A Guide to Serverless Computing

A Guide to Serverless Computing

5 mins read401 Views 1 Comment
Updated on Jan 6, 2023 10:58 IST

AWS provides technologies for running code, managing data, and integrating applications without the need for server management.

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Serverless computing is a kind of cloud computing, in which the main goal is that the consumers should not worry about planning or managing the server and its properties. It is also known as FaaS (Function-as-a-Service) cloud computing architecture. Cloud service providers are responsible for planning and managing the server.

In this developers must configure one or two functions for an event. Consumers do not need to concern themselves about resources. Because, in this approach, resources get activated when the function begins. The resources get deactivated when the function ends, and they are also available to the service itself.

Serverless architecture is a technique for creating and deploying applications and services. In this cloud computing, there is no need to manage infrastructure. Your application is still running on servers, but AWS manages them all. It encourages users to think less about scaling and maintaining servers.

In this blog, we will discuss serverless computing in brief. Initially, let’s look at the subjects covered in this blog: 

  1. What is serverless computing architecture?
  2. Why use serverless computing architectures?
  3. Why prefer serverless computing?
  4. Services for serverless computing
  5. What does a serverless platform provide?
  6. Difference between AWS and Azure serverless computing
  7. Applications of AWS serverless computing  
  8. Advantages of serverless computing
  9. Disadvantages of serverless computing

What is serverless computing architecture?

AWS serverless computing architecture is a method for developing and deploying services and applications without having to handle the infrastructure. Users’ applications continue to run on servers, but those servers are managed by AWS.

Users are charged based on their usage, and they are only charged for the services they use. Though these are called serverless, physical servers are still used, but developers do not need to be aware of them. It provides Function-as-a-Service (FaaS).

The image shown below depicts an example of serverless application architecture:

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Why use serverless computing architectures?

With the help of this architecture, developers can focus on their core product instead of having to juggle between managing and operating servers and developing the application.

Because of the reduced overhead, developers can reclaim time and energy for developing great products that scale and are reliable. This architecture also aids in lowering latency.

Why prefer serverless computing? 

There are various reasons for preferring serverless computing over any other. Some of those reasons are:

  • No server management
    • The end-user or the consumer is not responsible for server managing, monitoring, and logging. These all tasks are carried out by the cloud providers.
    • Functions are executed on request or events only. Hence it’s almost automatic for the end-users or consumers.
  • Pay-per-use
    • The consumer has only to pay for the time they use the service. This can be evaluated based on the execution time of the function.
    • There are zero charges to be paid for idle capacity.
  • Infinite scaling
    • The application of the end-user can be scaled automatically or by adjusting its capacity.
    • Its capacity can be adjusted by changing the units of throughput or memory rather than individual server units.

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Services for serverless computing

Here is a list of some of the AWS services that help in building and running your serverless applications:

  • AWS Lambda

AWS Lambda has a charging system that is event-driven. The only thing you have to do is write code; you don’t have to manage servers or containers.

  • AWS Fargate

Without your intervention, AWS Fargate runs containers on its own. Because you don’t have to manage virtual machines manually or select the service type, the tool is extremely useful.

  • AWS DynamoDB

DynamoDB is a database system provided by Amazon Web Services. It supports data structures and key-valued cloud services. It offers data encryption, which protects sensitive data from theft.

  • API Gateway

An API gateway is a tool for managing APIs that sits between a client and a set of backend services. Other API types, such as WebSocket, are supported.

  • Amazon Cognito

Amazon Cognito is a service for web and mobile app authentication, authorization, and user management. It supports signing in with a password and a username, as well as social media accounts.

What does a serverless platform provide?

The serverless platform includes all the services that a user needs to build and run their application on AWS’s platform. It provides technologies for running code, managing data, and integrating applications without the need for server management.

Difference between AWS and Azure serverless computing

Benchmark AWS Azure
Supported languages AWS Lambda supports Java, Go, PowerShell, Node. js, C#, Python, and Ruby code. Azure Functions supports Bash, Batch, C#, F#, Java, JavaScript (Node. js), PHP, PowerShell, Python, and TypeScript.
Stateful functions support  Provides stateful functions support Does not provide stateful functions support 
Deployment Deployment is done in zip format and that zip is uploaded to Lambda or S3. Deployment can be done on Azure Git, dropbox, visual studio, and so on.
Storage  S3 & DynamoDB are used Blob storage is used

Applications of AWS serverless computing  

  • Web applications
    • Example: Weather application
  • Data processing
    • Example: Image thumbnail creation
  • Batch processing
    • Example: Post-trade analytics or financial service
  • Event ingestion
    • Example: Clickstream analysis

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Advantages of serverless computing

There are various advantages of serverless computing. Some of those advantages are:

  • Servers require no attention during installation or maintenance.
  • Payment is based on throughput, making it cost-effective.
  • You can select appropriate settings based on your product’s needs.
  • Once you have written the code, you can deploy the system right away, and it will be available to the rest of the world in a matter of minutes.
  • It helps a developer to decrease the workload.

Disadvantages of serverless computing

Some of the disadvantages of serverless computing are described below:

  • A scarcity of local testing options
  • Troubleshooting becomes more difficult as the serverless application grows in complexity.
  • If the user attempts to load test while using the same AWS account for both production and analysis, a DoS condition will occur (Denial of Service).
  • The usable memory is limited because the serverless architecture is based on temporary containers, which impedes processes that require a lot of processing.
  • Because serverless architecture executes commands and functions on temporary containers, it may result in a cold start.

Conclusion

In today’s article, we went over serverless computing in great detail. I hope that by writing this article, I was able to dispel some of your concerns.

If you want to learn more about AWS, its services, and architecture, you can do these cloud courses. I hope that by writing this article, I was able to alleviate some of your worries.

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Comments

(1)

This is a great introduction to serverless computing! It's clear and covers all the important points. I especially like the table comparing AWS and Azure. Super helpful! The bit about serverless being cost-effective because you only pay for what you use is a big advantage. Overall, this is a great r

Reply to Ashish Srivastava