When your company is competing with a dozen others and you’re in a race to put out the best product features for customers, agility and speed to market matter. Decisions around technology infrastructure can be pivotal, the difference between executing your way towards product-market fit and letting your product roadmap languish. Traditionally, this involved provisioning and managing servers, a route that can be resource-intensive and costly. This is not ideal for the lean operation of a startup. As young companies strive to innovate and scale rapidly, they need systems that minimize technology management overhead and operational costs.
Against this backdrop, serverless architecture has emerged as a compelling option, promising high scalability and cost-effectiveness, without the burden of server management. According to a 2019 O’Reilly survey, 40% of respondents work at organizations that have adopted serverless architecture in some form. The top benefits driving this adoption are reduced operational costs and automatic scaling capabilities.
In this article, we’ll explore how serverless enables startups to focus their limited resources on building their core products and delighting customers, rather than maintaining infrastructure. By leveraging a serverless platform like DigitalOcean Functions, nimble teams can deploy code faster and scale seamlessly.
Serverless architecture is a way to build and run applications and services without having to manage infrastructure. The name “serverless” is a bit of a misnomer because servers are still involved; it’s just that developers no longer need to be concerned with them. The cloud provider manages the server space, dynamically allocating resources as needed.
FaaS, or “Functions as a Service,” is a core element of serverless computing. It offers a platform for developers to execute code without dealing with the underlying infrastructure. This service simplifies the process by managing the servers, resources, and scaling, typically a complex aspect of app development.
In a serverless framework, FaaS enables developers to focus on writing the business logic of their applications. The cloud provider takes care of the necessary server infrastructure, scaling up or down as needed, and automating resource allocation. With FaaS, serverless functions are executed in the cloud, allowing for efficient, event-driven computing by simply uploading the application code.
FaaS is the most hands-off serverless model, allowing users to just upload code and never worry about infrastructure. However, there are several other cloud computing service models that are closely related to FaaS:
Serverless architecture streamlines the deployment of applications, freeing developers from the intricacies of server management. Here’s how it works:
Serverless architecture is changing software development, offering startups a way to maximize efficiency and innovation. By removing the need to manage servers, serverless computing allows companies to concentrate on developing serverless apps and backend code without the complexity of handling server hardware.
Adopting a serverless framework translates to a reduction in operational costs. Without the need to provision and manage physical servers, businesses save on hardware expenses and ongoing maintenance. FaaS models provided by cloud providers mean you pay only for the computing resources used, cutting down the financial waste associated with idle server capacity.
Serverless functions offer increased scalability. The serverless platforms automatically adjust computing resources to match the demand of serverless applications, allowing seamless scaling without the need for manual intervention. This elasticity ensures that serverless apps can handle varying loads, making it ideal for startups that experience unpredictable traffic.
Serverless environments expedite the software development process. Developers can focus on writing business logic rather than getting bogged down by the infrastructure setup. The serverless service models offer out-of-the-box backend code solutions that accelerate the creation and deployment of web apps.
The flexibility offered by serverless computing is another benefit. Developers can deploy serverless functions or entire serverless applications quickly and with ease, making it possible to experiment with new features without extensive planning or risk. This agility empowers startups to adapt rapidly to market changes or user feedback.
With serverless architecture, the cloud providers handle the maintenance of the serverless environment. There’s no need for startups to dedicate resources to manage servers, as the underlying infrastructure, security patches, and updates are all taken care of, leading to a maintenance-free operation for serverless apps and serverless application development.
Serverless platforms are designed to provide high availability for serverless applications. By taking advantage of the distributed nature of serverless computing, web applications benefit from reduced downtime and increased resilience, as the serverless framework ensures that computing resources are always available when needed.
Serverless architectures are not a one-size-fits-all solution, yet they shine in scenarios where traditional infrastructure may falter. Some of the top use cases for serverless architectures include:
Serverless architecture is enabled by a suite of robust tools, with platforms like AWS Lambda, Azure Functions, Google Cloud Functions, and DigitalOcean Functions simplifying the deployment of serverless solutions. Each platform allows developers to focus on writing code rather than managing servers, albeit with their distinct features and advantages.
DigitalOcean Functions distinguishes itself by prioritizing ease of use and transparent pricing, catering especially to small to medium-sized businesses and startups. DigitalOcean Functions is a serverless FaaS platform included with DigitalOcean App Platform. It allows developers to quickly write, deploy, and manage functions without managing infrastructure.
The service handles infrastructure, scaling, security and more automatically. Functions can execute code in response to events like API calls. Here are a few benefits and key features:
Pricing is simple and predictable at $0.000017 per GB-second, with discounts for volume usage and monthly free credits. Visit our tutorials to learn more: What is Serverless, How To Write a Serverless Function, and Best Practices for Rearchitecting Monolithic Applications to Microservices.
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