New technologies are emerging left, right, and center. Technologists should first prioritize the need for understanding the upcoming technology before adopting it. Most literature around serverless architecture focuses on its benefits, generally endorsed by the cloud service providers. Unsurprisingly, many articles talk only about the positives. Hence, here is an attempt to initiate a conversation about the characteristics of serverless architecture. We can call them traits as well, that do not change with time.
These characteristics under discussion are neutral in nature. They are neither positive nor negative about serverless computing.
Embrace the characteristics of serverless architecture
If you are looking forward to switching to serverless computing, then you have to automatically embrace the following traits. It is the most sensible thing to do because it is too costly to fight them.
Here are a bunch of serverless computing characteristics that may come in handy for you:
The elastic characteristics of serverless computing are useful for scalability
The services designed for serverless architecture are elastic in nature. They help you scale from zero to the maximum limit and can be got back to zero. Technically, the entire process is automatically manageable. The biggest benefit of elastic characteristics for serverless architecture is its scalability.
This simply means that you are free of managing resources scaling manually. The challenges with resource allocation vanish automatically. An elastic trait helps you to pay only for what you use. You can make huge savings if you run a low usage pattern.
Serverless architecture is stateless
Statelessness is one of the important characteristics of serverless computing. Here, it means that you cannot store any state while running an application. When you don’t store states in your application, there is scope for you to spin many instances.
Later, this helps you to scale your applications horizontally. Finally, the most interesting part here is you are forced to go stateless, and the room for errors considerably goes down.
However, if you want to use any technology that requires states, then you can create your own workaround. Or, you have to wait until the corresponding Backend as a Service supports it.
Low barrier to entry
It is super simple and pretty straightforward to get your code running in a serverless architecture. Initially, developers will have a very small learning curve compared to other forms of architectural development platforms. However, it doesn’t mean it will remain the same throughout. At later stages, eventually, you will have to experience steeper learning curves to exploit the advantages of serverless architecture.
This is one of the simplest characteristics that get you up and running on a serverless platform. With the help of this trait, new developers can get on board. Additionally, they can effectively contribute to the project at the complex stages as well. Finally, projects from the serverless markets have a quicker time to market. However, it gets more complex, with the inclusion of log management, tracking, monitoring, networking, and infrastructure as a code.
Hostless – One of the vital characteristics of serverless computing
This is an obvious trait of serverless architecture. It means that you are not using servers directly. In the modern era of technology, you can use a wide range of hosts where you can run the applications. The hosts can be physical machines, containers, or virtual machines.
The other way you can go about is hostless or serverless. It significantly reduces the operational overheads on server management and maintenance. Security patches are automatic and there is no need to worry about server updates either. Basically, you will be done away with interpreting the low-level operational details of your applications.
Serverless architecture is event-driven
Serverless platforms offer Backend as a Service that supports events. Third-party service providers can use it as a strategy to offer extensibility to their users. You will use BaaS extensively, and event-driven becomes part of the vital characteristics of serverless computing as well.
Event-driven has some potential benefits. For one, there will be low-level coupling between the components. However, on the downside, there are chances of losing the holistic view of your system. Hence, troubleshooting the device might be difficult.
These characteristics of serverless architecture bring about a paradigm shift in the industry. It makes the software development area a better place.