One of the key criteria for the success of a business model lies in how well the company uses technology. From creating its very own distinct brand identity to developing an effective marketing model the technology plays a key role in all major and minor decisions of a business. So it becomes imperative to adapt to the growing needs of the market by finding the flexibility between old and new current and future technological investments. Two such technologies are serverless and Microservices.
Microservices and serverless replaced what was previously a monolithic architecture for building applications as these were unscalable and required very expensive and extensive resources. So in search of architectural styles which would be scalable, cost effective, efficient and agile models such as Microservices and Serverless were born. If you are in a dilemma about which of these architectural models will suit your business the best, then we have got you covered as in the further sections we will know some more about Microservices and serverless and what exactly differentiates them from one another.
What is a Microservice?
Adapting to an approach which is the complete opposite of the monolithic architecture where a single entity holds all the functionality, Microservice is an architectural pattern where the applications are broken down into smaller services. Allowing the user to have a more adaptable and flexible infrastructure the each of these smaller services in a Microservice can be interfaced and executed independently and may even be written in different programming languages.
- Software: Microservice the features of its app are completely broken down into smaller chunks and each of these smaller services are modified and deployed according to the functionality demands of the applications.
- Architecture: As each of the smaller services are independent so they are not mapped onto the same database, this significantly reduces the downtime and overloading of the application as a whole.
- Organization: to ensure convenience in maintenance tasks and time saving it uses an architecture which supports a multipurpose module where every application uses a common module for fulfillment of different requirements.
Advantages and Disadvantages of using Microservices-
- The application being divided into smaller modules ensures a more effective and efficient application architecture.
- Allows the developer to exercise greater control over modifying and programming each of the modules.
- The decentralized approach where each of the modules have a separate database reduces the application downtime as well as reduces the risk of security breaches.
- Is scalable and agile.
- Managing a large number of applications can be complicated and time consuming.
- The large number of modules also means a greater memory use.
What is serverless?
Serverless is the application development architecture where companies use third party vendors to host their application functions. All the developers need to do is focus on the programming and the necessary physical hardware is outsourced from an external vendor. Two different perspectives of serverless architecture are Baas and Faas
- Baas(Backend as Service) – mostly used for developing web and mobile applications. The Backend as Service allows the programmer to concentrate in the front end.
- Faas( Function as Service)- Function as Service allows the developer to create an architecture which is agile as well as efficient while using very few resources.
- Software: as serverless architecture outsources the necessary hardware from third party sources, the developer only concentrates in developing the code for a particular task in the application.
- Architecture: each of the functions are assigned a particular event and it is these events that trigger the functions.
- Organization approach: in serverless architecture model the applications functionality are broken down into functions which allows for the not only the effective running of each of the applications but allows running of different functions simultaneously.
Advantages and Disadvantages of using serverless-
- As the necessary hardware is mostly outsourced so it doesn’t take up much memory space.
- The breaking down of the application’s functionality into smaller functions also allows increased flexibility when adding functions and triggers.
- The developers only need to focus on the programming.
- A more effective method of architecture when companies are looking for a model which is more cost effective and agile.
- Performance issues may arise when dealing with multi tenant third party vendors.
- The long term contract with the third party vendors can be taxing for the company.
Difference between Microservices and serverless-
Both the architectural models have vastly different approaches and the one suited for your business totally depends upon you so here are some distinctions which might help you get a clear picture on how both the models compare to each other.
- Microservices are long term and performance more than one function for serverless architecture they need a trigger event for each of their functions
- Serverless functions take up much less space as compared to microservices where each of the applications are broken down into modules which means its memory will be taken up separately by each of these modules. Which makes the latter a better fit for long term operations, as not being limited by third party vendors gives it a free reign over its RAM, storage space and runtime.
- Both the architectures have vastly different approaches to IT operations as one relies more on team resources and other on external resources. Serverless mostly deals with all internal operation while the external hardware is left to a third party vendor for Microservice every responsibility from developing the code to computing and architecture is handled by the development team itself.
- Microservices is more suited as a technique to create an architecture as well as enabling you to.manage multiple applications whereas serverless architecture is more suited as an interface on which you can run applications and it’s difficult to log into different systems.
Real world examples
Among many if the real world big names who have adapted the microservices model of architecture Netflix, Amazon and Uber are some. Netflix being one of the first organizations in doing so.
Nordstrom,Codepen and Figma are some applications which have adapted the serverless application development architecture model.
Both Microservice and serverless have very similar development models but different approaches. Replacing monolithic architecture both the models work phenomenally indisposing of what was wrong with the monolithic approach. The model which works for you the best depends on what you prioritize in your business vision whether its flexibility, scalability or cost efficiency. If you are more interested in building a larger platform then Microservice may be the approach for you but if you are looking for something cost effective and agile serverless might be the approach for you.