Serverless computing or ‘Function-as-a-Service’ (FaaS) is the next big thing in cloud architecture after monolith and microservices. While it does not mean “no servers” in the literal sense, Serverless takes off the responsibility of managing them from your shoulders. Infrastructure management tasks like server provisioning, operating system maintenance, scaling, capacity provisioning, are all taken care of externally. This in turn will equip you to seamlessly focus on building and developing your core products or services.
Startups are always under the pressure of delivering excellent services within a specified period. Better resource management, cost efficiency, reliability, and flexibility of modifying functions when required – now there is a reason why enterprises ought to be smart and embrace Serverless Computing for building MVPs!
Benefits of Serverless Computing for Startups
A Platform for Hire
Going Serverless is more like having a platform on hire. You have a platform to run your code and the freedom of polishing it better with no worries of server maintenance. There is no access to the underlying architecture, but the system health checks and security are managed efficiently by the third-party provider.
Also, Serverless is stateless, meaning it does not store or reuse any requests, but only executes the task.
Scaling your MVP cannot get any simpler than with Serverless as they are handled automatically. Serverless architecture can compute scales to the given number of concurrent functions in a matter of seconds. Startups have the flexibility to match any amount of workload without any scale configuration.
This also brings in the advantage of faster deployment which can happen in minutes. Serverless or FaaS can indeed be considered as the next phase of IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), where it would have taken days or weeks for the same deployment.
As a startup, it is not possible to ignore the budget at any given point. In traditional cloud service, there is a fixed backend cost irrespective of whether you have used the services or not — serverless cuts down the cost of building an MVP to almost nil as compared to the traditional cloud. You only pay for the time for which the code is running and only for the resources used to execute it. And it is paid by the millisecond!
Vendors such as Amazon Web Services Lambda, Microsoft Azure Functions, Google Cloud Functions, and IBM Bluemix OpenWhisk offer the first one million requests free of cost, giving you a great kickstart.
Startups are relieved from the cost of extra hardware as well as the resources to manage them.
Serverless removes the hassle of different languages for servers. There is no need to hire developers for the sake of language-specific servers. Existing developers can all work on serverless architecture without the need for learning a new language!
Deliver Better User Experience
Ultimately, this is what counts the most. The developers now have the time as well as resources to focus on their core product and offer the best to their customers.
Serverless brings in agility to the system and is now becoming a go-to source for building MVPs. Moo.do is a classic example of a startup that went serverless. The two co-founders Jay Meistrich and Grant Watters managed to launch an entire product by using external services for the backend. A Market and Markets report predicts the serverless market to grow from a $1.88 billion market in 2016 to $7.72 billion by 2021!
However, every good thing comes with a catch. Depending on an external vendor for your operations has its risks. It may also not be the right choice for applications that run continuously. But, with a little bit of research on the pros and cons, startups can leverage the best of serverless for building MVPs.