Updated 28 Jul 2022
Container deployment and serverless computing are two of today’s hottest technologies for application deployment. They both assist DevOps teams in building and deploying applications more quickly, with greater flexibility, and for less money when utilized properly.
Despite certain similarities in their characteristics, serverless frameworks and containers are two different types of technology. For some use cases, containers perform better, while for others, serverless is the way to go. Depending on the requirements of the application, a developer should choose a certain architectural style.
This article compares and contrasts container deployment with serverless computing services and shows why, based on their requirements, a DevOps team might pick one technology over the other.
An execution architecture known as serverless computing allows application code to be run as needed. From the user’s point of view, uploading the code and setting an execution time are the only tasks required to run it. Because there is no server to maintain within a serverless framework, this technology is known as serverless.
The key benefit of serverless is that it frees users from ongoing host environment maintenance by enabling them to run programmes whenever they need to. When running resource-intensive code, in particular, this can help you save money.
Containers are a lightweight virtualization architecture, to put it simply. In portable, isolated settings, you can use them to deploy particular apps (or, in some situations, entire operating systems). Deployment meaning in work and business situations can be sumerized as moving software from one controlled environment to another.
Containers are more effective than virtual machines because they share system resources with the host server rather than simulating a virtual operating system.
Additionally, containers offer frictionless application deployment by separating an application from the external host environment. You can deploy containerized applications on your host server without worrying about fiddling with the application set-up or battling with environment variables as long as your host server supports the container runtime you use. The same logic applies to moving containerized applications between hosts.
Serverless frameworks and containers are not the same technology. They do, however, offer some functionality that overlaps:
Apart from the few similarities listed above (and in the table at the bottom), serverless and container deployment are very different technologies.
Serverless and containers are designed for different use cases as a result of the distinctions mentioned above.
Containers are useful in the following circumstances:
Serverless is fantastic when you want to:
A serverless architecture will allow developers to swiftly release and iterate new applications without worrying about the applications’ scalability. Serverless computing will also be more economical than containers if an application does not experience consistent traffic or usage because the code does not need to be running all the time.
Containers provide developers more control over the language and library used, as well as the environment the application runs in (although this also requires more maintenance). Because it is feasible to more nearly mimic the application’s original running environment, containers are very helpful for moving legacy applications to the cloud.
Finally, a hybrid architecture that deploys some serverless functions and other containerized functions is an option. A hybrid architecture enables developers to take advantage of serverless while continuing to use containers for the functions serverless cannot support, for example, if an application function requires more memory than the serverless vendor has allotted, if a function is too large, or if some functions but not others need to be long-running.
It is preferable to consider containers and serverless frameworks as complementary technologies rather than as alternatives to each other. Not one or the other, but both are likely to be used by the majority of organizations. In fact, you might even deploy the same application with the help of both technologies.
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