If you’re someone who likes to stay up to date with the latest trends in cloud computing, you’ve likely heard of serverless computing, also referred to as “functions-as-a-service.”
Despite the name, serverless computing does not mean there are no servers involved. Instead, it refers to organisations not having to manage their own servers, by having a cloud service provider do it for them. While this may sound similar to a traditional public cloud infrastructure, serverless computing goes one step further — it only provides organisations with the computer resources needed to run their code, no more and no less.
Many see 2018 as a year that will see a shift in how developers use the cloud, and where they deploy their applications, with serverless computing radically simplifying the use of cloud, lowering the bar for software builders to take advantage of cloud computing.
While serverless computing is not a new service, it’s gaining traction as organisations look for ways to cut costs and increase efficiency. Serverless computing allows a cloud service provider to dynamically manage the allocation of computer resources, meaning organisations only have to pay for the compute time they consume with no charge for when their code isn’t running.
Serverless computing can also make organisations more efficient, giving them the ability to build and scale solutions quickly and easily without having to consider whether their underlying infrastructure will be able to handle the increased workload. With the day-to-day infrastructure management taken care of, developers are free to focus on innovation instead of maintenance, which can help an organisation stay competitive in today’s fast-paced industry.
As with any cloud service, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution. For all the benefits serverless computing can provide, it’s not the right choice for every organisation.
Implementing serverless computing requires the right set of management tools and services, such as setting proper limits and cost optimisations. It also may require the ability to monitor metrics to ensure proper performance metrics are met. A managed service provider can assist clients in implementing serverless computing with the right strategy, tools and a best practice-based approach for this fast-evolving service.
Today, most major cloud service providers now offer some type of serverless computing product. AWS has Lambda, Microsoft has Azure Functions and Google’s Cloud Functions is currently in beta mode. The cloud providers also have many complementary services and APIs that are important to the successful deployment of a serverless architecture.
One of these is the use of triggers, where an event such as the polling of a data stream searching for a new record can invoke a serverless function. Examples of this type of service include AWS Lambda with Kenesis and Azure Functions with EventHubs.
There’s sure to be more buzz and innovations about serverless computing in the future as more organizations deploy these services and realize its benefits.
Whether you’re wondering if serverless computing is right for your organization, or looking for the best I.T. service provider to fit your broader needs, check out Rackspace. With a comprehensive service portfolio and unbiased expertise, we can to help you cut through the hype and find the perfect solution for your organisation.