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What is Serverless Computing?

  • Soumyaa Rawat
  • Oct 19, 2021
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What is Serverless Computing


Gone are the days when programmers were required to build infrastructure for deploying code into their applications and worry about the underlying expenses. 


Today, cloud computing has emerged as the means to consume computing services on the basis of ‘pay-as-you-go’. A kind of cloud computing technology, serverless computing does a similar job. 


(Must read - Scope of Cloud Computing


Allowing programmers to deploy code into their computing science programs without spending unnecessary resources, serverless computing enables software engineers to purchase adequate resources for whatever time they require them. 


Unlike traditional times when programmers had to build an extensive network of resources and burn a hole in their pocket to develop a single application, the contemporary scenario has transformed, for the good. 


Simply put, serverless computing enables one to deploy code into a program without having to build a whole set of resources. Instead, one can simply purchase resources and related services for as long as they need from serverless computing companies. 


As soon as they do not require these resources, they can withdraw their payment for the rest of it. In short, serverless computing is a ‘pay-as-you-go’ concept. 


(Must read: Virtualization in cloud computing)


However, one must not mistake serverless computing with the absence of servers at all. In essence, serverless computing implies that the developer is unaware of the servers working backstage. 


Perhaps managing the backend, in the case of serverless computing, is done by companies that offer serverless computing services to such clients. 


“Serverless computing is a method of providing backend services on an as-used basis. Servers are still used, but a company that gets backend services from a serverless vendor is charged based on usage, not a fixed amount of bandwidth or number of servers.” Serverless Architecture 


How does it work


When it comes to how a serverless framework works, there are some things that one must take into consideration while understanding this concept. Computing has been an essential part of technology ever since it laid its hands on mankind. 


While present-day computers or portable computers (PCs) are small-sized, handy, and durable, ancient computers were nothing like these. Rather, they were as big as a room and a single computer occupied more space than 100- dozens of computers. 


Yet, steadily computers evolved and technology became advanced so much so that we are able to take our laptops along with us wherever we wish to. In a way, servers are also similar to computers.


Traditional servers were as big as traditional computers and were full of keys and databases that had to be handled with care. Even a little peck of disturbance could hamper the whole server system of an organization. 


Thus, in order to develop applications or build software, an individual or even an organization had to first invest in server machinery that required a lot of resources and technical professionals. 


All in all, it was a hefty job for each software company to have such an extensive team of personnel. However, with the coming of serverless computing, this changed. 


As servers were now handled by companies that extended related services, software developers did not have to worry about investing in servers and building an extensive network of resources. 


(Also read - Understanding Amazon Web Services


Today, developers are just a click away from hiring servers from cloud services that charge them according to their consumption. With the servers, the hassle, the worry, and the burden is gone! 


Serverless computing is a cloud computing extension model that works according to the services availed by a team of developers.  


“AWS offers technologies for running code, managing data, and integrating applications, all without managing servers. Serverless technologies feature automatic scaling, built-in high availability, and a pay-for-use billing model to increase agility and optimize costs. “

AWS Serverless Architecture 



Benefits of Serverless Computing 


As we have discussed the way serverless computing works, we shall now read about the benefits of serverless computing aws or in any other cloud computing platforms. Let us begin right away.   


  1. No Server Management 


One of the biggest advantages of serverless computing is that it requires no server management. 


Since the servers are managed and maintained by companies like Amazon Web Services, developers need not worry about the way servers work. In fact, servers aren’t visible to the developers at all. 


This is a benefit of serverless computing as it makes the process of software development less wary. 


  1. Faster Updates


Another advantage of serverless computing is that it allows for faster updates. Since the server management is handled by a different organization altogether, it works and focuses on server updates that can be done simultaneously while the development is being done. 


Unlike earlier when the coding had to be first deployed and then the updates had to be processed, serverless computing allows for rapid updates without worrying about coding. 


In a way, a parallel world runs alongside coding deployment that saves resources in the long run. 


(Suggested blog: Types of virtualization in cloud computing)


  1. Increases Productivity 


The third of all advantages of serverless computing is that it increases productivity. To clarify this, let us suppose that a team of developers does software development the traditional way. 


To begin with, the team will have to take care of coding, resources, servers, infrastructure, and related services. This will lead to a larger flow of capital and minimal conservation of resources. 


Now, let us suppose that this team is developing software the modern way. Without caring for any other aspect, the team will only have to focus on building software and programming applications. 


That said, serverless computing will increase productivity and put a halt to any other worries other than coding and computing. 


  1. Cost-friendly Mechanism


One of the biggest serverless computing advantages is its cost-friendly mechanism. 


Since this technology saves the entire set of resources and does not require any developer to build his/her server on his/her own, it is truly a cost-friendly mechanism that lets one save his/her resources and invest the same in other necessary areas. 


Without a doubt, even beginners can deploy their coding and develop applications even when they are short of capital or resources. 


Therefore, the cost-friendly mechanism of serverless computing allows developers to hire serverless architectural organizations that help them achieve their goals and carry on with their jobs uninterrupted. 


  1. Cloud-based Infrastructure


The last of all advantages is its cloud-based infrastructure. Cloud computing is in itself a boon for society as it enables data to be backed up on the internet. 


Moreover, serverless computing focuses on managing servers online with the help of cloud-based infrastructure. 


Unlike traditional times when data on the server had to be preserved offline, modern-day technology allows developers to add data on the backend without worrying about electricity blackouts or data hampering. 


Even so, data privacy in cloud-based infrastructure is ensured fully and no amount of effort can harm the server data in cloud computing infrastructure. 


The purpose of serverless computing might seem restricted to deploying code and developing applications while avoiding investing in personal server infrastructure. However, it is more than that. 


Serverless computing has opened a plethora of opportunities for developers and software engineers. Now, it is not important for developers to stay seated in their offices for connectivity with servers. 


Rather, they can roam anywhere in the world and still be able to access their coding files and databases. That is the magic of serverless computing. 


(Recommended blog: An introduction to multi-cloud)



IBM Serverless Architecture


IBM is a software manufacturing company that was founded in 1981. Dedicated to proliferating the arms of technology to provide internet access to one and all, IBM Cloud is another revolutionary product that the company has delivered. 


With a serverless architecture, the company aims to automate computing provisions and extend them worldwide for efficient operations in the field of coding and software development. 


IBM offers functions-as-a-service (FaaS) along with a cloud engine to accelerate internet-friendly working in the domain of coding deployment. Undoubtedly, it is the best serverless platform 2021. 





To conclude, serverless computing is a revolutionary technology that has emerged to be quite helpful in the domain of software engineering. 


With so many benefits, it surely convinces developers to outsource their server infrastructure and other resources while only focusing on what they do the best - software development. 


(Read also: In-demand technologies)


In the end, it is highly essential for one to understand that servers are still the key to coding. However, this concept just negates the requirement of building a server from scratch. 


Instead, software development companies can hire external server facilities until the time they need them and can do away with them as and when they find it fit. Thereby, it extends the resource capacity and helps in uninterrupted coding anytime and anywhere. 

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