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Serverless serverless serverless—everywhere serverless. Going serverless seems to be the modern way to go for many innovative organizations. But what does it mean to be serverless and why should you care? By reading this article you will learn why serverless is the way forward for modern web development.
What is serverless architecture?
First things first: Serverless architecture does not mean that your code will run without servers. There’s always a server somewhere—but in a serverless operation, the server that runs your code won’t be your server. So the technology around serverless architecture is nothing new, but the business model is. You will save money by letting someone else operate the server for you. This is because you’ll only be charged you when your code is actively running. The money saved can be re-invested in creating code.
Serverless architecture by example
Consider the following example: You’ve created a web app for user registration. The web app is designed to accept user input data and then to forward that data to the backend database.
In a traditional setup, you would have to dedicate time and resources to make sure that both the server running your web app and the backend database responsible for storing the user data is always up and running. However, a serverless architecture implementation of the web app would write, retrieve, and request modification of user data from a cloud-based, function-as-a-service (or FaaS), database implementation.
Another example would be a serverless web application that uses functions to power a single-page app. The app works by calling functions via webhooks to save user data and decides what data to display. You do simple customizations, like changing ad targeting by calling a function and passing it user profile data.
So what is Function-as-a-service?
In a nutshell, FaaS is about letting a cloud-based service run your back-end code. This without managing your own server systems or your own server applications.
The benefits of Serverless architecture and Function-as-a-service
Focus only on coding
Developers want to focus on writing high-quality code. Going with a serverless architecture means that devs won’t have to deal with provisioning and maintaining servers—even when you hit production peaks. With this type of scale on demand, you get access to the resources you need, when you need them.
Use your favorite programming language
Going serverless with Contentful
Contentful equals content infrastructure. In other words: Contentful provides a content infrastructure that enables teams to power content in any digital product.
Let’s go back to the example of the single page app. Making it serverless with Contentful is as easy as making an API call. You can for example use Contentful to store content, then pull the content into your app whenever you need it. This way you can focus on crafting quality code, while Contentful makes sure that your content is always available via Contentful’s Content Delivery Network CDN.