June 23, 2020

Serverless Computing, the Rise of Cloud Computing

Migration from traditional servers to the cloud leads in an increase of serverless service providers.

Today we will talk about how the cloud changed the well-known servers. The cloud has been around from a long time ago, but after its boom a couple years back, it shows, that it's here to stay.

No more buying expensive servers and filling a room with machinery and ventilators. No more paying for hosted servers either. With the cloud and its services, you don't own the equipment, and you pay only for what you use. The pay for what you use is not a global standard, but it's where the cloud is pointing towards. Amazon already applies this pricing method in all of its cloud services. As the market works, competition will have to match its offer or lose its clients.

It's always a recommended practice, to buy a server that can afford more usability than what you expect to have. You can't take the risk of having a system overload because of a spike in traffic. Lots of startups and companies choose Amazon EC2 as their cloud service, and as I just mentioned, they pay a little bit extra compared to the average usage metric.

There might be a contradiction in the term serverless computing, as it relies on servers. The explanation is, that is serverless for the customer, there's no server management by the client. The service provider manages all the infrastructure, the client pays for the resources and focuses on the application.

The efficiency of using a cloud service is much higher than renting or buying own servers. The 30% of time and productivity that is usually spent in managing infrastructure doesn't disappear, even better… it is transformed into 30% of more time and management of the data and application. The companies can focus on their development while the provider focuses on the provision of the service.

Serverless computing has been around since cloud computing appeared, but in recent years it has grown exponentially. Serverless services include uploading data (Amazon S3), sending text messages from the server (Twilio), and password verification (Auth0)

Cloud services with serverless service are highly available and it allows the client to scale without the need of scaling like would scale with servers. Instead of scaling in the number of servers, the client scales its applications by units of consumption (memory).

Serverless computing is expected to be the future of service applications. But not every application will be suitable for serverless services. “Every service that can go serverless will go serverless”

Programmers need to know whether the service they are buying is a solely cloud service or a serverless service. As the coding will be different. Serverless services tend to limit the size of code packages, while cloud services don't. Developers that are building large applications will have to break them into pieces before uploading them.

Serverless computing differs from traditional servers. Traditional servers run the code without stopping. But in serverless, it's not quite the same. In serverless, the server stops running the code when it's not being used and load it back into the memory when it's needed. This surely slows down the real-time response to users, but makes it cost-effective.

Serverless services are good for code reusability. The same way object-oriented programming started having its boom in the 1980´s we can expect the same to happen with serverless services.

These cloud services are known as elastic services rather than scalable. Despite the services are scalable, they are more elastic than scalable. The scalability is provided and set up by the provider. More developers are able to run small teams without the need for infrastructure and support engineers.

Despite the most used serverless services are provided by the safest companies in the world, such as Amazon and Google, it´s not the safest architecture. The attack surface is higher based on the many more components that build the infrastructure. Each component provides a potential vulnerability to the system. Some services provide an IDS/IPS service. The service is an intrusion detection/prevention system.

The privacy of the serverless environments are mostly proprietary and public environments. The client has to know this before developing. Serverless computing is also offered in private clouds. This are the most private and safest platforms to build your applications.

In conclusion, serverless computing is expected to rise in the same way object-oriented programming did in the past. At first, it was not the common standard, but after some time, it established itself. The service allows clients to focus on their application and on their development while the provided focuses on the management of the infrastructure. Before, clients had to manage the infrastructure even if it was hosted by a third party. Not anymore, based on this way of working, everybody focuses on their own part, giving a rise of over 30% of productivity to companies and startups.

TagsServerless ComputingCloud Computing
Lucas Bonder
Technical Writer
Lucas is an Entrepreneur, Web Developer, and Article Writer about Technology.

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