What is New is “Old”

In the last few weeks I was walking with a thought gnawing in my head, and it finally settled.

Cloud functions/ Lambda or that #serverless trend in general is just going back to the Mainframe work methodology ( Yes, I know I am showing my age).

In the early days of computing, when you wrote some code you had to ask/beg the system administrator to allocate you some CPU & Memory to run your application on the shared compute resource (sounds familiar?) and in many cases plead that they allocate these resource enough time to complete the execution.

With the proliferation of personal computers and servers people slow lost that “resource awareness” that was instilled within the early programmers and each language and product became more resource hungry, till we got to software that is larger than 20GB in storage and takes almost as much memory to run.

And then came the (not so) new trend #serverless, writing some code and then somewhere somehow you get allocated the resources to run it in the #cloud, But again you need to ask for the CPU and Memory, and then you are limited by the execution time allocated to the code.

In Today’s “Mainframe” model the allocation of these resources is more readily available, but it only shows that “Nothing new under the sun”.

Cloud Cost Management Vs. Optimisation

I just noticed that it has been a year since the last posting, it seems it takes me a long time to linger on ideas before I publish them.

I have been working as a FinOps in the last year and saw many consulting companies that offer “Cost Optimisation” services and I find it frustrating. The true name of what they offer is “Cost Management” which is the 1st step in understating cloud spend, reducing waste.

Cost optimisation on the other hand is not about reducing cost, it is ensuring that the spending we do is maximised to gain as much performance for the lowest spend, but we will spend money.

The main difference is in the time and planning of the action, the “Management” is going over Cloud resources and cleaning the unused volumes, terminating virtual machines and dealing with RI’s which can be done in a 2 hour review of the Cloud account.
“Optimisation” on the other hand is a process that involves the product team, the architects, the developers and the Cloud team to ensure that the new feature will use the cloud resource most effectively while spending the least amount of money, this is an iterative process that can take anywhere from several days to even months, and in some cases I saw to the realisation that the proposed feature is not financially viable and dropping it completely.

I know that selling a “cost management” is harder than telling a client that we can “optimise” his costs, but we should also need to provide honesty to our clients.

Thankfully I am in a position in my current position to try and preach that change and I am trying to instil that understanding in the company, and from there to our clients.