Serverless Is Generation Rent for Computing

When I moved house I rented a van to move my possessions. I own a car but it would not have been practical to own a removal van. I don’t need a van all the time (technically I don’t need a car all the time, but do use it enough to make owning it worthwhile).

This is the model that makes sense for Serverless. For most users it would be cheaper to just rent the service when it is needed. A key point of Serverless is that you pay when you need it and don’t pay when you don’t. This can make the staging and development environment significantly cheaper without extra effort. I have worked on cloud hosted systems that were switched off overnight (and at weekends). This gave a cost saving, but if the start process failed we could be half a day without a working test environment.

Now there are cases where if you need to use a service all the time then other options become viable. You can run a server for $1 per day on Heroku.

Would Rent Infrastructure be a better name than Serverless? This could avoid the “you still have servers” debate.

Recently I have found how quickly you can stand up useful services. My team was asked to set up an sftp server. Using AWS and S3 we now have a working system 2 days after first being asked for it.

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