles written by Lee.

How to Deal with Service Failures

Published: The New Stack, Sep 5, 2019 [view article]

It’s simple, really — services call other services and they take actions based on the responses from those services. Sometimes, that action is a success, sometimes it’s a failure. But whether it is a success or a failure depends on if the interaction meets certain requirements. In particular, the response must be predictable, understandable and reasonable for the given situation. This is important so that the service reading the response can make appropriate decisions and not propagate garbage results. When a service gets a response it does not understand, it can take actions based on the garbage response and those actions can have dangerous side effects to your service and your application.

[continued at The New Stack]

5 pain points of modern software development—and how to overcome them

Published: InfoWorld, Jul 31, 2019 [view article]

Today’s digital savvy customers demand high quality software and websites, and they assume vendors will keep them updated with new features and capabilities. But keeping your customers engaged and satisfied requires agile application development processes and techniques, not to mention software engineers with the skills to leverage the latest development tools, technologies, and methodologies.

As a result, the world of the software developer has become exponentially more challenging. Let’s take a look at five critical pain points for modern software developers and how you can overcome them.

5 tips to choose a serverless vendor

Published: ComputerWorld, Jul 22, 2019 [view article]

The global serverless architecture market shows no signs of slowing down with multiple vendors offering their services in a fast-growing arena. AWS, Microsoft, Google, Alibaba, Rackspace, IBM, Oracle, and CA Technologies are just a few industry names investing heavily in the serverless space.

It’s no wonder that vendors are scrambling for a big slice of the pie: According to KBV Research, the global serverless architecture market is expected to hit US$14 billion by 2024, increasing at a growth rate of 23.4 per cent CAGR during the forecast period. 

In Australia, “serverless” is all the rage at the moment with multiple vendors rushing to claim pole position where functions-as-a-service, or FaaS, is fast gaining traction.

It’s critical to note that while developing applications using the FaaS model is a way of achieving a serverless environment, there is confusion over how to choose the right vendor.

Here are five considerations on how to choose a FaaS-serverless vendor to meet your organisational needs.

Expect serverless to become more mainstream

Published: jaxenter, Jul 15, 2019 [view article]

Serverless is a hotly discussed topic right now, and it seems to mean different things to different people. We caught up with Lee Atchison, Senior Director, Cloud Architecture at New Relic to discuss what serverless means to him, how it’s changing the way applications are developed and what implications serverless could have for infrastructure in the future.

4 factors to ruin your serverless migration

Published: ComputerWorld, May 23, 2019 [view article]

As more and more companies embark on their digital transformation journey, organisations need to upgrade and evolve their infrastructure technology to maintain a competitive edge. The promise of serverless is to allow organisations to focus on their application and not worry about infrastructure, which includes buying, scaling, and securing infrastructure to run their applications.

As I’ve previously discussed, it’s critical that serverless is chosen for the right kind of task. It’s perfect for handling short tasked based jobs that take a relatively small period of time to execute, but it’s less useful for long running tasks or for complex tasks. However, even with a well-considered strategy and a solid budget, the migration to serverless can go awry.

3 ways serverless is a game changer

Published: ComputerWorld, May 16, 2019 [view article]

The dream of serverless is to enable companies to focus on making their application work, rather than getting tied up with managing infrastructure. Serverless is actually a misnomer: there are still servers, but your cloud provider runs them and dynamically manages the allocation of machine resources. The idea is that a company then only needs to focus on its apps, not its infrastructure.

One question that gets asked frequently is which companies are best suited to serverless, in terms of the benefits they will see? However, determining success is actually less about the type of organisation that should consider serverless and more about the type of computing that is best used for serverless and whether your organisation needs it.

If serverless is right for your organisation, these are the top three benefits you can expect to realise.

An honest debate about on-premise vs cloud-based monitoring

Published:, Mar 29, 2019 [view article]

Let’s have an honest debate about on-premise versus cloud app monitoring!

Application monitoring is a modern necessity for technology-based businesses across every vertical.

No matter whether you’re serving end customers or enterprise clients, a complete view of your applications and operating environment will help identify any problems before they escalate into serious customer service issues.

This has become especially true as more and more organisations have migrated to the cloud or adopted new working methods like DevOps.

However, there’s still a significant number of businesses who operate an on-premise technology environment.

This could be for several reasons, from legacy systems from which they aren’t ready to move from yet, or long-term business plans that require an on-premise solution.

How Service Tiers Can Help to Avoid Microservices Disasters

Published: The New Stack, Mar 20, 2019 [view article]

Bringing down an entire application is easy. All it takes is the failure of a single service and the entire set of services that make up the application can come crashing down like a house of cards. Just one minor error from a non-critical service can be disastrous to the entire application.

There are, of course, many ways to prevent dependent services from failing. However, adding extra resiliency in non-critical services also adds complexity and cost, and sometimes it is not needed.

Why SaaS is the best way to monitor on-premise environments

Published: Diginomica, Mar 15, 2019 [view article]

It’s past time to debunk an idea that’s somehow still kicking around in application performance monitoring circles. Put simply, just because you have an on-premise technology environment does not mean you need an on-premise monitoring solution. In fact, an on-premise monitoring solution has many disadvantages, even when dealing with purely on-premise environments.

2019 DevOps Predictions - Part 8

Published: DevOps Digest, Jan 8, 2019 [view article]

DEVOPSdigest invited DevOps experts — analysts and consultants, users and the top vendors — for their predictions on how DevOps and related technologies will evolve and impact business in 2019.

This was presented in a 9 part series, and contained predictions from many experts in the area.

In this part, part 8, I contributed a prediction about microservice challenges.

2019 DevOps Predictions - Part 7

Published: DevOps Digest, Jan 7, 2019 [view article]

DEVOPSdigest invited DevOps experts — analysts and consultants, users and the top vendors — for their predictions on how DevOps and related technologies will evolve and impact business in 2019.

This was presented in a 9 part series, and contained predictions from many experts in the area.

In this part, part 7, I contributed a prediction about cloud waste management.

Six of the best – your top spankingly well-read stories from 2018

Published: Diginomica, Dec 17, 2018 [view article]

Diginomica published their top six articles for 2018. Number one on the list is Lee’s “Forget AWS Lambda, so long Kubernetes – this is the future of serverless” article. Lee had two of the six top articles for all of 2018.

See these two articles, and the rest of the top six on Diginomica.

Cloud adoption: How do Australia & New Zealand stack up?

Published: IT Brief (Australia), Oct 16, 2018 [view article]
Reprinted: IT Brief (New Zealand), Oct 16, 2018 [view article]

The speed at which businesses are able to adopt cloud, and how they use it, can be impacted by where they’re based in the world. Some markets are much more proactive than others when it comes to new technology, and there are clear differences in which solutions are preferred.

In spending time in Australia and New Zealand, I’ve made the following observations about local cloud adoption trends.

How to execute a seamless cloud-initiated digital transformation

Published: DataCentreNews EMEA, Oct 5, 2018 [view article]

When it comes to executing a successful cloud-migration, only organisations willing to fully embrace the agility and flexibility required – and not just use the cloud as a cost-effect way to store and host applications – will fully reap the rewards.

So, what’s holding businesses back from going all-in for the cloud?

Don’t fall off the edge – why IoT still needs the cloud

Published: Diginomica, Oct 3, 2018 [view article]

What does edge computing and IoT mean to you? Temperature probes monitoring crops? Micro drones 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 we hear about the Internet of Things (IoT) and the whole field of edge computing, many people think of these novel and rather futurist use cases. But we don’t have to look that far in order to see our world already full of interconnected devices on the ‘edge’ of the cloud.

CIO upfront: Where are you in your cloud maturity journey?

Published: CIO New Zealand, Sep 13, 2018 [view article]

For many enterprises, finding success in the cloud is still a daunting challenge. Too often, organisations set overly high expectations for the benefits of the cloud while underestimating the amount of work required.

In many cases, the biggest error comes from thinking about the cloud in the wrong way. Most people think of cloud migration as a lift-and-shift operation—simply moving applications that are running in a company’s own datacentre into the cloud. Real cloud success, at scale, requires much more than this. There are six basic maturity levels that organisations go through during their cloud adoption process, and it’s important to know where you’re at in this journey in order to plan for wider adoption.

Microservice Architectures - What They Are and Why You Should Use Them

Published: New Relic Blog, Aug 22, 2018 [view article]

Microservices is a hot topic in software development circles these days. And for some very good reasons.

Put simply, the traditional way of building enterprise applications—using a monolithic approach—has become problematic as applications get larger and more complex. So developers are turning to a microservices software development architecture, in which applications are structured as collections of loosely coupled services. This makes them easier to build, and—more importantly—much easier to expand and scale.

Let’s take a closer look at how a microservices approach differs from a monolithic one, and examine their relative strengths and weaknesses.


The four pitfalls of cloud migration

Published: IT Brief (Australia), Jul 2, 2018 [view article]
Reprinted: IT Brief (New Zealand), Jul 2, 2018 [view article]

Migrating to the cloud is easy, right? What could possibly go wrong? There are at least four things I can think of.

Often, when we begin a cloud migration, we come in with lofty expectations. As the migration progresses, however, we often find that moving to the cloud isn’t necessarily as easy as we would like it to be - or as easy as we were led to believe it would be.

Beyond lift and shift: Digital transformation through the cloud

Published: Computing (UK), Jun 13, 2018 [view article]

Traditionally, cloud has been positioned 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 most of the move to 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 companies back with cloud initiatives is a conservative approach to controlling data. But after more than a decade of lessons and established success the questions have shifted from “why move to the cloud?” to “how do I make the move successfully?”

Preparing to Adopt the Cloud: A 10-Step Cloud Migration Checklist

Published: New Relic Blog, Jun 4, 2018 [view article]

If your organization is looking to modernize mission-critical applications and you’re planning a cloud migration as part of this process, you don’t want to repeat others’ mistakes. So this post leverages those learnings to build a 10-step checklist of the major areas you need to consider and address to maximize your chances of a successful cloud migration.

3 common mistakes companies make when adopting cloud

Published: IT Brief (Australia), Apr 19, 2018 [view article]

Cloud computing is mainstream. That’s a fact.

Chances are if your company isn’t already extensively using the cloud, it is planning on doing so in the very near future.

But be careful. There are many mistakes that companies new to the cloud make when they begin looking into cloud adoption. Here are three of the main ones.

Diginomica: Forget AWS Lambda, so long Kubernetes – this is the future of serverless

Published: Diginomica, Mar 25, 2018 [view article]

Forget about AWS Lambda and Kubernetes – AWS Fargate is the real future of serverless because it’s containers that matter, says New Relic’s Lee Atchison.

The Dynamic Cloud: Availability and Scalability for Your Biggest Days

Published: New Relic Blog, Feb 2, 2018 [view article]
Reprinted: DZone, Feb 5, 2018 [view article]

There are two main ways that modern enterprise applications use the cloud. There’s the “better data center”approach to using the cloud, and then there’s using the cloud in a more dynamic fashion.

Five revealing differences in cloud adoption around the world

Published: Diginomica, Jan 9, 2018 [view article]

Where you live in the world changes how you feel about cloud adoption. New Relic’s Lee Atchison reveals five differences he encountered on three continents.

Hey You, Get Off My Cloud! Multi-Tenant Cloud vs. Single-Tenant Cloud

Published: New Relic Blog, Jan 8, 2018 [view article]
Reprinted: DZone, Jan 16, 2018 [view article]

Whenever we discuss cloud adoption with enterprise companies curious about making the move, one of the first questions is, which is better: public cloud or private cloud? Cloud adopters want to know which approach is most likely to give them better performance, greater flexibility, stronger security, and lowest cost to operate.

While these are important requirements, they miss a critical issue: do you want to share your cloud with others? If you’re working towards an effective cloud adoption strategy, you’d be wise to consider whether you want a multi-tenant or single-tenant cloud offering.

The 6 Levels of Cloud Maturity

Published: New Relic Blog, Jan 2, 2018 [view article]

For many enterprises, finding success in the cloud is still a daunting challenge. Too often, organizations set overly high expectations for the benefits while underestimating the amount of work required. An unfortunate result can be a vicious cycle of blame, finger pointing, and grasping for something—anything—that could be considered a victory.

Your data is more secure with SaaS companies than it is with you

Published: Diginomica, Oct 25, 2017 [view article]

Conventional wisdom says you should protect your data by keeping it close. In reality, it’s more secure with SaaS companies.

Auto Scaling—The Dynamic Cloud Made Easy

Published: New Relic Blog, Aug 24, 2017 [view article]
Reprinted: DZone, Aug 28, 2017 [view article]

At New Relic, we talk a lot about the dynamic cloud. The dynamic cloud is the primary method of implementing a dynamic infrastructure, which allows enterprises to build highly flexible, highly available applications that can meet nearly any scaling need. But what exactly does it mean to be dynamic?

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Serverless Computing But Were Afraid to Ask

Published: Diginomica, Aug 8, 2017 [view article]

Ever wanted to know about serverless computing but were afraid to ask? New Relic’s Lee Atchison tells all and explains its impact on the digital enterprise.

How Many Clouds Do I Need?

Published: New Relic Blog, Jul 10, 2017 [view article]
Reprinted: DZone, Jul 21, 2017 [view article]

Selecting Multi-Cloud Vendors in the Real World. This guide will help determine whether a multi-cloud environment is right for your app and offers some advice in choosing the right cloud model for you.

Cloud Migration: Measurement at the Moment Of Truth

Published: AWS Partner Network Blog, Jul 10, 2017 [view article]

When migrating applications to AWS, it doesn’t matter if you are rehosting, replatforming, or planning a full refactor—as you take each step, you should know what’s working. Above all, you need to know if the user experience of your migrated app is what you expect it to be—especially at that moment when the workload has moved and everyone is watching.

How can you tell that a migration has successfully completed? How can you be sure that you haven’t introduced a problem or a looming concern into your application? How do you determine that you don’t need to do any further tuning or adjusting to ensure that your app that was previously running fine on-premises is stable and performing well in the cloud?

Ultimately, you can’t declare a migration successful until you’ve proven it works as expected in the new environment.

AWS Lambda v Amazon ECS

Published: Diginomica, Jun 29, 2017 [view article]

AWS Lambda v Amazon ECS on Docker containers. Which of these pay-as-you-go compute services is for you? New Relic’s Lee Atchison weighs them up.

(This article suggested the industry need for a service similar to Fargate, months before it was announced by AWS)

Don’t Write Off the AWS S3 Outage as a Fat-Finger Folly

Published: The New Stack, Mar 7, 2017 [view article]

Major bug? Human error? Neither. The AWS S3 outage last week was more like a minor bug in an otherwise solid availability plan executed by AWS.

Minimum viable product considered harmful without architecture

Published: Diginomica, Feb 22, 2017 [view article]

Agile says build a minimum viable product (MVP) and continuously improve it with DevOps. Just don’t neglect architecture.

How to tell SaaS look-alikes from the real thing

Published: Diginomica, Jan 10, 2017 [view article]

Isn’t single-tenant SaaS just managed hosting? New Relic’s Lee Atchison delves into the world of SaaS look-alikes to find the real thing.

Goldilocks, serverless and DevOps: Five predictions for IT in 2017

Published: IT Pro Portal, Dec 9, 2016 [view article]
Reprinted: Multiple locations, Dec 9, 2016

Technological innovation drives every business, industry and sector - mostly positively, but not always. 2016 was no exception – from the first long-haul driverless cargo delivery to automated retail locations to the stiffening competition among ‘smart assistants’ we’re seeing big technological leaps at a breakneck pace.

Building Right-Sized Application Services: The Goldilocks Calculation

Published: New Relic Blog, Dec 7, 2016 [view article]

How to make services just the right size.

Visibility into the Migration From Static to Dynamic Infrastructure [Video]

Published: New Relic Blog, Sep 14, 2016 [view article]

Short video about mastering the transition from Static to Dynamic Infrastructure.

Why I Wrote the Book on ‘Architecting for Scale’

Published: New Relic Blog, Jul 13, 2016 [view article]

Article about the concepts I talk about in my book, and why I consider them important.

Customer Successes Take Center Stage at FutureStack London

Published: New Relic Blog, Jul 7, 2016 [view article]

Blog article talking about our FutureStack16 event “across the pond”.

New Relic’s Big Day at Fenway Park

Published: New Relic Blog, Jun 6, 2016 [view article]

Blog article talking about the New Relic tech event at Fenway Park in Boston.

What Are Microservices and Why Should You Use Them? (Part 2)

Published: Programmable Web, May 5, 2016 [view article]

This is the second part of a two part series on microservice architectures, how they are used in application development and the role that APIs play within them.

What Are Microservices and Why Should You Use Them? (Part 1)

Published: Programmable Web, May 5, 2016 [view article]

This is the first part of a two part series on microservice architectures, how they are used in application development and the role that APIs play within them. The second part looks at what distinguishes a typical Web API that you might add to your enterprise from a microservice (with an API) and when the two approaches make sense.

Change and the Cloud

Published: CIO Review, Apr 1, 2016 [view article]

We know the cloud is changing the way we think about computing.  The cloud is changing the way we run our applications. The cloud is even changing the way we pay for our applications. The cloud is changing everything.   

Microservice Architectures: What They Are and Why You Should Use Them

Published: New Relic Blog, Feb 8, 2016 [view article]

Dealing with monolithic applications often caused development organizations to get stuck in the muck, resulting in slower, less-reliable applications and longer and longer development schedules. The companies who create those applications, as a result, end up losing customers and money.

The muck is not inevitable. You can rebuild and re-architect your applications to scale with your company’s needs, not against it. Using a microservice-based application architecture is an increasingly popular technique for building applications that can scale without miring your organization in the monolithic muck.