Let's take a look at what serverless computing is and why its name isn't ideal.
You may have noticed a strange thing about the previous paragraph:“serverless computing” requires the cloud to work. However, “the cloud” is just a term for a farm of servers connected to the Internet. That doesn't really make it "serverless" at all! That's why the name is not the best for this type of service, because there are certainly servers running in the background.
The main concept behind the name “serverless” is that it removes the requirements for users to set up a server. This way, the customer has a “serverless” experience, despite the fact that servers are still heavily used to host the website.
The main advantage of serverless computing is that it attracts less tech-savvy customers who want to host their websites. This removes the need to manually change settings on a server, so customers can start their site right away and only pay for what they use.
However, it has an additional advantage for customers and hosts. Serverless computing allows customers to pay only for what they use. For example, let's say you want to host a server for a game with your friends. Under the old model, you had to pay a monthly fee to rent a server.
Under this cloud-based one, however, you use the server to play your game and only pay for the resources you use in the cloud. This means you only pay for the times you use the server, so you're not paying out of pocket for something that isn't being used.
Let's say you sign up for a serverless option when you want to host a website. What happens on the other end that allows your site to be hosted?
As discussed above, serverless computing simplifies the management of a server from the user and places it on the server itself. This means that the server must calculate parameters such as storage space and memory on its own.
This uses what is called “Function-as-a-Service” or “FaaS” for short. When the cloud receives code to be executed by the user, it calculates the number of resources needed to execute it. It then examines its servers and distributes the necessary resources to run the process that has just been assigned to it.
The server must also recognize when a process needs to scale up or down. If someone hosts a website that sees an influx of visitors, the server automatically adjusts to this and allocates more resources to the website. When the flow of visitors decreases, the server can use fewer resources to keep the site online. It then calculates the number of resources used over a month and bills the total to the user.
Typically, a user interacts with serverless computing using a console. This allows the user to design functions that they want the cloud to perform. The user then calls the function when it's time to run their service and lets the serverless service handle the rest.
This makes it very easy for someone to set up a function. The biggest hurdle is figuring out how to use your chosen service's interface to make something work. Once you're done, you can start the process and let the service take care of the rest!
If you want to learn more about serverless computing, here are some links to get you started:
Although the name "serverless computing" is a bit of a misnomer, the idea is that it removes the need for the end user to interact with servers. They get all the benefits of a host service without having to fiddle with server settings, making it easier for businesses to connect.
Do you think “serverless computing” is a good name for this technology? Otherwise, what's better? Let us know below.