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What is AWS Serverless Computing?

What is AWS Serverless Computing?

Let us take a look at the topics that are going to be covered in this blog:

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Before getting into the main topic, let us discuss what Serverless means.

Serverless is a type of cloud computing model that makes automatic provisions for computing resources that are needed to run a code on-demand or if a specific event demands it. Serverless is also capable of scaling resources according to the demand. When the application stops running, the resources are scaled down to zero.

All the responsibilities of cloud infrastructure and operations tasks are passed on to the cloud provider. With the backend tasks out of the way, the developers are able to focus more attention on the frontend code and logic.

AWS Serverless Computing

AWS Serverless is a serverless computing model provided by AWS that can manage all the services that a user may need to build and run a program on the AWS system. AWS can handle all the backend tasks so the user can focus on the actual program. Here is a list of the tasks that AWS Serverless Computing can manage:

  • Compute with AWS Lambda
  • Store data with Amazon S3
  • Data stores with Amazon DyanmoDB
  • API proxy with Amazon API Gateway
  • Application integration with Amazon SNS
  • Orchestration with AWS Step Functions
  • Analytics with Amazon Kinesis
  • Developer tools with different tools and services
  • Security and access control with AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM)

AWS Serverless Architecture

AWS Serverless Architecture helps users build and run applications and services easily. It removes the stress of having to manage the infrastructure of applications. The applications still run on servers but these servers are managed by AWS. This method provides backend support, and users only have to pay for the services used by them.

AWS Serverless Architecture has various advantages over other server-centric and cloud-based infrastructures; it offers more scalability, quicker time to release, and lots of flexibility, at lesser cost because users only pay for what they use.

Serverless Automated Deployment

The AWS Lambda console can provide an automated deployment pipeline. This can help users make a Serverless application. The services offered by AWS can be integrated with AWS Serverless Application Model (SAM) to automate deployments. AWS SAM can also help deploy newer versions of the Lambda function.

Serverless Authentication with JSON Web Tokens

Authentication determines whether the client credentials are correct or not. Authorization determines what functions a client is allowed to perform. Different clients can have different privileges.

JSON Web Tokens

JSON Web Tokens (JWTs) are a good way of transmitting information quickly. It is a string of three components with a “.” between every other component. Lambda authorizer, an API Gateway feature, is put into use by AWS Lambda. Lambda functions are used to control the users’ API access. The authorizers are of two types:

  • Token-based Lambda authorizer
  • Parameter-based request Lambda authorizer

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AWS Serverless Authentication

AWS Serverless access is allowed by three types of identities:

  • AWS Account Root User
  • AWS IAM User
  • IAM Role

AWS Account Root User

Helps manage users, policies, and rolesCannot use policies to deny access to the root user within the account
Disables, deletes, or creates access keysSecurity can be jeopardized if the root users get hacked
Changes the root password 
Has access to all the AWS resources 
Can create policies 

IAM User and IAM Role

Improves user experienceOnly provides access to the funds that the root user provides access to instead of all the resources
Enhances security profilesNot capable of making policies if access is not granted
Simplifies reporting and auditingCan only use resources for which permission or access has been granted
Allows easy access 
Reduces IT costs and increases productivity 

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AWS Serverless Functions

AWS Serverless relies on functions, more specifically, Functions-as-a-Service (FaaS). Here, developers can break their applications down into small chunks, which helps them execute without any dependency on the underlying server.

AWS Lambda is one of the most popular FaaS offered on AWS. It helps developers run code or manage servers without any provisions. Developers can trigger events, such as changing data, in the Amazon S3 bucket, respond to HTTP requests with Amazon API Gateway, or call API using AWS SDKs.

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AWS Serverless Services

Let us now take a look at some of the AWS Serverless services:

Serverless Computation Services

AWS Lambda allows users to run code without the hassle of managing servers, and they only have to pay for what they use. Users can run Lambda functions using Lambda Edge, as a response to Amazon CloudFront events at AWS Edge locations. AWS Fargate is a compute engine that is Serverless and built for containers. It helps manage and scale infrastructure whenever it is required.

Serverless Storage Services

The developing team gets highly-scalable, durable, and secure object storage with Amazon S3. It contains Amazon EFS, which is portable and easy to use. It provides scalable and pure elastic file storage. It adjusts by itself—growing and shrinking according to the users’ needs.

Serverless Data Store Services

Amazon DynamoDB is a flexible and fast No-SQL database service that can handle all applications. It requires millisecond latency at any scaling.

Amazon Aurora Serverless is an on-demand configuration that can be scaled automatically. With Aurora, databases start and shut automatically. It can scale according to the users’ needs.

API Proxy Services

Amazon API Gateway is a fully managed service that makes it easy for developers to secure, monitor, publish, maintain, and create APIs at any scale. Thousands of simultaneous API calls can be processed by using Gateway. It also helps users handle traffic, monitor, authorize, and access control and manage API versions.

Application Integration Services

  • Amazon SNS: Amazon SNS is a fully managed messaging service that helps scale and decouple microservices, Serverless applications, and distributed systems.
  • Amazon SQS: It is a fully managed message queuing service that helps scale and decouple microservices, Serverless applications, and distributed systems.
  • AWS AppSync: AWS AppSync lets users create flexible GraphQL APIs, which simplifies app development. It also helps secure access and manipulation while combining data from various sources.
  • Amazon EventBridge: Amazon EventBridge helps in making application data accessing easy. It can be done from various sources, and then it is sent to a user’s AWS environment.

Orchestration Services

AWS Step Functions help make the coordination easy for the components of microservices and distributed applications. It uses workflows that are visual.

Analytics Services

  • Amazon Kinesis: It helps stream data on AWS, and offers services to analyze and load the streaming data as well.
  • Amazon Athena: It is an interactive service that makes analyzing data easy in Amazon S3 by using standard SQL.

Developer Tooling Services

AWS also provides tools and services that can help developers develop applications in the Serverless environment. It offers tools such as delivery, deployment, continuous integration, testing, diagnostics, monitoring, etc.

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AWS Serverless Applications

AWS Serverless Computing has the following applications:

Web Application and Backend

Amazon API Gateway, AWS Lambda, Amazon DynamoDB, and Amazon S3 can be used to make Serverless web applications and backend. They can also handle mobile, web, IoT, and chatbot requests.

Data Processing

Different variants of real-time processing systems for data can be made by using AWS Serverless Computing. You can use any of the following for data processing:

  • AWS Lambda
  • Amazon Kinesis
  • Amazon S3
  • Amazon DynamoDB

AWS Lambda vs AWS Serverless

  • AWS Lambda and AWS Serverless are technically Lambda functions, but they are used for different frameworks, so they have different names.
  • Serverless is the basic term that AWS uses for Lambda and API Gateway.
  • The serverless framework works on the Serverless principle and can also work with AWS Lambda.

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AWS Serverless is an important part of AWS. It takes a huge load off the developers and allows them to focus more on the front end of the applications. AWS Serverless offers some important services and functions. It also has important applications in the web, backend, and data processing.

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