Serverless architectures eliminate the need for hardware management and server software. The advent of serverless architectures has radically changed the way back-end computing works while bringing a fragmented approach to cloud computing. Cloud applications continue to permeate the serverless landscape, which is bringing transformative iterations to the development and distribution of applications.
While serverless does not literally mean the absence of servers, it allows the execution of code as part of functions in an autonomously provisioned cloud environment. Prevalently termed as “function-as-a-service (FaaS)”, a serverless architecture depends on third-party service providers. Here, the task of managing server components falls in the hands of the service provider
The Boons of Serverless Architectures
The prime advantage of a serverless architecture is scalability, as FaaS can be scaled at lower granular levels without any need for configuration. Following are some other key benefits.
Thresholds for Resource Optimization
A serverless architecture enables organizations to define execution or memory limits for their infrastructure code. There are thresholds in place that ensure effective optimization of resources. This helps organizations in estimating the number of servers required to be spun up for leveraging the full potential of their resources.
Organizations are usually required to configure scaling or set an appropriate number of instances for running containers or applications. FaaS eliminates the need for organizations to provision certain resources or configure scaling. Also, when specific features become suddenly redundant, the FaaS environment enables scale-down and scale-up automatically.
Applications in Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) scale per application while in Container-as-a-Service (CaaS), per container. However, applications developed on FaaS can be fragmented into different functions and have the ability to scale per function. A drawback here is that organizations need to rethink their application architecture and carry out comprehensive orchestrations for managing functions to conduct smaller tasks.
In container deployment, organizations need to spend on whether the code is executed actively or not. In the case of FaaS, charges incur only when the functions are used. This benefit of cost-effectiveness is gradually gaining importance in the concept of serverless architectures. Also, it rids the organizations from maintaining the servers 24/7, which in turn significantly ebbs the cost of development.
Serverless is a Cognitive State
Approaches of serverless integrations for databases and applications are already underway. FaaS takes the responsibility of sizing storage and resources required for systems. However, the shift to serverless architectures among organizations is only gradual at present and it is touted to accelerate in the foreseeable future.
Several trends are imminent in the world of serverless, as cloud service providers continue to strengthen the element of compliance. Beyond serverless architecture, a trend that will see an upsurge in the upcoming years, organizations are growing aware of the technology’s core value and practicality of resolving problems with serverless.
Serverless is perceived to be a cognitive state, a direction for organizations to follow for informed decision-making in their mission-critical objectives. It helps them in unlocking the full potential of the developmental workflow. All decisions made by organizations have confinements, however, with insights for the right direction, choices made will be aligned closely with goals.
Everything Comes With Drawbacks
There are a few drawbacks when it comes to serverless architectures. However, taking preemptive measures, organizations can overcome these and successfully manifest the serverless state of mind.
Serverless architectures are event-based and the available tools for serverless environments haven’t matured enough. This complicates the process of tracking performance for effective operations. Serverless functions are stateless and observability is closing in on parity, making it difficult for developers to implement debugs in production environments.
Cold starts are something that organizations must deal with when it comes to serverless. A caution here is that developers must keep functions warm and run them in regular intervals. Working in a serverless architecture becomes more complex with larger functions. Organizations can stave off cold starts by keeping their serverless functions small.
High Dependency on Vendors
In serverless architectures, organizations do not have to control runtime updates and server hardware. On the other hand, the third-party provider imposes resource limits. This way, the provider determines the specifications of an organization’s serverless architecture. This implies nothing else but a vendor lock-in and debates continue over the fact that long-term impacts are ensued by resorting to one provider.
Serverless architectures are redefining the way organizations integrate, consume, and develop cloud-native applications. They help technology professionals drive cost-effectiveness and agility for their applications. New features are pushing functions of serverless architectures to the edge, bringing them closer to end-users and reducing latency to bare minimum.