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It's impossible to avoid the serverless conversation

The good, the bad, the serverless. Now v2 makes bold changes

Sarah Schlothauer
serverless
© Shutterstock / beebrain

Users of Zeit’s Now are in for a surprise. The new v2 release has some very different changes and additions. No upgrade is without its downsides, so let’s take a look at the good and the bad of the newly released Now v2.

The time is now. Meet Now 2.0: the latest version of the serverless platform. It goes without saying that it’s impossible to avoid the “serverless” conversation. Whether or not you’re on board, serverless platforms are in full-swing.

Now 1.0 has been widely used in deployment services. What does the new 2.0 version change?

Now – serverless functions

Before we highlight some of the features, what is Now useful for? In short, Now is a cloud platform for instant serverless deployment. Just push your code and go.

The company Zeit’s self-described mission is to “make cloud computing accessible to everyone” and to make cloud computing “as easy and accessible as mobile computing”.

There are several “Hello World” examples available, including getting started with Go, Python, PHP 7, Node.js, static HTML and CSS, and Next.js.

SEE ALSO: PaaS, containers, and serverless are creating a multi-platform world

v2 features aplenty

Now v2 is very different than v1 and comes packed with new features, including a new pricing plan that helps small teams.

Here are just some of the new additions awaiting users after migration:

  • No deployment types: The deployment types are now unified and can have static and dynamic entrypoints, and be written in different languages.
  • “The Majestic Monorepo”: User-definable parallel builds replace one large build process. The release blog states that, “It looks, feels and deploys like a monolith, with none of its downsides.” Explore the monorepo demo here.
  • Improved pricing: New pricing tiers include a free version and an unlimited upgrade. Small teams benefit with the new model by receiving five seats for free, and 25$ a seat after that. The pricing calculator helps users explore estimates based on bandwidth, domains, serverless invocations, code pushes, storage, and team size.
  • Improved scalability
  • Faster build times and cold boot-up times
  • Universal cloud infrastructure 
  • 1,000 free lambda invocations per day
  • No daemons: According to the v2 documentation, Now plans to address certain use cases including: control and sync loops, scheduled jobs, and jobs consumed from a queue.
  • Removed deployment instances

Downsides?

However, all is not sunshine and good news. We have to take a look at the downsides of the new release and how it will affect users.

First off the bat, Now 2.0 is quite different than Now 1.0 and change is not always good. The previous version was concise and simple and that simplicity is what users loved about it.

SEE ALSO: Mo’ developers, mo’ problems: How serverless has trouble with teams

When looking through the documentation, it seems that Now is pulling away from Docker support. Things are moving towards the path of a Lambda-based model. This may come as a shock to users since only three months ago, Zeit announced Serverless Docker Beta. As of writing this, there is no official report about if Zeit is going to drop Docker support, but speculation is thick on the Spectrum chat.

Want to compare v1 to v2 and make the call for yourself? Browse the documentation and see what’s changed between the legacy version and the newly released update.

When logging into the old version of Now, users receive a warning recommending them to upgrade from the legacy platform. As of yet, there is currently no known date as to when v1 will be deprecated and it is still fully supported. (This gives users that want to upgrade time to migrate and those that are not happy with 2.0 to find a suitable replacement.)

Given that v2 is still new, time will give us more details and clarification while the development team is busy at work. In the meantime, we recommend that any users looking to migrate take their time.

What do you think about the new update – love it or hate it?

Author
Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer

All Posts by Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer is an assistant editor for JAXenter.com. She received her Bachelor's degree from Monmouth University in Long Branch, New Jersey and is currently enrolled at Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany where she is working on her Masters. She lives in Frankfurt with her husband and cat.