Serverless deployment is a trending practice in web and mobile app development projects because it simplifies resource management for organizations and their development teams. As a result, serverless architecture is quickly becoming the norm for developers who want to eradicate the need to provision and manage server resources and solely focus on writing and deploying code.
If your business is interested in learning more about serverless deployment, this post will help you understand everything you need to know. We will explain serverless deployment, the benefits associated with the serverless development approach, and some common challenges businesses face when choosing this path.
What Is Serverless Deployment?
Serverless deployment relies on two primary components, BaaS and FaaS. BaaS stands for backend as a service and refers to using remote servers from a cloud service provider to run the backend of an application.
FaaS stands for function as a service and refers to a computing service that runs stand-alone pieces of code, or functions, in the cloud. Functions serve one purpose and remain inactive until triggered by an event. Function code is stored in the cloud, but the instance that runs the function vanishes as soon as the task is completed.
Thanks to BaaS and FaaS, serverless deployment is an easier way to release applications and code updates. Instead of going through the lengthy process of provisioning server resources, configuring containers, and replacing nodes for serverless deployments, all a developer needs to do is give their service provider the code they want to deploy.
When using a serverless framework, developers don’t have to consider what runs their code or how. Instead, all of these considerations are left to the service provider. There are several different serverless providers, but the most prominent players in the industry are Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and AWS. The most popular provider is AWS because AWS offers a large variety of serverless services, microservices, and a robust ecosystem of dedicated AWS partner developers.
Deployment procedures will vary depending on the service provider you choose to work with. However, the core deployment process remains the same for all providers. Simply package the code you want to deploy and share it with your chosen service provider.
Any updates to your code will seem instantaneous since old functions die after completion. Plus, since functions are isolated from one another, you don’t have to worry about affecting the execution of one function when updating another.
Serverless Deployment Best Practices
When building serverless apps, some best practices can help your organization succeed and reduce the number of mistakes. It is essential to implement best practices when projects are simple and small. If you wait until your projects grow and become complex, it will be more challenging to implement these practices and control your serverless application. Try to follow these best practices for serverless deployment:
- Limit access
- Protect sensitive data
- Create deployment windows
- Clearly name functions
Carefully limit the access you grant to services and applications. Of course, a certain amount of access will be necessary to deliver the services you want to create. Still, if you fail to limit the scope of what these connected applications and services can access, you will be putting your organization’s and customers’ data at risk. The best policy is to limit access permissions for connected apps and services to the bare minimum required to provide the service as expected.
Protect Sensitive Data
Data like API keys, user credentials, etc., must be kept secure and confidential. The best way to protect this data is to limit the users and apps that can access it. However, another best practice your organization can adopt is utilizing security tools that place these sensitive data points in a secure vault.
Create Deployment Windows
Serverless deployment is significant because updates appear instantaneously. However, your organization should still consider limiting deployment during peak usage times. You don’t want to over-deploy updates during peak usage because you could be negatively impacting the User Experience. Of course, if there is a bug that needs to be fixed, address it. Still, your organization should generally set deployment windows when deployments will and won’t happen to protect the User Experience during peak usage.
Clearly Name Functions
Serverless apps can get confusing quickly when there are many interconnected functions and services that are poorly labeled. This presents a significant problem for developers trying to debug code. The best practice is to clearly name and describe how every function works and relates to the functions it connects to. Yes, this will require more effort initially, but it will save your business far more time when it comes time to develop updates or debug the code.
The Benefits of Serverless Deployment
There are several good reasons to utilize the serverless framework. The primary benefit of serverless architecture is that it enables development teams to focus on creating great code without worrying about managing servers and scaling. Non-technical members of your organization might not fully understand how much time and effort goes into infrastructure development and maintenance. A serverless framework means developers only have to focus on front-end code and functionality.
In addition, serverless architecture scales automatically and endlessly. As a result, developers don’t have to worry about a sudden spike in user requests negatively affecting application performance. Plus, organizations don’t have to pay for resources they don’t use. As a result, serverless deployment reduces operational and developmental costs.
The Challenges of Serverless Deployment
The benefits of serverless deployment excite many developers, but there are a few challenges of the serverless approach that need to be discussed too. The primary challenge or concern of serverless architecture is giving control of application performance over to third-party. If performance issues arise, it is more difficult to troubleshoot and fix them with a serverless provider.
The other primary concern many businesses face is vendor lock-in. For example, AWS provides a host of excellent services and functions like AWS Lambda. However, once you start using AWS or Google Cloud, getting locked in using the same vendor for all services is easy. While this makes service integrations and management more straightforward, it also makes your organization vulnerable to outages and other issues affecting its serverless services provider.
Serverless is the future of software development. Yes, there are challenges and concerns that pop up. Still, this approach saves development teams time and organizations considerable financial resources and can scale on-demand without missing a beat. If you want to learn more about serverless deployment and how it can benefit your organization, reach out to an app development partner.