Serverless Architecture – The What, When and Why

What is it?

Serverless architecture, also known as serverless computing, Function as a Service (FaaS), or simply “serverless”, is a cloud computing execution model where the cloud service provider undertakes the dynamic allocation and provisioning of servers. A business or organization using serverless computing need not purchase or rent servers, or manage, provision or monitor the infrastructure, and can instead focus their time and resources on development instead.

Serverless, therefore, doesn’t literally mean the absence of servers. It just means that developers won’t need to worry about them.

Why should it be used?

The following are some of the benefits of going serverless and reasons why you need to consider it.

  • No Server Management

Serverless computing makes it easy for you to focus on the core of development – coding – rather than on operations. You also need not worry about scalability as the serverless model scales on demand and based on usage.

  • Cost Efficiency

Pay-per-use or pay-as-you-go is one of the other benefits of serverless computing. You will only be charged based on how many times a code runs, how much memory is utilized, what the duration of the execution was, and so on. So there is no need to pay for idle time.

  • Improved scope for UX

With time and resources freed up, serverless architecture tremendously increases the scope for better features and overall user experience. This makes for applications that are better loved by users for their features and ease of use.

  • Shorter time to market

A serverless architecture eliminates backend configurations and the need to upload the code to servers. You need not wait until all the coding is completed to release the new product – you can write bits of code and keep adding them as you go.

  • Faster updates

Serverless computing provisions faster updates, bug fixes, patches, the addition of new features and more – one function at a time! 

  • Environmental Versatility

Serverless architecture is easy to set up in any and every environment – simultaneously, as it does not require the set up of machines for development, staging, or production.

  • Decreased latency

Network latency is a problem that often limits the scalability of an application. Serverless eliminates this problem because applications are not hosted on an origin server. With points of presence near every user, the application can run efficiently anywhere in the world.

When should it be used?

If you are considering developing an application that includes high latency background tasks and those where the load on the server is unpredictable, serverless architecture is an option you should seriously consider. This will include applications that are heavy on multimedia or data processing.

You may also consider using a serverless architecture for applications that will need rapid scalability and evolving features. Serverless is also suitable to run stateless applications and can be a cost-effective choice for applications that don’t need to run all of their components at all times.
However, despite the many benefits of serverless computing, it is not suitable for all applications. We would recommend that you begin by prototyping on serverless architecture and experiment with it before you decide to take the plunge.

Want to learn more about whether serverless architecture right for you? Ask CloudNow!