What is Serverless Computing? 3 reasons to start now

Jun 10, 2020 | Technology

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Serverless computing is pretty much what it sounds like. You can create an app, a website, an API, or anything that requires a server to run it and remove all the hassle of dealing with a server to build and run it.

So wait? Does that mean there’s no server at all?

Not at all! Servers are still involved with creating and deploying your applications. It’s just that you as a developer don’t have to worry about dealing with keeping them running. You simply write some code logic, deploy your code on a serverless service provider, and that provider handles everything for you. There are many services out there that are providing serverless solutions, such as AWS Lambda, Azure Function, Google Cloud Functions, and IBM Cloud Functions. At Nimbella, our main goal is to simplify the cloud to the extent that a developer who may not have worked with the cloud can also jump right into it and start creating.

If you’re not sure if you should take your idea and deploy it as a serverless app, then here are three reasons why you should consider giving serverless computing a try.

  1. Get to market faster
  2. Automatic scaling of resources
  3. Support for all applications - stateful or stateless

1) Get to market faster

In the normal way to create an application, you have to buy a server, set it up, connect it to your website, and find someone (sometimes even a group of people) to make sure that the server is always running. By removing all the steps it normally takes to get a server bought and set up, you as the developer can focus on writing code instead of server setup which can help you get your idea on the market faster!

2) Automatic scaling of resources

What do we mean by “scale”? Let’s say you’re creating a social media platform like Facebook or Twitter. To host your website and store all your user info, you install a physical server that can handle 1000 users worth of memory. Everything is fine at first, but overnight you experience 9,000 user signups which your site can’t handle because you don’t have the space for them. To handle those new users, you buy 9000 users worth of server space. But what happens if a few months later those 9000 users decide to leave your site? You’re now paying for 10,000 user’s worth of server space and now only have 1000 users.

With serverless scaling, your provider scales the exact server space you need for the current state of your site.

Got 1000 users? = 1000 users worth of space

Got 10,000 users? = 10,000 worth of space.

So if people add content or remove content from your site, the service grows and shrinks to accommodate the changes.

serverless scalling for the cloud

3) Support for all applications - stateful or stateless

There’s a lot of different types of apps out there, but the two types I want to focus on are stateful and stateless. How would I know if an app is Stateful or Stateless?

A Stateful app saves data from every session the user has.

A Stateless app will not save the data from a previous session.

For example, if you and a friend are using a chat app. You and your friend send messages to each other all day. Both of you close the application, come back to it a few hours later, and the messages you sent are still there. That’s a stateful application because the state of the app was stored and was able to be retrieved later.

But if you used a chat app, closed the app, and brought it back up, and all the messages were gone. That would be a stateless application because the state of the app wasn’t stored and saved. It would also make for a pretty terrible chat app…

With past limitations and integration abilities, being able to store an app’s state on a serverless application has been a developer’s responsibility. But with Nimbella’s built-in key-value-store capabilities building stateful apps is now easier, which lets you, as a developer, forego the infrastructure burden and focus on what you love most - coding business logic. If you want more information about building a chat app, you can check out our blog post on how we created our own using our platform. We also created blogs teaching people how to build an OCR app and a Stock Trading app, both of which are also stateful! You can learn how to get started with Nimbella by reviewing our online introduction.

Conclusion

Serverless is inevitable! More and more businesses both start-up and enterprise are seeing the positive results of moving to a serverless architecture. If you’re interested in getting started then you can sign up for free and build your own application. You can join us live and learn more about the benefits of going serverless and what you can use to start building ideas on your own.

Check out our website for more information on our upcoming products and news. Contact us at info@nimbella.com or on our community Slack if you have any further questions.

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