Serverless is both genius and challenging to work with. This technology allows developers to focus on application logic without getting distracted by servers, ensuring a faster time to market. Serverless architectures also help in reducing latency, enable quick deployments and updates, and are inherently scalable.
It is expected that the global market size of serverless architecture will be worth $36.84 Billion by 2028.
Some of the popular serverless services include Google Cloud Functions, AWS Lambda, Microsoft Azure Functions, and IBM OpenWhisk. Netflix has optimized its service for its millions of customers by fully migrating to AWS Lamba serverless architecture.
While the advantages of serverless are apparent, there are also some limitations and drawbacks. It is important to understand those while adopting serverless for your next project.
Loss of control over infrastructure
Serverless architecture is more cost-effective than traditional architecture. Still, there’s a tradeoff: You lose some control over how much money you spend on each function call and how much time it takes for your code to reach production. This means that when one part of your application performs poorly, it can affect other parts of the system—and possibly even other applications that use the same services or infrastructure.
Not for critical applications and SLAs
While serverless applications can be highly reliable, some things need to be handled by servers, such as databases and message queues. If your application requires high availability, it might not be a good fit for serverless. You also need to consider the SLA (service level agreement) of each service provider you’re using in your app. Some providers offer 99.99% uptime guarantees, while others offer only 99%.
A downside of using serverless technology is that your application will likely be run across multiple servers at different locations, making debugging difficult. This can make it hard to identify where problems are occurring and what caused them in the first place! It also means that there will be less control over how your application performs under load because you’ll have no control over how many resources are allocated to its various tasks at any given time.
One of the major issues with serverless is vendor lock-in. When you use a vendor like AWS Lambda, Google Cloud Functions, or Azure Functions, you’re locked into their specific ecosystem. This means that your code only runs on their servers. If you want to deploy your application to another provider, you’ll need to rewrite it entirely from scratch (and probably start over). That’s not fun!
To avoid this issue, you can use the Serverless framework, an open-source project built on top of these vendors’ services. The framework abstracts away vendor-specific APIs so that you don’t have to worry about them at all!
Security is a major concern in the serverless world. While there are many advantages to running code on-demand, one of the disadvantages is that servers have no ‘honeypot’ to monitor and protect. The reason is that there is no dedicated server to protect and monitor. If a hacker gains access to your serverless code, they can wreak havoc on your application without being detected. This means that developers must take extra care to ensure their code is secure.
If you’re using AWS Lambda (which is probably the most popular option to go serverless), then this risk is lower than if you were just using EC2 or S3 directly because Amazon has put in place security measures to limit what attackers can do with their resources. But these measures don’t completely eliminate the risk — they just make it less likely that an attacker will be able to cause any damage or steal data from your application while they’re trying to attack it with those resources.
Serverless architectures are appealing to companies because they don’t require them to maintain a server infrastructure. However, some applications have compliance requirements that need them to maintain control over the servers that run their software. If your company is subject to compliance standards such as HIPAA, PCI, and others, you may need to address these concerns when adopting serverless technology.
For example, financial services firms may need to retain logs and other data about transactions for regulatory purposes.
This can be a problem for companies that use AWS Lambda because it doesn’t provide the ability to write logs or perform other actions on the underlying host machine.
Network security issues
Serverless architectures often involve multiple components that need to communicate with each other. A common pattern is for one component to receive input from another component through an API call and then process the input before returning output back through another API call. This can lead to problems if any of these components isn’t secured properly. For instance, imagine attackers gaining access to one component or its database. In that case, they might be able to use it as a jumping-off point to other components or databases that they shouldn’t have access to.
The complexity of serverless architectures also makes it harder to identify potential security vulnerabilities early on during the development process because there are many new components involved
The biggest limitation of serverless is third-party dependency. Serverless is excellent for developing and deploying small applications. Still, if your app grows in size and complexity, it might be a good idea to move some of the functionality on-premises so that you can manage it yourself. If you’re using third-party services like Twilio or Stripe, they might not support serverless yet.
No solution is perfect for every situation. Serverless has a few downsides and concerns, mainly around manageability, security, and cost, compared to more traditional solutions. But it also has a lot going for it, making it ideal for certain use cases. As we know, serverless can be used to develop highly scalable and cost-efficient applications. Progressively, more providers are beginning to offer serverless services as well, so the number of use-cases will only grow.
If you are looking to go serverless, let Benison help you overcome its limitations for your business so you can reap its benefits to the fullest.