Serverless and Infrastructure as a Code
Serverless is a cloud-native development model that assists developers to build and run applications without the need to manage servers. Servers still exist in serverless, but they are separated from app development.
A cloud provider usually carries out the routine work of provisioning, maintaining, and scaling the server infrastructure. Infrastructure as Code (IaC) is a process that uses a high-level descriptive coding language to automate the provision of IT infrastructure.
This automation eliminates developers' need to manually provision and manage servers, operating systems, database connections, storage, and other infrastructure elements every time they want to develop, test, or deploy a software application.
What Each Is Used For
In this section, we explore what both Serverless Architecture and Infrastructure as a Code are used for.
As we have already mentioned, serverless architecture is an approach to software design that assists developers in building and running services/applications without having to manage the underlying infrastructure.
Developers can write and deploy code while the cloud provider provisions servers to run their applications, databases, and storage systems.
Hosting a software application on the internet normally involves managing some kind of server infrastructure. Usually, this means a virtual or physical server that has to be managed. In addition, you must also manage the operating system and other web server hosting processes required for the application to run.
This is where serverless architecture comes into play. It eliminates the physical hardware concerns and reduces the operating system's management level and the webserver software process.
With serverless architecture, developers can focus solely on the individual functions of their application code. Services like AWS Lambada and Twilio Functions take care of all the physical hardware, virtual machine operating system, and web server software management.
Servers still exist in serverless, but they are separated from app development. A cloud provider handles the work of provisioning, maintaining, and scaling the server infrastructure. Developers simply have to package their code for deployment.
When deployed, serverless apps respond to demand, and they scale up and down as needed.
Infrastructure as a Code
As we have already mentioned, IaC manages and provides infrastructure using code instead of via manual processes.
In the past, the only way to manage computer infrastructure was through manual intervention. Servers had to be mounted on racks, operating systems had to be installed, and networks connected and configured. This wasn’t so much a problem at the time because development cycles were long-lived such that infrastructure changes weren’t frequent.
Later, however, several technologies like virtualization and the cloud, in conjunction with the rise of DevOps and agile practices, shortened software development cycles drastically. Because of this, there was a demand for better infrastructure management techniques. Organizations couldn't afford to wait for hours or days to deploy servers.
Infrastructure as Code is one way of improving the standard of infrastructure management and time to deployment. By using tools, languages, protocols, and processes, IaC safely helps create and configure infrastructure elements in a matter of seconds. With IaC, configuration files are created. These contain your infrastructure specifications, and this makes it easier to edit and distribute configurations. It also makes sure that you service the same environment every time.
IaC also aids in configuration management and helps you to avoid undocumented, ad-hoc configuration changes by codifying and documenting your configuration specifications.
Deploying your infrastructure as code also means you can separate your infrastructure into modular components. These can then be combined in various ways through automation.
Automating infrastructure provisioning with IaC simply means that developers won't have to manually set up IT infrastructure and manage servers, storage, operating systems, and other infrastructure components every time they develop or deploy an application.
What Are the Benefits of Both?
Both small startups and global businesses alike are leveraging serverless architecture and Infrastructure as a Code. In this section, we will explore the benefits of both.
Benefits of Serverless Architecture
- Low cost - By going serverless, you outsource the responsibilities of managing servers, databases, and some logic, which cuts costs.
- No server management is necessary - Even though serverless computing actually takes place on servers, developers never have to deal with servers because the cloud provider manages them.
- Better scalability - If you aim to be the next Google, you should consider whether your server can handle such a load. Going with serverless architecture allows you to stage changes to accommodate the potential growth easily.
- Improved flexibility - It's easier to start implementation of an app with serverless as compared to traditional methods. Because of this, going serverless means, you can innovate faster. When you see tangible results, you can move on to your next project.
Benefits of Infrastructure as a Code
- Speed - IaC dramatically speeds up the process of provisioning infrastructure for development, testing, and production.
- Consistency - Manual infrastructure management results in discrepancies. IaC solves this problem by ensuring the same configurations are deployed over and over with no discrepancies.
- Lower cost - IaC lowers the cost of infrastructure management because you won't have to spend money on hardware, hire people to operate it or rent physical space to store it.
- Accountability - You can version IaC configuration files like any source code file. This gives you full traceability of the changes each configuration suffers. This means no more guessing who did what and when.
- Reusability - IaC simplifies the creation of reusable modules, for example, to replicate development and production environments.
Can They Be Used Together?
Yes. You can use serverless architecture in conjunction with IaC. When building cloud applications, we lose some aspect of control, which usually results in many discrepancies that can hinder processes.
Serverless architecture can come in handy because the developer needs not worry about managing the underlying infrastructure.
When developing applications in the cloud, the underlying infrastructure is something less to worry about because it's already managed.
The benefit of using serverless and IaC is that creating microservices and getting them up and running in the cloud is quite easy and seamless.
Ready4S is a trustworthy enterprise that builds customized software solutions for several reputable global companies. We are one of the top global software development companies.
This is because we aim at delivering outstanding products that help our customers open to new markets, reach new customers, and expand their businesses globally.
For example, Ready4S worked with an American-British company which is one of the world’s largest providers of financial market data and infrastructure. The aim was to create a web portal with serverless architecture to allow all potential financial investors to quickly find reports, analyses, or data in one place.
The platform is a solution for all individuals and institutions that want to analyze a specific investment.
Ready4S also worked with a reputable Swiss healthcare company that operates worldwide. The scope of the project involved designing and developing an iOS mobile application for oncologists.
To ensure the app ran smoothly, IaC was used to connect the app to a specific API that connects to the database of all physicians.
Ready4S handles the whole project cycle. From the first ideas to the business analysis, design, architecture, quality assurance, and deployment. We always ensure the entire product passes testing and can operate under heavy use. The architectures we build are characterized by great performance.
We simply believe that professionalism, communication, and honesty are key to success. We guarantee all of our clients quality, speed, flexibility, and engagement from our team. If you’re interested in finding out more, you can view our portfolio here.