Serverless Architecture: One Stop Data Center for Enterprises

By Sharad Singh

Technology has made it effortless to maintain physical infrastructure and systems software. Serverless architecture is a software design pattern in which a third-party service hosts application and eliminates the need for server management by the developer. This technology enables developers to use backend services on a flexible pay-as-you-go basis, as they are only charged based on their computation and pay for a fixed amount of bandwidth. Serverless architecture is one of the fastest growing cloud service models, as the technology has reduced the need to maintain physical infrastructure and systems software.

Many architects and developers face problem regarding operation systems, addressing storage, provisioning servers, and other issues including plumbing underneath applications, on a day-to-day basis. Serverless architecture offers solution to these obstacles by meeting the ever-changing business requirements by automatically accessing the capacity and capabilities of the developers and architects. Big enterprises aim on getting out of the data center business by integrating with new technologies such as serverless architecture. Servers are the pillars of the architecture of any organizations. The application developers and IT executives do not prefer focusing on issues including maintaining, provisioning, and administering. By integrating with cloud services, these issues become redundant. The migration of an organization from the existing legacy architecture to serverless architecture is a gradual process and may even take decades for complete execution of this process.

Advancements in the cloud services has helped in developing the serverless architecture. Cloud services offer on-demand capabilities on unlimited scale. Furthermore, cloud services do not require manual process and hardware. It is a process that consists of any type of software with API. It can be automated through cloud. Serverless architecture offers flexibility through software-defined storage for IT consumption. Cloud services are preferred for managing, protecting, analyzing, and using data, making it the primary choice of the enterprises. It has become possible for the enterprises to achieve the control and achieve  on-premise network attached storage with virtual appliance or simple solid state using serverless architecture. This infrastructure replaces the native file storage system, offers high performance, caches hot data on site for immediate availability, and protects an immutable gold copy to private or public cloud storage object. Modifications can be easily made to this storage space in terms of capacity as per the need.

Integration of serverless architecture with the cloud services eliminates the need for costly recovery & backup infrastructure along with the hardware it requires. Furthermore, it enables true file synchronization and offers real collaboration with the global file lock. This offers an access for storing objects from Western Digital, Amazon, IBM, Dell EMC, Hitachi, and Google as the new disk space. The on-premises system requires high performance computing and quick solutions for the most complex problems. These requirements are fulfilled by serverless architecture by simply commoditized computer power. Serverless Backend as a Service (BaaS) is the result of an entire application components being commodified. One such example of BaaS is authentication, in which the features such as login, signup, and password management are included. Furthermore, in mobile applications, a client gets a direct access to communicate with the server-side database. The operational cost is reduced in two sectors: infrastructure cost gain and labor cost gains. The operations of serverless architecture are very simple and can be easily outsourced at reasonable rates. The biggest upside of FaaS is that the client only has to pay for the computing required. The rest of the process including horizontal scaling is managed by the provider. This process is automatic and elastic. The scaling cost is dependent on the scale and shape of the client’s traffic.

Serverless architecture has advanced and is now preferred over the traditional architecture. The significant changes in the updated architecture are stated below:

  • The authentication logic in the original application has been deleted and replaced with a third-party BaaS service.
  • The client gets a direct access to a subset of the database. This database is fully hosted by a third-party. Different security profiles are shared with the client to access the database.
  • Client receives the privilege of single page application and is enabled for tracking user sessions, reading from the database, understanding the UC structure of the application, and translating in to a usable view.
  • Some of the UX related functionalities are retained. These functionalities include “search” function and other FaaS functions that respond to HTTP requests using an API gateway.
  • The “purchase” function has been separated from the FaaS function in order to keep the server secure and safe.

Integration of serverless architecture offers several benefits for the enterprise. These benefits include:

  • BaaS: reduced development cost
  • Reduced operational cost
  • FaaS: scaling costs
  • Cost savings via optimization
  • Easier operational management
  • Scaling benefits of FaaS beyond infrastructure costs
  • Reduced deployment and packaging complexity
  • Time to market and continuous experimentation
  • “Greener” computing?

Several enterprises and corporation invest in the serverless architecture as its benefits far exceeds its drawbacks. After exhaustive research, Allied Market Research has estimated that the global serverless architecture market would garner $21.99 billion by 2025, growing exponentially at a CAGR of 27.8% from 2018 to 2025. The market of serverless architecture have great potential and will increase at a steady space as new technologies and innovative products are introduced in this market.

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