Sunday, July 8, 2018

Serverless application hosting: should you go for it?

The use of 'serverless' in hosting/ computing parlance is not new but this concept is gaining ground because of its high versality and low costs.

Now Microsoft Azure is offering serverless website making on its platform. Amazon's AWS already has serverless offering on Lambda. Google claims to be offering it since 2008 in more and more improved versions.

What is serverless computing

As of July 2018, Wikipedia defines serverless computing like this:
Serverless computing is a cloud-computing execution model in which the cloud provider dynamically manages the allocation of machine resources. Pricing is based on the actual amount of resources consumed by an application, rather than on pre-purchased units of capacity. It is a form of utility computing. Serverless computing still requires servers, hence it's a misnomer.[1] The name "serverless computing" is used because the server management and capacity planning decisions are completely hidden from the developer or operator.
As said above, serverless does not mean there are no servers that host the application or code. However, they are fully managed by the hosting company and the developer does not have to bother at all about server-related tasks. This is what is called FaaS or function as a service model and is a more hassle-free, fully managed, version of cloud computing. You pay for the functions that your code performs on the web, and it is the responsibility to keep it running.

For small purposes, such as hosting minor applications or a small website, serverless hosting is becoming a very tempting solution, especially because the top-end companies offer it, and at a very low fee.

 The following video tells how AWS Lambda works:

By embedding this video I do not specifically recommend Lambda over other offers, but I have put the video here because it beautifully tells how a serverless service works.