Serverless Computing, a New Era of Cloud-Based Providers


The idea of utilising virtual capabilities to enhance digital productivity has thrived within the IT industry - with cloud computing being the most obvious example. However, with the backing of Amazon Web Services, we could see a revolution in 2017 that changes our method of code execution forever.


What is AWS Lambda?

The compute service Lambda is provided by the cloud vendor Amazon Web Services. It's function is to run code without the need for managing a server. It charges based on the amount of compute power used, giving developers the freedom to focus on their code and event triggers. Event triggers notify when code needs to be executed - an example being a response to HTTP requests using Amazon API Gateway.

Previously developers would need standing infrastructure or pre-position resources to ensure code was executed upon the arrival of an event trigger. With AWS Lambda, this is done for you automatically. From this example, it seems this new form of tech could dramatically improve the user-friendly nature of coding.


Who Uses Cloud-based Providers Already?

It's a relatively new approach to code but serverless computing is already working for many of the tech industry's latest start-ups. Its practicality and ease-of-use make it an ideal tool for start-ups using new applications that work well alongside cloud-based providers. An increasing number of big businesses are also having their heads turned - symbolising a potential revolution in 2017.

Reliability, scalability, cost - these are just a few of the benefits catching the eyes of enterprises. It's a clear indication that serverless computing intends to go mainstream in the coming months, with AWS Lambda leading the charge.

There have been a number of big businesses already utilising cloud-computing technology - including the likes of Vevo, Hearst, Expedia Thomson Reuters and Finra. Lambda has been used in many different ways by big businesses already - from huge digital campaigns to automatically encrypting data.


Why Shouldn't I Stick With a Server?

Servers have been heavily relied upon by big businesses and start ups for many years, listening for requests within networks and performing actions based on these requests. High level database servers must possess certain functions to be ready to manipulate data upon request. In big data scenarios this can require a huge number of machines - as well as time and money.

Excess capacity requires the addition of a new machine to compensate for traffic spikes. This can take up to half an hour in many cases, causing delays. In addition, traditional servers are dictated by the function digesting the most data. Serverless computing is far more granular - scaling down and deconstructing each function so that every component is directly accessible. Only the resources necessary can be targeted for a specific operation.

Amazon are one of a number of cloud vendors that take out the substantial costs of running old servers - replacing them with a fully managed service. Real-time allocation of resources upon the execution of a request could see developers pay the genuine cost of running functions - without having to worry about excess capacity.


What does the future hold?

It's safe to say that the future looks bright for those who have struggled with monolothic servers in the past. A new, developing and cost-effective approach is in the works and Lambda could well be the first step.

Our experiences with cloud computing could take a dramatic step in 2017, with a revolution that ensures we no longer have to manage and maintain servers ever again. In terms of saving businesses of all sizes time and money - this is a potential game changer.

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