Serverless Architecture

The future of cloud computing?

In the ever changing landscape of technology, cloud computing has seen rapid advancements. Amongst the emerging trends, Serverless computing is transforming the way that developers approach application development and deployment. Serverless computing is often termed as “Function as a Service”, i.e. FaaS, which allows customers to execute code as a response to events without the need to build or manage infrastructure. This blog will explore the concept of Serverless, the advantages, the use cases and how cloud provider giants like AWS and Azure are embracing it!

Serverless computing… what?

Though the name suggests a complete absence of servers, this is not the case. Rather, serverless computing is about abstracting the underlying infrastructure from developers – allowing them to focus solely on their code. By leveraging serverless compute, developers can free up time and brainpower whilst the cloud provider is responsible for managing infrastructure, scaling resources, patches and administration operations. The written code can be triggered as a response to user events or background processes and will execute any defined function before ceasing to exist!

What’s the point?

πŸ’°Cost… With serverless, you’re billed for the actual execution time of your function, and not pre-allocated resources. This can lead to significant cost savings, especially for sporadic workloads!

πŸ“ˆ Scalability… The key benefit to using serverless compute is automatic scalability. The cloud provider will instantly scale the number of function instances based on incoming requests.

πŸ› οΈ Maintenance… There’s no need for you to worry about maintaining a backend system, applying patches or performing system updates. The cloud provider manages all of this, allowing the developers to concentrate on writing code

🧠 Productivity… Without the need to configure backend environments and complicated setup, developers can get their applications running faster. This leads to agility and code being shipped faster.


Use cases for serverless computing

Though there are many considerations when deciding on a system architecture, some of which can include system traffic, compute requirements and cost – I’ll share some common examples in which it makes sense to utilise serverless computing!


Event-driven applications: Functions can be coded to respond to changes in data, user activity or system events. This is ideal for real-time processing and response systems.

Data processing: Serverless compute should be a major consideration if you need to transform data on the fly! This can include contexts such as image resizing, video transcoding e.t.c. where you would like to transform your data as it moves from source to destination ✈️.

Chatbots πŸ€– and virtual assistants: Currently taking the internet by storm, serverless compute can be used to handle user requests in real time without the need for persistent and dedicated infrastructure.

Notification systems: Consider using serverless functions to automate backups, or send notifications based on certain triggers. Resources are allocated for the duration of execution, which may cut down on costs.

Leading Serverless Platforms

AWS Lambda

Amazon’s serverless offering, AWS Lambda, has become synonymous with serverless architecture. With Lambda, you can run code without provisioning or managing servers. It supports multiple programming languages, integrates seamlessly with other AWS services, and scales automatically. Some of its features include:

  • Event Mapping: Link Lambda functions to specific AWS service events or notifications
  • Layered Deployment: Manage and share code between multiple lambda functions!
  • Fault tolerance: Lambda maintains compute capacity and infrastructure reliability. It has possibility to add monitoring, logging via Amazon CloudWatch and automatic retries.

Azure functions

Azure Functions is Microsofts serverless computing solution. It integrates within the Azure ecosystem, allowing developers to trigger functions from a variety of events within their Azure architecture. Some of its features include:

  • Language support: Azure Functions supports a variety of programming languages such as C#, Java, Javascript and Python
  • Durability: Azure functions can be defined as a series of steps in order to represent complex workflows
  • Developer Tools: Built-in integration with popular IDEs like Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code which helps with debugging and deployment

Conclusion

Serverless computing is not just a fleeting trend; it’s the future of cloud computing. As developers seek more efficient, cost-effective, and agile ways to deploy applications, serverless emerges as a clear choice. Whether you’re building a startup MVP or scaling an enterprise system, it’s worthwhile to consider the benefits serverless offers. With giants like AWS and Azure pouring resources into this arena, the future indeed seems serverless.

Personal Note from Arslan

I found the sheer number of options when I first started exploring the world of cloud computing to be intimidating. I was particularly interested in serverless. I still recall how fantastic it felt the first time I launched a function on AWS Lambda. The era of carefully controlling servers and resources is over. Instead, I was free to concentrate on what I enjoy doing the most: coding and solving problems.

I’ve grown to value serverless’s larger implications over time. It’s not just about making things simpler or saving money; it represents a change in the way we approach software development and moves us closer to a society in which technology is more widely available and ideas are realised more quickly.

I encourage all developers, especially those early in their journey, to delve into serverless. It might just change the way you see the cloud, as it did for me. Happy coding πŸ’» !

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