What is serverless computing?
Serverless computing is a trend that has been getting more and more popular, which is why it is such a top of discussion in 2022. How most web-based software applications worked is with their own server infrastructure which needed to constantly be up and running. However, with serverless computing, this is no longer the case. Now web-based software applications can simply use the power of a cloud provider.
Serverless computing works on a bit of a ‘pay per view’ principle. So depending on what you need, that will determine what you pay for. An example would be if you need to create a specific computing function that allows you to put a product in the shopping cart of your online shop. You’d pay for this specific function.
When we speak of needing a fixed server structure, the opposite of serverless computing, what this means is that: A server will run in the background of your online store 24 hours a day 7 days a week. It will sit and patiently wait for customers to use your site and then support them/complete their requirements as they are made. Due to this constant presence of a fixed server structure you naturally need to pay for this service 24 hours a day 7 days a week, regardless of if there were 0 or 100 visitors in your store during that period.
On the other hand, with serverless computing, applications are programmed in a way that they only need to gain access to a cloud server for specific and individual queries. What then happens is that they share what is known as a "super computer" in the form of a computer farm that has many other programs. The benefit and result of this is that the “super computer” only works for your special program when absolutely necessary/required.
In contrast to the solutions of common cloud PaaS operators such as Heroku or cloud IaaS operators such as AWS EC2, individual dynos/containers do not have to be booked and maintained. This means that the functionality and billing are largely automated and vary. So you do not need to rent the virtual part of a large server and operate it yourself, instead the server is used in real time for specific computing or database operations. Use it as you need it and not the other way around – nifty!
Benefits of Serverless Computing – For Operators
As the operator of an E-Commerce application, the biggest advantage of serverless computing is that peak loads will no longer be a problem in the future. In addition to this, there are also significantly lower maintenance costs by going the serverless computing route. So if you are expecting a large number of customers on Black Friday, for example, you do not have to book a larger server or risk overloading your IT capacities. Also you do not pay the same prices on a random Tuesday at 3am that you would pay for prime time on a Sunday evening at 8pm.
Benefits Serverless Computing – For Developers
Developers and agencies, on the other hand, can benefit massively from serverless computing, since they do not have to provide any major know-how regarding server administration and can thus concentrate more efficiently on the development of applications. In addition to this, serverless computing enables a more precise microservices approach. It promises better ways to easily mix and match different programming languages and systems within the same project, rather than committing to one solution from the start.
We would like to quickly add though that the only disadvantage for developers is the reduced control over individual components of the server architecture. In reality, however, these are only of secondary importance for most cases in E-Commerce.
Examples of E-Commerce apps with Serverless Computing
Since serverless computing has only been around for a few years now, there are not so many software tools that have been developed/released due to it only recently becoming something that forms part of the mainstream tech world. In the field of E-Commerce, for example, Snipchart and Commerce.js are the main two that are making moves toward advancements. Serverless computing is suitable for the development of new and innovative applications (e.g. augmented reality apps or individual B2B solutions) as we develop them every day here at Especial.
Serverless Computing Providers
Serverless Computing – Any Questions?
If you have any other questions about this, please feel free to contact us. So please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us via our contact form.
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Daniel KolbProduct Development @ Especial
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