What and why is ephemeral environment?

Aishani Pachauri
2 min readFeb 25, 2024

What serverless enables us to do and when is temporary environment beneficial.

Cleaning cached data and outputs by tests is one of the things that need checking when working in an environment. The issue arises when such data accumulates and miraculously one day everything is down.

Tech team assembles and decides that we will clean the data and keep a check on it every few weeks. The more you grow the more checks and data cleaning happens. But it’s an issue when isolated features or code testing for things which do not make it to production increase the frequency of such checks in place.

For cases like that, ephemeral environments refer to environment which have temporary resources like storage attached to them. They are created dynamically and only exist for the duration of a specific task or request.

These are on-demand instances which are started for specified resources and destroyed after use.

AWS serverless services, such as AWS Lambda, AWS Fargate, and AWS DynamoDB, enable such environments.

This allows for a more efficient use of resources as compute capacity is automatically scaled up or down based on demand, and you don’t have to worry about cost and underlying infrastructure.

The use case is very simple:

  1. Isolated feature or microservice deployment
  2. Running on limited resources
  3. Tasks or running tests for an ongoing development

Additionally, AWS services like AWS CodePipeline and AWS CodeBuild can be integrated into your CI/CD pipeline to automate the testing and deployment process, further providing ease of management of these environments and reducing the risk of resource accumulation issues.