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It sounds very similar to the Rails frontend I helped replace at Twitter — no business logic was thrown away, it was done without any loss in application fidelity. We did get approximately 10x fewer servers with 10x less latency after porting it to the JVM as a result. However, without the latency improvement, I don't think we should have done it. Fewer servers just isn't as important as the developer time necessary to do the change as you just pointed out. Just as using the cloud to simplify things and reduce the amount of effort spent on infrastructure is the main driver of adoption. There is clearly a cross-over point though where you decide it is worth it. The CTOs you are speaking of are making that choice and it probably isn't a silly excuse.

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