What is serverless processing?

Serverless processing is a practice for providing back-end services on an As-used basis.

A serverless provider allows users to write and distribute content without having to worry about the underlying infrastructure.

A company that uses back-end services pays based on the use of remote servers without the need to guarantee a minimum number of servers or a minimum amount of bandwidth since the service is generally auto-scaling. Keep in mind that if this service is also called serverless (without servers), the physical servers are there, but the user does not deal with them.

In the early days of the Web, anyone who wanted to build a Web application had to have the necessary physical hardware, which actually constituted the server; this was extremely expensive and required the use of physical space, in addition to an adequate network connection.

With the arrival of the Cloud, the servers, or the amount of space used, could be rented and used remotely. Developers and companies that use these portions of servers typically buy plenty of space and traffic to avoid service outages or application freezes. This means that much of the paid server space is wasted.

Therefore Cloud service providers have started to introduce models with automatic scaling and with auto-scaling, but even with this practice a peak of activity, such as a DDoS attack, could be very risky.

Advantages of the serverless

Serverless processing allows developers to acquire backend services on a flexible basis in "pay-as-you-go", Which means they only pay for the services actually used. This is equivalent to switching from a data plan, for example a smart phone, with a fixed monthly limit to one with a charge for each data byte actually used.

So it should be reiterated that the term serverless can be misleading, as, in fact, the servers that provide the back-end services are there, but the difference is that all the infrastructure, space and maintenance problems of the server are managed directly by the supplier.

Serverless means that users can do their job in complete peace of mind without having to worry about the server and its problems in the least.

What are back-end services? What is the difference between front end and back end?

Application development is generally divided into two areas:

the front end and the back end.

  • The front end is the part of the application that users see and interact with, for example the visual layout of a website.
  • The backend is the part that the user does not see, such as the application files and the database where the user data and system logic are stored.

The Front-end Vs the Back-end compared to an application

Imagine a website that sells concert tickets.

When the user enters an address in the browser window, the browser sends the request to the back-end server, which responds with the website data showing the relevant pages.

The user will then see the front-end of the website, which will include text, images and fields of the form to be filled out.

The user then interacts with one of the form fields on the front end to search for the favorite music event.

When the user clicks 'SEND', this triggers another request to the back end. The back-end procedure checks the database to verify if the event sought exists and, if so, when it will be available and the number of tickets that can be purchased. The back end will then pass the data to the front end and the front end will allow the results to be displayed in a way that makes sense to the user.

Similarly, when the user creates an account and enters information to purchase tickets, communication will occur again between the front-end and the back-end.

What kind of backend services does Serverless Computing provide?

Most serverless providers offer database and archiving services, others also have Function-As-a-Service (FaaS) platforms, typical of CloudFlare operators.

These platforms can also execute pieces of code without storing data.

What are the advantages of serverless processing?

  • Serverless processing is very convenient in terms of cost reduction, as traditional back-end service providers (Server rental) often determine the payment on the basis of the overall space, including unused space or on the basis of CPU time confidential, even if not employed.
  • Simplified scalability: Developers using serverless architecture don't have to worry about updates. The serverless provider normally manages updates automatically or on demand.
  • The back-end code (simplified with FaaS) allows users to create functions that independently perform a procedure, such as an API call.

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