Introduction to Serverless Architecture

If you’re new to the world of IT infrastructure, you may have heard about serverless architecture and wondered what it’s all about. Simply put, serverless architecture is a cloud computing service that enables developers to build and manage applications without having to worry about the underlying server resources. This means you can focus solely on […]

Victor Elendu

If you’re new to the world of IT infrastructure, you may have heard about serverless architecture and wondered what it’s all about. Simply put, serverless architecture is a cloud computing service that enables developers to build and manage applications without having to worry about the underlying server resources. This means you can focus solely on your application code without any distractions.

And the benefits are numerous! For beginners, it can be cost-effective as you don’t need to pay for physical servers or resources. Plus, serverless architecture is highly scalable, automatically adjusting itself depending on current usage needs. This means you can easily handle high traffic without worrying about your system crashing.

That said, we’ve got you covered. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at serverless architecture, exploring everything from the basics to more advanced topics. Just stay tuned for more.


The serverless architecture uses cloud computing services to run applications, and developers and companies can build, deploy, and manage applications without having to think about the underlying server resources like hardware, operating systems, or software. It enables them to focus on their application code instead of the associated maintenance tasks.

Beginners can benefit from serverless architectures, as they offer reduced costs by eliminating the need for servers or any other physical resources. It also provides scalability, as it automatically adjusts itself depending on current usage needs. Additionally, less operational maintenance is required as there are no more manual updates needed compared with traditional architectures, and better performance can be achieved by leveraging distributed cloud-based services.

However, new users of serverless architectures may experience some drawbacks. For example, they may face vendor lock-in due to being tied into specific providers’ services, cold start problems where functions must be initially started up before they perform optimally, and security risks due to the shared responsibility model between provider and customer when dealing with sensitive data in the cloud.

Understanding Serverless Architecture

Serverless architecture has gained immense popularity among developers and businesses because it allows them to focus on their application code without managing the underlying server resources. This model of computing is made possible through cloud-based services that offer distributed environments for running applications and storing data.

There are different types of serverless computing available, including FaaS, BaaS, MBaaS, and PaaS, each offering unique advantages based on the application you want to run and the control you require over your infrastructure. For instance, FaaS provides more flexibility in scaling up or down quickly while PaaS offers more control over the platform stack. MBaaS focuses on mobile app development by providing prebuilt backends with ready-made APIs and authentication mechanisms.

To understand serverless architecture, it is essential to learn about its basic components – functions, triggers & events, databases & storage services & third-party integrations. These components together form the core building blocks needed for a successful deployment in this model. Functions are individual code pieces that perform specific tasks within an application. Triggers initiate functions based on certain conditions, and events define those conditions.

Databases store data used by an application, and Storage Services allow files to be saved across multiple locations globally. Third-Party Integrations enable integration with external platforms like payment gateways or analytics tools.

By working together seamlessly, these components enable the creation of complex applications with minimal effort compared to traditional architectures, where each component has to be managed individually. This allows developers to focus on feature development instead of setting up the infrastructure.

Why you need Serverless Architecture

If you are considering serverless architecture, below are some of the good things you stand to gain as a developer or in your organization.

a) Reduced cost

Cost reduction is only one of the many advantages that serverless architecture provides to both developers and companies. ParkMyCloud, a cloud management firm, found that serverless computing might save cloud infrastructure expenditures by as much as 80%.

This is because serverless architecture frees developers from the tedium and expense of managing and keeping track of their servers. For instance, by switching to a serverless design, e-commerce company Zalando was able to cut its infrastructure expenditures by 70%.

b) Scalability

The ride-sharing firm Lyft is a practical illustration of this advantage in action since it employs serverless architecture to process millions of requests per day. Lyft used AWS Lambda to dynamically increase the size of its application services in response to fluctuations in demand. As a consequence, Lyft was able to reduce its backend service expenses by 90% and increase the rate at which it released new app features.

c) Less operational maintenance

Serverless design improves application performance while decreasing expenses and boosting scalability. Netflix’s recommendation engine, for instance, benefited from the implementation of serverless architecture.

With AWS Lambda, Netflix cut the 15-minute processing time of its recommendation engine down to a matter of seconds. As suggestions could now be updated in real-time as users interacted with the site, the overall user experience was enhanced.

d) Improved reliability and availability

The ability to autonomously scale an application in response to fluctuating demand is a major benefit of Serverless Architecture, and it also simplifies the underlying infrastructure, freeing up developers’ time to concentrate on creating software instead of administering servers or allocating new resources. This means that you, as a developer, can focus on what matters most – building software that meets your customers’ needs.

Serverless Architecture can boost availability and dependability because it removes the need for human involvement in scalability and failover. This is why Serverless platforms like Amazon Web Services’ Lambda are becoming increasingly popular – they can respond to requests without you having to manually allocate and scale infrastructure. As a result, you can rest assured that your application will be able to handle sudden spikes in traffic without crashing or slowing down.

Moreover, Serverless Architecture is designed to be fault-tolerant, making it even more reliable. This is because it is inherently distributed, and applications are typically deployed across multiple availability zones. In the event of a failure in one zone, the platform will instantly reroute traffic to another zone, ensuring high availability and resilience. This means that you can be confident that your application will continue to function even if there is a failure in one part of the system.

e) Faster code execution

Serverless Architecture accelerates the execution of your code since it does not require manual server administration or resource allocation. The architecture automatically monitors, manages, and scales the underlying hardware required to run your code up or down depending on demand.

With Serverless Architecture, you can remove the need to manage resource allocation and scalability. This means you can concentrate on making your app work and ignore infrastructure management. Fewer mistakes will need to be made during delivery, enabling you to make the app available to users sooner.

Nordcloud’s case study revealed that one of its clients had an 80% reduction in code execution time with Serverless Architecture. Upgrading to a better performance with Serverless Architecture may lead to an enhanced user experience, greater customer happiness, and more sales.

Drawbacks of Serverless Architecture

Serverless architecture has gained popularity due to its numerous benefits such as scalability, flexibility, quicker release time, and reduced cost. However, it’s important to note that there are some drawbacks to consider when using serverless architectures. Let’s discuss a few of them.

a) Vendor lock-in

Users can become tied into specific providers’ services, which limits their options for switching between different cloud platforms. This can become a significant issue if their current provider does not meet their needs or offers expensive prices. It’s important to carefully consider the cloud platform that best suits the needs of the user and their project.

b) Cold start problem

This occurs when functions must be initially started up before they perform optimally. The initial startup adds additional delay during execution, resulting in poor performance for users. It’s important to optimize functions to minimize cold start issues.

c) Security risks

Although providers take extra steps like encryption at rest and in transit, customers still need to ensure they are taking all necessary measures to protect themselves from potential threats. This includes using strong passwords, two-factor authentication, and following best practices for securing sensitive data stored in the cloud.

d) Increased costs in the long run

The pay-per-use pricing model can initially be cost-effective, but as your application scales, you may incur unexpected expenses. To minimize this, you can monitor your usage and set cost alerts, or use a reserved instance pricing plan.

e) Issues with debugging and troubleshooting

The ephemeral nature of serverless functions makes it difficult to reproduce issues and track down errors. To overcome this, you can use logging and monitoring tools to capture relevant information and implement error-handling mechanisms in your code.

Use Cases of Serverless Architecture

Recently, serverless architecture’s flexibility, scalability, and cheap cost have made it popular. Web, mobile, IoT, data processing, and analytics are all possible with this architecture. Some serverless architecture examples are popular:

1. Building Dynamic Web Experiences

Serverless architectures are ideal for developing dynamic online experiences. They are perfect for new businesses that need dependable performance levels but don’t have the money to invest in pricey hardware because they can simply scale up or down based on customer demand.

Serverless architectures offer improved agility since functions execute quickly and reliably with no downtime. Changes made by developers become available almost instantaneously, making them more responsive than traditional approaches.

2. Mobile and IoT App Development

Serverless architectures make it easier for developers to build robust solutions without needing any technical knowledge related to infrastructure management such as setting up physical servers. This enables them to focus solely on their application code, reducing the time-to-market while providing greater scalability due to its ability to automatically adjust itself based on current usage needs. This is particularly essential for mobile and IoT applications due to their unpredictable traffic patterns.

3. Data Processing and Analytics

Serverless architecture can handle large amounts of data without hiccups, making it an excellent choice when dealing with Big Data projects where speed and accuracy are paramount considerations. Its distributed nature ensures faster execution speeds compared to traditional models that often require manual intervention. Serverless architecture provides access to powerful cloud computing services that allow users to analyze vast datasets effectively while keeping costs low due to its pay-as-you-go pricing model.

4. RESTful APIs

Serverless architectures offer a seamless way to create a scalable endpoint that processes data in real-time. AWS Lambda functions and API Gateway work together to create an easily scalable endpoint that can handle fluctuating traffic demands without the need for managing underlying resources like servers manually. RESTful APIs are a popular use case for serverless architectures, particularly for event-driven applications.

5. Multimedia Processing

Serverless design can handle massive files, the process quickly, and scale. Amazon Lambda functions, for instance, may handle any-sized video, picture, and audio data without infrastructure maintenance or scalability. Also, Netflix and SoundCloud use serverless architecture to handle multimedia quicker and cheaper.

Recent Development and Future Prediction of Serverless Architecture

The IT industry is increasingly adopting serverless architecture. This type of cloud computing enables developers to construct and operate programs without the need for server maintenance. Forbes claimed that Amazon, Google, and Microsoft have been developing serverless solutions for some time, and their investments in this technology are substantial. This is due to the many advantages that serverless design offers. Assigning resources based on needs enhances scalability while lowering costs. Moreover, not having to manage infrastructure further reduces expenses.

Several companies have experienced success with serverless architecture in recent years. Netflix utilizes serverless architecture to handle its vast data and video volumes. SoundCloud uses serverless computing to develop its audio processing pipeline and manage its massive audio data.

Serverless architecture is expected to grow in the future. Experts predict that it will become the standard computer model. This is due to the adaptability and scalability of serverless computing. Instead of focusing on infrastructure management, developers can concentrate on application creation and release. As serverless architecture becomes more mature, more organizations will adopt it.


Serverless architecture lets developers construct and execute services without managing infrastructure. They use this architecture in building Internet of Things (IoT) apps, mobile apps, and websites. The reason is that it offers flexibility, scalability, stability, and availability.

This method has limitations, though. Before utilizing this architecture in production, consider vendor lock-in and cold start. These limitations can be addressed by properly organizing resources and implementation strategies.

Regular failure path testing ensures reliability. Starting with client expectations also improves performance. In conclusion, serverless apps take the undifferentiated heavy lifting off developers, but fundamental rules should still be implemented for successful development and deployment.