Managing the platform infrastructure for applications is challenging for enterprises. Moreover, it requires a heavy investment of time and money. But the competition in the business field is tighter than ever. Thus, application development companies should allocate efforts and resources to overcome this challenge.
That is where a contemporary solution has emerged: serverless architecture.
Within a few years, it has become a preferred choice of both developers and enterprises.
According to this market analysis, the global serverless architecture will grow by 22.7 by 2026. That accounts for USD 21.1 billion.
If you are new to this innovation, you might wonder: What is serverless architecture? Is it a suitable choice for your organization? Read on to get your answers.
Serverless architecture represents a methodology for organizations to develop and operate applications without the burden of infrastructure management. The best thing about this is it can alleviate architecture-related responsibilities. These include provisioning, scaling, and maintenance.
If your priority is scalability, you can achieve this automatically with serverless architecture. And the billing is based solely on the actual usage of resources.
However, the advent of this innovative technology has witnessed significant progress, especially within Amazon Web Services (AWS).
As per the survey conducted by O’Reilly, around 40%of organizations have embraced serverless architecture. Thanks to this adoption, they experience reduced costs, scalability, enhanced developer productivity, and more.
Since you want to build a scalable application for your business, it can benefit you in several ways. Let us explore how serverless architecture boosts your scalable application development services.
The primary benefit lies in enabling your developers to concentrate on product development. They are relieved from the burden of server management and operations. Tasks such as network configuration and physical server security are now expertly handled by the vendor. Hence, it frees up your developers’ time.
That said, it offers plenty of benefits, especially for developing scalable applications, including:
Automatic scaling is one of the critical features of serverless platforms. Serverless architectures allow developers to focus on writing code without worrying about infrastructure management or scaling concerns.
Thanks to automatic scaling, the serverless platform monitors the incoming workload and adjusts the allocated resources accordingly.
- How does automatic scaling work?
For example, there is increased traffic or a higher demand for resources. The platform automatically provisions additional resources to handle the load in this case. It ensures the application can scale up to meet the demand without manual intervention.
Similarly, the serverless platform can scale down the assigned resources when the workload decreases or becomes idle. It can help application development companies to minimize costs and optimize resource utilization.
This elasticity enables efficient resource allocation, as you only pay for the actual usage rather than provisioning fixed resources that may remain underutilized during low-demand periods.
Cost efficiency is another advantage of serverless architectures. With these platforms, you don’t have to provision and manage servers or pay for resources sitting idle during periods of low demand. The platform automatically scales the resources up or down based on the workload. Hence, it ensures efficient resource utilization and cost optimization.
Moreover, serverless architectures reduce operational and maintenance costs for organizations.
By leveraging the cost-effective “pay-as-you-go” pricing model and offloading infrastructure management responsibilities, serverless architectures can help organizations reduce overall operational costs. And allow them to allocate their resources more efficiently.
Serverless architecture allows application development companies to focus primarily on writing application logic. We will explore this in detail below.
- It can significantly improve productivity and speed up development cycles. By abstracting away infrastructure management, they can invest more time and resources in building and refining application features.
- In addition, serverless platforms provide various pre-built and easy-to-use services and integrations, like authentication, databases, file storage, event queues, and more. By utilizing these, developers can accelerate development speed and efficiency.
- These platforms also offer seamless integration with other cloud services and APIs. It allows developers to incorporate third-party services into their applications with ease.
By reducing the time and effort spent on infrastructure management and providing pre-built services and integrations, serverless architecture empowers developers to focus on the core application logic. It can lead to increased developer productivity, faster time to market, and more efficient use of resources.
Event-driven architecture is well-suited for serverless applications and is a primary aspect of their design. Fortunately, serverless platforms excel at integrating with various event sources and responding to events in real time.
- What is event-driven architecture in the first place?
In this, events from different sources, such as API calls, file uploads, database changes, message queues, or IoT devices, serve as triggers for the execution of serverless functions. But your developers can process and act upon these events by the serverless functions, allowing them to build reactive and scalable systems.
Another advantage of the event-driven approach is it aids application development programmers in designing applications that respond quickly to changes and events in the system.
Serverless architectures offer inherent benefits of high availability and fault tolerance. Cloud providers distribute applications across multiple availability zones, ensuring operational continuity even in the event of zone or component failures.
The provider handles recovery and redirects traffic to healthy instances, minimizing downtime. The underlying infrastructure provided by cloud providers is designed to be highly reliable and fault-tolerant, with redundant systems, data replication, and backup mechanisms.
In case of failure, the cloud provider automatically manages recovery by spinning up new instances or containers. These resilience and fault tolerance mechanisms enhance application reliability, freeing your application development agency from hefty resource investments. Leveraging serverless architectures, your agency can build robust and reliable applications effortlessly, capitalizing on high availability and fault tolerance capabilities.
Yes, you heard it right. The serverless architecture also promotes modular and independent deployment of functions, which brings flexibility and agility to application development.
Each function represents a specific unit of functionality and can be developed, deployed, and updated autonomously. This modularity allows developers to focus on specific features without redeploying the entire system. It enables concurrent work on different functions, accelerating development.
Modular deployment provides flexibility in managing and scaling the application, allowing fine-grained resource allocation for each function. Thus, application development programmers can update a function without impacting others or the overall application. The flexibility of serverless architecture supports rapid iteration and experimentation, facilitating innovation and efficient response to user feedback and market demands.
Lastly, serverless architecture can also help significantly reduce the operational overhead for organizations by offloading infrastructure management to the cloud provider.
Provisioning, scaling, and server maintenance are handled by the provider, eliminating the need for developers to worry about these tasks. It frees up resources and allows teams to concentrate on application development and business logic. The cloud provider’s expertise and infrastructure capabilities ensure high availability, security, and performance of the serverless platform, relieving organizations from the burden of building and maintaining such infrastructure.
By streamlining development and operations processes, serverless architectures simplify application management, saving valuable time and resources for organizations.
We just learned numerous benefits serverless architecture offers. But no method or process is 100% perfect. They have a fair share of disadvantages. And serverless architecture is no exception. So, it is essential to be aware of its limitations when considering it for scalable applications. Read on to explore these.
Limitations of using serverless architecture for scalable applications
Serverless architecture has emerged as a promising solution for large-scale applications. It allows application development companies to scale applications and handle surges in traffic effortlessly.
However, serverless architecture is not a silver bullet. Like any technological wonder, it has various limitations. Here, we delve into the challenges that arise when using serverless architecture for scalable applications.
- Cold start latency
Serverless functions can experience cold start latency, which is the delay incurred when a function is invoked for the first time or after a period of inactivity. The cloud provider needs to provision resources and initialize the function. It may lead to a potential delay in response time that may impact real-time or highly time-sensitive applications.
- Limited execution time
These platforms often impose execution time limits on functions. If a function exceeds the allowed execution time, it may be terminated abruptly. This limitation can pose challenges for long-running processes or tasks that require significant computation time.
- Lack of control over infrastructure
With serverless, developers have limited control over the underlying infrastructure. While this reduces operational overhead, it also means that certain customization or optimization options may be unavailable.
- Vendor lock-in
Using serverless architecture may lead to vendor lock-in, as each cloud provider has its own set of services, runtime environments, and deployment mechanisms. Migrating an application from one provider to another can require significant effort and potentially result in rewriting or reconfiguring parts of the application.
- Increased complexity in monitoring and debugging
Monitoring and debugging serverless applications can be more complex compared to traditional architectures. It can be challenging to trace and diagnose issues that occur across distributed functions and services.
- Fixed maximum concurrent executions
Serverless platforms impose maximum limits on the number of concurrent executions per function or account. If an application experiences sudden spikes in traffic or requires handling a large number of concurrent requests, these limits may affect scalability.
Are you planning to adopt a serverless architecture? Then, it is crucial to consider these limitations and assess the application requirements. With proper knowledge, you can make well-informed decisions.
The bottom line
Based on these points, we can say that serverless architecture is a game changer in the modern application development world. By leveraging this architecture, you can create a scalable application more efficiently, reduce costs, and improve developer productivity.
However, it is essential to consider your application-specific requirements and characteristics. If you cannot determine whether serverless architecture is a suitable fit, hire one of the best application development companies. They can help you make a wise decision that meets your goals and needs.
Hopefully, this post helped you understand the benefits of using serverless architecture for scalable applications. If you want to know the role of innovative technology in other fields, follow our blog.
Summary – The serverless architecture concept has gained momentum in application development for good reasons. To discover its advantages in building scalable applications, read this post.
- Is serverless architecture suitable for all types of applications?
Serverless architecture is well-suited for applications with varying workloads, event-driven architectures, and those requiring rapid scalability. However, it may not be suitable for long-running or resource-intensive tasks.
- Which are the leading cloud providers that offer serverless platforms?
Several cloud providers offer serverless platforms. But some big names include Amazon Web Services (AWS) with AWS Lambda, Microsoft Azure with Azure Functions, Google Cloud with Cloud Functions, and IBM Cloud with IBM Cloud Functions. Each provider comes with its own features, pricing models, and integrations.