What are Serverless Apps? Advantages and Disadvantages

With the maturation of technology ecosystems and organizations, controlling architecture becomes increasingly tricky. Instead of becoming experts in platform management, software teams spend their time and resources on apps. Serverless architecture is a new alternative.

In other words, what is a "serverless" design? Is it a good alternative?

Companies can design and run applications using serverless architecture without having to manage their infrastructure. 

While your infrastructure is provisioned, scaled and maintained by another party, your architecture is handled by a third party.

It's easy to scale up or down, and you only pay for what you consume. Third-party "BaaS" services and custom code can also be run in controlled, ephemeral containers on the "Functions as a Service" platform using these services. 

As a result of these concepts and others like single-page applications, the necessity for a traditional physical server component is significantly reduced. 

As a trade-off, serverless architectures can lower operational costs and complexity while increasing dependency on third-party vendors and supporting services that are less established. 

When it comes to serverless technology, the cloud provider is in charge of both the cloud functions, infrastructure and scaling of applications. 

It is possible to run serverless programs in containers that automatically start up when they are requested. 

It is possible to run code, manage data, and integrate apps without managing servers using AWS technology. 

Automatic scaling, built-in high availability, and pay-as-you-go billing are just some of the advantages of serverless technology. 

To help you focus on building code that serves your customers, these technologies reduce infrastructure management activities such as capacity provisioning and patching. 

An event-driven compute service natively linked with more than 200 Amazon Web Services services and SaaS apps are at the heart of serverless application development on AWS.

Why should you prefer a serverless architecture?

Deployments will be faster, more flexible, and more innovative. 

Serverless architecture is frequently chosen because of its speed. Because there is no infrastructure construction to slow you down, you can swiftly deploy apps in only a few hours. 

Scalability is made simpler by more rapid deployments.

What are the advantages of using a serverless architecture?

There is a significant advantage to allowing your engineers to focus on product development. 

For the first time, they don't have to worry about maintaining or operating servers. The vendor is in charge of network configuration and the physical security of your servers, not your team. 

Serverless architecture has a slew of other advantages.

Low cost 

There may be significant savings to be had by going serverless rather than purchasing or renting many servers that would sit idle for long periods. 

By being serverless, a company essentially outsources the management of its servers and databases. 

You're no longer in charge of making the significant financial commitments necessary to maintain the internal architecture.

Your use case will ultimately determine how much you save. Cutting costs by going serverless is a terrific idea. 

This is because you've contracted out the management of servers, databases, and even some logic.

Serverless computing requires less processing power and human resources than traditional server-based computing. 

You don't need to develop a server from scratch if you don't want to. You can concentrate on the server-side code because serverless takes care of the infrastructure. 

The price difference isn't all that significant in other cases, but it all comes down to your specific use case.

Focusing more on UX 

Keep in mind that clients don't care about your application's infrastructure. All of the code you've developed for your back-end is hidden from them. 

They will notice only the frontend code. They place more emphasis on the user interface and the overall user experience. Because of this, more time can be devoted to improving the user experience (UX). 

To reallocate resources, you need to invest in the user interface, and serverless computing can help you do that.

Happier customers 

The answer to this query is going to be determined by the company in question. Serverless architecture may lead to more satisfied consumers in the long run. 

Customers will have quicker access to these new features if a business can design and supply new servers and features more quickly. Minor adjustments should not take a year to complete. 

Using serverless, you don't have to worry about the physical infrastructure of your application. You may quickly introduce new features and logic to improve the user experience.

Serverless is more efficient 

You pay for each request in a serverless architecture. A typical server would always be running if it were available. 

You only pay for what you use with a serverless design. That reduces the amount of waste that is produced. 

Faster deployments, greater flexibility, and accelerated innovation

Serverless architecture is frequently chosen because of its speed. 

Because there is no infrastructure construction to slow you down, you can swiftly deploy apps in only a few hours. Scalability is made simpler by more rapid deployments. 

You may be pretty flexible with your releases if you use such an agile design. As a result of the speed of the process, you can speed up invention. 

Serverless makes it easier to get a program up and running than traditional techniques. 

Going serverless enables faster innovation as a result. As soon as you start seeing results, you can go on to the next job. 

A new feature or a microservice can be built at this point. When there are no limits, serverless architecture offers this benefit. When you need to restructure, you can also pivot more quickly. 

This kind of adaptability comes in handy when you need to make a quick change. In response to the epidemic, these kinds of events are occurring around the world.

 

To address the requirements of the future, organizations must shift their focus. With a shift to remote employment, this could be an internal issue. 

Retailers and restaurants, for example, are increasingly utilizing customer-facing software.

Disadvantages of this model

Resource limits

High-performance computing is not a good fit for serverless computing because of the cloud provider's resource constraints. 

It would be more cost-effective to bulk-provision the number of servers expected to be needed at any given moment.

Long-running application inefficiencies 

Serverless may be more expensive to execute long-running workloads. Dedicated servers are often more efficient than shared servers.

Third-party dependency 

It is necessary to rely on your service provider in a serverless architecture. Changes might happen at any time and without your notice even though you do everything you can. To use the site, one must agree to its terms and conditions.

Vendor lock-in

A third-party service provides serverless computing. Serverless applications and software are by default tied to a single cloud service provider. As a result, serverless can provide several challenges while migrating.

Cold starts

The term "cold start" refers to a situation where a platform has to start up from scratch. Your serverless architecture may take some time to respond to the initial function request. 

You can avoid a "cold start" by keeping the function on. This is accomplished by sending requests regularly.

Conclusion

Despite the ambiguous term, serverless architecture is a way of building apps in which we rely less on running our server-side components. 

Another alternative for deploying applications in a serverless architecture. Monitoring and fixing issues with serverless are also essential. 

Both BaaS and FaaS, where third-party remote application services are integrated directly into our frontend apps, and moving server-side code from long-running components to ephemeral function instances, are methods we use to accomplish this goal.

By Marny Lopez

Software Developer