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  • Writer's pictureDhruv Parmar

Exploring the Ecosystem of Serverless Technologies

Understanding the ecosystem of serverless technologies. Explore and understand serverless platforms, FaaS, BaaS, serverless security platforms, monitoring platforms, tools, frameworks and authentication & authorization services.

In July 2017, Gartner released its report- Hype Cycle of Emerging Technologies which mirrored the blast of intrigue in the Serverless technologies.

According to this report, Serverless technologies are in its infancy stage and has been placed in the ‘innovation trigger’ phase, to which we totally agree.

The emergence of Serverless technologies has transformed the way we deploy and build our software and applications. AWS Lambda came off as a breakthrough technology that catalyzed innovation and prompted an expansion in the development of the FaaS-centric landscape.

In this post, we’ll examine all the corners of the serverless ecosystem. However, most of the developments within the serverless domain are open source. Nevertheless, we are expecting a rise in the maturity of the serverless landscape over time and we hope to see the expanding number of business offerings.

Moreover, according to the Gartner’s forecast, mainstream adoption of serverless technologies will be a reality within 3-5 years, which I think will be earlier than that due to the immense guarantee these expanding serverless technologies are promising.

FaaS: Function-as-a-Service

#1. Oracle Cloud Functions A serverless platform that focuses on the creation of cloud-ready applications that can be easily ported to on-premise environments or any given cloud platform. It provides the ability to scale and manage applications without managing infrastructure. Moreover, it also supports various programming languages such as Go, Java, Python, Node, etc.

#2. AWS Fargate

A serverless computing engine compatible with Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) and Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS). It helps manage apps without focusing on the infrastructure and removes overhead costs in operations such as securing, patching, etc. Also, it offers a pay-as-you-go subscription.

#3. Firecracker

An open-source, serverless, and lightweight Virtual Machine (VM) known as microVM helps leverage containers’ full resource potential. Built by AWS, it helps improve the serverless customer experience provided for services such as AWS Lambda and AWS Fargate. Firecracker is also considered a VM Monitor (VMM).

#4. Fn Project

A serverless platform that is container-native and can run on any cloud and on-premise system. Unlike other FaaS, Fn Project is not complicated to use despite its container-centric services. It is highly performant and scalable. However, its compatibility with all programming languages is still in the pipeline.

#5. Knative

A platform that helps manage serverless workloads in terms of build and deployment powered by Kubernetes. Created by Google, it can autoscale and support third-party data center requirements. It is compatible with any development language framework and is highly flexible for all necessities that may arise in CI/CD processes.

#6. Cloudflare Workers

A widely developer-supported platform that helps deploy serverless code at scale without affecting the application performance. It focuses on avoiding cold-starts and supports 0ms performance on a global scale. Accessibility to readily available templates and tutorials are a few major benefits for creating serverless functions.

#7. Alibaba Cloud Function

It is an event-driven, fully-managed serverless computing platform that focuses on improving service elasticity for executing automated serverless functions seamlessly during peak traffic hours. It does not charge any fee for 400,000 CU-second computations resourced per month and 1,000,000 invocations.

#8. Netlify Functions

A workflow-centric FaaS platform that focuses on neatly deploying globally static assets on serverless-based functions with real-time computation. It can run on AWS Lambda and supports JavaScript (JS), TypeScript (TS), Go, etc. Pricing of Netlify ranges from free with limitations to premium with unlimited run time per month with support for customized deployments to AWS.

BaaS: Backend-as-a-Service

#1. AWS Amplify Be it a static website or Single Page Application (SPA), AWS Amplify is a fully-stacked platform that emphasizes the visual development of the backend. It eases the building, deploying, and hosting services for authentication, data, storage, and more. Creating mobile or web apps with guided workflow and real-time functionalities takes only minimal time under a few clicks.

#2. Azure Mobile App Service A backend service-centric platform that supports the creation of apps that can work offline and sync with social media features. It can autoscale to millions of devices across multiple platforms and easily add backend logic using NodeJS or C#. Microsoft also spends more than USD 1 billion to secure this platform and ensure its privacy.

#3. Back4App A serverless platform that focuses on building backend relational data models with complex queries in a few minutes. It focuses on less coding to build modernized apps with accessibility to GraphQL and REST at scale. Easily add business logic to a given app using cloud functions for cross-platforms. It also supports various iOS, Android, Flutter, and .NET SDKs.

#4. Hasura It is a platform that allows development teams to run serverless backend services such as API performance improvement, authorization, caching, etc., locally or on the cloud instantly. Hasura is open-sourced and supports various databases such as Google Big Query, Amazon Aurora, SQL Server, etc. It also provides the freedom to achieve linear scalability.

#5. Linx A low-code platform for developers that allows them to build and host APIs, automation, and integrations. It eliminates the need for code, frameworks, or infrastructure, integrates with microservices architecture, and is compatible with any tech stack. Linx also offers built-in management, monitoring, and metrics for hosting solutions on-premise or in the cloud.

#6. Leancloud A serverless backend platform for storing data, building server-side logic, leveraging instant messaging, and providing real-time P2P backend connection between users. The SDK of LeanCloud functions natively and supports all major programming languages such JS, Python, PHP, .NET, Swift, etc. The serverless backend of this platform focuses on the gaming industry.

Serverless Database

#1. Compose

Compose is an enterprise-level cloud-based database platform created by IBM. It offers data isolation and segregates data layers according to the app requirement which allows developers to focus on building serverless apps and not manage databases. The platform supports various databases like MongoDB, Redis, MySQL, Elastisearch, ScyllaDB, etc.

#2. Google Cloud SQL

It’s a fully-managed SQL-centric database service backed by Google Cloud and focuses on running database-related operations on SQL, PostgreSQL, and MySQL with rich extensions and configurations. It is a self-managed database ecosystem on the cloud and is highly reliable and supported by a 24/7 Site Reliability Engineer (SRE) team.

#3. DataStax Astra DB

A multi-cloud stack database for data-centric modern apps. DataStax ensures serverless apps are Apache Cassandra-ready through simple API integrations. It is compatible with Kubernetes and offers to scale NoSQL databases. The creation of Streaming-as-a-Service is its Unique Selling Proposition (USP).

#4. MongoDB Atlas

It is a MongoDB-based database service hosted on the cloud and runs on AWS, Azure, and the Google Cloud. Built with powerful features, this platform provides the necessary tools to build a mission-critical and production-ready database for cloud-ready apps. It avoids single-point failures, supports multi-region fault tolerance, and enables point-in-time data recovery.

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