What is Serverless Computing? A new Learning Path from Cloud Academy

Serverless computing has been referred to as the natural next step in the transition to infrastructure as a service (IaaS). With major companies like Coca-Cola and Major League Baseball going serverless, it’s getting a lot of traction for its ability to help companies achieve new levels of speed and scale in building applications. Think of Cloud Academy new Learning Path as your guide to serverless—what is Serverless Computing, how it works, and how you can use it. 

What is serverless?

While cloud computing has made it possible for us to manage virtual computers and services, it still requires users to be proficient with provisioning and managing compute resources. Serverless computing makes cloud computing even easier.

With serverless, it’s not as if there are no servers, as the term implies. The point is, you no longer have to manage them (your cloud provider does that for you). Serverless computing takes developers further away from infrastructure so they can focus almost exclusively on building code for single functions (which is why it is probably better described as Functions as a Service).

As instructor Andrew Larkin describes it, “Serverless computing is a bit like a car share service. You just want a vehicle to get you to your destination, whether that is just across town or across the country. It is expected that you will drive carefully when using the vehicle, and you will report any damage. However, you are not expected to pay for the car to be built before you use it, and you are not expected to contribute to the cost of buying or preparing the vehicle. You only pay for the time that you use the service.

What is Serverless Computing?

Why should I learn about serverless computing now?

Serverless is being recognized for its ability to help companies reduce complexity and move faster when it comes to creating new applications and bringing them to market.

While cloud computing has made it possible for us to manage virtual computers and services, customers still need to be proficient with provisioning and managing compute resources. With the release of AWS Lambda in 2014 (the first serverless platform), Amazon Web Services went a step further in making cloud computing easier and more accessible by managing the underlying compute layer for us. Today, the other major cloud providers also have serverless platforms, including Google Cloud Functions and Microsoft Azure Functions. If you’re interested in understanding the difference between Microsoft Azure Functions, Google Cloud Functions and AWS Lambda we recommend to take a look at our article Fight for serverless cloud domination continues.

There are many advantages of developing applications where we don’t need to manage the server you deploy the application on. You don’t have to manage the server at all. With serverless computing, the cloud service provider manages the computing environment for you. You pay for the time that your function is executing, rather than the time a machine is provisioned for. When we need to scale a function up or down, you just scale that single function. You don’t need to scale an entire system, a container, or an application. Another real benefit is that serverless has built-in fault tolerance and high availability by design.

Serverless is going to keep costs down by charging you only for the execution time of your workloads, not for idle resources. You’re not paying for service, only for invocations of your functions, which is a positive model when you’re talking to businesses about transaction times and for them to determine the actual cost of delivery of a function.

Whether you’re a developer or a CTO, you’ll want to know more about serverless computing.

What is Serverless Computing? What you will learn

In the new Cloud Academy Getting started with Serverless Computing Learning Path, we’re going to look at how serverless works. We will look at some of the building blocks that are common to serverless computing, and how it differs from traditional computing. We will discuss some common use cases for serverless computing can be used, and we’ll look at some of the ways that we can start to use it.
This learning path contains video courses as well as hands-on labs. We will build our first REST API using the AWS API gateway service, and we will create our first serverless function using the AWS Lambda service.

Sign up to take full advantage of the entire suite of courses and get started with Serverless today!

Written by

Cloud Academy Team

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