Both are hot topics in the current technology era. Both are viewed as competitors in developmental technology.
To begin with, there is an equivalent amount of curiousness and worry also. Furthermore, both are highly productive and machine agnostic abstractions for engineers to work with.
But, there is an insurmountable cleft between the champs. Either you are in container territory, or you opt for the serverless. Beyond that, if you are willing to couple both, then it can be a powerful duo.
What is Serverless Computing?
In brief, Serverless is a subset of cloud-based service, running on servers.
Containers vs. Serverless computing: why serverless computing is better?
The service provider or the vendor manages the Serverless operational infrastructure requirements. All you need to do is deploy the code. As a result, you get the chance to focus on writing application logic rather than worrying about the infrastructure.
The technology is cool in mainstream enterprises.
There many platforms available – Google Cloud, AWS Lambda, EdgeEngine, etc. offering runtime environment where you can deploy your code and rest is managed by them.
Why would you switch from Containers to Serverless?
With serverless, You usually pay per usage. There is price exemption on idle resources. Lambda, for example, recurs its milestone of timings with a range of 100 milliseconds.
Furthermore, as the tasks are small and run on smaller serverless functions, and the overhead cost minimizes.
Among the other things, the deploy of code, container provisionings, system policies, availability levels or the backend server task is not your headache.
You have the opportunity to use automatic scaling.
Under the lens of the mainframe application environment, Serverless is an external integration. As a result, your personal container’s lifecycle is on exemption with any run time failure case.
What are the occasions you use serverless computing?
Backend Tasks for Websites or Applications
Likewise servers, serverless accepts information from user database or the frontend user application or site. As per the procedure, it retrieves the data and hands it back to the user interface.
The pricing difference with serverless as compared to a container is, the serverless billing is under subject to actual backend task execution duration.
High Volume Background Processes
In point of sale system, serverless functions could organize inventory and transaction database as well as interim tasks like re-stocking.
Last but not least, Serverless comes handy in the transition of data to long term storage or forward metrics to an analytics service.
The limitations occur in terms of size and memory usage or based on the nature of the serverless architecture.
For instance, to keep running the functions properly and preventing extra consumption of systems’ resources, the limited list of a natively supported programming language is not natural for serverless. Due to the limitation in the basics functionality, serverless functions may not be suitable for monitoring tools. To begin with, serverless is external integration support to the main framework platform.
As a result, you can’t access the content management systems.
What is a Container microservice?
This is just a piece of the isolated package, where an application is deployed, executed and scaled.
According to Amazon, containers are “a method of operating system virtualization that allows you to run an application in resource isolated processes.”
According to container framework, Docker, a container management platform declares “Containers to be a unit of software that packages up the code and all its dependencies, so the application runs quickly and reliably from one computing environment to another.”
The concept of containers comes handy, during migration processes from one environment to another. The reason is the ability to introduce isolation during migration to avoid any variable alterations.
So, if you are moving your designed product codes from development to staging to production, this is for you.
Containers vs. Serverless computing: Why container?
The advantages are many.
Containers vs. Serverless computing: You go big with containers
If you have that technical expertise, you would love to side with containers. It is best suited for the broader application or an enterprise. In that case with, with serverless you may face code sprawl very quickly, making it hard to manage.
For instance, a refractor, if run on a serverless application would show up with various bottlenecks. The result would be extremely fragmented microservices.
Containers vs. Serverless computing: Full control for Dockers
You get to set policies, reserve and manage resources, have meticulous control over security, and make full use of container-management and migration services.
Basic infrastructure command falls in your hand. Just customize the functionalities according to your need.
Containers vs. Serverless computing: You Debug, test, and monitor
Take a tour of on-off container activities and status manually.
This ensures effective, deep debugging and testing using a full range of resources, as well as in-depth performance monitoring at various levels.
What containers does good?
The first and foremost benefit is exclusive portability. You get the incentive of combining all the application with all dependencies in a little package and run it anywhere.
Containers are excellent for large application as it shows no memory or size constraints. You are the sole owner here to design all the functionalities.
Comparing Containers vs. Serverless computing
If you were to map the distinctions between Containers vs. Serverless computing.
Containers are best suited for large and complex applications. If your product is environmentally sensitive, it requires a meticulous quality assurance and monitoring; containers are the solution.
Containers also come handy in migrating monolithic legacy applications. You can defragment this large application into containers and install them with third-party tools.
Containers are apt for a large e-commerce site. A site that has a considerable site map, subdomains. You can use containers to package each in one of such.
So, serverless is best if you are starting a new project. When your product does not need much of migration. For instance, Serverless is an apt choice for an Internet of Things (IoT) application. The app detects the presence of water to identify a leak in a water storage facility.
Generally, the apps don’t have to run all the time, but it needs to be ready to act in the case of a leak.
As a rule, Serverless is ideal when development speed and cost minimization is essential and if you don’t want to manage scalability.
Are you still stuck on choosing between Containers vs. Serverless computing?
As of now, both can be used for the same developmental project but different purposes. Serverless are good for event-driven triggers for processing data. On the other hand, containers provide more scalability and independence on the technical specifications.
With the right expertise, you can manage the small fragments of the project through containers, as a means of a subset of the entire project running on serverless.
However, it depends on budget management and project requirements.
Containers vs. Serverless computing?!! These are competing technologies. As they say!!
Container-based and serverless computing are contemporaries. They support the ever-evolving world of cloud and continuous delivery based software. So if you are the one looking for a cloud strategy, it’s at your advantage to integrate the technologies to mitigate the weakness.
Which side are you? Would you consider integrating both?