The cloud computing sector is in a constant state of evolution. Cloud computing has already had a profound effect on the way data centers are operated. New IT infrastructure architectures and service providers are now deploying their own unique hyperscale data centre facilities which has contributed to this changes.
Serverless computing is one of the new way of hosting applications without the need for end user management. It has promised to move customers a step closer towards utility-based computing. Serverless computing can now offer lower total cost of ownership (TCO) as compared to both virtual machines and containers. Serverless computing is actually something of a misnomer that takes away the need for the consumer of cloud computing to have to deal directly with servers. Users do not have to manage them, and instead focus on developing and deploying the business logic to power their own application or service.
The term ‘serverless’ may mean that no servers are used to run an application. However, the fact is this model means that developers and cloud service providers do not encounter the typical complexity and maintenance management of VMs or containers.
Serverless is more than just hype; it has the potential to transform the way we develop, build and run applications in the cloud.
Serverless approach sees applications and services broken down into smaller, more discrete functions. Although it may sound similar to Paas, some serverless proponents have even coined the term functions-as-a-service (FaaS).
When analyzing serverless offerings from the leading public cloud service providers, 451 Research determined that IBM generally offers the least expensive service, with Microsoft leading for certain other configurations.
Another research showed that TCO of serverless tends to be lower than VMs, even when the VM is hosting containers.
But is serverless life always better?
Not all applications can be implemented in the serverless way as one may face limitations when using a public cloud and when it comes to legacy systems. But it is quite exciting to see Lambda and services such as the API Gateway grow in capability and evolve all the time.
Serverless works great for what we might call ‘rich client’ applications that tap into a huge number of cloud databases and related application services.
I strongly believe that if used wisely, a good serverless architecture can speed up development time and help to produce a more robust product.