Serverless computing offers many benefits over traditional cloud-based or server-centric infrastructure. Serverless coding has existed since the mid-2000s, but the debut of AWS Lambda made serverless solutions for businesses more popular.
From greater scalability, more flexibility, quicker time to release, and the refocusing of team skills - all at a reduced cost, we have put together a guide to serverless computing and some of the possible benefits for your business.
What is serverless computing?
The term serverless refers to any type of system infrastructure which runs on the cloud, moving the responsibility of businesses managing their servers onto a hosting provider such as Amazon Web Service (AWS) or Microsoft Azure.
Without serverless computing or coding, businesses must set up their server to host software or web applications. With this, the server requires costly human resources to manage and maintain them. Instead, serverless computing offers exceptionally high performance and flexibility at scale while shifting all of the burdens of server administration to cloud providers. Freed from these
tasks, developers can focus on optimising code and adding features and functionality for their applications instead of managing the infrastructure.
Why should businesses use serverless architecture?
Serverless infrastructure can scale up and down dynamically based on the specific demands of the business, meaning that companies can easily control the level of software needed at any point. This differs from traditional, in-house servers, where the business would need to purchase and handle more hardware to increase the software.
For instance, serverless web applications can handle a high demand during business hours but scale down to minimal capacity overnight, which helps to save money and energy during quiet periods. If a business is looking for ways to become more sustainable and energy efficient serverless computing is a great option.
What are the benefits of serverless computing for businesses?
One of the main benefits of serverless computing is the reduced cost to the business, as you only pay for what you use, so this can dramatically lower the cost of running many applications that do not need to run 24/7. This differs from traditional servers, which cost a fixed price 24 hours a day, seven days a week, no matter how much software the business uses.
As the responsibility of server maintenance is with the hosting provider, the business saves money as they do not need to hire additional employees or external help to manage the server. This benefits the internal IT team by allowing time and resources to focus on improving applications' functionality rather than assisting a system.
Serverless coding supports agile methodology and improved business processes, allowing for dynamic reporting. It simplifies a software developer's job by allowing the code to be inputted directly into the serverless environment. This code can be executed almost immediately without waiting for a virtual machine to initiate it.
Serverless coding, therefore, benefits the business by allowing improvements, such as enhanced cybersecurity or automation, to be deployed much faster than a traditional in-house server.
When is it best to use serverless systems?
All types of web applications are best suited to serverless systems, as requests are short-lived, so they benefit from the cost saving of the scalable system.
For example, we recently worked with waste management specialists Simply Washrooms to improve and modernise their existing Node JS systems. Working with the internal team to fully understand the business needs, we rebuilt the serverless code to resolve previous issues, such as constant manual intervention within the internal team.
Serverless coding has provided Simply Washrooms with a seamlessly integrated web interface and a back-end that makes data upload and storage easy to manage from one central area. Furthermore, the software modernisation has freed up thousands of hours of man-hours to focus on client projects, and Propel Tech will continue to supply ongoing support for the team.
What are the challenges of using serverless computing in business?
There are set-up costs with any software project, and it takes an upfront investment into the business software to adapt and modernise the technology to become serverless. However, the long-term benefits, such as improved developer productivity, streamlined development, usage visibility and transparency, will eventually outweigh this.
The challenge of concurrency (multiple computations are happening simultaneously) can also occur in systems where serverless technology is used in conjunction with provisioned services.
For example, each time a piece of code is run in serverless systems, it may not necessarily be run on the same server. This can cause traditional database servers to need help to keep up with demand when serverless apps scale up, as they are very efficient in doing so, which can create bottlenecks.
Luckily, most providers like AWS or Azure offer serverless services to cater for almost all your tech stack, including databases. This means that as serverless technology scales up in line with business needs, the database servers will be able to scale up in tandem, reducing the impact of concurrency.
How can Propel Tech help?
At Propel Tech, we are experienced in supporting our clients to develop, deliver and manage serverless solutions; we work to the ethos that the adoption and development of serverless computing should not disrupt developer and engineering teams’ workflows or, at most, do so as little as possible while saving a substantial amount of time on antiquated ops tasks.
We add value by supporting technology departments in freeing up the team to do more for the business with their technology skills. We do this by offering expert knowledge that can get to the best cloud solution quicker, and that can deliver the right skillset exactly when needed; we are accredited partners of AWS and Microsoft Azure as technicians to support cloud services. Our team improve the functionality of serverless environments and manage all aspects of serverless computing.
With serverless, teams can embrace service-oriented architecture on a platform that is built specifically for the task. We also have experience working with a wide variety of clients to streamline their business processes and save time and money.
We can help mitigate costs by understanding the best possible route for your company and exploring all options to obtain the best possible results. We are also experienced in software project rescue, helping you regain control of your technology if your project doesn’t go as planned, and serverless commuting may be a way to resolve your problems.
Find out more about our services here, or get in touch with our team today to discuss your business requirements! Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for the latest industry news and updates!