Serverless Cloud-Computing Explained

4th October 2021 by Brytlyt

Regarded as a form of utility computing, the term ‘serverless’ can be a little misleading in the sense that servers are still used by the cloud service provider (such as Brytlyt) – however developers don’t need to be aware of them.

As the cloud provider allocates machine resources on demand, when an app is not in use, there are no computing resources allocated to the app and costs are based on the actual amount of resources consumed by an application.

What is serverless computing?

Serverless computing is a method of providing backend services on a pay-as-you-use basis. This kind of setup allows users to write and deploy code without having to consider the limitations of any system infrastructure.

In the early years of the internet, if you wanted to build a web application, you had to own the physical hardware required to run a server, which was both an expensive and inconvenient undertaking.

Cloud computing then soon followed, where fixed numbers of servers (or amounts of server space) could be rented remotely. Developers and companies who rent these fixed units of server space generally ‘over-buy’ to make sure that a spike in traffic or usage won’t exceed their monthly limits and crash their applications. This means that the majority of server space that’s paid for often goes to waste. Cloud vendors, like Brytlyt, are now able to deliver flexible, auto-scaling models as a smart solution.

Benefits of Serverless

Serverless computing allows developers to purchase backend services on a flexible ‘pay-as-you-go’ basis, meaning that developers only have to pay for the services they use.

Widely considered as a form of utility computing, the term ‘serverless’ is understandably confusing as servers are still in place, however they’re used by us. As we allocate machine resources on demand, when an app is not in use, there are no computing resources allocated to the app and costs are based on the actual amount of resources consumed by an application.

What sort of backend services can serverless cloud-computing provide?

Most serverless providers offer storage and database services to their customers, and many also have FaaS (Function-as-a-Service) platforms. FaaS allows development teams to execute small pieces of code on the network edge. This gives the ability to build a modular architecture, making a codebase that’s more scalable without having to use resources on maintaining the underlying backend.

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