You've been thinking of Serverless all wrong!

While working for Dashbird.io I’ve had to pleasure to come in contact with a number of serverless early adopters that included both small companies working on apps or just testing ideas as well as fortune 500 companies with an already established user base. What I’ve found is that a lot the people I speak to think of serverless as a shortcut to developing software but that’s just not the case.

And yes, you’ll hear people tell you things about serverless like You don’t have to run your own server. Great! - You don’t need to worry about maintenance and security is easier to handle. - Even better! - It’s also a cheaper option? - OMG, where has this been all my life? Every small business could benefit from serverless and will cite the cost as being a key driver towards making the switch but here’s the thing. Serverless was not created for small business and cost is but a small reason behind it’s growing notoriety.

The benefits of serverless come from understanding the technology and knowing where to utilize its many amazing features and if done right this can prove to be a great asset to enterprises especially.

Enterprise companies look for more than just a cut in cost or an easier deployment procedure for their applications. In order for them to make the jump to a new technology, they look at it not just from a business or technical perspective but from a combination of the two. A perspective that shows the agility it provides for their development team, data privacy and security while taking into account the all the cost benefits they might get.

Coca-cola North America mentioned that before they made the switch to serverless they talked to their executives about virtualization, scalability and all the benefits that serverless brings to the table and they couldn’t care less about all of that. What they cared for were these 4 things.

Agility

The ability to quickly implement and test ideas or deploy new features was a big factor for Coca-Cola.

Stability

Their system has to stay up and running regardless of load, changes in infrastructure or any other third party factors.

Security

With so much information about their customers, data privacy and security were very high on the list of important-things-to-keep-in-mind.

Cost effectiveness

As you could imagine, it needs to make financial sense to invest time and money into making the switch to a different platform.

To read more about how Coca-cola is using serverless, there’s check out this case study. The research and development department at Coca-Cola HQ liked serverless so much they actually made it into a rule, that any employee coming forward with a new idea, that new idea has to revolve around serverless or use it over other alternatives.

As a Fortune 100 company, Verizon switched to serverless almost entirely but before making the switch they were looking for a few key features that this new technology would cross of their list. To quote Rajdeep Saha, Cloud Architect @Verizon:

Most large enterprises have a significant number of stakeholders that must be considered when driving the adoption of new tools and processes. In today’s environment, the chief concerns of enterprise include:

  • adhering to security standards that protect data and customers privacy
  • improving the velocity of application development to respond quickly to customer needs
  • and promoting the reusability of code to drive operational efficiencies

This is not to say, small business can’t benefit tremendously from using serverless technology. In fact, small business will see the more obvious benefits like all the cost benefits or security benefits faster than perhaps the big enterprise applications.

Taking a dive in the deepend

Moonmail is a pretty awesome emailing service used by companies like Nespresso, Amazon, Circle and many more. They switched from using a traditional approach to servers, from using RoR on EC2 to serverless and it’s best explained in a post by Carlos Castellanos where he details the journey form EC2 to AWS Lambda.

We realized that just wasn’t possible with the architecture we were using at the time since it relied too heavily on EC2 and Ruby on Rails. So, we decided to embark on a never-ending journey in perfecting the art and science of sending emails.

Conclusion

Serverless has been created to fill a void left by the traditional servers, a void that has been made obvious only after we’ve seen how big of a difference is serverless architecture making in the apps we are using on a regular basis. As more people experiment with the new technology, they are finding it easier to provide scalable solutions while keeping costs more directly tied to usage, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that enterprises have been enthusiastically switching to serverless.

At Dashbird.io we help enterprises get observability into their application providing actionable insights into the application, alerting them in case of failures and keep an eye on costs.

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