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In the future, some applications will be entirely serverless, especially if the price point is better than cloud-based instances
By: XebiaLabs Blog
Aug. 22, 2017 03:45 PM
What to Look for When Choosing a Serverless Architecture
Information Technology has advanced in different areas at different speeds. This has always been true, as people found workable solutions to the problems that faced them today, most often before there was a market for those solutions. While things like virtualization and eventually cloud computing grew slowly, programming languages sat at the same point for around a decade before the current round of new languages and approaches—Python, Ruby, Node, Swift—came about. These things seem unrelated, but there is a union of the two sets of changes that we are about to see blossom.
That union is serverless computing. The joining of easily deployable instances–ultimately in the form of containers–with the ubiquity of REST-based APIs and the new programming languages that made REST-based APIs an easy and viable option. These technologies combined have created a new and different form of computing. While much of it is familiar (we know how to do REST, and we know how to do microservices), some of it is not.
Learning from Node.js
That first app was not a REST API, it was a simple HTML response to a request. A dynamic web page that changed as I required. But combined with REST, Node becomes an endpoint. And still, it executes when a call comes in, and except for the part of the infrastructure listening to the port, it exits.
The Infrastructure Wall
A Serverless Architecture
The appeal for developers is obvious. To be able to write code and deploy it without the previously necessary (whether physical, virtual, or cloud) operations procedures is many a developer’s dream. But there are some real-world use cases that spring to mind also. The first is the bottleneck functionality during peak periods. Let us assume you have an online order system and that it suits your organization perfectly. But during peak sales periods (Black Friday, for example), address validation takes too long and constantly bogs the system down.
What if you could spin address validation out to a serverless function that would take an address and return whether it was valid or not. And the function could scale at a rate that allowed for practically unlimited scalability? (You do still have to worry about network bandwidth–sorry.) Suddenly, your bottleneck is less of a problem, and you’re only paying for the time that your validation function is actually using. Meaning the more deliveries you’re making, the more you pay, but when you’re not making a lot of deliveries, you’re not paying a lot. You’re only paying for what you’re using.
What if all of this could be done on your site or in the cloud, and for a price that was affordable? The products out there today (including Microsoft Functions, AWS Lambda, and nanoscale.io) offer all the above.
It’s Not All Rainbows
Building the Right Application
The post What to Look for When Choosing a Serverless Architecture appeared first on XebiaLabs.
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