What is Serverless?

Explore the world of serverless computing, its benefits, and how it can revolutionize your application development process.

Serverless represents a cloud-native development paradigm that empowers developers to create and operate applications without the burden of server management.

Despite the term "serverless", servers are indeed involved, but they are encapsulated from the application development process. Developers can concentrate on crafting business logic without the need to provision, configure, or maintain server infrastructure. The necessary server services are supplied by the cloud vendor, enabling developers to stay focused on their core competencies.

Serverless offerings are designed to be consumption-based, using an event-driven execution model that scales seamlessly in response to demand. Consequently, when serverless functions are not in use, they do not generate any costs, providing a cost-effective solution for variable workloads.

How does Serverless Work?

Serverless products are usually divided into two categories: Functions as a Service (FaaS) and Backend as a Service (BaaS):

  1. FaaS is an event-driven computing execution model in which developers write logic, deploy it in containers that are fully managed by the platform, and then execute it on demand.
  2. BaaS is responsible for managing the underlying infrastructure and middleware environment, and provides a series of back-end services and API interfaces for direct access and use by client programs, such as authentication, data storage, and message push.

When developers refer to serverless, they are actually talking about the FaaS model. Under FaaS, developers still write custom server-side logic, but it runs in a container that is fully managed by the cloud service provider.

The core of how serverless works is to transform the traditional one-time construction model into an ongoing subscription service model. By dividing the application into multiple independent and composable Serverless functions, dynamic application and management of resources are achieved, and the front-end and back-end are connected using an event-driven approach: specifically, when a Serverless function is triggered (Such as API request), the cloud service platform will automatically allocate the required computing resources and network resources for execution; when this function is executed, the platform will reclaim the relevant resources for other function calls; if the function needs to be executed within a period of time If it continues to run, the management platform will also allocate resources to it regularly according to predetermined strategies.

Serverless Technical Features

1. Serverless Advantages

  1. Reduced costs: Since serverless architecture is fully managed by cloud service providers, you don't need to purchase and maintain server hardware or operating systems. Moreover, you only pay for the actual computing resources used, rather than pre-allocated resources, which can significantly reduce your costs.
  2. Automatic scaling: Serverless architecture can automatically scale your application's processing capacity to meet the growing user load demands. This means you don't have to worry about application performance bottlenecks and manually adjusting server resources.
  3. High scalability: Serverless applications are highly scalable because they rely on multiple independent, parallel-running functions. Each function can be scaled independently to support higher loads and throughput.
  4. Serverless security: Cloud service providers are responsible for maintaining and updating security measures for serverless applications, such as firewalls, encryption, and access control. This allows you to focus more on writing code without worrying about application security.
  5. Fast development and deployment: Serverless architecture supports rapid development and deployment. You can easily build and deploy applications using various pre-built templates and APIs. Additionally, serverless applications can be automatically deployed and updated, meaning you can quickly iterate and release new features without manual intervention.

2. Serverless Disadvantages

Although serverless architecture has many advantages, it also has some drawbacks. One major drawback is that, since the application is fully managed by the cloud service provider, you may be subject to the provider's limitations and constraints. Additionally, the performance of serverless applications may be subject to some restrictions, such as cold start issues and request limits. Therefore, when considering using serverless architecture, you need to carefully consider the application's requirements and performance needs.

Serverless Applicable Scenarios

  1. Web applications: Serverless architecture can support various static and dynamic web applications. For example, various request actions of RESTful API can be mapped to FaaS functions. Through the automatic elastic expansion function of FaaS, serverless web applications can quickly host high-traffic sites.
  2. Multimedia processing: Video and picture websites need to process and convert the pictures and video information uploaded by users. However, this multimedia conversion work is not performed all the time. It only needs to be performed when certain events occur, such as when users upload or edit pictures and videos. Through the event-driven mechanism of Serverless, users can trigger processing logic when specific events occur, thereby saving the cost of computing resources during idle periods and ultimately reducing operation and maintenance costs.
  3. Internet of Things:  Internet of Things (IoT) applications need to interface with a large number of different devices. Different devices need to continuously collect and transmit data to the server. Serverless architecture can help Internet of Things applications interface with different data inputs. source.
  4. Data and event stream processing: Serverless can be used to analyze and process some continuous event streams and data streams in real time, filter, transform and analyze events and data in real time, thereby triggering the next step of processing. For example, real-time analysis of logs or social media information from various systems is performed, and key information that meets specific characteristics is recorded and alerted.
  5. System integration: The functional architecture of Serverless applications is very suitable for system integration. Users do not need to develop and operate a complete application for some simple integration logic as in the past. Users can focus more on the required integration logic and only write and integrate relevant code logic instead of a complete application. The decentralized architecture of function applications makes the addition and change of integrated logic more flexible.

Tencent Edge Functions

Tencent Edge Functions offers a serverless code execution platform for the edge nodes of Tencent EdgeOne, enabling you to deploy your applications via Tencent EdgeOne's global network. By embracing serverless architecture, you can concentrate more on development and enhancing the user experience. 

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Here are the benefits of utilizing Tencent Edge Functions:

  1. Ultra-low Latency: By executing your code on Tencent EdgeOne edge nodes strategically located worldwide, requests are intelligently routed to the closest edge node. This proximity triggers an edge function to swiftly process the request and deliver the results back to the user, ensuring a seamless and responsive experience.
  2. Elastic expansion: In the event of a sudden surge in client requests on a particular node, the requests are intelligently redispatched to other Tencent EdgeOne global edge nodes with ample computing resources, prioritizing proximity to ensure optimal performance.
  3. Reduced Costs: Distributing code to the edge minimizes the need for back-to-origin requests, thereby conserving origin egress traffic and reducing expenses associated with origin server usage.
  4. Rapid Deployment: Deploying code to global edge nodes is executed in mere seconds, allowing for agile and efficient alignment with business requirements.
  5. Superior Performance: Achieving a cold start speed of up to 0.5ms, high-precision and low-loss CPU isolation ensures 50us-level CPU timing accuracy and time-slice scheduling with minimal performance degradation of less than 0.1%.
  6. Streamlined Development: Utilizing JavaScript and the standard Web Service Worker API, Tencent EdgeOne offers a wealth of scenario templates to expedite business development. Additionally, the CLI (Command Line Interface) and local developer tools facilitate efficient function engineering management.

For more detailed information, please visit our official website and explore at your leisure. We are always here to address any of your needs or inquiries.