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Discussion on: 7 reasons why Serverless encourages useful engineering practices

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Thomas Step

There is great merit in treating your servers like cattle rather than pets.

I'm sure you meant this, but I would take this a step further and say that infrastructure (not only compute resources) as a whole should be treated as cattle rather than pets.

One area in particular that I try to treat like cattle is naming. I like to make names for secrets, Lambda functions, or even CloudFormation stack names configurable wherever they are referenced. If I ever need to swap to a new secret, Lambda, or CloudFormation stack, I only need to reconfigure whatever is referencing it instead of tear the original down and rebuild.

A big example are secrets. Something like this-is-my-special-secret seems smart until that secret needs to be deleted for some reason and we're stuck in the Secrets Manager deletion period of 7 days. If that secret's name was generated and fed into a Lambda function that references it by environment variable, then we only need to reconfigure a new secret name to the environment variable to change the reference.

TL;DR: Naming is tough. Use generated strings so there's no overlap or special treatment for specific names.

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