Serverless is green: healthy as green tea, easy as cornflakes!

Technological advancements shouldn’t always be viewed in light of profit and cost. At the rate the world is shifting from deep-fried chicken nuggets to the very boring green salad, the conversations are all shifting towards a greener world which also has a great deal of promotional value.

During a time where even the United Nations has dedicated it’s 7th and 9th sustainable development goal on ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy and building resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation respectively, it has become an essential aspect in every form of business. However, organizations tend to take the green path mostly for cost benefits but boast as a contributor for a better tomorrow; unless a real echo-friendly freak forms a company and make it a policy to go green.

One might not really assume but adopting serverless also makes you eco-friendly even in an extreme computing environment. Amazon Web Services (AWS), the leading cloud platform & API services provider defines serverless as “the native architecture of the cloud that enables you to shift more of your operational responsibilities to AWS, increasing your agility and innovation.” Similarly, all cloud service providers such as Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Microsoft Azure provides the same services with different wording to define their services. But how serverless takes you on a greener ride is also due to the agility and innovation that comes in to play.

Is serverless really GREEN?

A typical server operates around 15% of its computing capacity while consuming a lot of power. On the other hand, in an instance where applications are run using physical hardware, you still have to run the servers and utilize resources regardless of whether an application is processing or not. Vice President of Marketing and Sales at Verne Global, Lisa Rhodes has been quoted in 2015, saying that “according to the Environmental Protection Agency, data centers now account for 1.5% of all electricity consumption in the U.S. and by 2020, carbon emissions will have quadrupled to 680 million tons per year, which will account for more than the aviation industry”.

Serverless computing becomes a solution to this matter by running on-demand. Therefore the following benefits can be highlighted:

Finer Infrastructure

Going serverless results in better infrastructure, as cloud computing data centers use less electricity to support back-up power and cooling of data centers due to fine hardware setup. These data centers are built at scale and built for efficient energy use to achieve optimal utilization and temperature.

Favorable Utilization Rate

Since servers are not used all the time, when physical hardware sits idle it results in poor efficiency which will have a negative impact on the environment from an energy consumption perspective. The solution lies within a serverless cloud as it consolidates machines use by operating servers at a higher utilization rate than the traditional data centers. Furthermore, it increases the refresh speed and ultimately reduces electricity use by removing hardware maintenance and other worries such as power supply disturbances, cooling etc.

Reducing Climate Impact

The increase of cloud usage and it’s improvements in maintaining energy efficiency have resulted in favor of the climate impact of traditional data centers due to lesser carbon emission

Why late to adopt serverless?

However, the O’Reilly serverless survey 2019 states that 60% of the organizations are yet to adopt serverless despite the benefits and need for an environmentally friendly business world. They have further identified reasons from biggest to the least challenging concerns for serverless adaptation as; educating current staff, Integration testing/ debugging issues, observability, disconnect between development and production, lack of useful tools etc.

Probably serverless IDE similar to Sigma can be the ideal serverless tool for 2020, providing a solution to the above concerns going beyond the visual presentation benefits of ordinary IDE. Sigma is a serverless application developer tool; a cloud IDE developed by SLAppForge which helps you rapidly build, test and deploy serverless applications. All it needs is staff with knowledge in coding and Sigma will do the rest in adopting serverless on behalf of them with its unique drag-n-drop service entities and function that triggers right into a code, and take care of the configuration and integration burden for the developer. Intelligent code completion powered by Monaco Editor, one-click deployment, access to in-built samples and finally saving the code in the cloud is a few of the key reasons that make serverless adaptation easy with Sigma IDE. Furthermore, Sigma answers the debugging concerns by invoking test executions in “Debug Mode”, so the developer can fine-tune and find any issues in the code with minimum waste of time and effort. Finally, Sigma IDE runs completely inside the browser, using backend services only for user authentication and analytics, and requires no dedicated server/VM/container to be running in the background.

It is important to know that customers are changing with the trends that make a difference. Giving reasons like difficulties in the cloud migration process will no longer be valid when going green becomes a mandatory tick-off in selecting vendors to provide services. Not all entities are innovators but to end up as a laggard is no choice in the game of business. Hence, it’s better late than never!