Developing Applications with Serverless Architecture

Do you really want to keep paying for your dedicated cloud servers, even when they are running idle? If not, then developing an application with serverless architecture will show you the way out.

With dedicated cloud servers, you are bound to pay for entire tenure, even if they are running idle or not serving any traffic. And because you want to keep your application up and running, you just can’t turn-off the servers. This unnecessarily adds up to the operational cost.

With serverless solutions, you are charged per execution, rather than existence of the entire application. Herein, the code is divided into small functions and is deployed on independent containers, listening to incoming requests. These containers will be triggered to run your function only on an incoming request and can be monitored, cloned and scaled to any extent. The billing model of such architecture works on the number of requests and the time for which the container runs to execute your functions, thus optimizing your costs.

Both small and large scale businesses can derive benefits from a serverless architecture. Some of the clearly visible advantages include:

  • Curbing operational cost: For an application which is available 24*7*365 and receives only 3 requests, a server less model is the best choice. You will have to pay the entire year for dedicated cloud servers,and on the other hand, a serverless solution will require you to pay only for 3 requests.
  • No upfront capacity planning required: With serverless architecture, you don’t have to do capacity planning, unlike dedicated servers. Most of the serverless solutions are designed with built-in scalability provision. So, if your application receives a great response in short time, you don’t have to bother about infrastructure issues.
  • No environment configuration required: With serverless architecture, no pre-configuration is required. Therefore, you don’t need a dedicated sysadmin admins to install and configure the application environment.

In addition to the aforementioned benefits, it help startups to predict operational costs. Let’s take an example of a online service marketplace built with serverless architecture. The end user will make some requests to browse the service catalogue and subscribe for a service and complete the transaction. After collecting some data with the help of an analysis tool , you can predict how much a single user costs (on an average), and this unit cost will remain almost constant as your application grows in usage. Knowing how much a single user costs, will help to decide how much to charge for a service or to take other critical decisions.

When not to choose a serverless architecture?

Serverless architecture has huge potential of scaling your application as per actual demand, in real time. However, you need to carefully evaluate your use-cases before you jump to this model. Before you adopt serverless architecture for your application, make sure that you keep these factors into consideration:

  • Serverless is not designed to handle long-running functions such as complex reporting and analytics. In such cases, you might end up paying more compared to dedicated servers and that too, with a degraded performance.
  • You need to be careful while selecting right platform for serverless hosting because your application will be coupled with it. Also, you would need to modify your code to move away from the platform. Some of popular Faas services include AWS Lambda, Google Functions and Azure Functions.
  • You also need to reconsider your deployment strategy to automate deployment process, which otherwise consumes a lot of time and efforts.

Potential of serverless architecture is huge, however to realize maximum benefits, it is important to choose right platform and follow right strategy for development.

If you want to know more about how to go serverless, schedule a free 30 min consultation with our chief architect, Gaurav Sharma.


Originally published at appdevelopment.daffodilsw.com.