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Serverless Computing 101

By The Cloudability Team on June 12, 2018

In our 2018 State of the Cloud Report, we found that serverless computing across AWS Lambda and Microsoft Azure has been experiencing rapid quarter over quarter growth. In fact, serverless computing exploded during the last quarter of 2017, growing at a rate of 667 percent – nearly double the previous quarter’s growth rate.

The reason behind serverless computing growth in popularity is simple: it requires no infrastructure management. This makes serverless computing an attractive option for organizations that are optimizing or building cloud-native architecture. As public cloud adoption continues to grow, we expect serverless computing to grow along with it. However, if your organization is considering leveraging the benefits of a serverless architecture in its IT infrastructure, there are a few considerations to keep in mind.

What is Serverless Computing?

Contrary to what the name suggests, serverless computing doesn’t actually mean that there are no servers – they’re still there! Instead, serverless computing means that organizations no longer have to provision, scale or manage any servers in order run code. With serverless computing, developers only need to write the code needed to complete the task, and a third party, like AWS Lambda or Microsoft Azure Functions, handles all the capacity, scaling and patching needed to run that code.

What are the Benefits of Serverless Computing?

Serverless computing relieves developers of the burden of worrying about server management e.g. which EC2 family to provision, which OS to choose etc., freeing up their time to focus on the core product and creating value for an organization. Serverless computing also increases developer efficiency by reducing the amount of time needed to test and run code. While an application deployment in a more conventional environment could take days, that same application in a serverless environment could be deployed in a matter of minutes. Serverless applications also have built-in availability and fault tolerance, eliminating the need for developers to architect these capabilities in order to have a reliable and highly available application.

In addition to increased efficiency, serverless computing can also provide significant cost savings for an organization. Serverless architectures offer a pay-as-you-go model, meaning organizations only pay for the resources they use. Combine this with cost management and forecasting capabilities of a platform like Cloudability’s, and you’re well on your way to achieving financial and operational excellence.

Who Should be Using it?

A serverless architecture could benefit a wide variety of organizations, from scrappy startups looking to cut costs, to enterprise companies that are shifting certain workloads to the cloud. However, if your organization has a lot of legacy applications that require sustained computing power, it may not be the right fit. As always, it’s important to determine which environment best suits your organization’s specific needs. In case of serverless, you pay only for the compute resource you use.

To read more of our insights about serverless computing and the cloud computing industry as a whole, download a free copy of our 2018 State of the Cloud Report here.

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