Serverless Architecture Pros And Cons

Learn about the benefits and drawbacks of one of the hottest trends in IT today.

The term “serverless architecture” can be somewhat misleading. After all, it’s not as if your applications literally don’t run on servers. Instead, the server and infrastructure is essentially hidden from you, typically managed by a service provider. This is appealing to many as it frees the business up to focus resources almost strictly on the application and not on the underlying components. In many ways, it’s just the next logical step in the data center. We’ve moved from server virtualization to containers and finally to serverless architectures.

Unlike traditional cloud services, serverless computing frees you from the management of virtual servers, operating systems, load balancers, and the software used to run application code. Serverless architecture is often thought of as the next evolution of Platform-as-a-Service, enabling organizations to focus on application code while the service provider manages everything else, including the back-end stack components.

But while there are many sound benefits with serverless architectures, there are some serious drawbacks that also must be considered. Simply put, serverless isn’t for everyone. In this slideshow, I’ll outline some of the pros and cons, then you decide if you are ready to fully hand over the keys of your infrastructure so you can solely focus on applications. But regardless of your view today, serverless architectures seem to be the logical evolution of enterprise IT technologies.

And if you think that serverless architecture is simply for small startups and lab environments, you’re sorely mistaken. There are plenty of large enterprises looking to rapidly adopt this new way of handling how applications are created. Netflix is one high-profile example.

Click ahead  to see what serverless architectures can offer today and what to watch out for. As time moves on, the drawbacks of this approach likely will soon diminish just as fast as the advantages will increase. Is serverless the architecture of enterprise IT for the next decade? I think it very well could be.

(Image: Filograph/iStockphoto)

About the Author(s)

Andrew Froehlich, President, West Gate Networks

President, West Gate Networks

As a highly experienced network architect and trusted IT consultant with worldwide contacts, particularly in the United States and Southeast Asia, Andrew Froehlich has nearly two decades of experience and possesses multiple industry certifications in the field of enterprise networking. Froehlich has participated in the design and maintenance of networks for State Farm Insurance, United Airlines, Chicago-area schools and the University of Chicago Medical Center. He is the founder and president of Loveland, Colo.-based West Gate Networks, which specializes in enterprise network architectures and data center build outs. The author of two Cisco certification study guides published by Sybex, he is a regular contributor to multiple enterprise IT related websites and trade journals with insights into rapidly changing developments in the IT industry.

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