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Rise of FaaS aka serverless cloud computing

Shailesh Kulkarni Feb 15, 2017

BaaS Cloud Serverless computing FaaS Framework as a Service Serverless architecture

IT ecosystem is majorly influenced by diverse cloud computing services. In addition, cloud computing has remained one of the major topics of research in the IT industry. Cloud computing is classified into three main categories. – IaaS, PaaS and SaaS.  

Nevertheless, in my blog post I am going to discuss about Framework as a Service (FaaS) a recent development in cloud computing. FaaS offers an environment to build, run and manage application, where there is no want for building and maintaining complex infrastructure associated with developing it. Using FaaS, one can achieve a serverless architecture where no standard server process is required. For instance, configuring an entire server and manage it without even focusing upon the actual task.  

Earlier, developers cared much about setting and managing servers. Though, the back-end infrastructure was managed by third party providers, where the required functionality was offered as services known as Backend as a Service (BaaS). However, this service was made available to public initially by AWS Lambda or something similar by other rival cloud platforms. The services might include messages, queues, database, capability management, search etc.

The notion of serverless architecture consists of a mechanism in which there is no particular process running on the server waiting for the APIs or HTTP requests. On the contrary, there is a function on the server executing a piece of code. In other words, one can utilize server side functions without developing your own server and maintaining its code. However, the cloud service provider is responsible for searching the server where the code execution is happening and scaling the server whenever required. When execution of code ends, the functions within respective containers are removed.

Implementing a serverless application comes with lots of benefits which includes cost reduction, as one may not have to pay for the cloud server, scalability as it scales the services triggered by events and lastly apparent benefits of easy maintenance. 

A third-party partner having specialized skills is required because he spends significant amount of resources on securing, scaling and maintaining the applications running on FaaS. However, development teams might have to deal with other problems like slowdowns and downtime instead of being dependent upon the third-party partners. 

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