Getting a glimpse of what’s next in the technology globe is always fascinating. According to Flexera’s RightScale 2019 State of the Cloud Report, serverless computing, for the second year in a row, is the top-growing cloud service with a 50% rise over 2018 (24 to 36% adoption). In fact, machine learning, container-as-a-service and IoT were the next fastest-growing cloud services after serverless.
Source: Flexera’s RightScale 2019 State of the Cloud Report
Moreover, the table below shows some of the companies which have already adopted serverless technology to solve significant problems.
Based on the above information, it is evident that serverless architecture is being adopted at a faster rate than expected.
So, what is serverless?
To get this better, imagine a situation in the 2000s when deploying a service used to be a huge undertaking. To get everything up and running, developers and engineers had to build a server, set up the operating system and network, introduce a range of conditions and get ready for support, upgrade and maintenance in advance.
In the 2010s, developers started using virtual machines (VMs) provided by Google, Amazon and other suppliers of cloud services. The objective was to leverage their hardware and networking knowledge for better, safer and more reliable deployments of a service. However, VMs are still servers. The fact that they run in a virtualized form on the cloud does not eliminate the workload of heavy server management, regardless of who manages and maintains them.
Serverless computing guarantees a pay-as-you-go future with (nearly) no administration of the server. Serverless platforms take the code from developers and execute deployment functions behind-the-scenes, such as networking, maintenance and dependencies. Meaning developers need not to worry about provisioning, managing and keeping the servers up when deploying code. Once the code is submitted, everything else – from instance selection, deployment, scaling, monitoring, fault tolerance to security patches and so on – can be handled by serverless architecture.
Now that we have grasped what serverless is and why it’s gaining momentum, let’s dive deeper.
Here are the three most valuable benefits due to which serverless is being adopted at a faster rate than expected:
Reduces operational complexity
Serverless relies on functions, or functions-as-a-service more specifically. Developers break down their applications into small, stateless pieces, which means they can run the underlying server without any context.
Any serverless platform enables developers to execute code without managing or provisioning servers. Platforms only charge for the compute power developers use. Therefore, developers can concentrate on their code and event triggers. In response to HTTP requests, events may include modifications in data or a table, using API gateways.
Let suppose, if a user requests a car on a ride-sharing app, it may activate the code written to get the car. Clicking the ‘buy’ button on an app will initiate the buying process.
Serverless offers an event-driven environment. In other words, a developer has code and events. When the event arrives, a piece of infrastructure is allocated dynamically to execute the code. So, to provide the execution environment, you don’t need to pre-position capitals or have any standing infrastructure. This is how serverless reduces operational complexity and boosts DevOps efficiencies.
Scale-up as needed
Imagine if the post office could add and decommission shipping trucks at will, increase the size of its fleet as the number of mails spike (say, just before Mother’s Day) and decrease its fleet for moments when fewer shipments are needed. Actually, that’s what serverless apps can do.
Applications built with a serverless framework automatically scale as user base rises or utilization increases. Let suppose, a function must run in multiple instances. Even in such situations, using containers, the servers of the vendor will start, run and end as needed. Due to this, a serverless application can manage a substantial number of requests as well as a single request from a single user. On the other hand, a traditionally organized application can be overwhelmed by a sudden rise in usage with a set quantity of server rooms.
Further, with serverless architecture, your cost of execution with no traffic is zero and as you start to get more traffic you scale up. It is way more cost-effective at low levels of usage and way more scalable at high levels of usage, so it benefits at both ends of the scale.
Since the application is not restricted on an origin server, their code can be run from anyplace. Therefore, it is feasible to run functions on servers that are near to the end-user. This shortens latency because customer requests are no longer required to travel to an origin server all the way.
As discussed initially, serverless architectures usually have worldwide access points, which can make handling customers from every corner of the planet simpler. This allows you to scale without influencing your application’s efficiency. Imagine, for instance, hosting a server on the West Coast in the traditional way. If an East Coast customer is using your app, they would have to send an HTTP request back and forth. With a serverless architecture, it would only go as far as the nearest serverless node. That’s it.
In this blog post, we have discussed the three most valuable benefits due to which serverless is being adopted at a faster rate than expected. The purpose is to present significant advantages. Hence, like many companies, you must also consider adopting this technology. Contact our technical experts to know more about serverless architectures and how it can benefit your business.
Ripal Vyas is the Founder and President of Softweb Solutions Inc – An Avnet Company. He has been instrumental in bringing the latest technologies to the Midwest over the last 12 years with his firm in Chicago. Vyas is now raising awareness on the importance of IoT, deep learning, AI, advance data analytics, and digital experiences across the U.S. via his new base in Dallas.