Serverless computing involves on-demand function execution for application deployment. Serverless provides agility in application development to stay ahead of a world of rapid changes and innovations. O’Reilly conducted a survey with 1500 IT professionals in 2019 and 40% confirmed being associated with organizations working on serverless options. Owing to benefits linked to cost-savings, on-demand execution, and non-stop availability, it is expected that the adoption of serverless computing will only go up further in the coming years.
The options are growing too. Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud are three great options for serverless computing services, and features offered by these three market giants vary from one another.
AWS offers numerous options in serverless computing, application integration, and data storage. AWS Lambda and AWS Fargate are the two popular options.
- AWS Lambda: AWS Lambda provides the ability to virtually run code for the applications or services with no administration. It also provides the mechanism to write code in any preferred language and utilize serverless and container tools. AWS SAM and Docker CLI are some of the popular tools under AWS Lambda. Continuous scaling, cost optimization, and improved performance are some of the benefits offered by AWS Lambda.
- AWS Fargate: It is a serverless compute engine that promotes security through application isolation by design and easily deploys and manages applications. AWS Fargate works with Amazon’s Container and Kubernetes services. The customer needs to pay only for the resources involved in running the containers thereby helping control costs in a volatile setup.
Serverless computing options by AWS also cover application integration and data storage with ample choices available in these two areas. Amazon API Gateway, Amazon SQS, Amazon EventBridge, Amazon SNS, etc. are a few options offering scalable and hassle-free application integration. Amazon S3 is the data store that uses serverless computing to enable scalable data storage while maintaining essential data properties, such as availability, integrity, and confidentiality at all times. Amazon Aurora Serverless, Amazon DynamoDB, and Amazon RDS Proxy are the other data store options available.
Microsoft’s growing focus on the cloud has meant that Azure presents itself as a viable option in most cloud-linked spaces and serverless is no different. Azure Serverless is now a popular choice with multiple options offered to the end-users in the areas of compute, workflows and integration, database, monitoring, storage, and others.
Customers can select from a wide range of serverless execution environments without bothering about the infrastructure management activities irrespective of application or service type. Azure Kubernetes Services (AKS) is a powerful serverless computing option to create serverless Kubernetes-based applications. Open-source functions runtime provide the option to execute serverless functions written in any language.
Azure serverless API management provides the mechanism to manage and monitor the APIs to enable smooth workflows and robust integration. Azure Event grid enables serverless messaging and simplification of event-based scenarios. Azure also provides an option to build serverless applications using relational and non-relational databases. Azure SQL Database serverless and Azure Cosmos DB are two options present. Azure Blob Storage gives the options to create static applications and supports the scalable storage of unstructured or semi-structured data. A durable functions feature is also included under Azure serverless computing features, enabling the development and execution of stateful serverless functions.
Google Cloud serverless platforms provide the mechanism to build, develop, and deploy scalable APIs. REST APIs can also be developed and managed for web and mobile applications. Complex event requirements of these applications can be handled by Google Cloud through automated event orchestration. Current and future data processing requirements are considered to manage the autoscaling and authorization aspects of the apps. Scalable and pay-per-use functions as a service (FaaS) options are provided by Google Cloud serverless platforms to run the codes without any need for server and infrastructure management. Apart from the Google App Engine, Cloud Run and Cloud Functions are the other options provided by Google Cloud.
Serverless has gone mainstream in recent years due to the flexibility and benefits that it offers. It’s a fair bet that serverless will further expand and it will be closely synced with the container ecosystem. The event-driven approach in serverless will continue to connect everything present on the cloud. As that happens, expect more application development to become serverless-focused. The choice of serverless platform will ultimately be driven by the specific needs and available skill sets. That said, these are all great choices.