Running "Google" on $12 per month

23 Feb 2022 - thomas

At my last “day job” we spent roughly €20,000 per month on servers. In the job I had before that, we spent €8,000 simply on CosmosDB. I don’t even dare to imagine how much we spent in total, but I suspect it was in the millions per month! There used to be a time when “machines were cheap and developers were expensive”. The rationale was of course that it wasn’t cost effective for developers to write good code, since adding more hardware to the problem solved it. That time is distant history today. To illustrate that point realise that at my last employer we were 12 developers, and we spent €20,000 per month on servers. Those 20,000 EUROs would equal to roughly 5 full time senior software developers in Cyprus where I live. This implies that my former employer spent 30% of his total IT budget on “cloud infrastructure”.

30% of your IT budget on iron is NOT cheap!

Ignoring whether or not the above is justifiable or not, these servers are using energy, and energy is a finite resource, and reducing our energy footprint is important as a specie for reasons that should be obvious to most having either read any science the last 50 years, and/or paid an electricity bill this last winter. In the video below I am illustrating how a $12 per month droplet from a VPS provider when combined with Magic can arguably serve 250 simultaneous users, without using even 3% of its CPU. To create a sustainable future, such figures are not only financially viable, but also probably environmentally crucial. Extrapolating these 3% and 250 users results in that a $12 per month droplet from a VPS provider can in theory serve 8250 simultaneous users. The sad part is that the company I started out with at the beginning of this article was serving roughly 250 users per day. Magic + a $12 droplet can serve 8,250 users per second. The first company paid $20,000 per month and could serve 250 users per day. That becomes 2.8 million times more cost effective IT infrastructure in regards to hardware costs than the mantra of “developers are expensive and hardware is cheap” that resulted in my employer throwing €20,000 out the window every month. Facts are, the Ethereum network alone is using more electricity than the country of Serbia. You need to “rethink your thinking” my friend.

In case you missed the point, let me emphasise it for you; The difference between your existing legacy system and Magic is that your existing legacy system will crash down and burst into flames if you give it 100 simultaneous users. Magic will yawn from boredom if you give it 1 million users on the same hardware! Simply because of …

Magic was NOT built under the assumption of that “hardware is cheap!”