Serverless Mindset

While most of the world is now under some sort of stay-at-home ordinance, businesses are facing challenges on many fronts. The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted so many businesses; retail stores are closed, the travel industry is on a hard stop, the number of requests for ride-sharing companies has gone down 

This brings the challenge for most #CFOs to keep the business cost at a minimum, and the challenge for most #CIOs to support application infrastructure to keep the business going. The purpose of this blog post is to share ideas for managing your applications infrastructure by being agile (responding to market need) in a cost-effective manner.

How Can We Build the Right Application Infrastructure With an Agile Mindset and Cost-Effectiveness?

 

The Big Challenge:

Guesstimating the right size for your application infrastructure is a big challenge. There are multiple deciding variables such as: 

  • ‘What is the minimum size to keep the business going?’, ‘What might the max peak be?’ These questions are very important to calculate the size of the Application Infrastructure and Server Sizes.  
  • What if my server capacity is less than what is needed? That will result in a bad customer experience and cause the business to suffer.  
  • What if I over-planned and exceed what is required? That will result in paying for what the business doesn’t need. 

The following chart shows a Retail store that has a high peak during holiday seasons. However, building a high number of servers to deploy the eCommerce web site results in both the above-mentioned problems. 

Auto Scaling VMs Infrastructure

Most Cloud Infrastructure e.g. Microsoft Azure, AWS, Google Compute, etc. provide an option to Auto Scale the Number of Servers (VMs). Businesses can define demand-based or a time-based rule that allows them to add and remove servers to run the applications.  

How Agile Is the Auto Scaling VMs Approach?

Unfortunately, most businesses still can’t deliver software successfully, much less do so at the pace needed to stay competitive. For those who wish to keep up, let alone lead, software delivery, deployment & managing operation must be radically simplified. Auto Scaling VMs is a quick solution but that requires building server images, keeping the continuous deployment pipeline up to date. Auto Scaling VMs also requires people, resources, and time to manage infrastructure. 

Serverless Mindset Is the Only True Answer

A serverless architecture is the most efficient way to build and run applications and/or services without having to manage infrastructure. Applications still run on servers without worrying about server management.  

Serverless comes with the following benefits: 

  • No server management 
  • Flexible scaling 
  • Automated high availability 
  • No idle capacity cost: 
    • Lower overall cost: Utilization to cost ratio, savings on operational cost 
  • Enhanced agility: 
    • Reduced time to market: minimal time to set up serverless service in comparison to building a server. 
    • Parallelization by not worrying about over provisioning for the high availability and fault tolerance 
    • Customers will choose your services over other competitors based on the differentiated business values and features offered. Not because you have an ingenious way of managing operating system patches. So, let the engineers focus on adding the business values to the products instead of focusing on infrastructure concerns. 
    • Easy to provision more environments. Spin up a feature environment to give demos and collect feedback, instead of deploying to break the dev environment for everyone else. 

How Can Cyber Group Help?

While the answers to these questions will be different by company, we wanted to flag awareness of them, start a conversation, and offer help in whatever way makes sense for your situation.  If your business is going through similar problems and would like to discuss planning and resource strategies, adding skills capacity or would just like a sounding board, please connect with us.    

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Written by Rocky Garg, Principal

As an experienced consultant, Rocky Garg brings 20 years of experience in helping customers with Application Architecture, Digital & eCommerce Transformation, Mobile Strategy, Cloud Strategy, Application Support and DevOps. He has successfully managed and delivered multi-year & multi-million-dollar technology projects. Apart from his love for technology, he enjoys College and Pro basketball & football.

Reach out to Rocky to explore these ideas further!