Despite exploring the alternatives, many customers today remain unaware of a software integration solution that provides low total cost of ownership, and is low-risk, robust and simple to implement. Serverless is a cloud computing approach that turns on computing resources on-demand, and shifts all responsibility for infrastructure management such as scaling, scheduling, patching, provisioning, to cloud platform providers. The technologies allow developers to focus time and effort on the business logic rather than infrastructure management.
Serverless integrations offer the advantages of other solutions without as many of the negatives. Benefits typically include;
- No / extremely low capex – no need to purchase hardware or licenses
- Optimised low-cost opex - only pay for what is consumed/used.
- Performance is innately elastic and increases without investment in scaling code.
- Event based – each part of the solution is independent and does not need to run 24/7 when not in demand.
- Easy to understand coding environment.
- Automatic fail-over built in and easy to backup.
- Enables DevOps - CI/CD pipelines with strong deployment governance.
- Built in security offerings with SSO and OAuth2.
- No performance caps with highly parallel processing.
- Outages (if there are ever any) are generally limited to single executions, not the entire solution.
- Persistent services – can handle DDoS attacks.
- Do not require maintenance / patching of core services.
- Thrive with high data volume loads.
Despite all the advantages, serverless solutions have a few minor disadvantages.
- Performance may be throttled by demand on the shared infrastructure.
- Cold starts for rarely used functions.
- Customers lack experience with serverless technologies, a barrier to uptake.
Since serverless applications are highly elastic and scale directly with the load applied, users only pay for the resources consumed. This chart demonstrates the impact of increased load on the provision of resources; unlike server-based solutions there is almost no underutilized resources.
Since serverless integrations can handle data streams with parallel operations, ultra-high volume and throughput and crucially the ability to manage peak loads becomes automatic.
The impact of this design is an improved experience for users who can expect integrations not to slow down just because the amount of data increases.
Powered by simple coding languages such as Python or Node.js, serverless applications are easy to deploy, configure and understand by developers. Development becomes faster and developers are unconstrained by the limitations of vendor solutions and iPaaS platforms, leading to better outcomes.
For the customer this means breaking free of the ‘vendor lock in’ that they have been experiencing and start to focus on deriving better and faster insights from their data without costing them the earth.
Serverless computing offers substantial benefits over server based applications and iPaaS platforms. They remove many of the performance bottlenecks of traditional computing while ensuring that the software developed is concurrently maintainable in an enterprise environment. Serverless solutions have adopted by large organisations such as Amazon, Google, Oracle and Microsoft as the way of the future when it comes to application design, and yet they are also built on mature modern cloud-native technologies. Serverless is what drives the highly scalable computing requirements of Netflix and other streaming and data heavy services, demonstrating its incredible flexibility and applicability to a range of computing problems.
Give us a call if you'd like to hear more about how serverless computing can alleviate the pains of future integrations, or check out our next blog post which covers this in detail.