A Guide to Reducing Cold Start Frequency

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A Guide to Reducing Cold Start Frequency

Frequent lags can destroy your reputation.

· Performance Zone ·
Free Resource

Time is money, especially in the age of the Internet. In fact, users decide within 8 seconds if they're going to continue using your service.

Frequent lags can destroy your reputation. If you have a serverless architecture, cold starts can cause these lags.

So what are cold starts? And how can you prevent them? If these are questions you've found yourself asking, take a look at this guide identify and perhaps stop cold starts.

What Are Cold Starts? And Why Do They Happen?

Before asking "what is a cold start," you should first understand a little about how serverless technology works.

When the code is activated after a period of inactivity, the system will initialize a new container. The container will run the function, but it will take a while to boot up. This causes the AWS lambda performance to suffer a short lag.

In laymen's terms, a cold start is a delay that happens when a container is first initialized.

Because AWS Lambda initialization occurs often, lags can happen at any time during any action. And, they can lead to problems like unsatisfied customers and lost sales.

Warm up Your Containers

Unfortunately, there's no way to completely prevent cold starts. But there are solutions to cold starts that can reduce latency time to less than a second.

These solutions are warm-ups. Think of these like stretches you do before a run that prevents cramping. By performing these actions, you prepare your program before it initializes a container.

This makes cold starts less likely.

Find and Stop the Bottlenecks

The first step if you want to end cold starts is to find out when and where your system is bottlenecking.

Bottlenecks are tasks that reduce your service's speed because the containers aren't activated.

These functions can be anything. For example, you may have trouble accessing a program at a certain time because you're at peak usage hours.

Use a Plugin to Help the Serverless Framework

Once you've located a bottleneck, you can use one of several plugins to resolve the problem.

One of the best plugins to use is WarmUp. This plugin allows you to schedule a time period that will automatically initialize containers. This lets you increase the frequency and lambda speed for your service.

Other Simple Solutions

Plugins aren't the only options. If you don't want to download a plugin, you can try these simple solutions.

The first option is don't use a virtual private cloud (VPC). A VPC will add a lot of time to your AWS Lambda number, causing a cold start.

Change your programing language. Use a dynamic programing language like Python, Ruby, or Pearl instead of a statically typed programing language C++ or Java.

The primary difference between these languages is that dynamic languages often still function despite minor bugs, allowing it to bypass cold starts.

Using more dynamic languages will always result in an architecture that is more flexible and less prone to bottlenecking.

Protect Your Serverless Framework

Running a serverless framework can save your company time and money. But the drawback is you have to deal with problems like cold starts amongst others, but the good thing is that you can use tools like Dashbird.io to salve those issues and get the most out of your serverless application.

aws lambda, cold start, faas, lambda architecture, performance, serverless

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