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14 Jul 2017

How a serverless architecture can help you scale easily and save costs during your next marketing campaign

Is scaling up your existing infrastructure very expensive? Are you not sure if your infrastructure can meet the demands of your next big marketing campaign? Get to know an alternative to scale up your current environment for a short period.

Often there is no need to set up an infrastructure like a web server, database server, and load balancers. Let us take a look at some cloud providers and how they can serve our content more cost efficient and deliver websites to the visitors with high performance.

How a serverless architecture can help you scale easily and save costs during your next marketing campaign

Let’s assume your company is running a well-scaled website. Your web servers could be hosted on premise, in a data center of your favorite web hosting provider, or within the cloud.

Current Infrastructure

The image shows how customers currently access the website through the Internet from different locations. It is accessed from multiple device types and is optimized for common load scenarios.

For example, I’ll point out two possible options for a hosting situation. I will just mention some facts and ideas for the hosting alternatives without any judgment, as this is out of the scope of this blog post.

Option 1 – Traditional (Self-)Hosting

The first option is a standard set-up in a datacenter. You have full control over the infrastructure and are hosting everything in your on premise datacenter, or rely on a hosting company. Either way, the servers will most likely serve the content from one location to your customers.

Option 2 – Cloud hosted website

The second option shows a hosting scenario, where your content is served from a SaaS solution like a managed WordPress installation or a PaaS solution like a web server running on a provided virtual machine.

With this set-up, your content is already served from the cloud and, possibly, geo-distributed to have a better experience for your customers.

Expansion to handle the load for a marketing campaign

Say you plan a big marketing campaign which promotes a new product, you expect lots of visitors on the website, which will be created for that purpose. The campaign site will be set up using static HTML. There is no need for a content management system because it serves the one purpose only.

Instead of using a Web server, we are using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to accelerate the delivery of assets to our end users. CDN nodes are usually located much closer to the end users as a Web server might be what results in a faster response time and a better user experience. The content that is delivered by a CDN, is stored on relatively cheap storage.

Through the globally distributed CDNs, all end users see a fast website, and you can serve a much larger user base for the time the campaign is running. The serverless architecture reduces costs with the simple solution of using a CDN for content delivery.

As shown in the image, it does not matter which cloud provider you choose. The functionality is similar. One component (Route 53 or Traffic Manager) is configured with an URL, which is then passed to the nearest CDN.

The cloud providers allow you to purchase the services only for a certain amount of time. So, if your campaign is running for ten days only, you only need to pay for ten days and demote the configured services afterwards.

This scenario does not use any CMS or Web services. If you need to extend your website with dynamically generated content, you would add app services next to the CDNs to have them distributed the same way as the assets.

Cost effectiveness and scalability Cost efficiency and scalability – usually you would not put these two words together. However, by leveraging cloud services, it is possible to build highly scalable and profitable solutions. Analyze your particular business case and match it to available services. You may come up with a solution that you did not think about before.


To read this blog in German, click here 

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