Cloud Migration: The Serverless Distinction

by Todd J. Fisher, Wednesday, February 1, 2023

In our last post, “The Move to the Cloud: Needs Are Changing,” we included an excerpt from a 2021 Gartner press release to draw attention to an important distinction between a cloud-native computing environment offered by cloud service providers (CSPs) and internet connected data centers configured with dedicated server, networking, and storage technologies.  This distinction is based on the concept of serverless computing. And with serverless computing comes the benefits most organizations wish to realize by migrating to the cloud. So, what is serverless computing?

According to IBM:

Serverless is a cloud computing application development and execution model that enables developers to build and run application code without provisioning or managing servers or backend infrastructure.


In essence, CSPs hide the complexities associated with allocating and optimizing computing resources by providing a serverless platform, such as Amazon’s AWS Lambda, upon which developers can build and integrate applications while simultaneously benefiting from the dynamic allocation of computing resources provided by platforms like AWS Lambda

The benefits of CSP serverless platforms (provided they are used properly) are many, chief among them is the dynamic allocation of resources.  We can think of this as compute capacity plasticity. To the application running in a serverless world, the CSP’s distributed network of computing resources (which are massive and global) automatically responds to inbound “digital stimulus” without the need to pre-dedicate resources.  The CSPs serverless platform (AWS Lambda, for example) receives and processes application generated “digital stimulus” and dynamically allocates and deallocates compute resources to meet each cloud-native application’s specific infrastructure needs without waste or fear of insufficient resources. 

Making the transition to the Cloud requires expertise

When migrated or newly built applications are optimized for the CSP’s serverless platform, benefits include superior performance at a lower cost. Think of it as on demand, advanced compute resources tailored to each application’s needs.  If, however, applications are migrated or newly built without the requisite knowledge and experience, the results are costly - literally.  Our Rapid Assessment and Refactoring Services have helped clients reduce cloud transaction costs related to recent migration and new development initiatives by as much as 90% per month.  When transaction costs can run in the tens of thousands of dollars per month (or more), work that results in even a fraction of such cost savings adds up very quickly.

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