Today, more and more of our data management systems are moving to the cloud. The cloud offers access from anywhere in the world, making it invaluable in the remote working world of the past two years. In the mindset of the cloud revolution, more and more businesses are making the switch to serverless computing. If you are dealing with that decision, many helpful services, such as Akka Serverless from Lightbend (https://www.lightbend.com/), are ready to help your business with the transition. This system is growing in popularity due to its cost-effectiveness and labor efficiency.
Even with such excellent services available, choosing to go serverless takes a lot of forethought and planning. To help you in your decision, here are seven things you should consider before severing your servers.
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Although a serverless approach is a new and exciting way to manage your company’s information, that does not mean it is an expensive technology to adopt. There are many instances in which serverless options are more cost-effective than traditional servers.
The reason for this cost-saving benefit is many serverless services use a pay-as-you-go pricing model. In other words, you’ll only need to pay for a serverless service while you are using it. The provider only charges you while your code is running, and you only pay for the space you use.
The cost to execute each server request is also typically lower for a serverless system. Lower price combined with only paying for the server when using it makes going serverless a frugal decision in most cases. You can also save on your overhead, as you won’t be managing the backend yourself.
One of the best benefits of going serverless is scalability. As your system experiences more inquiries, the cloud-based data management scales automatically to meet the demand. While this scalability is not infinite, it is large enough to meet the needs of most businesses, meaning you’ll never lose customers to downtime because of your server capacity.
However, what you should know is that scalability has its limits in a serverless system. For example, if you are a large organization dealing with high volumes of users and offering services like streaming, you may run into some problems with a serverless system. But, for most companies of moderate size, this scalability is not an issue.
Task Types and Performance
As is the case with any technology, there are some tasks better suited to serverless than others. Most often, it is best to use a serverless system for simple tasks.
Consider what information you send and receive from your current server. A serverless approach will work well if your primary use is to perform simple tasks like sending messages to team members and clients. Since these tasks take relatively little time, a serverless system can handle them with no problem.
The real challenge arises when you want to do something time-consuming, such as moving large files. If your daily storage needs consist of large files and data-dense transfers, serverless may not be the approach for you. However, serverless technology will improve in the future to better accommodate those kinds of activities.
Before you leap a serverless solution, take time to think about cyber security. Cyber attacks are one of the biggest threats to businesses today. Unfortunately, going serverless can make you more vulnerable to these attacks.
With a serverless system, all your information travels to the cloud, meaning you won’t have the benefit of protections such as firewalls. Before you decide to go serverless, prime your developers to keep cyber security in mind as they write and alter their code.
It is also crucial for you to select a serverless provider that has a strong reputation for security. Since these companies are responsible for keeping your information safe, the best ones will have transparent safety measures in place to keep your data secure. Be sure to consult any potential providers about cyber security measures before you settle on the serverless company for you.
While it may seem that choosing serverless means sending all your data and coding concerns elsewhere, that is not the case. Instead, you’ll need to maintain a digital space in which your developers can collaborate. These local environments will allow your development team to share ideas and work out any potential problems with their code.
Many businesses neglect how crucial local environments are to your development team’s success when they go serverless. Without a dedicated testing space, you’re sure to run into operational errors once your code has entered into your serverless system for use.
By maintaining a local environment, your developers will have a much easier time creating and testing their code before it comes into use. In the end, your software will run much more smoothly, making for a better experience for your employees and customers.
One challenge you may face when going serverless is errors and bugs in your system. Errors are a problem for microservices as well. With a cloud-based server, it is difficult to trace and log errors when they occur. So, if some part of the server malfunctions, it will take longer to resolve the cause of that problem.
To combat this stopgap, you’ll need to do more work upfront. The work involves logging and testing your code before you deploy it into the serverless system. Set up notifications in advance to help you recognize and circumnavigate these problems once they do occur.
Less Overall Control
The last consideration is you will end up with less control over the system. In essence, when you choose serverless, you are gaining a lot of efficiencies. However, in exchange for an efficient system, you’re also trusting a separate group to run your cloud-based server.
The lack of control means if errors occur, you won’t have many actionable responses you can take. In exchange for not paying the overhead of managing a traditional server backend, you also hand over the server management reins to your vendor.
Going serverless is an increasingly popular and beneficial option for many small and mid-sized businesses. But just because serverless is popular does not mean that it is suitable for everyone. If you’ve gone through each of the considerations on this list, and serverless still sounds perfect for your company, don’t hesitate to take the plunge and return to your front-end development.