Although it’s a relatively new term, Serverless Cloud is already showing itself to be an ideal and more efficient option than traditional cloud for businesses and developers.
Considering the amount of Internet of Things (IoT) applications and devices in development or on the edge of being released, the standard public cloud model will quickly become an unsuitable option due to billing model alone.
When compared to public cloud, serverless cloud is far more user friendly to developers, is far more adaptable and, most importantly of all, offers a big change from one size fits all servers to a charge per millisecond model. We might just be onto a winner.
What is Serverless Cloud?
If we wanted to be ultra simple about it and compress serverless cloud into a single phrase it would be“It’s a code and ‘forget’ platform for developers”.
Now lets get something straight, serverless is not entirely true. Buried in the deepest depths of the data centre, there will still be servers.
Instead of having servers dedicated to functions, applications and storage, Serverless Cloud is more reactionary, responding to events as they occur and drawing the infrastructure resources they need as and when the end user requires.
Developers no longer require a server–or even a virtual machine–to run code on when turning to serverless. Just a simple code execution model can be built on an abstraction layer of the infrastructure on the service providers side.
In short, serverless creates a highly cost efficient model due to use–of the server–being minimised to only exactly when it’s required.
It would be criminal of me to not give a quick glance at what the big dogs in Cloud are saying, to give some context as how best to describe serverless cloud.
Google describes their serverless cloud platform functions as:
“Lightweight, event-based, asynchronous compute solution that allows you to create small, single-purpose functions that respond to cloud events without the need to manage a server or a runtime environment”.
Microsoft Azure very simply states:
“Listen and react to events across your stack”.
Finally, AWS Lambda takes a fairly similar line too:
“Run code without thinking about servers. Pay for only the compute time you consume”.
Considering the above, I think AWS Lambda nails it more than the others, hitting the ‘code & forget’ ethos on the head, but also noting the new pay model, which in my opinion is the biggest benefit about it!
Amazon entered the serverless market in 2014, about 2 years before everyone else, so maybe they’ve just had more time to think about the core benefits of their offering.
So, what are the benefits? Here are three reasons serverless could cause a cloud revolution…
Charged Per Millisecond of Use
In comparison to the traditional model of your dedicated server being active (spinning/running) during your hours of business, 9am — 6pm for example, the charge would rest at 9 hours regardless of if any users needed to use it or not, where as in serverless cloud you would be charged per millisecond of use.
This could very easily destroy the annoying ‘One server size fits all’ cliche.
For example, I access my server once in the morning for 3 minutes and once more at 5pm that evening for 2 minutes for a small backup. My charged use for that day would be exactly 5 minutes or 300,000 milliseconds, and not a penny more, due to it spinning up only for those two instances I actually needed it.
Coding Language of Your Choice
Having to conform a variety of developers into using one unanimous code of choice can be taxing, especially for startups! However, code-specific servers are now a thing of the past as multi-language use is viable within serverless cloud. You could have a Python developer, Java developer and Lambda developer happily working together toward one joint goal, and none of them have to learn an entirely new language.
Hands off Scalability
Developers have to spend a lot of time learning how each server works instead of, well… developing stuff. In some cases, it can take more time than the actual development! Serverless takes this issue away.
In essence, you build and code how you like to and forget about the specifications and server-side needs. It will all be managed for you. That way, developers can focus on developing and the solution providers can stay focused on making solutions.
This creates a hidden saving aside from cost and usability: time.
In IT, saving enough time equates to a huge cost saving, especially when you consider the price of development teams per day.
Concerns about the number of servers required, scale, CPU resources, software, load balancing and more are also completely removed.
In this blog, we’ve steered clear of the heavy technical capabilities of serverless and focused on why we think it’s extremely promising.
As a concept, serverless has been fast growing in popularity and application over the last year, especially one so highly suited to the onslaught of IoT devices and applications on the horizon. I’m sure we’ll be seeing a great deal more about it with several key providers surely turning to an offering that accommodates it.
As always, the cloud & development team at Cloudhelix would love to have a discussion with you. If serverless cloud is something you think is a good fit for your company or project call 07854 817 169, or visit https://cloudhelix.io.
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