A Serverless Q&A with Liongard Cloud Infrastructure Engineer, Barry Tang
Here at Liongard, we’re always looking for new ways to innovate that help us streamline our own processes to empower our partners to more easily standardize, secure, and scale their MSP. With this in mind, we recently launched On-Demand Agents to enable us to provide faster, more reliable Inspections. We’re sure you’ve got some questions about what that means for Liongard and your MSP. So we sat down with Barry Tang, Cloud Infrastructure Engineer here at Liongard for an overview of these new On-Demand Agents, how they work, and what you can expect from switching to a serverless environment.
Hi Barry. Can you tell us a little bit about what On-Demand Agents are and how they work?
Barry: An On-Demand Agent is a new serverless agent managed by Liongard that can run inspection jobs for cloud-based inspections. In this new serverless architecture, we utilize AWS Lambda to operate our On-Demand Agent. AWS Lambda is a serverless compute service that allows us to operate virtual functions without the need to provision or manage any servers. By changing to this setup, Liongard can offer a more stable and reliable service while reducing our infrastructure costs and putting those resources toward development.
Why did Liongard make the switch to serverless agents?
Barry: There are three main benefits for us and our partners in making the switch: stability, scalability and resources.
AWS Lambda runs our serverless agents on fault-tolerant infrastructure that spreads across multiple availability zones in a region, significantly improving the stability and high availability of our service.
In the past, we would monitor our customer usage and manually scale our server to meet the performance required. With this new architecture, AWS lambda will automatically scale our application by running code in response to each event. This way, even if usage increase dramatically in a short period of time, we can still provide consistent, reliable performance at any scale.
With serverless agents, we no longer need to run a server continuously to host our application. Each of the virtual functions are run on-demand, whenever an inspection is needed. This helps free up Liongard’s resources to focus on different parts of the architecture and on developing new features and services that better serve our partners.
What impact and benefits will that have for Liongard’s service capabilities?
Barry: We’ve reduced the potential wait times for an Inspector to run and return data. In our previous server-hosted setup, if there were multiple inspectors set to run simultaneously, it would create a queue to be process Inspections one-by-one. But with On Demand Agents, we have continuous scaling, which means we can run all Inspections at the same time, with the benefit of consistent performance at any scale.
One of our Product Managers has a good analogy:
Imagine a grocery store in which only one lane (agent queue) is open for all the customers for checkout (inspections to run). This will lead to some wait times. Now, with On-Demand Agents, we have many checkout lanes (agent queues) with no wait times for customers to checkout or, in this case, run Inspections.
Basically, we’re scaling our infrastructure to support MSPs of all sizes, ensuring data is always in Liongard when they need it, and helping our partners get from data to actionable insights, faster.
Liongard is always innovating and improving our platform to better serve the needs of our partners. Want to see our innovation in action? Schedule a demo for a tour of our platform.
Barry Tang, Cloud Infrastructure Engineer, has been with Liongard since 2020. Prior to his time at Liongard, he spent several years at Cisco as a Data Migration Engineer and Customer Support Engineer, as well as co-founding companies like Objectified Apps and FunRewards. Tang received his BS in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and has several AWS certifications, including AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional and AWS Certified Security Specialist.