Context (read use case) is always the king when it comes to statements like this. Einar Egilsson of wanted to see if hosting their API using serverless framework made sense & gave it a go. Turns out that for some workloads serverless frameworks can get a lot more expensive than the old & traditional options.

He set up two instances to route requests for one of their games - one on the new serverless setup and another one on their old Beanstalk setup - to compare performance. Einar ran 100 requests (one database call per request) for both the setups and found the serverless setup to be 15% slower.

He was paying about $164.21 per month with the Beanstalk setup.The new serverless setup costed much more than what he expected. Their API accepts around 10 million requests a day which translated to about $35 per day, just for API Gateway. Add the Lambda cost of about $10 a day and he was at a cost of $45 per day or $1350 per month - about 8 times more than the $164 per month of the start state setup.

Two takeaways from this:

  • Decide within the context. Stay away from blanket solutions. Use cases matter the most.
  • The “Pay for what you use" always sounds like a cheaper option but you must always do the maths for your use case before making any switch.

Check out the full post here.

6 min read