Update notice: “Google Cloud Functions vs. AWS Lambda: The Fight for Serverless Cloud Domination” was originally published in 2017 by Alex Casalboni and then updated in 2019 by Joe Nemer.
Serverless computing: What is it and why is it important?
A quick background
The general concept of serverless computing was introduced to the market by Amazon Web Services (AWS) around 2014 with the release of AWS Lambda. As we know, cloud computing has made it possible for users to manage virtual computers and services, but customers still have to be proficient with provisioning and managing compute resources.
AWS decided to take another step in making cloud computing easier and more accessible by managing the underlying compute layer (or abstracting the infrastructure layer as you might hear it said). In the case of AWS, Lambda runs a code function without requiring you to provision the virtual machine and the operating system that runs that code.
In this article, we’ll cover the basic functions of serverless computing. To deep-dive into this topic and learn how to build, deploy, and manage the Serverless framework, check out Cloud Academy’s Serverless Training Library. With Learning Paths, Courses, Quizzes, Exams, and Hands-on Labs, you’ll gain the technical knowledge and practical experience that you need to integrate serverless architecture into your cloud IT environment.
Why is serverless computing important?
Let’s clear something up first: There is still a server involved in the serverless model, but the cloud provider manages that resource, not you, so serverless computing can possibly be better described as Functions-as-a-Service. Serverless computing is a bit like a car rental service. You just want a vehicle to get you to your destination, whether that is just across town or across the country. It is expected you will drive carefully when using the vehicle, and you will report any damage. But you are