Serverless Computing and its Benefits

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StarAgile

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Apr 15, 2024

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Serverless computing is a way of giving your customers backend services as and when they need them. A serverless provider allows their users to create and deploy code without worrying about needing any kind of infrastructure. If your company opts for backend services from a serverless vendor, then you will be charged based on your computation. Furthermore, you do not have to pay for or reserve a fixed amount of bandwidth or servers.

This kind of service is usually auto-scaling. While there are servers involved, the developer is not generally aware of them. In the early stages of Internet technology, developers needed a physical server to create a web application. This was usually very expensive and could be cumbersome for the company. However, today with cloud computing, one can remotely rent out fixed amounts of servers or server space.

When developers rent out a fixed amount of server space or servers, they have to account for a spike in traffic and ensure that it does not exceed their monthly limit. In other words, much of the server space goes unused. Even if one opts for a cloud vendor with the auto-scaling facility, it may cost them extra during an unwanted spike in activity.  

What is Serverless Computing? 

in the case of serverless computing developers only have to pay for the services they use. Serverless computing is just like using a cell phone data plan, where customers only pay for each byte of data they use instead of having a fixed monthly limit.

Although dubbed serverless, it requires the use of servers at the backend. However, in this instance, there is a vendor who handles everything from the infrastructure to the server space. In other words, serverless means that the developers do not have to worry about servers.

What are Backend Services?

The development of an application is divided into two different realms - frontend, and back end. The front end is where the users interact with the application; it is everything they see while using the application, like the visual layout. The backend is everything the user does not see. The servers hosting the application files and the database that holds all the business knowledge and data make up the application's backend.  

What is the Difference Between the Front and Backend? 

Front End  Back End 
When the website requests data  Responds with the website data 
Displays website data and forwards any user requests Checks database and delivers user requests 
Requests website data Updates database 

 

Backend Services that Serverless Computing Provides 

Serverless computing companies provide their customers with storage and database services. They may even have different platforms that offer function-as-a-service (FaaS). This allows developers to execute smaller pieces of code on the network edge. With the help of FaaS, one can also build scalable modular architectures and a codebase without spending a lot on resources to maintain the backend.

Advantages of Serverless Computing 

  • Lower Cost

Serverless computing is a more cost-effective way of attaining backend services. Unlike traditional cloud computing services, one does not have to pay for any idle CPU time or unused space.  

  • Scalable

Developers using serverless architecture do not have to worry about any policies when scaling up their codes. All scaling demands are handled by the vendor in the case of serverless cloud computing.  

  • Simple Backend Codes

With the help of FaaS, developers can create simple functions to perform their roles independently. An example of this is an API call.  

  • Quick Turnaround

A serverless architect helps significantly lower the market time. In this case, developers can modify and add code on a piecemeal basis without going through a complex deployment process when they want to roll out new features or fixes.  

  • No Server Management

As serverless computing happens without physical servers in-house, developers do not have to worry about managing and maintaining the server. This not only reduces the amount of investment necessary as the expenses are lowered but also gives developers more time to expand their existing apps and create new ones without any constraints.  

  • Decreased Latency

As the code for the application does not need to be hosted on an origin server, developers can run this code from almost anywhere. This means they can run the application from servers closer to the end user, significantly reducing the application's latency.  

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Disadvantages of Serverless Computing 

Here is a list of the cons of serverless computing:  

  • Complex Testing and Debugging Methods

As it is more challenging to replicate a serverless environment, developers may need help to see how the code performs when deployed. This makes debugging the application difficult as developers may need to learn the backend processes.  

  • Security Concerns

When a vendor runs an entire operation at the backend, one cannot thoroughly vet their security. This can become a problem if the application needs to handle sensitive or personal data.  

  • Performance Issues

As the application is not constantly running, this code may need extra boot-up time, reducing its performance. But if the piece of code is regularly used, the serverless computing provider will always keep it ready to be activated whenever needed.

  • Risk of Vendor lock-in

Having a vendor that does all the backend work increases the dependency on a vendor. Once one has set up an architecture with a vendor, it may be challenging to switch to another vendor, especially if they offer different workflows and features.  

Serverless Computing Examples of Use 

Here are a few examples of services for serverless computing  

  • Event-triggered computing 
  • Internet of Things (IoT) data processing 
  • Back-end tasks for mobile apps or websites 
  • High-volume background processing  
  • Microserver support 
  • Image and video manipulation 
  • Multilanguage writing tools 

Now that the benefits of serverless computing are well-defined, one must also know that it is an important skill when they want a future in software. It can also be a great career option for someone just starting in the field of computers and app development.

If you want to learn more about serverless computing, opt for DevOps training like a DevOps course. At StarAgile, we offer students multiple DevOps certification courses, with some offering 100% placement guarantee programs.

The highly trained and experienced trainers not only provide live training but also offer after-training support. Most of these courses are held over the weekend so that even busy working professionals can benefit from them.

These courses also provide hands-on assignments and projects to familiarize professionals with the system and help them advance in their careers. Contact us today for more information about these and more courses.  

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the future of serverless computing? 

As serverless computing keeps evolving, the providers can develop solutions for most of the current drawbacks. This means the time required for cold starts or the start of those applications that have not been used for a while will be lower. This will add to the edge that serverless computing and increase its popularity in the coming years.  

Who is the serverless architecture most useful for? 

Developers who want to decrease the amount of time needed to reach the market or want to build a lightweight and flexible application can draw the most benefits out of serverless computing. It is also helpful for architects who wish to reduce the costs of applications with inconsistent usage. Lastly, developers who want to push some or all of the application functions closer to the end user can opt for serverless computing.

Serverless Computing

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