Serverless architecture: From buzzword to reality

Serverless architecture- From buzzword to reality

Heard of “serverless architecture,” but you have no idea what it means? This buzzword is on the rise for the past few years, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop for all the right reasons. More and more cloud companies are trying to promote serverless architecture for businesses.

Why serverless architecture?

Serverless architecture helps you focus on your application and not the infrastructure. Far from being just an industry buzz, the phrase serverless architecture has begun to gain attention as one of the most viable and smooth cloud service-delivery platforms. This unique architecture has hidden powers in the special apps or functions, which can easily replace most backend services without leaving a massive footprint on the Cloud.

Understanding serverless architecture

The ultimate goal of serverless architecture is to shift operations from on-premise to cloud, and replace backend and microservices to the hosted server with efficient code snippets and simplify the deployment and distribution of custom functions, which can run on the front end of web applications. As real-time computing is crucial in Cloud deployments, Serverless is gaining more prominence in both scalable web applications and enterprise systems.

Monolithic, Microservices and Serverless architecture

  • Monolithic, complex development, simple operations: A monolithic pattern works as a single indivisible unit. The concept of monolithic software lies in different components of an application being combined into a single program on a single platform. Usually, a monolithic app consists of a database, client-side user interface, and server-side application. All the parts are unified, and all its functions managed in one place.
    This architecture has served us well over the years. We have created numerous MVP and POCs following this architecture.

    Advantages of this architecture are:
  • Less maintenance cost
  • Easier testing
  • Good initial performance
  • Enables rapid application development

    Limitations of this architecture are:
  • Tight coupling between components
  • Lesser reusability
  • Codebase gets cumbersome 
  • Difficult to adopt new technology
  • Limited agility

  • Microservices: simple development, complex operations: Moving on, to maintain independent modules and more extensive development teams, we started fiddling with the microservices architecture. We slowly started to move new projects to follow this architecture. It is highly scalable, better organized, and quickly deployable.

    The pros of microservices are
  • Simple decoupling of components 
  • Easy to scale and resilient
  • Reusable in parts
  • Ease of deployment

    Nevertheless, there were some common challenges with both monolithic and microservices architecture like:
  • Security of network
  • Scaling up
  • Infrastructure pricing
  • Higher operational Cost
  • Environment incompatibility

  • Serverless Architecture: Write the code and run it: Serverless is a cloud computing execution model where the cloud provider dynamically manages the allocation and provisioning of servers. It takes away infrastructure, orchestration layers, and the deployment process. There are still servers and VM’s, but the cloud provider fully manages them. As an application developer, we only had to write business logic and functionality and leave the rest to AWS or Azure. The pricing model uses a metric of actual resource consumption.

    Among many advantages of serverless architecture, a few worth noting are
  • Less operational complexity
  • Easy scaling up
  • Choice of multiple programming languages
  • Compatible with microservices

    There are few limitations to serverless architecture
  • Latency 
  • Memory and processing limits
  • Integration testing challenges

The serverless cloud architecture is an evolutionary step that has helped us leverage the Cloud, and advances in computing technology have created a paradigm shift in DevOps as well. It helps in achieving business agility; it can foster the rapid delivery of business value through collaboration, learning, and continuous improvement.
Take your mind off infrastructure issues, and focus on business goals, because you can build, run and test applications or services without servers. All the developer has to do focus on the code, handle the business logic, and then deploy them in small function packages.

After gaining sufficient momentum in the last few years, DevOps and microservices are giving way to newer technologies. Serverless architecture can help us deliver new products and services in a much cost-effective and accurate way.

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