Why the word “Serverless” needs to be on your resume

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Until recent years, we treated our servers like pets. We gave them names and assigned a high value to their health and uptime. If a server went down, we did everything in our power to get it back up and running. With the advent of virtualization, the term server became more synonymous with VM (Virtual Machine) and the fact that it was running didn’t really have as much significance simply because we could spin up many more like it within minutes. But that was still a problem. We had to spin up many more just like it. We had gone from treating servers like pets, to treating them more like cattle. It appears the dream of virtualization was realized as we didn’t need to worry about one specific server anymore. If web-007 failed, web-001 through web-006 were still around to handle the traffic and no one would even notice the difference while a new instance was generated. But even in this new virtual reality, the virtual environment (our cattle) had to be up and running all the time, feeding on energy and they needed attention.

This was a problem that didn’t seem to have a solution. It seemed that if you needed to compute a bit of logic, you would have to pass that request to a service that could process it for you and give you a result. So, the cattle were as efficient as we could get for a long while. But realistically, each bit of computing request is just a tiny little request. Surely, we don’t need an entire virtual farm always on standby to fulfill requests that are not even being called on all the time. What if we moved from the cattle model to the bacteria model? Imagine an infinite ocean of tiny little computing units (our bacteria) that would instantly rush to our call whenever we needed them. Now imagine if that ocean was shared by all our applications.

This is the serverless dream. In the cloud ecosystem, we call these container services and major cloud providers like Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services offer these container services in an all you can eat ocean of compute that you can tap into whenever and however much you desire. Imagine never having to scale your server infrastructure. Imagine only getting charged for the infinitesimally small amounts of time that the CPU is processing your request. That is what services like AWS Lambda provide. AWS Lambda lets you run code without provisioning or managing servers. You pay only for the compute time you consume – there is no charge when your code is not running. You simply write all the logic of your code within a Lambda function, link the function to an application gateway and you’re ready to invoke your logic from anywhere, on any device, at any time, and as many times as you like. It is easy to see that with this new model of computing, your data center will soon become a thing of the past, and with it the skillset you have developed around the data center model.

So, what will it take to go fully serverless? Can you run your applications on this new computing platform? How do you develop applications in a way that can take advantage of these new technologies? Subscribe to our newsletter to be notified of our upcoming articles that will address all these questions. If you have a serverless development project that you would like to talk to us about, you can contact us directly here. Nogalis has been developing serverless applications using AWS Lambda since 2017 and we’d love to discuss your upcoming projects.