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Charles Géry for Kumo

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You thought serverless was green? Here is how to really make it sustainable! 🌱

Serverless is an amazing way to do cloud computing. It removes the hassle of managing the infrastructure of your app and lets you focus on what really matters: delivering value.

It also has a great side benefit: it avoids wasted idle CPUs. On more traditional infrastructures, tech teams don’t always optimize the reserved capacity of their servers relative to the actual workload they have to deal with. With serverless, cloud providers have a way to share resources between clients and optimize their use. Your serverless app will scale easily and will only be running when your users need it. For instance, AWS will launch Lambda functions instances and run their code only when required.

Lambda lifecycle

Because of that, serverless is often considered greener than traditional applications in the cloud.

Is your serverless application perfectly sustainable?

Going serverless is considered a sustainable solution to develop applications. This is not a reason to be complacent. You can indeed implement by mistake anti-patterns that will impact negatively your actual resource consumptions. But do not worry, you can take action to improve the sustainability of your application.

*“Never settle for average.” ― Steve Jobs*

There are many sustainability mistakes you can make when developing a serverless application. For instance, you can:

  • Forget using lifecycles for your data stored in S3 (you can save resources by storing your data in an appropriate type of bucket),
  • Have servers far from your end-users (minimizing the distance traveled by your data helps save resources),
  • Use a database service that is not suited to your needs (having good data access patterns and a DB that fits your data schema is more resource efficient)...

At Kumo, Theodo's serverless team, we work on sustainable serverless solutions. In his article, our colleague Thomas Aribart provides you with a simple way to monitor your carbon emissions using Cloud Carbon Footprint. Monitoring your emissions is a first step to avoid bad sustainability patterns. This way you can see and control the evolution of your emissions as your application evolves and be aware if one of your features pollutes abnormally.

Cloud carbon footprint dashboard

You can make your serverless application even greener!

Monitoring your emissions is great, but we wanted to take the next step and find actionable ways to reduce our emissions. We read the AWS Sustainability Pillar for you and listed concrete actions to implement the good practices it describes.

It resulted in a sustainability audit for your AWS serverless applications that lists these actions. Within 10 minutes, you will be able to fill in the whole form and receive a score out of 100. A score of 100 means that you have the greenest app ever 🌴. After filling out the audit, you will be provided with a list of recommendations that will help you make your application more sustainable.

After taking the recommended actions, you should see your application emissions lower in your carbon monitoring dashboard! 🥳

There’s more, by performing this audit and taking the associated actions, you will make your application much soberer, which can also improve its performance and monthly cost.

The instructions and the audit are available here.

Audit screenshot

If you have any questions or feedback to improve the audit, feel free to reach out to us!

Juliette Fournier & Charles Géry are software engineers at Kumo, serverless expertise by Theodo

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