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Serverless Technology: All You Need To Know

In this episode of Lancom TV we chat with our Technical Director, Imran, about serverless technology. We discuss what serverless is, the benefits, and how you can leverage this technology in your next software development project.

 

 

 


Video Transcription


Priscila

Hi, guys. Welcome back. I'm Priscila Bernardes. I'm sitting with Imran Sadiq. How are you, Imran?

Imran

Hello. Good. It's good to be here...

Priscila

Yeah, again, for another episode of Lancom TV. Today's topic is quite exciting. It's about serverless. Serverless technology is a new term that started to become more of the...in the last year or so, I would say.

Imran

It is, yeah.

Priscila

And obviously, here to pick Imran's brain on what the heck is serverless technology, which is my first question.

Imran

Right. Okay. So as you know, traditionally, when you are running your software or when you're running your application, business application, they need to be run on a server, right?

Priscila

So the software runs on what?

Imran

The whole point of serverless is to actually use pre-existing services to leverage when you're designing your application.

Priscila

Yeah, I see.

Imran

So with the advent of AWS, Amazon Web Services, and Azure, and other cloud providers, they are offering the services which can be used or leverage to run your software. For example, when you had to run a web application so you used to have a server, install an IIS server, for example, Internet Information Server, and you put your application on there that used to run there, then you still had to manage the server, right? So if it is running out of space, running out of memory or whatever the case is.

Priscila

Yeah.

Imran

Now Azure, for example, offers a web service where all you need to do is just upload your code or your web service part in there...

Priscila

And it can serve off that service directly

 

Imran

Yeah, and that will then actually take care of the backend of the service so you don't even have to know if there is a server that is running it. All you need to know is how to actually design your application and upload the code there. So the...

Priscila

So I'm assuming that simplifies the process from an infrastructure point of view for the person that's actually developing that code and doing the whole backend of the infrastructure and the application. It just makes it way easier for them to try and get the application to market a lot faster potentially as well, right?

Imran

Yeah, exactly. That is one of the good reasons for using it is that you don't need to actually worry about the backend infrastructure. You just put your energy into designing your application, writing the code that you need to, and putting that on those services. But then there's a bigger advantage of using serverless is if you have a lot more complex application and it requires a lot of different companies, not just a web server, for example, then you can use and leverage other services from these cloud providers.

Priscila

I see.

Imran

The disadvantages is that you still need to rearchitect your application so that it can make use of all these services. But the big advantage is that you don't have to then manage a backend infrastructure anymore, right? So you don't need to worry about servers running out of space, or you know, upgrading them, all those kind of things. As well as those services which have been provided by these cloud providers are inherently scalable.

Priscila

That's right. So you can grow with your business, with your application, with your number of users, you name it, essentially.

Imran

Exactly. So if you're a startup and you're writing a software as a service, you design your service as a serverless application. And once you start leveraging those services even if you are servicing 10 clients or, let's say, 100,000 clients, it will scale based on that.

Priscila

Without having to manually change things.

 
Imran

Exactly.

Priscila

Right. So I guess my next question, Imran, is kinda bringing that back to the practical side of things and kind of giving us an example of potentially, of an application that Lancom has created that is currently serverless. Do you have anything that you can speak about that we've done recently in that space?

Imran

Yes. I look for...one of our clients that wanted to have a document management system, for example, that was based on cloud services, so rather than having a, you know, server box where he had to go and install the software, we leveraged the existing services from Amazon Web Services, so we used their S3 as a backend for storing all the files, we used something called incognito service for managing the identity, and then, yeah. And then we used CloudFront which is, again, one of the other technologies that it provided for sharing all the content across.

Priscila

And as a result, they've got a document management system that's fully managed by those services. There are no service in the backend that they're having to maintain and scale along with the platform.

Imran

Yes, it is. And other thing I forgot to mention is the cost of actually running it on a serverless.

Priscila

I was gonna ask that. Good timing. 

Imran

Because you're using those services and you're only paying for what you're using, you're not actually having to pay for a whole server sitting there and not doing anything, for example.

Priscila

So it's potentially cheaper.

Imran

It definitely is. So the cost goes down and it only increases as you get more users using your application.

Priscila

The scalability you touched on.

Imran

Yeah.

Priscila

Last question. Everything sounds amazing. The cost is definitely attractive to those people that are considering writing an application today, is there any downsides to going with the serverless approach? Is there anything that we should be aware of?

Imran

Look, for an existing application, it is because you still need to rearchitect your application. You need to break it up to be able to use by all these other services. But for a startup, I don't see a reason why you would be actually writing your application.

Priscila

Or for a brand-new application as well.

Imran

Yes. So if you have a new idea, it does require a bit more effort so I would say 10 to 15 person or more effort put into designing it in a way.

Priscila

In advance? Yeah?

Imran

In advance, but...

Priscila

But it pays off in the long run.

Imran

Exactly. So if you have a longer view of your application that you know is gonna grow and a lot more people are gonna be using it and you don't have any other people to manage the backend infrastructure, then this is the way to go.

Priscila

Fantastic. Thank you so much, Imran. I appreciate the chat. I think it's really beneficial to talk about, you know, new technologies that are coming up and serverless is certainly one of them. So thanks for popping in again.

Imran

Not a problem.

Priscila

And bye for now, guys.

Imran

See you guys. Bye.

 

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