back to article Serverless neither magically faster nor cheaper, dev laments

Adopting the latest hip technology – like "going serverless" – does not always work out as well as we'd hope. Take AWS customer Einar Egilsson, who decided to migrate his .NET Core web API application from a classic setup using Linux VMs and Elastic Beanstalk (which scales resources up and down as required) to serverless with …

  1. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Its always a good idea to outsource

    if you actually like paying more in legal fees trying to get the contracting company to do what the in-house IT dept achieved for half the price.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Its always a good idea to outsource

      From bitter experience, it also depends upon if the management that decided upon outsourcing has two braincells between them. The outsourcer promises the earth with bells and whistles, then when the IT bods are finally allowed in to ask the real questions the whole, very, very expensive house of cards, suddenly collapses.

      So IT spend a year moving everything out to the oursourcer and then the company spends 2 years fighting the contracts with each other's lawyers and then 2 years moving everything back in house, of course having to hire twice as many IT bods 'cos all the people who originally knew how it all worked smelled the bullshit from a mile off and resigned before it all started.

      Ultimately your company, assuming it survives, will end up paying 8 times what it would have cost to simply keep it in house in the first bloody place!

      1. Valerion

        Re: Its always a good idea to outsource

        A project I'd worked on for a long time was suddenly turned over to outsourcers, as they wanted to scale it out to a load of other regions. The work involved here was basically writing and running a shit-load of SQL scripts to generate all the required data for these new regions.

        I had this down a fine art having done it several times already and, frankly, could have done the lot in a week. But nobody even bothered to ask me about it, and it got outsourced and I got moved onto other things. I spent over a week getting them involved, and because nobody quite trusted them they had to do every small SQL change (all the inserts/merges etc) in a pull request for me to review.

        It was tediously slow as you'd expect. The funny thing was when after a few weeks the outsourced devs (who were actually pretty smart) realised this was a huge waste of their time and talent and all quit, leaving us with nobody at all to do the work. By this time I was on other projects and couldn't be spared, so the big roll-out just basically stopped. I left shortly after, too.

  2. LosD

    Re: And people trust goo ...

    It really depends. If you don't have that much traffic (e.g. a specialized solution), API Gateway is often cheaper than an always-on Load Balancer.

  3. fidodogbreath Silver badge

    Breaking (bad) news!

    Adopting the latest hip technology – like "going serverless" – does not always work out as well as we'd hope.

    Hasn't this been true since the dawn of time?

  4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Elastic Beanstalk? For a brief moment I thought this was another example of el Reg's inventive vocabulary*, but no. What have we come to?

    * OK, piss taking.

  5. Persona Silver badge

    Load balancers are an AWS cash cow.

  6. John 104


    There is no such thing as serverless. You are just using someone else's hardware. God I hate that term.

    And duh, of course it costs. A few grand is enough to buy a very nice 1U server that will last you YEARS.

    This is right up there with people suddenly realizing that Amazon isn't their best friend and are actually a company trying to make money.

    1. James Cooke

      Re: Duh

      And who maintains that server for you? If you get cheaper hardware but then end up employing a sysadmin to manage it you've almost certainly lost. Not to mention the level of service. You couple of grand is not going to provide a fault tolerant service across a couple of data centres.

      Serverless is not magic and it is not necessarily cheaper but it is not as if there are no benefits.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Duh

      Until manglement decide that once they've spent that money, they never need spend it again. Which is fun and games until you have servers that are so out of warranty that the company that built them got bought, subsumed, shuttered the brand and now the new owners have changed names again.... And then the server dies. Hard...and hasn't been DR'd within the last decade. A purely hypothetical situation*, obviously....

      Fun times.

      * hypothetical because it was a supplier not our management.

      Anon to save the guilty.

    3. RLWatkins

      Re: Duh

      It's all serverless.

      Remember the invention of the client / server model of distributed computing?

      Up to then services, i.e. non-application-specific stuff like file storage, printing, database and telephony, all ran on the same computer as application software. The term "server" was coined to describe a separate computer which ran no application code, but only services.

      So if your application is running on the computer, it is, by definition, not a server.

      Oh, also, it's still turtles all the way down.

  7. Androgynous Cow Herd

    Amazon is needlessly expensive...

    In other news, bears tend to defecate in woodland areas

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In my shop the PHB's believe

    that cloud is automatically faster and cheaper and infinitely reliable just because its cloud... no word of reality or sense has changed this view so far...

    1. Korev Silver badge

      Re: In my shop the PHB's believe

      Mine too...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In my shop the PHB's believe

      This should not be surprising to anyone paying attention, as the cloud vendors' sales and marketing people implicitly, if not outright explicitly, say their cloud (not "the" cloud, mind) is a panacea.

      Utter bollocks, of course. Whether your bits are bouncing around in your own metal on-site or in someone else's virtually, you need bright and skilled folks looking after it. That costs.

      And while Bezos' lot are indeed a clever bunch, Bezos' main goal is to separate you from your money, that's all.

      So use the cloud where it suits, but you'd do well to remember your needs and priorities are different from theirs.

  9. Bluepill

    Project that wasn’t thought through properly ends up costing more than expected. I’m shocked.

  10. Crazy Operations Guy

    Nothing is ever actually cheaper in IT

    In my experience, nothing that has been posed as being cheaper ever has actually been cheaper. If you aren't paying now, you're certain to be paying in the future. Even if you ignore the cost of migration, you still have costs in the form of things like SalesForce's outage last week where you end up losing a lot of revenue while SF finally got around to your data.

    The first thing I tell clients is that if the new technology is going to solve a problem you have and can't solve for one reason or another, go for it. If you think it will be cheaper, then they are better off not wasting their money and for them to carry on as usual and their money is better spent making small changes to what they have already (Like providing better training, get better tools, upgrade hardware, etc).

  11. fredesmite

    Remember - Cloud computing is

    Nothing more that posting your crap on the same computers millions of other people are using and expecting the equipment owners to care more about it than you do

  12. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  13. ruchikatanwar

    As far as i know things are not actually cheaper they just appear to be cheap. For now all the developer will definetly be able to share that the serverless is to stay and will be missing out if one is not going to start getting it on this action as it is making the things easier.

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