While reading an interesting post published on Forbes titled, Is Serverless Computing Right For Your Business? ,I couldn’t help wonder the reasons why Serverless concept is getting so popular so quickly. Before I tell you the benefits, let’s try to understand what Serverless Architecture is.
Serverless Architecture refer to applications that largely depend on 3rd party services, which are also known as Backend as a Service or BaaS. It also depends on custom code that’s run in Function as a Service or FaaS or ephemeral containers. With the help of such an architecture, there is no need for a traditional approach of an always on server system to be backing up an application. Depending on the requirement, such systems can drastically reduce operational cost and vendor dependencies.
Serverless helps to build applications where the code is simply handed over to the cloud provider (AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud). They are then responsible for running it. The use of an apt number of resources is also used in such cases.
Now that we understand what it is, here are some benefits of Serverless Architecture (and which also contribute to the reason for it to be getting so popular).
1. Ease of Operational Management
Serverless enables a clear separation of infrastructure services and applications (that are on top of the platform). The automatic scaling feature of Function as a Service or FaaS helps to reduce compute cost and operational management expenses. There can be an increased focus on management and running of platform in question and core services (like databases and load balancers). The Product engineers can manage the functions of running on top of the platform.
Packaging and deployment of FaaS architecture is simple compared to deploying an entire server. If a system is serverless, it will not require containerization tool, continuous integration or delivery. Programmers have the option to write direct code in the vendor console. If there’s a fully functional serverless solution, there is no need of system admin as well.
2. Facilitates innovation
Serverless Architecture helps product engineers to focus more on innovation as it lessens their problems related to system engineering. They have to spend less time on operational issues and enable smooth application of Agile Methodologies and DevOps. Common challenges of internet facing application like storage, identity management and the rest (that are exposed to FaaS) can be managed with underlying middleware. Product engineers get more time to focus on business logic of the application.
3. Lower operational costs
The key advantages of Serverless Architecture are resource cost reduction and infrastructure cost reduction. Serverless Architecture requires you to only pay for databases, managing servers and application logic. For example, AWS Lambda requires you to pay only for the time when the function is called. This has helped to lower the cost of renting of servers in AWS (that otherwise cost quite a few dollars to a mere $10 or even lesser).
As per the Forbes article, once organizations understand the benefits of serverless computing, there are three things to consider before adopting a serverless computing model:
- Change mindset on pricing
- Determine level of control
- Plan availability, SLAs and uptime requirements
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