You may have heard the term ‘serverless computing’, but do you actually know what it means? And, more importantly, do you know whether it’s something you should pay attention to in your business? This week we’re taking a closer look at the latest cloud trend and how it’s making ripples across the world, for big brands as well as small.

What is Serverless Computing?

The word ‘serverless’ may seem slightly misleading. In fact, serverless computing still uses servers – but they’re operating behind the scenes. It is an infrastructure that builds on the strength of many users sharing the same utilities and deploying code more efficiently, with all server-side operations being run as a managed service. Many people now use the terms serverless computing and FaaS (Function As A Service) interchangeably. While traditional software development is about creating and executing a series of functions which make up the operations of an application, serverless computing can split out the entire application into separate components which can connect to each other at any scale. These all run alongside each other in functional containers, which can all be replicated and scaled rapidly when needed, based on real-time demand. Serverless computing is offered by many cloud providers as a managed service, where the provider handles all the tasks around setup, capacity planning, server management and more.

The Benefits of Going Serverless

Many world-leading brands like Uber, Airbnb and Coca-Cola have applied serverless infrastructure to their services, in order to meet fluctuating, instant demand. But many smaller, up-and-coming apps and services have been able to benefit from the same technology to compete on the global scene. Let’s take a look at the main benefits that are driving the take-up of serverless computing.

  • Reduced Costs
    The cost-savings of serverless computing is two-fold. First of all, you are able to benefit from using a shared infrastructure, with the cost distributed across a large number of users. Secondly, you save on labour costs as you don’t need to have your own staff develop, manage and monitor your applications.
  • Agility and Time to Market
    For many organisations, it is crucial to be able to experiment and innovate. With the help of serverless computing, it’s possible to move very quickly from conceptual idea to first deployment – at a low cost. The nature of the shared functional infrastructure means that you can piece together the right elements of your application in a matter of hours rather than weeks or months.
  • Scalability
    In serverless computing, you only pay for the computing resources you need. This – in combination with the ability to scale rapidly based on instant requirements – makes it an attractive model for organisations that want to scale up at a predictable cost. When scaling down, the model is also cost-effective, as you’re not stuck with expensive equipment operating at low capacity.
  • Reduced energy footprint
    When managing servers manually, many organisations tend to over-provision in case of potential increased demand. This leads to inefficiencies that add up to a huge impact on energy consumption globally. But when we allow a serverless provider to manage computing capacity, we can be confident that we only get the capacity we need at the time we need it.
  • Improved user experience
    Slow operations and lag are among the biggest reasons for users abandoning an application, and network latency plays a big part in causing these issues. However, a serverless provider offers a huge range of regional points of presence that help to speed up performance by performing functions nearer to the user.

A serverless future

Here at One Beyond, we are fans of all and any technological progress that allows us and our customers to care less about hardware and more about software. Serverless computing is still in its infancy but we’re confident that the future will bring many more levels of efficiency to the way we share the costs and maximise the resources of the world’s computing power.