The term “serverless computing” conjures images of a world where business owners don’t need to purchase expensive hardware or configure complex software. Luckily, serverless computing isn’t just a dream — it’s completely real and is the next big thing in cloud computing.
What is serverless computing?
Serverless computing is a bit of a misnomer since this model still uses servers, or computers that process requests and deliver data over a network. Outsourcing workloads to the cloud requires just as much hardware as if the computations were performed in an on-site server. The only difference is the location of the server.
In serverless computing, servers are maintained in the cloud. Office 365 and Google Docs are great examples of this model. Thousands of servers are set up to run these apps so that they can always handle millions of users at any given moment. Microsoft and Google need to manage and maintain these servers round-the-clock to keep up with demand — always on and always ready to handle more workloads, even during off-peak hours.
Serverless computing enables developers to create apps and websites that use cloud resources only when they’re needed. So if you were to create a web app, you wouldn’t need to pay for a dedicated cloud server. The cloud provider would host your app’s programming code and run it only when a user requested it, and allocate the appropriate resources and charge by the second for what is used.
What are its benefits?
Serverless computing is perfect for those who use cloud resources for processing power. It isn’t for those who use the cloud just to store files. But if you use the cloud to process information and turn it into something more useful, serverless computing will be a great help.
Take for example Amazon’s Alexa. Every command Alexa responds to is nothing more than an app that sits dormant until a user tells the AI assistant to run it. Small businesses are taking advantage of this by developing apps in Amazon’s cloud that Alexa can process without the burden of setting up a dedicated server.
Serverless computing isn’t about getting rid of servers; it’s about using their raw computing power without having to fine tune them first. It’s categorized as a virtualization technology and offers countless opportunities for SMBs working with limited budgets.
If you have questions about virtualization and how your SMB can use it to lower costs and increase efficiencies, reach out to us today.