The Upsides and Downsides of Going Serverless: Is it Right for Your Customers?

January 13, 2023

This is the second in my blog series: “Business Success Insights for Telarus Cloud Partners.” Each article will focus on an industry topic meant to provide value you can pass along to your customers as they navigate the new era of digital transformation. In my first blog, I shared the benefits of partnering with MSPs to address tech talent shortages in today’s unpredictable economic environment. In this blog, I turn to another growing trend that allows businesses to be efficient and scalable while keeping costs down: Serverless computing. Enjoy! 

By Koby Phillips – VP of Cloud Practice, Telarus 

Happy New Year, friends! As many of you know, one of my responsibilities is to keep an eye on the tech that advances and transforms the way we live and work. One area that has particularly caught my attention lately is the concept of “serverless” computing. This will continue to be a trending topic in the cloud space.

To understand where we are today, let’s start with a quick refresher on what servers are and how they work. Essentially, a server is a physical computer that stores and manages data and resources, allowing multiple users to access them over a network. When you visit a website, for example, your computer sends a request to the server hosting that website, which then sends back the information needed to display the page on your screen. 

In contrast, serverless computing builds and runs applications and services without needing dedicated servers. Instead of using physical servers or virtual machines to host and run your code, you can simply upload your code to a Cloud Service Provider (CSP) and have them execute it in response to specific events or triggers. It is basically infrastructure as code.

Advantages of Going Serverless: Cost and Efficiency 

Serverless has several benefits, making it an attractive option for developers and businesses. First, consider the potential cost-effectiveness. With traditional servers, customers must pay for the hardware, maintenance, and electricity costs upfront, regardless of whether their application is being used. With serverless computing, customers only pay for the resources they use and the number of times their code is executed, making it easier to scale up or down as needed.

Another benefit of serverless computing is increased flexibility. Traditional servers require a dedicated team member to manage underlying infrastructure on site, which can be time-consuming and requires a lot of technical expertise. With serverless computing, developers can focus on writing code and leave the infrastructure management to the CSP. This allows businesses to iterate and deploy new features faster and take advantage of the provider’s global infrastructure to reach users worldwide. 

But perhaps the most significant advantage of serverless computing is its ability to handle sudden spikes in traffic or workload. Let’s say your customer has built an application on their traditional server that quickly becomes popular. They may have to scale up their hardware to handle the increased demand. This can take time and may also be expensive. With serverless computing, the cloud provider can automatically scale up and down based on demand. This can help avoid downtime and ensure the application is always available to users. 

Case study 

Telarus partner
Effectual worked with a Federal Government customer to provide a mission-critical solution that simplified its Land Satellite sensor process software of the Earth’s land surface.  The results? 80% cost reduction and more access to imagery, faster.  

Disadvantages: Potential Impact on Applications Development

While serverless has significant benefits for digital transformation, it may not be the perfect solution for all companies. One potential drawback is that it can be more complex to build and maintain applications using a CSP. Developers must design code to work in a distributed environment and may run into issues like cold starts (when a new instance of code is spun up and takes longer to execute). Additionally, CSPs may require additional services or integrations to make the application work seamlessly with their platform. This is another area for which the customer might lack the internal resources; even though the desire is to incorporate this as part of their environment, and that is the biggest opportunity, it is to their benefit to work with the suppliers that can provide these services and solutions.

Despite these challenges, serverless computing is an exciting development that has the potential to revolutionize the way we build and deploy applications. As the technology continues to mature and more tools and best practices become available, I think we’ll see more and more businesses and developers adopt this approach and take advantage of its benefits. 

Learn More: To discuss specific use cases that could aid in your conversations with customers considering making the move to serverless, feel free to contact me at