Although, serverless shares a lot of characteristics with microservices architecture, they are two difference concepts in cloud computing. Serverless has recently gain more popularity due to its attractive options. Let us have a look at the benefits, differences and use cases of both serverless and microservices architectures.
Serverless is an architecture where applications are hosted on cloud platform serviced on third parties’ vendors such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft, etc. The features and logic are broken down into smaller functions (components) to serve the need of a program over a limited period.
There are some stages of setting up a serverless architecture. Many functions can be run simultaneously but it depends on how they are relating to each other. Let us review some key stages here, where user defines the functions and attach them to the components:
The developers design code to perform a set of operations. It can be a series of operations or a single command to execute a logic. It is preferred to keep the logic simple and not to do many operations in a single function.
After creating the functions, the developers assign the functions to the events. If the criteria is met, functions will be executed against the assigned events.
To call a function, an event needs to trigger it. It can be triggered by any scenario such as user click on the button, user press the enter key, user logouts from the application, etc.
When the function is triggered, it gets executed and start performing according to the command lines.
The user can receive an output in any form like a response on the screen.
A microservice is an independent component that is responsible to run a particular service. Each component is dedicated to a standalone service which is more like the concept of containers. The components in microservice can be deployed in a container with a set of libraries and templates. All the containers are providing a running environment and is mandatory to have a prerequisite set of libraries that are required to serve the services deployed in it. Docker is the famous container used for standalone services.
To build a microservice application, you must follow the following stages :
In the first step, all the features listed and broken down into smaller components to focus in achieving the core functionality of an application.
The next step is to design and analyse the relations between the services. At this stage, it is also important to identify which microservices will have a direct or indirect dependency on other services. The hierarchy plan must also be made in this stage to have a clear view of the services.
After finalizing the road map of the interconnected services, the next step is to develop the understanding how the services will integrate with each together. This is usually done with the help of a smaller teams who are responsible to build up a single service.
After the teams have completed the services, they can be deployed in containers or in a separate VMs.
In microservices, the setup cost is higher in initial stages as the company will need several teams to building up a project and manage the relation between the components of a service. A company must have an inhouse resources and support to develop and maintain the microservice operations. This feature brings more advantage of security as there is no involvement of any third-party vendor and the company has a complete and secure access to the data and applications.
On the other hand, serverless architecture utilize the hosted platforms. The third-party vendors provide the option of sharing resources i.e., shared or a dedicated server to the clients. A company can opt a shared or dedicated server according to the requirement and usage of the resources since the shared server is comparatively low in price as compared to have a dedicated server. This can also result in minimum hardware or server administrators.
In microservices, the setup is inhouse and is not dependent on any vendor platform which makes it more resilient in terms of limitation i.e., there is no limitation of RAM, processors and storage. A company can manage the server resources at run time also.
Serverless architecture utilizes the online hosted platforms. The third-party vendors provide the option of sharing resources i.e., shared or a dedicated server to the clients. A company can opt a shared or dedicated server according to the requirement and usage of the resources since the shared server is comparatively low in price as compared to have a dedicated server. This can also result in minimum hardware or server administrators.
Microservices are designed for large scale projects and mature development. It works great for platforms having rich functionalities and components. If the company has an infrastructure which is growing rapidly and it is difficult to manage the entire architecture, it is wiser to decentralize it. It is important to think about every aspect of features and niches simultaneously.
In serverless architecture, functions are cost effective as the templates are already available in the market and a company can reuse it. It is recommended to choose the vendor wisely before making any choice because when it comes to the practical implementation, not every vendor provides everything that are suitable for the needs of a company. It is convenient to manage the functions when it comes to identifying issues and resolving it. It is also easy to release multiple updates.