The Serverless Microservices Architecture
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No server is easier to manage than no server.’ Truly. That is exactly the aim of serverless microservice architecture. When you are designing and planning a new microservices-based architecture, there comes a time when you have to think about its deployment strategy. Should you deploy this microservice as a serverless function? Is it better to install it in a container? Or perhaps on a separate virtual machine (VM)?
Deploying your microservice as a serverless function at the start is a great choice because they are quick to set up and need very little upfront expenditure. But there is more to it. What exactly is serverless computing? How does it relate to microservices? Be at ease, because we are going to explain each of the nitty-gritties that go with serverless microservices architecture.
What are Microservices?
Imagine that your application is chopped into pieces, and you are running it as a collection of smaller parts - that’s what a microservices architecture is. Each piece is a ‘microservice’, and it performs one task only, runs independently, operates in its own environment, and stores its data separately. Microservices do not have to be ‘micro’, per se. What makes me ‘micro’ is that it only handles one service, and is a part of a much larger application.
And, what is Serverless?
Serverless computing, also known as just serverless, is a promising cloud-based technology approach that has risen to prominence in recent years in the app development and software architecture worlds. In a survey conducted last year by O’Reilly, 25% of the respondents said that their companies planned to move all their applications to a cloud environment in the coming year. That’s for the relevance.
Simply defined, serverless architecture is a technology solution that allows application developers to create actionable cloud working environments with all of the computational capabilities needed for a smooth development flow. This paradigm is especially useful when time is of the essence and the tasks at hand are resource-intensive.
For example, running an application service that resizes photographs provided by users is a common use case for serverless. Developers would put up triggers in this situation to run the serverless function whenever a user uploads a new image to the app. The serverless function would then execute its task and exit as soon as it is complete.
A prominent advantage of serverless is that it provides an efficient method to run code that does not need to run continuously. You'd have to maintain all portions of your application running constantly if you didn't use serverless, which would waste resources. Serverless functions let you configure sections of your app to operate just when they're needed.
How Are Microservices and Serverless Different?
On the one hand, these two designs have similar functional properties: they can reduce operational expenses and the application deployment cycle, handle constantly changing development needs, and optimize everyday time- and resource-sensitive operations. On the other hand, there are several key distinctions between microservices and serverless models that you should be aware of.
Microservices are a sort of SOA (service-oriented architecture) that gives programmers complete access to essential libraries maintained on cloud servers and allows them to deploy numerous functional modules as well as multiple protocols and APIs including JSON, RESTful, AMQP, SOAP, and more.
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The microservices design, in general, allows data containerization using software executable packages like Docker, with all necessary data being unpacked on-demand as developers demand a specific API. Several microservices patterns ensure that applications are continuously deployed via cloud platform operations.
You should also keep in mind that using microservices architecture can be fairly costly for business owners, as even inactive microservices are still active, and you'll have to pay for host server capacity on a daily/monthly basis.
Read our blog, “AWS Microservices Archtecture”
For application developers, the serverless architecture is even more attractive because it allows for the instant execution of cloud-based working environments. It means that serverless functions are only called when a specific event occurs. After that, the functions carry out a series of procedures based on the commands entered by the users.
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How Does Serverless Architecture Work?
Serverless uses a number of distributed cloud-based services to expedite the software deployment workflow as a development model driven by predefined events. It usually entails two distinct service models:
- Backend as a Service (BaaS)
- Function as a Service (FaaS)
Let's look at some of their peculiar characteristics. So, BaaS is all about leveraging third-party multitenant architectural features to improve the deployment and delivery efficiency of your own applications. Its most common features are usually given as SDKs or API gateways, and all required activities are exclusively performed in the cloud and are referred to as elements of your legacy on-premise infrastructure or code data.
This solution with a short development cycle places complete responsibility for software and infrastructure maintenance on the BaaS provider. Furthermore, its capabilities are practically limitless, allowing app developers to scale up deployment flows on the fly.
FaaS platforms, such as AWS Lambda, are examples of event-driven development architecture that assures reliable hosting services while employing a pay-per-use model and only triggering when certain functions or events set by users are scheduled for action. Prescheduled events, file uploads, new commits to a repository, emails, database updates, HTTP API calls, and other events are frequent triggers for FaaS functions.
Serverless Use Cases
Businesses are increasingly turning to serverless solutions in order to benefit from faster product launch times, cheaper operational costs, and improved overall performance. Despite the vast potential that has yet to be realized, there are currently several domains of serverless application where its business value is undeniable.
- Automatic Website Scaling: After migrating to serverless architecture, infrastructure provisioning will no longer be a pain in the neck. Developers can easily develop code, create and launch actionable apps and websites, and do so in less time.
- Big Data and Analytics: When it comes to orchestrating enormous dissimilar sets of analytical data assets that were previously spread on local servers and not unified throughout back- and front-office teams, serverless can be incredibly successful.
- Enhanced connectivity between IoT devices: Most organizations have made it a point to integrate IoT-based devices such as sensors, RFID tags, smartphones, and other gadgets. This is where serverless services come in, allowing end-users to avoid frustrating situations with limited internet traffic in some troublesome places.
How Does AppDynamics Help?
AppDynamics aids in the optimization of the user experience by utilizing serverless functionalities to support sudden bursts of requests in response to end-user needs. Using a centralized yet comprehensive monitoring platform, AppDynamics delivers visibility from front-end to back-end application performance with full business context.
With AppDynamics, you can confidently move to the cloud by comparing pre and post-migration performance using data-driven metrics. With the AppDynamics Application Intelligence Platform, you can quantify the impact of your cloud migration on both user experience and business goals.
Serverless Microservices Architecture - The Good, Bad and Ugly
The ‘good’ of this computing technique is its low-cost on-demand nature. Consider an application developer who wishes to give their aging application architecture a quick boost by adding a minor function that checks an Internet of Things (IoT) sensor in a smart home, such as air quality, and immediately suggests or orders a new air filter.
They can construct this on-demand function that only needs to run infrequently instead of increasing the compute capacity of infrastructure needed for many thousands of subscribers to the service.
The ‘bad’ is that these functions can become complex and difficult to manage, particularly if they are required to operate for more than five minutes at a time throughout an application process. They'll need to be accessed through a private API gateway, and dependencies from popular libraries will have to be packed inside them. When compared to containerization, this can be quite inefficient.
The 'ugly' is that there is currently no serverless computing standardization across public providers. When these attractive functions as code—with low prices—become addicting to some developers and companies, vendor lock-in will be in danger. They cannot be easily transported in the same way that containers can.
Serverless Functions might be an excellent deployment strategy for microservices since they provide the quickest time to market, the lowest entry cost, and high elasticity. Serverless Functions are the deployment strategy to chose when speed to production with a new service is critical, when we wish to minimize upfront investments, and when load curves are unclear. With this in mind, we hope that you will now be able to decide whether serverless microservices architecture is the perfect fit for you.
How SayOne Can Help
At SayOne, our integrated teams of developers service our clients with microservices that are fully aligned to the future of the business or organization. The microservices we design and implement are formulated around the propositions of Agile and DevOps methodologies. Our system model focuses on individual components that are resilient, fortified, and highly reliable.
We design microservices for our clients in a manner that assures future success in terms of scalability and adaptation to the latest technologies. They are also constructed to accept fresh components easily and smoothly, allowing for effective function upgrades in a cost-effective manner.
Our microservices are constructed with reusable components that offer increased flexibility and offer superior productivity for the organization/business. We work with start-ups, SMBs, and enterprises and help them to visualise the entire microservices journey and also allow for the effective coexistence of legacy systems of the organization.
Our microservices are developed for agility, efficient performance and maintenance, enhanced performance, scalability, and security.
Develop future-proof microservices solutions for your legacy software! Call our experts today!
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