Serverless Computing with Microsoft Azure

Image: Azure Serverless Computing
By Andrew Petty on

The Era of Serverless Computing

Since the release of Microsoft Azure eight years ago we have all seen staggering growth within its ecosystem.  This expansion is continuing daily and keeping pace with this rate of change is an exciting challenge for us all. I regularly speak to customers that are looking to make greater use of Microsoft Azure as a strategic cloud computing service and not just for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) or as a datacentre in the cloud.  Customers are realising that this explosion of services and tools is providing a real opportunity to access systems and services they could only have dreamed of utilising a few years ago.  One of the areas of growing interest I am seeing is creating solutions involving serverless architectures. This is known as serverless computing.

So what is Serverless Architecture?

In a nutshell, serverless computing frees you from managing the underlying infrastructure. Solutions are ‘stood up’ very quickly and development teams can focus on coding to address business requirements. Traditionally, we would spend time designing and building our development environment. Now most of this burden has been removed and we just get stuck into developing solutions.

Serverless Architecture encompasses three things:

  1. Abstraction of Servers – The underlying servers are fully managed by the cloud provider and any functions required to run on these ‘servers’ are abstracted from the underlying server instances. Your compute effort may, in reality, be running on various servers.  The important thing is that all of this is completely transparent to the code. You don’t need to purchase infrastructure and employ people to manage it.
  2. Event Driven – The underlying platform and/or other cloud services can be used to schedule or trigger a function which then runs and scales as required. This enables additional compute to be brought into play as required depending on events or triggers. As a result, this makes more efficient use of the power available.
  3. Pay as you use billing – Just pay for what you use. To scale up a function, or even add more compute to your application, you can do this automatically or based on a defined event.  You are just charged for the additional compute when you use it. All very different to traditional computing, where there was no notion of pay as you use billing. Traditionally, solutions were designed with peak load in mind meaning purchased compute power often sat idle for the majority of the time.


Why is Serverless Computing Important?

Now cloud computing is the norm for many of our customers, serverless computing brings a change in how solutions are being built.  It is now considerably easier to develop cloud based applications by utilising scalable and reliable services. By employing serverless computing, solutions can be developed with a higher release velocity, a more resilient architecture and, importantly, faster innovation. This means we provide customers with greater functionality, in a quicker timeframe and for less cost.

Key benefits of a serverless solution:

  1. Focus on business logic – Now you can focus on solving or mitigating business problems without worrying about infrastructure
  2. Faster time to market – Code is focused
  3. Automatically scale – Based on load, will scale up or down


How can Serverless Computing make a Difference?

“What if you could spend all your time building and deploying great apps, and none of your time managing servers? Serverless computing lets you do just that because the infrastructure you need to run and scale your apps is managed for you.” – Microsoft Serverless Computing

This is the era of serverless computing and I urge you to take a deeper look at the various Azure services available.  These enable you to realise the benefits of serverless computing today.

How Silversands can help

If you need any assistance designing serverless applications or want to find out more about Azure and how Silversands can be of assistance, then please complete the enquiry form below. We would love to speak to you and help you at any point along your Azure journey.

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