(also serverless computing, serverless architecture)
Serverless is a cloud computing architecture that eliminates the need for developers to manage and maintain servers. Instead, a third-party cloud service provider, like AWS Lambda or Azure Functions, dynamically allocates resources for the execution of code. In serverless computing, users only pay for the actual computation time, not pre-allocated resources.
- AWS Lambda: A popular serverless computing platform by Amazon Web Services, allowing developers to run code in response to events like changes in data, user requests, or IoT data streams.
- Azure Functions: A serverless solution by Microsoft Azure that enables developers to run event-driven code in a fully managed environment.
Serverless vs. traditional computing
In traditional computing, developers are responsible for managing and maintaining server infrastructure. This includes provisioning resources, scaling, and updating servers. With serverless computing, these responsibilities are offloaded to the cloud service provider, allowing developers to focus on writing code and applications rather than server management.
Pros and cons of serverless computing
- Cost-effective: Users pay only for the actual computation time.
- Scalability: The service provider automatically handles scaling based on demand.
- Flexibility: Allows for faster development and deployment of applications.
- Vendor lock-in: Developers may become dependent on a specific cloud provider’s infrastructure and tools.
- Cold start latency: The initial startup time of a function can be slow in some cases.
- Limited customization: Some serverless platforms may not offer the level of customization needed for certain applications.