What is Serverless Computing? What are its benefits?

Serverless computing is the the future of cloud, that will disrupt the way that applications will be programmed and managed by engineers going forward. Over the last decade, Cloud has truly disrupted the consumption models for IT and applications with ever growing adoption of IaaS, PaaS and SaaS among startups to Fortune 500 enterprises.

Welcome to the World of Serverless Architecture

A world where you can run your applications and business logic without worrying about virtual machines, operating systems, processing middleware, configuration management and scaling production systems.

Why would programmers move to serverless architecture  and what are the benefits of going serverless?

1. Decouple Application Into Independent Services

One of the hallmarks of a good software application is to decouple different components based on their business logic into independent services that can be deployed, scaled, and operated easily. The serverless paradigm will make it easier for programmers to build applications with decoupled architecture into functions without worrying about significant IT/DevOps operational overhead that are associated with operating distributed applications in production today.

2. Build Event Driven Applications Faster

Building and operating event driven applications (process a message, execute a task, run a function, manipulate data formats etc) for the various use-cases including IoT will be a breeze with serverless approach. You can leverage FaaS (Function-as-a-Service) programming paradigm  like Lambda etc from cloud providers like AWS, AZURE or Google to develop serverless applications to respond to different events and scale your applications without worrying about underlying runtime systems or configuration management. If you are a programmer building event driven application then the serverless approach is worth considering.

3. Remove IT Operational Overhead

As a business, one of the critical aspects apart from building software applications is to operate the IT environments. By going serverless, you can truly abstract from servers by removing the operational overheads of managing VM’s, databases etc and just focus on programming and deploying your business logic without worrying about underlying IT infrastructure. With Serverless, you can just focus on your business logic as code and leverage cloud providers to handle everything else.

4. Reduce Cloud Costs With Pay Per Execution

Consuming serverless offerings like Function-as-a-Service and Backend-as-a-Service from providers like AWS, Google Cloud and AZURE will significantly reduce your total cost of IT ownership for operating your applications. Even in the cloud world, VM’s are hardly used efficiently. By going serverless, you will only pay when you use it without worrying about scaling the runtime environments and configurations. There is no idle capacity to manage or optimise for in the serverless world.

5. Flexible Capacity Scaling

While Cloud has brought auto-scaling concept for VMs, the serverless approach takes it to the next level. Instead of scaling by VM’s, you can scale by adjusting the units of consumption  (concurrency, memory, cpu). This will allow developers to in control of scaling their applications by simple configuration change through API without involving heavy DevOps effort built-in fault tolerance and high availability.

Serverless will be a paradigm change to help build & operate applications without worrying about the underlying IT complexity. The public cloud provider offerings like AWS Lambda, AZURE Functions & Google Cloud Functions on Function-as-a-Service(FaaS) and DynamoDB, Firebase, CosmosDB on Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS) are evolving further to cover more use-cases. As FaaS and BaaS offerings mature from cloud providers, it’s going to be a serverless world, it’s time to get ready as a programmer and engineer!