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Serverless Computing

Definition - What does Serverless Computing mean?

Serverless computing is a type of cloud computing where the customer does not have to provision servers for the back-end code to run on, but accesses services as they are needed. Instead, the cloud provider starts and stops a container platform as a service as requests come in and the provider bills accordingly.

Techopedia explains Serverless Computing

Serverless computing is an approach to cloud computing where the customer simply makes requests of a container platform as a service (PaaS) and the provider starts and stops the PaaS as needed. The customer is freed from the need to rent, buy and configure servers beforehand. Serverless offerings include AWS Lambda and OpenWhisk.

The term is somewhat of a misnomer, as servers still run behind the scenes, but from the customer's point of view, the simply make requests, similar to going through an API. The concept is a logical outgrowth of the philosophy that cloud customers should pay for only what they need. Serverless computing appeals to customers who do not want to spend time or money provisioning servers. The disadvantage of the approach is that customers may experience latency, resource limits or performance problems.

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