With the bulk of the workforce now using M365 to do their daily job tasks, the most often heard about tools are those of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Microsoft Teams.  While these are crucial components to use, there is also one other piece of the puzzle which is just as much, if not equally important:  How to create an Azure based infrastructure, without having the need to create or deploy servers.

In this article, we do a deeper dive into it, and review some of the benefits of it.

What The Serverless Infrastructure Is

Essentially, in the traditional model of software development, you would very often need two kinds of servers in order to run any kind of application.  First, you would need the development server in which the source code is actually compiled and the application is thoroughly tested in a sandboxed like environment.

Once all of this has been given the green light, then this application would be released to the production server, which then houses and runs the application in a live environment either On Premises of the company that created it or at the client site.

This also meant that there would be an enormous amount of time which was needed to administer these servers to make sure that they were running in an optimal condition, as well making sure that all of the relevant software patches and upgrades were deployed.  But in a serverless environment, all of this now disappears.

Now all that the software development team has to do is to merely create the source code, compile it, and make sure that the application is running the way it is supposed to.  All of the infrastructure that is needed to support the application is now done by the Cloud Provider, like that of Microsoft Azure.  But it is important to keep in mind that there still are servers (technically known as “Virtual Machines”, or “VMs” for short) that are still supporting the application in question.

The only difference is that the provisioning and administrative tasks of running the VM is now done by Microsoft Azure.  This allows the software development to do what has been assigned, which is focusing upon the “business logic” of the application, focusing on the value-add of it, and bringing it to market on time and under budget.

An Example Of A Serverless Application

Many of the applications of today are web based, in which the end user can access all that they need to by merely accessing the front end of it.  Illustrated below is an application which has been created in a serverless type of environment:

 

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This is an example of a retail application.  In this particular situation, a customer places an order for their desired products at an online store, the orders are then transmitted on a first come, first serve basis to the database, which is where the information/data is subsequently stored.  If AI (Artificial Intelligence) tools are also used in this kind of scenario, the application can then query the database to see what has been purchased previously, and from there, fine tune the shopping experience of the customer.

In turn, all of the VM infrastructure that is needed to house and run this web-based application is automatically done by Microsoft Azure.

The Benefits of Using A Serverless Environment

Some of the benefits include the following:

  1. Code on any kind of platform:

One of the best features that Microsoft Azure is known for is the availability of both closed source and open-sourced platforms.  Because of this, you can create your application in the programming language that your software development team has always used, or whatever your clients require.  You can even build these apps on either Windows, Linux, or macOS environments.  Your team will be able to fully embrace what is known as the “Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery” (aka “CI/CD”) model.  This framework allows your development lifecycle to be created on an almost automatic basis.

  1. Fast Scalability:

When a web application project is first delivered to a client, there are chances that they will want to add further refinements and/or enhancements to it.  Under the traditional software development environments, you would have to adjust the source code accordingly so that it would be compatible with the servers that were hosting them, thus adding more administrative tasks.  But this is not the case in the serverless environment.  You can quickly add in the new source code that is needed, and the issues of compatibility will be totally taken care of by Microsoft Azure.

  1. Deploy to other devices:

When you develop your web application in the serverless environment, you can deploy it to all of the devices that either your company or client uses.  For example, if part of your workforce uses a mix of both Android and iOS-based devices, you can simultaneously deploy the web application to them all at once.  In other words, you need do not have to recode it so that it is cross compatible with differing devices.

  1. Affordability:

Probably one of the biggest advantages in this regard is that you only pay for those resources that you’re using, and nothing more.  Therefore, you will have greater control in keeping a cost check over the resources that you need in order to create your web application.  To get an idea for this, use this calculator here.

  1. Other tools are available:

Apart from not having to worry about managing a server, there are also other prime benefits that a serverless environment brings to the table, which are:

  • Ready to deploy APIs;
  • The availability of both AI and ML (Machine Learning) tools which can further automate the development of the source code in a secure way;
  • Intelligent Services such as that of Azure–based, real time monitoring and analysis tool packages.

Conclusions

If you need further assistance in using a serverless environment in Microsoft Azure, contact us today.

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