Serverless explained in under 3 minutes
Hi, this is Sander, CEO at Unless.com, and in today's video I will be telling you about serverless computing.
The term serverless is very hot right now, but what is it all about?
Quite literally, it means that you are going serverless if you are building software without the need to buy, lease or maintain physical or virtual server capacity. That includes cloud instances.
But... This is still a very wide definition, so how does it work in practice?
Let me first explain to you what serverless is not.
There are a lot of companies - because the term is so hot right now - that try to sell their service by telling you that they will make you go serverless.
Typically, these companies offer some sort of functionality so you don't have to program it yourself.
And yes, while technically that means that you don't need a server to install it or use it on your website, we already have a name for those companies: they offer SaaS - Software as a Service.
So, that is not very hip.
No, serverless computing is something else entirely.
Serverless computing is the next step in cloud computing.
A quick recap of history.
Step 1: we started off with physical servers. Mechanical devices that you had to buy. Not a great approach.
Step 2: cloud computing appeared. Amazon Web Services started renting out cloud capacity, using the model of virtual server instances.
Already much better, but you would still have to worry about all the perks of operating systems: that means possible memory leaks, maintenance, upgrades.
All the things that as a programmer, you don't really want to think about.
Then, step 3 appeared: serverless computing.
Two years ago, Amazon released their Lambda service.
Lambda is a way for programmers to directly deploy their code into the cloud.
From that moment, Amazon takes over and you can forget about the code.
Because Amazon will make sure that the code is available whenever your software needs it - even under heavy loads.
And that is the promise of serverless: it means that your programmers can focus on their own code entirely.
So, if you read somewhere that at Unless.com we claim to be the first serverless startup, it's not because we offer a service that you don't need servers for - no, it's because Unless.com is built without any operating systems, and is based on Lambda and DynamoDb and several other serverless services.