Serverless Computing: What It Is and What It Is Used For

In recent years, so-called serverless computing has become in great demand. Scientists from the University of Berkeley say the technology will attract more and more users in the future. This is not surprising, since it is a simplified programming environment that makes the use of cloud technologies several times easier and allows you to speed up development processes. As a result, there is no need for manual management or resource optimization.

Many experts agree that in the future there will be an increasing proportion of mashups using serverless computing. However, some deployments still persist, largely due to current regulatory restrictions.

Let’s look at what serverless systems are, why they have become a new trend in cloud solutions, and what are the benefits of using them.

What is Serverless Computing?

It is just a method of providing server services without the use of physical equipment (that is, without buying or renting it).

The user uses the servers of the cloud service provider, which makes it possible to refuse to self-configure systems, support their performance, provide the required amount of RAM, etc. The client receives a ready-made solution without interacting with the IT infrastructure at any level.

This approach allows you to abandon the self-service of the system, but at the same time write and deploy code. In fact, the user uses computing resources, but in a ready-made version.

This is convenient because the client does not need to pay for certain capacities or plan the bandwidth of the channel. He pays the rent for resources upon consumption. This allows for scaling of capacities both up and down.

Application features

As you can imagine, serverless technologies became popular for a reason. Previously, a physical server was required to run and develop applications. For this, hardware was purchased, which needed constant updating and maintenance. As a result, it took a lot of time and money to maintain the entire infrastructure.

Cloud computing has allowed for a complete overhaul of the traditional system, eliminating some or all of the physical server spaces. The term “serverless computing” indicates precisely the lack of user interaction with the server. That is, the developer receives finite resources without worrying about the equipment at all. However, physically all servers exist, are constantly updated and maintained, but the cloud provider only performs all the procedures.

Back-end and Front-end

As you know, the development of any application or program can be divided into back-end and front-end. The first term denotes the internal infrastructure, that is, that part of the program that is not visible to the user in any way. This includes root files, databases, and so on. There is the implementation of business logic at this level. The second part – the frontend – is visible and accessible. A person can interact with it and perform the necessary tasks (for example, the page interface belongs to this part).

At the same time, the frontend and backend are linked. For example, if a user enters a request into the search form on the site, then he uses the external interface of the application. At the same time, in order to display the necessary information, upon request, there is an appeal to the databases on the server, that is, interaction with the “invisible” part.

The use of serverless computing allows developers to focus specifically on the front-end without affecting the development of the back-end.

Of course, other ways of creating applications are also actively used. Very often, the choice of one method or another occurs at the early stages of development, after estimating the timing and costs of all procedures. The choice of method can affect the life cycle of the program, which ultimately affects the entire company. But more and more developers are using the serverless approach to cut costs and avoid the complexity of backend development.what is serverless computing?

Benefits of Serverless Computing

Let’s take a look at the pros of building serverless applications:

One programming language

If earlier, to create complex and large-scale projects, the participation of highly qualified back-end programmers was required, today you can engage one specialist with the skills and knowledge of one ecosystem in development. This allows you to reduce the project team, which has a positive impact on costs.

Less code

This advantage follows from the first. The value is not the code itself, but the functions that it performs. As you choose serverless technologies, you can find new ways to implement these features. This allows you to reduce the amount of code used, and in some cases, completely eliminate it.

This has a positive effect on the development timeline: an abundance of code always increases the risk of complications and errors, which requires additional time to solve them. Serverless computing avoids the extra hassle while providing all the functionality you need.

No need for server management

Maintenance and updating of IT infrastructure is a rather laborious and costly process. It can be overwhelming for small companies, but using serverless computing allows you to avoid additional costs and pay only for the resources actually used. You do not need to install, administer, or maintain the software and runtime; the service provider does all the work.

Development speed

The technology allows you to abandon back-end development, thereby reducing the number of functions. This leads to a reduction in the time it takes to create an application and allows you to quickly deploy the necessary functions (especially when they relate to APIs, databases, or storage). I manage to start writing the main code without additional preparation or development of business logistics.

Scalability

Experts call scalability one of the main advantages of the solution. In fact, you no longer need to plan the demand for the application and calculate the required amount of resources. If the program becomes extremely popular with users, then the cloud provider will always cope with the loads, and you can rent additional resources.

You don’t need additional settings or changes to the application, as you can perform the procedure automatically. The service provider will scale your application in response to every user interaction. In addition, the code will be executed in parallel, allowing the processing of each command separately.

Experimental base

Serverless systems eliminate the waste of time developing repetitive functions. This helps to experiment with the front-end, as there are far fewer risks and threats. That is, you can deploy a new environment for testing at any time, and in case of errors, try again without wasting time on the backend. This allows you to test abandoned ideas.

Availability control

The cloud server provider ensures high fault tolerance and system availability. You do not need to design these capabilities yourself, which will keep costs down for your company.

Application safety

When renting serverless computing, you use the services of cloud providers. They are responsible for the safe and stable operation of the infrastructure, preventing failures, cyber-attacks, and data loss. Customers are provided with a business model using proven services and customizations.

The infrastructure is up and running around the clock, the slightest threats are constantly monitored, and applications and hardware are upgraded. All this makes it possible to achieve the maximum level of security, which is almost impossible to obtain when building an IT system on your own.

Reduced costs

We’ve talked about this many times before – Serverless systems help save development costs. With the traditional approach to building applications, you have to pay for resources, whether you use them to the fullest or not. In the case of cloud services, you pay only for the actually used capacity, which allows you to optimize costs. Also, due to the acceleration of the application to market, there is a reduction in development costs.

Conclusion

In the near future, serverless computing will continue to actively develop, as it remains in high demand among users. Providers are developing new services and tools that will address any gaps in the solution in the future. This will help further reduce developer costs and streamline the creation of new applications.

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