DevOps helps companies eliminate silos between the development and operations teams and accelerate the delivery process. However, there’s an ever-growing concern about the escalating costs. A survey by KMS Technology revealed that 85% of DevOps transitions cost anywhere between $100,000 and $500,000. Almost one-third of that is spent on tools and technologies.
There’s not just one reason to pinpoint. DevOps costs could escalate when:
- It’s used with legacy applications not designed for automation.
- Employees are not trained in DevOps techniques.
- Implementing the right tools and technologies and managing the traditional IT infrastructure complexities become difficult.
- There’s no proper guidance available for DevOps implementation.
The good news is that there’s a way to reduce DevOps costs.
Serverless Architecture – The Answer to Reducing DevOps Costs
Serverless architecture helps developers build and run applications and services without managing the underlying infrastructure. The cloud providers allocate the machine resources on demand and take care of the servers on behalf of the developers. Serverless architecture is considered the right fit for DevOps because it allows the developers to focus on developing the applications instead of worrying about the infrastructure.
Moreover, serverless architecture works on the pay-as-you-go model, so the DevOps team pays when they execute the code or test it in the serverless systems. They don’t have to pay for idle resources. They also don’t have to spend on upgrading the existing servers. The serverless architecture eliminates the need for backend infrastructure engineers to manage the backend infrastructure.
5 Steps to Implement Serverless Architecture and Reduce DevOps Costs
Now that we know that serverless architecture can reduce DevOps costs, here are five steps that the DevOps team can follow to implement it.
- Solve the DevOps Challenges
Before switching to serverless architecture, identify and solve any underlying DevOps challenges. These challenges include the inability to change the culture within the organization, reach a consensus on the metric system, and choose between multiple DevOps tools. Resolving these challenges will help the DevOps team to reduce the disruptions that could likely happen during the transition and enable them to focus on developing applications.
- Understand the Different Serverless Services
The DevOps team must familiarize themselves with the different serverless services, such as AWS Lambda, Google Cloud Functions, and Azure Functions, to help them run codes on serverless architecture. Each of them serves a different purpose. AWS Lambda, for instance, helps with data processing, machine learning, and application backends. Azure helps with end-to-end development, building, testing, and deploying the code. Google Cloud Functions is a Function-as-a-service (FaaS) offering that works well for hybrid deployments.
The DevOps team can choose the serverless services depending on the business and technical requirements, budget, and other factors such as the team’s capabilities and vendor lock-in.
- Plan for Serverless Architecture
This is the stage where the DevOps team plans the transition to a serverless architecture. The team assesses whether serverless architecture is the apt option for building or re-architecting the application. The team might consider doing a proof of concept (POC) to decide whether serverless architecture can solve the cost and other DevOps challenges.
The team could also conduct architectural design sessions to know if the application can work well in the new serverless architecture and meet the company’s business needs. The team must also train themselves on specific tools and check other case studies from different companies to find out if using serverless in DevOps workflow can reduce costs.
- Configure Pipelines and Deploy Serverless Code
Once that’s determined, prepare the development environment and set up the workflows. Since it is an event-driven architecture, identify the app triggers, bindings, and configuration requirements for every function. Configure the DevOps pipeline, monitor all the aspects of the application, troubleshoot the application issues, and deploy the application to production.
- Apply DevOps Best Practices
The DevOps process in a serverless environment is different from a monolithic environment. Hence, the DevOps team must understand and adapt the DevOps best practices for the serverless environment. It will reduce production costs and facilitate fast and easy software deployment. Some of these DevOps best practices include:
- Defining the DevOps process in such a way that it can be easily scaled in a serverless environment
- Documenting in detail how DevOps worked in the serverless architecture and creating templates, checklists, and playbooks as a ready reckoner for developers who would be building applications in the serverless environment in future
- Using Infrastructure as Code (IaC) to auto-scale groups, manage servers, and self-record serverless service requirements to automate future deployments
How to Plan the Serverless Architecture Implementation?
Serverless architecture has been a great help for the DevOps team as they can automate tasks and focus on developing applications. However, solving the DevOps challenges, configuring pipelines, or choosing a suitable serverless service requires in-depth knowledge of DevOps and Agile methodologies. A technology partner can help the DevOps team implement these steps and reduce costs.
The article has been written by Anurag Sinha, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Wissen Technology (Wissen.com).
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