Serverless is a buzzword that gets thrown around when discussing computing. In this blog, discover what serverless is and why it is beneficial to you.
What is Serverless?
Serverless is a form of computing that allows developers to better manage their scheduling, scaling, and productivity while not having to manage their applications. Serverless does not mean that there are no servers – it means that the developers do not need to be concerned about creating, deploying, and maintaining a server. A cloud provider manages your applications, meaning you can focus your time and energy on creating your product.
How does it work?
This type of computing is essentially the process of deploying code and apps into production and containers through cloud providers. When the containers are called upon, they are automatically deployed and put into action – but only when needed. The host, the public cloud provider, bases the costs on how much your apps are launched and used. In saying this, you stop paying when the code is not being run.
The cloud provider plays a major role in serverless computing. They offer subsets of computing including; Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS) or Function-as-a-Service (FaaS). BaaS offers ready-to-use features such as, managing databases, hosting, cloud storage, push notification, and authentication. FaaS is offered on a wide variety of platforms; Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. The service’s purpose is to make scaling and coding easily implemented into a variety of systems. The main difference between BaaS and FaaS is that BaaS is meant for handling backend functions and FaaS is event-driven to effectively implement cloud services.
Similar to cloud computing, serverless reduces the need for on-premise systems which as a result can help reduce costs and focus on coding rather than infrastructure. As mentioned, this type of computing bases its costs on usage, which is why in theory, also leads to reduced costs. As the developer, you hold the responsibility to scale the applications and server as needed based on the demand you receive. With serverless, you will also see a major increase in function speed.
Serverless computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) benefit from one another’s technology. Both rather contemporary concepts, serverless and IoT share many similarities which make them compatible. Within many serverless systems, IoT plays an essential role. Similarly, many IoT devices use a serverless architecture.
A serverless approach can be used in nearly any industry for large applications that require flexible scaling. Data processing, format conversion, coding, and image resizing can all be performed by this technology.
This technology is especially useful for irregular or agile workflows that undergo constant changes. On-premise computing cannot function with the rapid and automatic changes of fast-paced workflows. Analytics like transactions and logs can be traced with services like Amazon Kinesis Data Streams.
Although extremely beneficial, there are notable drawbacks to serverless computing. Due to the nature of a necessary third-party cloud provider, it offers less privacy than other computing methods. Serverless computing also may face cold starts. A cold start means that you may face a delay in deploying your application due to architects having to face long processes related to scaling. While easy scalability may be a benefit, it does not apply to all organizations. Those with long-running processes do not have the same cost efficiencies with serverless computing.
Serverless versus Cloud computing
Serverless computing hands responsibilities away from developers and operations to cloud providers.
What is cloud computing? This form of computing uses remote networks to manage and store data, which offers increased agility, cost reduction, easy scalability, and the ability to build anything imaginable. In comparison to traditional computing, you no longer need to purchase computing infrastructure or data centers. You can purchase the same services for cheaper in a pay as you go structure through cloud computing.
The main difference between the two computing methods is the access to the server. Cloud computing gives you access to the server, while the other does not.
Both types of computing are growing quickly. According to a recent survey conducted on more than 3,000 developers, 55.7% of them indicated they are currently using or have solid plans to implement serverless computing on public cloud infrastructure.
The fundamentals of serverless rely on providing more resources to code and less on infrastructure. Serverless technology is not an “all-or-nothing” solution. This form of computing can be expanded and integrated with other technologies. Read more about what solutions could e implemented to your business here.