AUTHOR
Adservio Team
DATE
July 7, 2021
CATEGORY
Digital Delivery
Achieve more and faster with serverless architecture

Digital Delivery

6 min

Achieve more and faster with serverless architecture

Serverless, making possible building softwares without worrying about servers, isn’t this what the majority of us love.

What is a serverless architecture?

For a long period of time, developers were torn by being concentrated on the part of their, which is creating code, and a good portion of their time was dedicated to managing and caring for the server infrastructure.

In addition, they had to tend to the operating system and web server hosting process required for application. All these engagements the developers had to deal with, inevitably impacted in reducing their capacities in providing best of them regarding the creativity and efficiency.

There had to be an easier way for building software and deploying it easier, cheaper and quicker, all of that with reducing risks and increasing efficiency..

Solution, enter Serverless Computing.

serverless computing

The concept of serverless is to build software by focusing more on business logic without thinking about how you are going to serve your software like there is no server just business logic, still, there will be some configuration and integration work by developers.

When building an application, the managing part of its infrastructure will be trusted and handed to other subjects which offer such service.

The software which is built, still continues to run on servers, but the same servers are abstracted away from app development. They are managed by third-party services, therefore you no longer have to provision, scale and maintain servers to run your applications, databases and storage systems.

Once deployed, serverless applications respond to demands and automatically scale as needed.

A lot of headaches have been gone and a lot of burden has been lifted from developer shoulders by outsourcing the management and maintenance of the infrastructure of the platform.

Why use serverless architectures?

Being able to invent, develop and share the bests from ourselves is what we (should off) aim for. Along with our aim, we should pave the road to easen use the road towards those aims.

For developers, using the serverless computing it gives them the commodity to build apps without having to:

  • Provision a server
  • Ensure its functionality
  • Create test environments on a server
  • Maintain server uptime

So, we can say there isn’t unknown science to be discovered why someone should use serverless architecture, simply put, through serverless architecture, teams will get extra commodity to focus their attention on accelerating innovation in today’s competitive digital era whereas resources will get more free as well.

Based on one of O’Reilly surveys, they found out that the demand for serverless architecture will grow due to benefits that its infrastructure offers.

The survey, with more than 1,500 respondents from different locations, companies, and industries show that about 50% of respondents who adopted serverless for more than three years ago, consider their implementation was extremely successful.

In the question on serverless adoption among survey respondents’ organizations they found out that 40% of organizations adopted serverless in contrast to 60% with no adoption.

benefits of serverless adoption

Who should use serverless?

If you have a small number of functions that you need to host you should especially consider using a serverless provider.

On the other hand, if your application is more complex, a serverless architecture can still be beneficial, but you will need to apply a different approach to architect your application. This may not be feasible if you already have an existing application as well.

What might work in this case would be, migrating small pieces of the application into serverless functions over time.

Pros & Cons

Shortly few of advantages & disadvantages of serverless architecture to keep in mind;

Pros:

  • LESS SERVER-SIDE WORK

Servers are managed all by the vendors even though serverless computing does take place on servers. Developers never have to worry about dealing with servers. Besides reducing the need to invest in DevOps, it also frees up developers to create and expand their projects/applications without having any constraints on server capacity.

  • REDUCED COST

One of the biggest advantages of serverless computing is low pricing. You pay only for what is used, this way operational costs will be reduced.

  • REDUCED RISK AND INCREASED EFFICIENFCY

Being free of maintenance problems because of no backend infrastructure to manage, as it all falls to Cloud vendors. All updates, patches and taking care of potential hacks are taken care of by cloud vendors.

  • AUTO-SCALING

The possibility of continuous scalable capability is a great advantage of serverless computing. There is never a need to purchase additional computing resources. All of this is handled by the serverless computing platforms.

  • SHORTER LEAD TIME

Being able to operate fast and deliver quick results it’s what pleases the customer. Through serverless architecture you can deploy apps faster than traditional ways and speed is often a  contributing factor in choosing the right organization.

Cons:

  • MANAGING STATE IS RELATIVELY COMPLEX

Because serverless providers charge for the amount of time that code runs, it may cost more to run an application with long-running processes in a serverless infrastructure.

  • HIGHER LATENCY

In cases when a user request first arrives, the platform may need to perform a cold start, but fortunately some plateformes can integrate pre-starts or cache.

  • VENDOR LOCK-IN

This can become an issue because it is a very difficult and complex process to move databases once they are set up. This involves moving data to a totally different infrastructure and may involve reformatting the data.

  • DEBUGGING

The serverless environment does not run locally. There is no option (at least until now) to attach a debugger to your serverless application in the public cloud. The higher the number of functions in an application, the greater the challenge to solve.

  • SECURITY

That same server that runs  serverless functions runs them for a large number of customers, this way a lot of security concerns will come up.

These were some of the most important advantages and limitations we decided to share with you, always knowing that there are other important ones that we need to take into consideration when deciding to use serverless computing.

All the above we didn't mention because we tried to prove if serverless is good or bad, we just wanted to help you get more familiar with what you are about to face in the future and help you help you make the right decision before using this approach when building software.

Top 3 Serverless computing platforms

Before we conclude, let us tell you about some serverless computing providers and technologies and list some examples of the things that can be built with serverless technology.

Amazon is one of the first if not the pioneer to enter this new evolution with AWS Lambda a serverless computing platform that adopts an event-driven approach so you have what you need to create serverless apps.

Google Cloud functions is another provider for serverless services, it has the different approach but the model is pretty much the same.

Another well known platform for serverless computing comes from Microsoft, named Microsoft Azure which is a public platform for cloud computing. 

Microsoft Azure is designed to help users find solutions for different challenges through making it possible to build, to run and manage applications across multiple clouds. This is possible having in disposal their frameworks and tools that suit better for your challenge.

Here is a list of what you can build with serverless computing and of course there are other types of systems;

  • Static websites for example by using Amazon s3 services,
  • Small e-commerce platforms
  • Chatbots
  • IoT services
  • Big data applications
  • Event-driven systems
  • Etc

With the above mentioned benefits and others we didn’t cover, every industry, from finance to education, can benefit from serverless computing. Very possibly employees and clients will be asking for serverless solutions sooner rather than later.

For those looking to build long lasting apps quickly and efficiently, remember, serverless computing is the way through which you can conserve resources, increase efficiency, and boost productivity.

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