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Serverless vs. Traditional Servers: Which is Right for Your Business?

Read Time 10 mins | Written by: Kenneth Hough

In recent years, serverless technology has become an increasingly popular option for businesses looking to optimize their web applications. However, traditional servers remain a tried-and-true method that many businesses continue to rely on. So which is right for your business? Let's take a closer look at each option.


Serverless technology refers to a cloud computing model where the cloud provider takes care of the server infrastructure and resource management. Instead of managing servers, developers can focus on writing and deploying code, which is executed on demand as a function in response to events. Traditional servers, on the other hand, refer to a more conventional approach to hosting web applications, where the business manages its own server infrastructure.

While serverless technology has many benefits, traditional servers still have their place in the tech world. Each option has its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages, and the decision between them ultimately comes down to the specific needs and goals of your business.

In this blog post, we'll take a deep dive into both serverless technology and traditional servers, and explore the pros and cons of each. By the end, you'll have a better understanding of which option is right for your business.

Serverless Technology

Serverless technology is a relatively new computing architecture that allows developers to build and run applications without the need for managing servers. With serverless technology, the cloud provider takes care of the infrastructure, such as server maintenance, scaling, and availability, allowing developers to focus on writing code and building applications.

One of the main benefits of serverless technology is that it eliminates the need for provisioning and maintaining servers. This means that developers don't have to worry about scaling their applications to meet demand or configuring their servers to handle traffic spikes. Instead, the cloud provider takes care of scaling the application automatically based on usage, making it an ideal solution for applications with unpredictable traffic patterns.

Another advantage of serverless technology is its cost-effectiveness. Because developers only pay for the actual usage of their applications, they can save money compared to traditional servers, which require paying for unused resources. Additionally, because serverless technology only charges for actual usage, it encourages developers to write efficient code, leading to cost savings in the long run.

However, serverless technology is not without its drawbacks. One potential issue is that it can be more difficult to debug and troubleshoot applications in a serverless environment. Since the underlying infrastructure is abstracted away, it can be challenging to identify and fix performance issues or errors. Additionally, since serverless technology is still relatively new, it may not be suitable for all types of applications, particularly those with very specific requirements or limitations.

Traditional Servers

Traditional servers, also known as on-premise servers, are physical servers that are installed and maintained on-site by a business. These servers require hardware, such as a computer or a dedicated server, as well as software to run and manage them. Traditional servers require a team of IT professionals to monitor and maintain them, and businesses are responsible for the cost of purchasing and maintaining the hardware and software.

One of the main advantages of traditional servers is that they offer more control and customization options. With a traditional server, businesses have complete control over their data and can customize their hardware and software to meet their specific needs. They can also manage their own security protocols and have a greater level of control over the access to their data.

However, there are also several drawbacks to using traditional servers. Firstly, traditional servers can be expensive to set up and maintain. This is because businesses have to purchase and maintain the hardware and software needed to run the server. Additionally, traditional servers are limited in terms of scalability. Once a traditional server reaches its maximum capacity, businesses need to purchase additional hardware to expand their capacity, which can be costly.

Another drawback is the requirement for an IT team to manage and maintain the server. This can be expensive and time-consuming, especially for small businesses who may not have the resources to hire a dedicated IT team.

Overall, traditional servers offer more control and customization options but can be costly and time-consuming to set up and maintain.

Comparing Serverless Technology and Traditional Servers

When deciding between serverless technology and traditional servers, it's important to understand the pros and cons of each. Here, we'll compare them side by side.


  • Serverless technology: Scales automatically based on demand, making it easier to handle sudden spikes in traffic without having to manually adjust server capacity.
  • Traditional servers: Require manual scaling, which can lead to overprovisioning or underprovisioning resources, causing either wasted spending or performance issues during high traffic periods.


  • Serverless technology: Only charges for the resources used, making it more cost-effective for applications with unpredictable or sporadic traffic patterns.
  • Traditional servers: Requires a fixed cost for maintaining and running the servers, even during periods of low traffic, leading to higher costs for applications with varying traffic.


  • Serverless technology: Relieves the burden of infrastructure management, allowing developers to focus on application development and deployment.
  • Traditional servers: Requires ongoing maintenance and updates, adding extra workload for developers or IT personnel.


  • Serverless technology: Has faster response times due to its ability to distribute requests across multiple instances.
  • Traditional servers: Can experience latency issues during high traffic periods due to limited capacity.


  • Serverless technology: Offers greater flexibility to developers as they can easily integrate various services and features through APIs, and rapidly deploy code changes.
  • Traditional servers: Can be limited in terms of flexibility due to the need for manual configuration and maintenance.

In summary, serverless technology excels in scalability, cost-effectiveness, and maintenance, while traditional servers offer more control over performance and flexibility. When deciding which approach to use, it's important to consider the specific needs and requirements of the application or project.


In conclusion, both serverless technology and traditional servers have their own advantages and disadvantages. While serverless technology offers the benefits of cost savings, scalability, and easier management, it may not be suitable for all types of applications and may result in longer response times. Traditional servers, on the other hand, provide better control and customization options but can be more expensive and require more maintenance.

Ultimately, the choice between serverless technology and traditional servers will depend on the specific needs and requirements of your business. It's important to carefully evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of each option and consider factors such as cost, scalability, maintenance, and application requirements before making a decision.

Regardless of which option you choose, it's important to stay up-to-date on the latest developments in server technology and regularly evaluate and update your server infrastructure to ensure optimal performance and security. With the right approach and mindset, you can leverage the power of server technology to drive innovation, efficiency, and growth for your business.

How We Can Help

KeyQ is committed to providing affordable and high-quality software development services to startups and SMBs. Our cloud-enabled framework allows for rapid development, prototyping, and deployment with zero management, making it the perfect solution for businesses looking to take advantage of the benefits of serverless technology. Our team of experienced developers is well-versed in both traditional server and serverless technologies, and we can help you determine which approach is right for your business. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you achieve your technology goals.

A Framework Built to Accelerate App Development for Startups

Kenneth Hough


I founded KeyQ in March of 2020 with the vision of helping businesses achieve the next level of success through delivering innovative and meaningful cloud solutions. Since its inception, I have worked with several businesses, non-profit organizations, and universities to design and build cloud applications that have helped streamline their business processes and reduce costs.

Prior to KeyQ, I was a medical researcher at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine. UAB is also where I worked on my doctoral thesis under the mentorship of Dr. Jessy Deshane and Dr. Victor Thannickal. During my doctoral work at UAB I was exposed to the “omics” and big data, which has influenced my career choice to develop data-driven analytics platforms in the cloud.

I also have to give a big shoutout to my undergraduate education at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), where I majored in biochemistry. WPI’s motto is “Lehr und Kunst,” which roughly translates to “Theory and Practice” or “Learning and Skilled Art.” WPI truly cherishes and upholds this pedagogy, which can be seen by the teaching styles and class sizes. The learning experience I had at WPI is unique and has shaped me to be who I am, being able to learn, practice and apply.

Personal Interests

I love to learn innovative technologies and try new things. I have a broad area of interests that include serverless architectures, machine learning, artificial intelligence, bioinformatics, medical informatics, and financial technology. I am also working towards my CFA level 1 exam for 2021. Other interests and hobbies include traveling, rock climbing, rappelling, caving, camping and gardening!