Server-‘less’? You mean no server at all? Well, nah! ‘Serverless’ Computing simply means that all the paraphernalia of the server will be cloud-based and the provider could be a third-party service termed as BaaS or elaborately- Backend-as-a-Service, or it might run on custom codes like Function-as-a-Service. A developer will be enabled to create and run apps or processes without being in direct contact with the server. A company working with Serverless architecture does not need to fret about spending on the machines or installation of servers.
But despite all this, is Serverless the future?
History of Serverless Computing
Let’s go back in time, to begin with the beginning:
Google App Engine and AWS Lambda
Serverless started materializing when Google released its Google App Engine which was a Platform-as-a-service or PaaS platform in 2008 and ran Google Cloud. It did streamline the process without initiating worries regarding server provisioning.
AWS launched Lambda in 2015, it enabled developers to create software solutions without worrying about the OS, hardware, location, or scalability. This initiated the Serverless Computing process which is currently in vogue.
The Advantages and Disadvantages
- Not Server-Centric: Serverless Computing has advantages when it comes to the discarding of server-centric infrastructure by the developer.
- Scalable: It is highly scalable and grows and diminishes with requirements. If the user base expands or the usage increases, then it scales automatically. If functions need to be run multiple times, then Serverless will enable a seamless process for that.
- Very Flexible: Serverless Computing can be managed from anywhere in the world. It is possible because the application is not hosted on the origin server, it can be run in close proximity to the end-user. Its code can be written with traditional server style, like with Microservices.
- The Release is Quicker: The development team can quickly create and release products to the market.
- Cost-Effective: Serverless integration follows the pay-for-value format which charges users only as much as the usage.
- Secure Enough?: Due to third-party involvement, security issues have become a concern for organizations.
- Complex Monitoring: The Functions in Serverless computing are developed separately and because of the Event-Driven architecture it becomes hard to debug. Also, the developers rely on vendors for debugging and monitoring tools.
- Third-party API Systems Issues: Vendor lock-in, multi-tenancy problems, are a couple of problems that mar the workflow. If any lag in system control occurs then it results in multi-tenancy, system downtime, and cost fluctuations.
- Implementation Problems: the problem arises with the time and frequency of integration testing because the units with Serverless FaaS are smaller than other architectures.
Why Serverless in 2021?
Serverless Computing is gaining traction among organizations, and many popular organizations like Codepen, Netflix, Coca-Cola, Nordstrom, and Figma run their processes serverless, so that team could shift their focus from infrastructure management to creation, innovation, and delivery.
In a study by Dashbird.io, it has been explored as to why Netflix, the popular OTT platform for audio-visual streaming services has fully shifted to AWS cloud infrastructure. It functions seamlessly as the users are aware of, but how?
Netflix streams 10 billion hours of videos through AWS’ highly complex infrastructure which has turned Netflix into a Cloud-Native app. It uses Serverless Computing for the following purposes:
- Encoding and sorting files
- To backup files
- To ensure security with alerts and shutdown in case of unauthorized access.
This is just one instance of how organizations go Serverless for various functions. Is there growth in the future for it though?
Here’s what data say: according to Datadog’s analysis, 1 out of 4 CloudFront users have adopted Serverless Edge Computing and 50% of AWS users rely on Serverless functioning, not only this the Serverless Computing Market is estimated to reach USD 19.97 billion by the year 2025.
Serverless has been rising in popularity with cloud developers because of these top three features:
It has diverse resources and is highly scalable.
Its cloud-based execution model outsources the code to the third-party provider’s infrastructure.
The market is expanding and AWS, Microsoft Azure, OpenWhisk are bringing in new and unique integrations with Serverless Cloud Computing like AWS Lambda allows functions to get triggered with an increase in services and Google Cloud Platform offers support through Stackdriver Integration.
Serverless has thrived in the past few years and is expected to grow despite factors like complex architecture or security issues. It is used by popular streaming and commercial platforms as well.
Interested in exploring Serverless Computing or want to know some insights and facts?
Read this to find out more about Serverless Computing: