26 Aug Benefits of Serverless Cloud Technology
More and more computing has inexorably migrated from the on-premise computing model that is the company server room to the gargantuan racks of servers that have been provided by niche providers like Microsoft and Amazon Web Services, etc. since the advent of cloud computing about 15 years ago.
Serverless Cloud Computing has numerous advantages for the workforce. It is a popular belief that cloud computing is safer, the most effective, more reliable, and easier to maintain than the on-premises computing models. Since cloud technology is evolving every day, those workplaces that have already adapted to being server-free reap the benefits. Read more to find out all advantages available under the cloud umbrella.
Virtualization and Virtual Computing
The critical technological development that enabled the cloud’s emergence was “virtualization.” Previously, a program would actually operate on a server computer, which had a fixed amount of processing power (CPU), memory (RAM), and disc space.
There were various drawbacks to this. As various organizations’ demands for increased processing power mounted, it became evident that the software began to run slower or became unresponsive entirely. The disadvantage was that it resulted in an increase in dissatisfied users. Furthermore, upgrading the software was either prohibitively expensive or time-consuming. It finally led to firms being required to have in-house IT resources.
If the server went down, so did the business with it; an impromptu coffee break for everybody while customers waited. The cycle was later broken down by virtualization, which enabled organizations with one or a cluster of powerful computers capable of handling a variety of computing tasks and providing a wide range of computing resources to meet the diverse needs of each user. Effectively, the combined computational power of the installed devices is divided up more efficiently across the software applications that require it, with spare shared resources available so that power can be expanded relatively quickly if needed.
Prior to virtualization, one could rent a server from a data center. This server would be close to the typical office server but it would not be located in workplaces or maintained by a third person. With the advent of virtualization, the era of the cloud took place. A single data center provider had the ability to cater and disseminate the computing power to hundreds and thousands of users, customers, large enterprises, or small entrepreneurs by filling a large purpose-built warehouse with as many servers as required.
Traditional IT powerhouses such as IBM and Microsoft recognized the opportunity, as did an online book shop that realized that if they could service millions of online clients worldwide for retail therapy, they could potentially provide other firms significant processing capacity as well.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) was also founded to compete with the conventional “big boys” by providing better, more transparent cost models and a wide range of tools for enhancing computer efficiency.
The cloud is ideal for relatively small software applications, such as those used by a typical SME. There are common server architectures that can be purchased off the shelf, similar to purchasing a server for the workplace in the past. This type of typical architecture might include one of the following:
The web server, that acts as the Internet’s interface as it masters at optimizing the requests put in from software that would be running in a browser. Moreover, it serves data, documents, and images as per the receipt request back to the user.
The database, which acts as the storage unit for all kinds of data. The two, the web server and the database have the ability to either coexist virtually on a single server or be separated among more virtual servers. This eventually results in greater efficiency.
For other much greater requests by the user, such as virtually splitting the processing centers across multiple machines and allowing the degrees of auto-scaling for automatic spikes or long-term rise in the demands of computing resources, other architectures could be provided too. However, it would require much more power and result in more machines becoming active. Whether it is the busiest banking application or a retail website, through this approach, all demands of any scale can be serviced with little to no delay or failure. Evidently, this has now become the foundation of modern society.
Serverless Cost Benefits
Businesses no longer require the server room and, as a result, have a significantly smaller I.T. department. It serves as an advantage in regards to the cost as payments are made for only the servers that are virtually turned on. For example, whether you are a small entrepreneur or a large enterprise, if you run an in-house customer management software application, your server needs to be turned on only during office hours. As you go to sleep, so does your server. In case you have a training server, you would only be charged for the cost when someone requires training, showing that the servers can easily be set up on demand.
There are advantages for development teams as well. Developing software in the 1980s required the programmer to understand the specific architecture of the machine it was intended to run on – how much RAM, how much disc space, and so on. Further back, the programmer needed to understand bits and bytes at the most basic level. In today’s world, software applications can be easily developed and computing power can be assumed without having the knowledge of the underlying hardware or where it will reside. They do, however, need to grasp server architecture.
This brings us conveniently to the age of serverless technologies. It does not refer to peer-to-peer networks with no servers, but rather to the further virtualization of processes. It is a logical “next step” from traditional cloud concepts, and it is especially helpful for highly transactional computing, such as payment processing, communications, and calculating – repeating atomic activities.
However, most of the tasks we assign to computers are monotonous. The concept is to divide software into discrete functions that each perform a defined purpose. In general, this is nothing new, as “modularity” has been a phenomenon in programming for over 30 years, but the emphasis is now on the function rather than the object.
For example, for writing a code to “send an invoice.” We may not have a web server running on a defined virtual computer waiting to deliver invoices with a serverless paradigm. Instead, we submit a request to the cloud provider to send the invoice, and the cloud provider has complete control over where that piece of code is performed – in this case, send the invoice.
In the traditional cloud architecture, requests are handled in a queue; but, with serverless, if we give 100 invoice sending requests to the cloud simultaneously, they could all be executed simultaneously! As a result, scale and speed, particularly for abrupt peak demand, are taken to a new level.
Serverless Advantages and Disadvantages
There could be a financial advantage if you just pay for the processing power you use. There are other advantages to providing assistance. Even with a virtual server, someone must actively care for it. It still requires operating system upgrades, backup, security, fault monitoring, and other services. Of course, the virtual servers and physical hardware that underpin serverless computing do as well – but this is now completely the responsibility of the cloud provider, not you or the IT crew.
However, there are some disadvantages. While cost can be an advantage, serverless costs can be less controlled because there is no limit until explicitly enforced, so a denial-of-service cyber strike, for example, could force a big surge in cost if not controlled. Security may be decreased or made more difficult to manage.
Initially, serverless computing was limited to processing (i.e., the web server function), which still required a database behind it, necessitating attention to architecture, licensing, backup, and so on. However, more recently, approaches that also make the database serverless have emerged, offering a complete “serverless” model.
Intagleo’s Cloud Technology
Serverless may not be the best solution for all applications, but it will be used more frequently. At Intagleo, we employ robust cloud technology that can be implemented on a variety of platforms such as Microsoft Azure, AWS, or any other cloud, as well as on-premises as needed. We provide lower prices and higher performance for your essential business software applications.
Contact us right away to learn more about our services!