The change in technology world is rarely subtle, past few years there has seen a frenzy of movement as enterprises raced to overhaul their software and infrastructure to new digital platforms that quenched the current IT needs of being agile.
Before the tech scene evolved to the current Serverless state, developers relied on dedicated servers, which meant in order to host an app they had to buy the whole server along with the responsibility of taking care of its functionality. It is obvious that this was not the most practical scenario since everyone wishes for a solution that allows ease in deploying apps, be cost- effective, offering better functionality with less management hassle.
Serverless computing on the other hand are driven by events which means they only use resources when a specific function needs to be carried out. It operates on a pay-per-usage model where one only pays for usage unlike payment made on fixed timeframes. Resources are managed and distributed as and when they are used or needed.
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Serverless cloud gave the freedom to end users to run their codes without the hassle of managing the servers. Earlier to keep up with the demand for custom solutions, IT solutions providers treated each customer build separately and each build had a front-end component, the back end consisted of a server, database and the infrastructure that was mandatory to keep the servers running and operational. As opposed to this the Serverless architecture code is fully managed by the service provider.
The cloud storage market size is estimated to grow from USD 23.76 Billion in 2016 to USD 74.94 Billion by 2021, at a CAGR of 25.8% from 2016 to 2021.
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From On-premise Data Center to Serverless Cloud: The Journey of Evolution
The 1st Step: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)
IaaS is the first layer of cloud computing and in this model the client is given access to virtual components to build their own IT platform; this includes virtual server space, network connections, IP addresses and bandwidth. The external service provider gives the hardware to the client and manages it for them.
Benefits of IaaS
Scalable: On demand availability of resource, hence there are no delays in expanding capacity or any wastage of unused capacity.
No hardware capital expenditure: Since the hardware is maintained by the cloud provider, it saves both time and money.
Pay-per-usage: Since the service is accessed on demand, the user only pays for the resource that is used.
Accessibility: The service can be accessed from anywhere as long as the security protocols are met.
The 2nd Step; Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)
PaaS is a step ahead from IaaS, here the service provider takes care of everything from the hardware, the cloud server and the supporting software, everything that is needed for application development.
This is mainly possible since the service provider hosts the hardware and software on its own infrastructure, thus it frees the users from any kind of hardware or software installation.
Simple and Convenient: Since PaaS provider is responsible for infrastructure and IT services, the users have the convenience of access via web browser from anywhere.
Pay-per-use: This model like IaaS is preferred by entrepreneurs as it removes the major expense of having an on-premise hardware and software. However some PaaS providers also charge a flat monthly rate for their services
Easy deployment: The platform allows you to test and implement new solutions, test it, try different configurations and perfect it.
Scalable: The service provider can customize the infrastructure as per the client’s demand, hence maintaining the overall service quality.
The 3rd Step: Software as a Service (SaaS)
Also known as on-demand software or web-based software, SaaS allows the user easy access over the internet without the hassle of installing and maintaining software, thus there is no additional requirement of software and hardware management.
Software vendors host the servers; code and database that is the part of the applications and the users can access the data from any device that is connected to the internet via web browser.
Multitenant Architecture: Faster innovation as SaaS vendors use the same infrastructure and base for coding; this also leads to valuable deployment time being saved.
Easy to Customize and upgrade: SaaS architecture allows easy customization by each user without impacting the common architecture and these are changes that are preserved though upgrades.
Accessibility: Information is visible to all the users at the same time along with ease of management of privileges and data monitoring.
Low Cost: There is no license fee as it generally operates on subscription and since the provider manages the infrastructure it also brings down the hardware and software management fee.
John has travelled to NewYork for work from Boston. His company has made reservations for his stay in NewYork , unfortunately they could not book the usual hotel for him. The alternate at a hotel is really far from the office and would require extra travel time.
John has three options
Option 1- Lease a Car
Option 2- Get a UBER
Option 3- Use the subway
IaaS can be compared to leasing a car where John has to do the driving, PaaS is like getting an UBER where he gets the car as well as the driver and SaaS is like using the Subway without the hassle of renting/hiring a cab, negotiating the traffic and being responsible for the hired car.
Serverless Computing Architecture
The evolution of IaaS and PaaS led to the evolution of Serverless platform. The platform operated on the logic that the servers functioned behind the applications and were not visible on the front-end. The small chunk of independent codes invoked by Serverless computing can be executed as and when needed. Such events run the cloud computing services, which translates to the cost of the operation on cloud platform.
How it works?
Serverless computing is an amalgamation of BaaS (Backend –as-a-Service) where all the behind the scene applications of app development are outsourced and FaaS (Function-as-a-Service) that allows developers to write a codes which are executed as and when they are required.
FaaS acts as the gatekeeper when the user accesses the database and BaaS allows operation without the backend resource management.
Efficiency: Serverless Computing runs codes only at the time they are needed, which increases the efficiency of the platform.
Event driven Computing: The upcoming next gen applications require codes to run for only a certain amount on time period, Serverless computing provides the apt solution for such short , event-based nuggets.
Time and money: Since the resources are free with short, event-driven applications, the user only pays for the time used to run the code; this also frees the resources for other related tasks.
Cloud Computing has revamped technology with the introduction of ‘as-a-service’ models. To conclude, overall each model has its specific functionalities and features, it is still very important to study the differences. From cloud-based software that allows a multitude of storage options to having a platform that facilitates complete control over the infrastructure, there is a cloud service option for all the potential users.
Looking at the surge in data loads, more and more companies will eventually make the shift, making the future extremely digitized.
It does not matter which option the user chooses, migrating to cloud is the way of the tech world and businesses.