Serverless computing is a cloud computing architecture model in which the cloud service provider allocates hardware resources on a need basis. The cloud service providers own the physical server installation setup, management, and maintenance. The service provider allocates server resources only during execution and is free during idle time or when the application is not in use. The end-users or the customers pay for what they use to these service providers. The end-users using these server services need not worry about the backend infrastructure capacity or maintenance.
Serverless Computing offerings
There are several reasons to adopt Serverless computing over the conventional cloud-based or server-centric data centers or cloud computing. Serverless computing architecture is flexible and economical. It offers greater scalability and a short turn-around time to release. Organizations save cost and time in planning infrastructure space, purchasing hardware, installation, and maintenance of servers.
Advantages of Serverless Computing
No server management
Since the vendor manages the physical server’s planning, installation, organizations, or developers need not worry about the physical server’s maintenance or DevOps. The labor and logistic costs are saved, and the organizations can re-invest them in opportunities that are productive or areas that give returns.
Serverless computing can scale automatically as per demand or usage increases. If a function needs to be run in multiple instances, the service provider’s servers will start, run, and end them as they are needed, using the concept of containers.
Code only runs when backend functions are needed by the serverless application, and the code automatically scales up as needed. There are server services that can track finer, and smaller details or timings of the server used and provide better and more accurate expenses. This results in heavy savings compared to the conventional server system where organizations must bear operational expenses of servers irrespective of their usage.
Performance for continuously running code
If an application is using code regularly, then the performance will be the same on a serverless environment compared to a traditional server environment, irrespective of the number of instances being run in parallel. If the code is continuously running it might need a short cycle to start called the “warm start”.
Since the code and application are hosted on an origin server, the code can be run from anywhere and very close to the origin server, thus decreasing the latency.
Faster deployment and easy updates
In a serverless environment, since the code is maintained in the cloud, developers can quickly and easily update their code to develop and release newer versions of the application. Developers can choose to upload the code either one function at a time or all at once because the application is typically a collection of functions provisioned by the service provider.
This helps in applying and releasing the patches or updates with bug fixes or new features quite fast.
Disadvantages of serverless computing
“Multitenancy” – means sharing the same infrastructure with multiple and independent end-users like sharing HW resources in serverless computing. So, in a serverless environment, during the sharing of resources across different end-users, if the multi-tenant servers are not configured properly, it can result in potential security breaches and data theft or misuse. But if configured and maintained correctly, through proper vetting it can reap benefits.
Costly for long-running processes
If the applications are designed to run for long durations, then sometimes the cost using serverless compute, may overwhelm compared to using traditional server services. So, the benefits of serverless computing would be trimmed to applications meant to run for short durations.
Challenges in testing and debugging
It is challenging to simulate a serverless environment to experience how the code will execute once deployed. And with no access to the backend processes or the application is broken into smaller functions, sometimes developers may find it hard to test or debug the issues.
Performance degrades for irregular runs
There may be cases where the serverless code may not be constantly running in which case, to boot up and start the code, might take considerable time, and impact the performance. This is called a “cold start”.
Single vendor dependency
Cloud service provider selection should be depending on the more open and generic APIs that the features and workflows offer, giving us an option for easy switching to other vendors if need be. Sticking to one serverless cloud service provider can often be risky for unforeseen circumstances.
When do you need a serverless architecture?
Serverless architecture is most preferred for developers if:
1. They want to reduce their go-to-market time.
2. Build lightweight and flexible applications.
3. Apps need to be scalable or updated frequently and quickly.
4. Apps have inconsistent usage, peak periods, or traffic.
5. App functions need to be closer to the end-user to reduce latency.
When should you avoid using a serverless architecture?
Large applications running for longer durations or having consistent and predictable workloads may better be benefitted from a traditional server compared to a serverless architecture both in terms of cost and architecture.
Inovar implements Serverless Cloud Computing
Achieving business goals with a collaborative approach and tailoring the use of apt cloud computing technology infrastructure is very important.
We provided many of our customers with better infrastructure, ensured effortless and uninterrupted operations. We delivered all the features that would help find information for the SMEs and enable them with the right guidance. For many of our clients, we have digitalized the entire process with end-to-end workflow applications. Inovar helped a few clients to deploy a hybrid cloud solution for data security and access control and boosted processes with serverless engines.
We ensured that the client’s services are met and addressed to the business needs with improved user experience and substantial cost savings. If you are looking for services with the best-in-class infrastructure and leaders who ensure strategy lives for ages, reach out to us.
“Cloud is about how you do computing, not where you do computing.”, rightly said by Paul Maritz, CEO of VMWare
The corona virus quarantine has made a lot of organisations across various industries establish remote operations and not all companies are able to handle the forced move to a virtual office. Before the impact of the Corona virus, only 62* percent of the workloads were in the Cloud but as per 87 percent of the IT decision makers, 95 percent of the workload will be in the Cloud by 2025. This acceleration was fuelled by Covid-19 acting as a catalyst for cloud migration.
The current state of remote work was largely unforeseen, no disaster recovery plan included anything for a mass outbreak of a virus. This transition to remote work on such a massive scale would not have been possible in the server-led infrastructure 15 to 20 years ago. Large enterprises can now deliver new services 30 to 60** percent faster through cloud migration. After several months into quarantine, organisations have started refining and optimising workloads into the Cloud. When and how businesses will be able to resume on-premise activities at the office remains a big question.
The cost of cloud migration was one of the major reasons for many companies to not migrate to the Cloud. But, the current circumstances have led some of the organisations around the globe to renew their efforts to get into the public cloud. It is time one stops thinking about everything being a corporate owned machine, in a corporate office, rather utilise the opportunity to focus on virtualisation of servers, storage and networks. At this crisis time, virtualisation needs to be brought to end-user devices and Mobile Device Management has to be something every company needs to think about.
Though corporate IT resources are built to offer high levels of security, quarantines mean that direct, in-person access to them is limited if not completely unavailable. Enterprises considering digital transformation prior to the pandemic might have only wanted to move up to 30-40*** percent of their existing infrastructure to the public cloud. But now, more than 70** percent of executives have indicated a belief that cloud will help them innovate faster while reducing implementation and operational risks.
Long term plans for organizations may include use of public cloud, mobile computing, and moving to 5G wireless network. This allows companies to operate anytime and anywhere, which is much easier for born-in-the-cloud companies. Large enterprises cannot move nimbly, but the circumstances have shown the need for rapid changes beyond static systems with datacentres. Organisations that embrace flexibility will be able to recover faster than their competitors.
The entire process from start to finish, requires significant changes and change management with how an organisation’s teams interact, process and share their data amongst each other. The sweeping global transition to remote work has seen virtual collaboration tools thrown into the spotlight of economic activity and their demand has sky-rocketed.
“Beyond the emergency action needed at the start of the pandemic, many organizations have turned to mitigating risk through flexibility of infrastructure”, says David Linthicum, chief cloud strategy officer with audit and consulting advisor Deloitte.
While cloud adoption offers a powerful opportunity to unlock business value, there remains a distinguishable hesitation around a few challenges of this transition. Cybersecurity is the biggest concern and remains a significant barrier when companies think of migrating to the cloud. Security threats have increased substantially during Covid-19, and organisations need to recognise and respond. Advanced cybersecurity solutions are now available which can help boost the security architecture.
Cloud computing, which has been touted for its flexibility, reliability and security, has emerged as one of the few saving graces for businesses during this pandemic. Its use is critical for companies to maintain operations, but even more critical for their ability to continue to service their customers.
Cloud adaptation provides an avenue of growth which can help balance the economic challenges faced by various organizations. Cloud budgets today account for approximately 5** percent of the average IT budgets, a figure that is likely to double by 2023.
As organisations have started adjusting to the new reality of the pandemic, cloud adoption represents a multi-billion-dollar opportunity for businesses in every region of the world. The world will eventually emerge from this period of remote work, but the way we do business will be transformed forever.
*Sead Fadilpasic : Cloud migration set for major rise following pandemic, June’20. Retrieved from ITProPortal
**Luv Grimond and Alain Schneuwly : Accelerating Cloud Adoption After Pandemic, June’20. Retrieved from Jakarta Globe
***Joao-Pierre S. Ruth : Next Steps for Cloud Infrastructure Beyond the Pandemic, April’20. Retrieved from Information Week