Serverless Architecture: An innovation transforming businesses

At a Glance

Serverless computing has transformed software architecture and application evolution. It is attractive because business application architecture has shifted to containers and microservices. 


In the previous ten years, there has been a lot of innovation in the business IT area. The major goal of this technology advancement has been to increase company agility, improve resiliency, and reduce costs. One of the main sectors that play a huge role to play is server computing. 

Over the last decade, the server computing revolution has enabled business IT to create and deploy scalable applications without worrying about the underlying infrastructure. Simultaneously, the cost of IT operations has decreased considerably, while corporate time-to-market has improved. From virtual machines to containers to serverless, server computing is currently moving towards increasingly smaller size units.

In today’s IT sector, one of the biggest disruptors is serverless architecture or serverless computing. The change from conventional server computing to serverless computing has transformed the way businesses run. According to reports, most major cloud providers have already published serverless computing capabilities, including Amazon, IBM, Microsoft, Google, and others, with numerous more open source initiatives spearheaded by business and academic organizations.

Serverless architecture is one of the significant disruptions in the software business. This is a highly innovative digital disruption which changes the way software industries operate.    

Serverless Architecture

Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, once said, 

“Serverless computation is going to fundamentally not only change the economics of what is back-end computing, but it’s going to be the core of the future of distributed computing.” 

Serverless computing is a cloud computing execution model in which computing resources are provisioned on-demand. All responsibility for common infrastructure management tasks is delegated to cloud providers and tools, allowing engineers to focus on the business logic specific to their applications or processes. Not only will serverless computation radically alter the economics of back-end computing, but it will also be at the heart of the distributed computing future. 

The term serverless computing refers to a cutting-edge technology that has revolutionized software architecture and application evolution. A large number of prominent industry participants have already used Serverless-based solutions to gain a competitive edge.

Serverless architecture lays the foundation for future business goals such as agile work environments, resource allocation automation, scalability, and faster response times, to name a few. Furthermore, operational overhead and provisioning for physical infrastructure would be reduced, providing you a better return on your investment.

With AWS Lambda, Amazon Web Services launched serverless in 2014; now, every major cloud service provider, including Azure (Azure Functions), Google Cloud (Google Cloud Functions), and IBM Cloud, provides a serverless platform (IBM Cloud Code Engine). Serverless, together with microservices and containers, constitutes a trinity of technologies usually regarded as at the heart of cloud-native program development.

Since the current transition from business application architecture to containers and microservices, serverless computing is emerging as a new and appealing paradigm for deploying cloud applications.

How does it work?

At its heart, serverless computing is an excellent example of event-driven architecture that uses distributed cloud-based services. This technique makes it possible to orchestrate software development and application deployment workflows easily. It has two types:

  1. Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS)
  2. Function-as-a-Service (FaaS)
  • Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS)

This refers to a multi-tenant operational outsourcing backend service model that increases server-side capabilities. Developers have a continual connection to cloud services, which are extremely intelligent in handling API calls and HTTP requests. 

  • Function-as-a-Service (FaaS)

FaaS providers, like AWS Lambda, provide the ideal environment for application administration and development without the need for their own servers. The value of FaaS is obvious: engineering pipelines may be built up in response to certain events, messages, or mouse actions, for example. 

Uses of serverless architecture

Serverless architectures are well-suited for use cases, including microservices, mobile backends, and data and event stream processing due to their unique combination of features and benefits.

  • Microservices

Supporting microservices architectures is the most prevalent use case for serverless today. The microservices paradigm emphasizes creating tiny services that each perform a particular task and communicate with one another via APIs. While microservices may be developed and run using PaaS or containers, serverless has gained traction due to its benefits such as tiny pieces of code that only perform one thing, inherent and automatic scalability, quick provisioning, and a pricing mechanism that never costs for idle capacity.

  • Data Processing 

Serverless is well-suited for data enrichment, transformation, validation, cleaning, PDF processing, audio normalization, picture processing (rotation, sharpening, noise reduction, thumbnail creation), optical character recognition (OCR), and video transcoding.

  • API Backends

Each operation (or function) may be converted into an HTTP endpoint that web clients can consume in a serverless platform. These activities are known as web actions when they are enabled for the web. With an API Gateway, you can turn your web activities into a full-featured API with extra security, OAuth support, rate limitation, and custom domain support.

Advantages of Serverless Architecture

Because the benefits of event-driven architecture (EDA) systems are readily apparent and widely valued among software engineers, serverless computing is gaining popularity.

  • Cost-Effective

Customers can take advantage of the payment strategy, which means they don’t have to pay weekly, monthly, or annually; instead, they just pay for what they use, such as computer resources or deployment time. AWS Lambda, for example, offers 1 million free requests with further $0.20/1 mln requests, as well as 400,000 GB-seconds of computing time per month for free, with subsequent $0.00001667/GB-second.

  • Support

Because the creation process may be time- and effort-intensive, it’s a good idea to enlist the help of a knowledgeable team of specialists to ensure effective upkeep. If your continuing duties aren’t automated or stored on cloud servers, you’ll be in desperate need of such experts. Because the development process may be time and effort-intensive, it’s a good idea to engage the aid of a skilled team of experts to guarantee that it’s properly maintained. You’ll be in dire need of such specialists if your ongoing responsibilities aren’t automated or kept on cloud servers. 

  • Security

Serverless computing has shown to be highly beneficial in terms of offering well-defined security measures. Serverless computing, programming flow protection, risk mitigation, fraud detection, HTTP flood monitoring, cross-site scripting prediction, bot detection, DDoS assault prevention, and many other security elements are fairly robust. 

  • Scalability

Serverless promises to be extremely adaptable, allowing it to smoothly alter its capabilities to meet changing on-demand big data volumes. Furthermore, this approach assures diverse computer resources, performed functions, programming codes, and other hard quantities scale over time.

The Function-as-a-Service paradigm, in which users write tiny functions that are subsequently maintained by the cloud platform, exemplifies the growth of serverless computing in cloud application development. From event handlers with bursty invocation patterns to compute-intensive big data analytics, this paradigm has proven helpful in various application contexts. Overall, serverless-based solutions are likely to make significant progress in the next few years.

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