While most internet vernacular is simple to decipher, new concepts come along that challenge our understanding. Case in point, serverless computing. What kind of application or website can run without a server? As the name suggests, does serverless computing actually work without and of the core infrastructure that powers most of the internet?
The term “Serverless” is quite misleading to some because contrary to what the name implies, there is indeed a server powering these options. The name simply evolved due to the fact that the backend tasks related to infrastructure provisioning and management are invisible to the developer. Since they don’t have to think about the server at all, it is in effect, to them at least, “Serverless.”
When it comes to cloud computing and serverless technology, setup, capacity planning, and server management are invisible to you because they’re handled by the cloud provider. In many ways, serverless computing is a lot like managed infrastructure in the fact that many of the care-and-feeding tasks of the environment are abstracted out of view for the end-user. That is to say that of course there are servers, firewalls, switches, and power sources necessary to power the infrastructure, it’s just that those things are now all “taken care of” instead of a burden for the user.
The Administration Benefits of Going Serverless
Normally, maintaining a server for a new application or website requires someone to be responsible for a litany of duties. From architecture and provisioning to updates and security, servers of any shape and size require management and maintenance to run properly. And while many organizations have team members responsible for these functions, many others do not. Additionally, the rapid expansion and evolution of needs in most business environments mean that server and infrastructure utilization is outpacing capacity and human resources. Configuration mistakes can result in serious consequences such as wasted investment, downtime, and even security breaches.
This is where Serverless computing starts to make a huge difference — the burden of provisioning a server and ensuring that it is secure, updated, and optimized is all taken care of. All server-related concerns are handled by the Serverless cloud architecture, helping organizations optimize resources and stay focused on innovation as the development teams can strive to increase productivity and work to bring products to market faster.
The Cost Benefits of Serverless Infrastructure
Serverless environments also benefit from offering users on-demand resource provisioning. With on-demand hosting resources, whenever the site or app requires more memory or bandwidth, it’s allocated in real-time. The Serverless architecture ensures that everything has exactly what it needs when it needs it.
With traditional hosting, resources have to be allocated in advance. Adding 2GB of RAM so that the application or site has sufficient memory available for usage peaks isn’t free and can result in paying for unnecessary resources. Whereas with Serverless computing, a usage surge may result in the application requesting 2.47GB of RAM and that exact amount will automatically be allocated to meet the demand.
Instead of paying for dedicated resources whether in use or not, Serverless options automatically scale as needed and charge only for what is used, saving the organization considerable fees. In fact, one of the primary differences between traditional hosting and Serverless computing is that the former offers “pay-for-what-you-think-you-need” pricing, and Serverless provides the actual “pay for what you use” structure that benefits most users.
So, instead of a monthly bill that is a set amount each and every month, Serverless customers are billed depending on the actual usage. For many organizations, this can make a huge difference in-app and site expenditures as traffic lulls will result in lower billing, and surges don’t require those expensive upgrades and recurring charges. However, this is not a benefit to everyone all the time. Companies that depend on predictable budgets may want to steer clear of Serverless options because billing fluctuations can make it quite difficult to forecast a budget.
Overall, Serverless computing is more cost-efficient as there is next to zero waste. The hosting and resource requirements are automatically scaled up or trimmed back as needed and you’re only charged for what is used.
Making the Move
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