My workload is too special for Serverless

A few years back it was “My workload would cost more in the cloud”, which while I’m sure is true for some workloads, it was a small and falling amount. It fell even more when you actually costed in all the admin you were doing for your “cheap” servers.

Now it’s “my workload is cheaper on servers than serverless”. Now, again, this will be true for some workloads, but again, this percentage is falling every month as features increase.

Time for the Horror Story…

With every new technology, we need the horror story to dismiss it.

“bUt wHAT aBOUT tHe COld-StArT PeNalTy, thaT meANS tHiS IS uNusABlE fOr ME”

Serverless Function Refusenik

Yes, cold-starts are clunky, and if you’re on Amazon (at time of writing this), you cannot feasibly start a lambda into a VPC because the startup penalty is too painful. This is apparently on their roadmap for this year.

Microsoft are launching a pricing model that allows you to pay for some pre-warmed functions, which could give you the best combination of easy scaling, if the pricing is acceptable.

Anyway, for a lot of these things, the API-Gateway memory cache, or CDNs in front of your APIs should be offloading a lot of traffic and ensuring that common items are rapidly available

Stop swimming upstream

All the effort in IT infrastructure is heading towards serverless functions, container orchestration, containers without actively running container hosts. The choice of hosted database or database-like storage services we are offered can make it confusing to decide. The answer is almost never I’ll running something myself.

Shunning these modern hosting because you genuinely feel that your service is so special is choosing just to take the hard path for little reason, in nearly all cases. And someone- else will use them, have the advantage of working far more on functional code, and far less on overheads, and could offer a cheap/better product than you.

Yes, I know when you are at the scale of one of the top ten internet giants it can make sense – dropbox moved their storage to their own appliances, but you’re not really Dropbox, are you?

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