To go or not to go serverless... This is one of 2018's most asked questions in the IT industry. And it's true that serverless computing has grown from a niche solution, with a somewhat misleading name, into a tech trend guaranteed by all the industry experts.
Yet, you're still a bit hesitant when it comes to replacing your heavy, yet familiar infrastructure with a serverless framework, right? You feel like “dipping a toe into the water” first.
And who could blame you? It's a more than legitimately prudent approach considering the implications of such a switch.
You shouldn't make a move, not until you have some unbeatable arguments at hand. Until you gain a deep understanding of all the benefits that derive from adopting a cloud-native approach.
Well, this is precisely what this blog post is all about:
pointing out all the strongest benefits that you will reap from taking the infrastructure management weight off your shoulders and going... serverless.
But First: What Is Serverless Architecture More Exactly?
First of all, let's get one thing straight: “serverless computing” doesn't mean, by all means, that there isn't a server, out there somewhere, doing its data workload processing work!
It's just that the user (yes, you!):
- is no longer burdened with all the server (or fleet of servers) management and monitoring ongoing tasks
- doesn't know (or care) where in the world his server is located
You'd be practically running your code right in the cloud, taking out of the picture the need of provisioning servers on your enterprise's end.
"But how does the data processing work on cloud?"
A valid question indeed. Basically, you're enabled to set up your individual API endpoints which will fire code and perform certain actions once triggered.
As simple as that.
And if I am to exemplify, probably the best-known example would be the serverless computing AWS: Amazon's AWS Lambda. It has already managed to “seduce” plenty of IT managers in the industry and its popularity is sure to... explode in 2018.
Why? Because it's a serverless computing architecture which:
- scales automatically, granting enterprises the flexibility they need and helping them cut down costs
- it executes code only when/if certain events occur, when specific endpoints get triggered
And it's not a serverless framework without “rivals”. Competition is about to get fierce when other frameworks such as Webtask, Microsoft Azure Functions, Google Cloud Functions, IBM OpenWhisk and Iron.io will start to... take off.
It's Horizontally Scalable: Relax and Let It Handle Massive Waves of Traffic for You
In other words: you get to worry less about balancing the heavy load, about the waves of traffic that your site/app might face once certain of your endpoints get exposed. And about rushing in to put together the properly robust infrastructure.
The underlying system will handle it for you!
You're Free to Set Up Each Endpoint in the Language of Your Choice
Or simply put: your API endpoints will be language-agnostic!
You (or your lucky team of developers) get to write each endpoint in a different language runtime. So, you're free to use the one that you're most familiar with or the one that best fits our work scenario.
And this is already a major pro for adopting a serverless computing approach in 2018!
You Only Pay for What You Use: A Strong Benefit of Serverless Computing
Here's another “irresistible” benefit that you can reap from going serverless: you only pay for what you use!
So, there's no need (not anymore) to pile up on T2 small instances and auto-scaling groups... just in case. The “case” here being: “if I ever hit a surge of traffic”.
When you're using a serverless architecture all this comes without a price tag on!
Worry Less About Managing The Underlying Infrastructure: It's Being Taken Cared Of!
Your serverless cloud provider will be managing the entire fleet of servers for you.
And this “management” includes applying security patches as soon as they get released, as well!
So, take all these monitoring and security-related concerns off your back and... focus more on turning great ideas into great digital products!
And this is — all these resources of time and effort that you'll get to invest elsewhere — the main advantage that you'll leverage from switching to serverless computing!
Turn That Great Idea of Yours Into The Next Big Thing Quicker Than Ever!
Just think about it: going from having a great idea to actually turning it into the next big... app (let's say) will take you a whole less time (and effort).
Serverless computing will smooth the path for you and shorten the process, meaning that:
- you'll be having your idea production ready a lot quicker
- you'll gain more confidence to try on newer technologies, as well
Summing Up... Plus a Forecast for 2018
“Serverless IT will move from the niche corners of the cloud estate into the spotlight as it addresses the three key areas that keep IT admins up at night: speed, cost and risk.” (Jason McDonald, President U.S., Contino)
Yet (for there is a “yet”), serverless computing isn't a “one size fits all” type of solution. It won't scale to all app architectures and needs (like the need to closely monitor and to control how things get configured).
Nevertheless, if we:
- go beyond its somehow misleading name
- see its strong benefits
- consider it only for those use cases that it's best fitted for
... serverless architecture is here to stay and change the way we build software from the ground up!