Serverless Computing, as well as Function as a Service (FaaS), is impressively acquiring traction in cloud-based application architectures. FaaS can be considered as a subset of Serverless Computing, wherein the developer only writes functions (usually small) that are pieces of code dedicated to executing a focused (usually single) task instead of coding an entire cloud-based application.
The idea of serverless architecture might not be new but is perceived as an emerging trend in the cloud lately. The reason is that developers can utilize their time more on coding than draining it on setting up the servers.
The serverless architecture is a cloud-based model wherein cloud providers execute the codes and deal with computing resource management on behalf of the developers. Herein, there are no physical servers or virtual machines; the vendors automatically deploy them!
In the serverless architecture, although your application runs on servers, you’ll be free from the hassles of managing the infrastructure. The server management is completely managed by AWS or Amazon Web Services.
Long gone are the days when you had to plan, measure, and manage the servers to run your applications, storage systems, and databases. Serverless enables you to swiftly adapt to emerging trends by helping you create more agile applications.
Before getting any further, let’s clear up the true definition of Serverless. The serverless architecture comprises two different yet overlapping fields:
Backend as a Service
Any applications that feature a substantial backend on the cloud, managed by a third party, can be considered BaaS. The third-party looks after the server-side logic. Usually, you’ll see that the BaaS applications are front-end heavy for serverless architectures. The best instances of BaaS are mobile or web apps featuring rich and complex UI.
Function as a Service
Any application that runs some of its codes through event triggers can be considered FaaS. The serverless architecture lets applications get triggered on demand. Herein, you get to upload front-end codes to a service such as AWS Lambda, Google Cloud Functions, or alike. The provider looks after the backend management and the server-side logic is managed by the developer. However, it runs in stateless containers.
FaaS can be utilized without serverless architecture. However, serverless offers a wide array of functionalities as compared to FaaS, and yes, it is much more cost-efficient. Although serverless computing started as a FaaS, today, there are many other cloud services including Authentication Management, Queue Buffer, Database, and so on.
Why should companies switch to serverless?
Now that you are through a rundown of Serverless Architecture, it is time to get into the crux of the topic, why, after all, should companies switch to serverless.
Serverless architecture follows a pay-as-you-go model. Although it is spelt as Serverless, it still requires servers. The “less” here refers to the reduced efforts required to publish, manage, and scale application servers. The primary idea behind going serverless is to reduce the time consumed, complexity involved, and eventually the charges incurred for running a reliable and scalable server for modern applications.
The developers get access to a framework that helps them create codes that are adaptable to event-based applications. Serverless takes the role of providing all the prerequisites for running an application. You might have already visualized the benefits of going serverless. However, here are a few factors that convinced us to believe in the need for serverless:
No Server Management
Although serverless computing does occur on servers, the developers never have to deal with it. The cloud vendors take care of the servers, eventually reducing the investments made in DevOps, as well as the overall expenses. Moreover, it frees the developers to get focused on creating and expanding their applications.
Using the technologies that are capable of automatically scaling from ground zero to crest-level demands, companies can become adept at fulfilling customer needs faster than ever. Serverless architecture can both scale up and scale down by the demand for definite functions. Since the providers guarantee horizontal autoscaling irrespective of unforeseen nailing traffic, the servers would not go down!
Significant Cost Reduction
Like the pay-as-you-go model followed by telecom services with serverless, the developers are charged only for what they use. Codes only run when the serverless application requires backend functions. Also, the codes automatically scale up as and when needed. Serverless architecture offers precise, dynamic, and real-time provisioning, giving a competitive edge to the companies. On the contrary, in the server-full architecture, companies got to calculate in advance the server capacity they shall need and then purchase that capacity, whether it is used or not used by the end.
By using the serverless architecture, there is no requirement for uploading codes to the servers or carrying out any backend configuration to deploy an ongoing version of the application. Developers get to upload codes and release a new application quickly. Since the application is not a single monolithic pile, the developers can choose to upload codes all at once or one at a time. This also allows the developers to quickly update, revamp, and add new features easily.
Usually, serverless architectures are spread across the globe. Due to this reason, it is easier to handle users from any corner and scale without affecting the application’s performance. For serverless architectures, sending requests is done in a jiffy.
It is quite easier to implement an application using serverless architecture as compared to the traditional method. Therefore, going serverless also implies being faster than normal. When you receive concrete results immediately, you can start working on your next project or start building your next feature. Serverless works the best when you are not bound by any limitations, and restructuring becomes a lot easier.
It’s Simply Super-Awesome
Serverless architecture has everything it requires to make customers happy, provided the providers make the utmost effort. When companies get to formulate new servers and ship new features faster, their customers get quick access to those newly-introduced features. The users only pay for what is used for the time they use. Developers now need to be concerned about so many things that were blocking their ways to efficient servicing. At the end of the day, there is nothing that beats the agility and efficiency of serverless architectures.
Food for Thought
According to marketwatch.com, the global serverless architecture market is estimated to grow by USD 9.16 billion with about 26% CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) by 2023.
According to GlobalNewswire, the serverless architecture market size across the globe is estimated to grow up to USD 21,105 million in 2025, from USD 7,585 million in 2020 at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 22.7%.
According to Gartner, more than 50% of the global companies shall have deployed serverless functioned platforms by 2025, which was only 20% in 2021.
A serverless approach is advantageous for both the developers as well as the providers. The former gets freed from the hassles of managing and monitoring servers, and the latter, in turn, runs the server at a low cost, gets better scalability for services, reduces the time to market, and boosts the potential to grow.
The simplicity, advanced agility, optimal efficiency, competitive edge, and cost efficiency are what make it click among developers. Developers from across the globe are embracing serverless technology and quite several companies are already planning to be a part of this paradigm shift. The question is, have you gone serverless?