How does FaaS work?

FaaS is a relatively new concept of cloud computing that provides everything you need to achieve a serverless workflow. Developers can code in response to events without having to maintain or upgrade a complex infrastructure. This means is that you upload modular chunks of functionality into the cloud and split the server into functions that can be scaled independently.

However, not every app is a good fit for FaaS. For instance, on websites which have high volume transactions, there is a lot of value if you can isolate that logic into a function in order to scale it. The workload is dynamic, meaning that you won’t have to pay for a server on an annual basis. Instead, you will be charged minimally every time you schedule to run something, giving you total control of your expenses.

Types of Functions

Functions have a lot of potential uses in the computing world. Support and implementation may depend on the provider but the practical scenarios are pretty much all the same, such as:

Task scheduling

Web request processing

Queue message processing

Manual runs

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Characteristics of FaaS

FaaS greatly simplifies the process of deploying single functions or parts of the application without having to worry about the servers which run it. The servers of this cloud computing model remain idle until the function needs to be executed. For just a few milliseconds, the function is complete and the server shuts down again. Software developers leverage this cloud computing model to deploy “function”, which can serve business in various ways.

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No need for servers on-premises

Costs are based on individual consumptions and executions (per-use)

Services are event-driven and instantly scalable

Challenges of FaaS

Monitoring app functions poses a challenge because users don’t have access to a server or control over the resources they are running on. It is still necessary for each user to have a grasp of how often they occur, how long will they take, and why are they slow in the first place. Still, developers aren’t that keen on servers so the idea of a serverless architecture sounds really great. It may take a lot of functions for a basic web application but when it comes to replacing potential microservice-style architectures and background services, FaaS is the cloud computing model for you!