Beginner’s Guide to Serverless Computing Part 2
2. How Much Time You Can Dedicate to Maintenance?
One of the primary advantages to going serverless is the amount of time you can save. For example, you do not have to build the infrastructure on which your website or application will run. You can focus exclusively on the programming that is specific to your project.
However, an even more appealing time-saver is the fact that you do not have to worry about server maintenance. Your cloud services provider handles all of that for you, saving you time not only during development, but over the course of your site or application’s lifetime.
With that said, if you are already maintaining a server for another project, taking on a little additional maintenance may not be much of a problem for you. When you consider the fact that it can be extremely difficult to move a project from a traditional architecture to a serverless one, sticking with what you know is not necessarily a bad idea.
3. Determining Your Budget and Comparing Costs
The serverless pay-as-you-go financing structure certainly has its’ appeal. When compared with the traditional method of paying for server space upfront, it seems like the wisest option. After all, you will never pay for space you have not used like you might when you are pre-paying.
However, that does not mean serverless computing is always a low-cost proposition. As mentioned earlier, functions with long run times could greatly increase your costs. A large website or a complex application is still going to run up a pretty high bill.
Additionally, situations where a huge number of requests are made all at once could end up costing you more than you might anticipate. This could include a simple traffic spike, or a less pleasant event such as a Denial of Service (DoS) attack. Either way, you are the one who will pay for all those requests.
In short, do not assume that serverless architecture will be less expensive that the more traditional alternative of managing your own server and pre-paying for storage. Consider your traffic levels and the complexity of your project, then compare the potential costs before committing to one or the other.
4. How Important is Scalability to Your Project?
Handling the growth of a website or application is an ongoing and not always simple task. If you do not account for potential growth, your project may crash and burn. However, overestimating could result in you paying for costly server space that you do not need.
Serverless computing takes the question of scalability off your plate and makes it your provider’s responsibility. A serverless site or application is highly scalable and adapts instantly to your users’ needs. You will no longer have to worry about overloading your server, or other negative side effects due to huge traffic spikes.
That said, there are plenty of ways to make your project scalable, especially when you are working with WordPress. If there are more reasons to choose a traditional setup, scalability probably should not be the sole factor that tips the scale towards going serverless.
5. Account for a Lack of Control Over Your Server:
One of the biggest concerns when it comes to serverless computing is the lack of control you will have over your server. While it is convenient that your cloud services provider handles so many tedious details for you, it also restricts your access to some of your project’s features.
With no access to the server, you are entirely dependent upon a third party for your website or application to work properly. You will not be able to see your back-end processes, which makes debugging and troubleshooting much more difficult than with a traditional project.
Additionally, you will have no way to vet your vendor’s security upfront. If you handle user data or other sensitive information, this could become risky. You will have no control over whether your project shares server space with other projects, which could result in data exposure. These risks can be mitigated of course, but they are still worth considering.
Serverless computing is not the most straightforward concept. While you will hear a lot about its many benefits, there are also key drawbacks to consider. In other words, deciding if serverless technology is right for your project is no small task.
To help you get started, here are the factors you will want to think about when deciding if you should go serverless:
- Consider the size of your project and its potential latency.
- Decide how much time you can dedicate to maintenance.
- Determine your budget by and compare costs.
- Figure out how important scalability is to your project.
- Account for a lack of control over your server.
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