Although its name would suggest otherwise, serverless computing doesn't actually remove the server from the equation altogether. Instead, it refers to a common cloud computing model that has the cloud service provider actually running the server and managing overall resource allocation across the system. It also has many additional applications, benefits, and advantages.
In many ways, serverless computing actually mirrors the platform-as-a-service (PaaS) model. Both are ideal for customer-driven application development and testing, and both let developers launch and manage their apps without having to maintain the infrastructure that is typically involved in app development. However, the architectures quickly begin to go their separate ways from there.
For starters, PaaS users generally have much more control over their deployment environment. However, serverless computing features automated application scaling. Not only does this eliminate the need for forecasting your future needs, but the automated scaling of serverless computing is far more efficient during the actual scaling process.
There are also some considerable differences in terms of pricing. While serverless billing is known for being extremely precise and exact, with users only paying for the data they actually use, most PaaS models charge a fixed monthly rate. Depending on your development needs, one or the other could be more advantageous.
Serverless applications are also quicker to launch than PaaS-oriented applications. While the latter are still ultra-quick, serverless apps are launched almost instantaneously. As a result, most PaaS applications have to be running the majority of the time to avoid any noticeable latency or lag.
In general, serverless computing is generally more efficient than PaaS. This is due to a number of reasons, including the accessibility of back-end resources.
Gojko Adzic, a renowned IT innovator and a partner with Neuri Consulting, went into further detail about this concept in a recent interview by saying: ''"When client applications can directly connect to 'back-end' resources, there's very little benefit orchestrating that from anywhere else. Coordination, workflows and many other aspects of an application can move directly to the client application. Only the parts that really need to be locked down for security reasons or to use specialist resources need to go to AWS. The hybrid-cloud of the future isn't going to be a mix of AWS and Google, or AWS and on-premise. It will be a mix of AWS and client machines."
Chris Munns, senior developer advocate for serverless technology at AWS, also shed some light on serverless computing by saying: "There's no servers to manage or provision at all. This includes nothing that would be bare metal, nothing that's virtual, nothing that's a container -- anything that involves you managing a host, patching a host, or dealing with anything on an operating system level, is not something you should have to do in the serverless world."''
In order to win over the naysayers, some experts are likening serverless computing to the coding environments of the late '60s and early '70s. There are a number of direct benefits, including improved system resource utilization, greater security, and improved time-to-production, and it's certainly the hottest trend as of late.
An Introduction to Serverless Computing
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