Home Business Technology Serverless Streaming Architecture: How it Works, Use Cases & Best Practices

Serverless Streaming Architecture: How it Works, Use Cases & Best Practices


In a technological environment, most developments focus on making a process or action smoother and more convenient. Be it developing machines or software applications, the end goal is to simplify things that lay ahead of us. 

When it comes to software development, there’s a tedious process that goes into making sure that each output created ends up fruitful. It is one of the most complex works that require significant accuracy, detail, and effort. It involves many different parts that are eventually put together to develop a final product. However, the long processes involved can also be made a tad bit convenient with the help of serverless architecture.

What is Serverless architecture?

It is a software design system that allows applications to be hosted by third-party services, thus eliminating the developer’s requirement to handle infrastructure management. Applications get broken down into individual functions for better scalability. Serverless architecture is also known as function as a service (FaaS).

How does serverless architecture work

Developers write their codes for various applications as a set of functions. Each function is to perform a specific task through an event trigger, such as an incoming email. The functions, along with their triggers get deployed to a cloud provider account that executes them on a running server or creates a new server for execution. Since these cloud providers take up the execution process, developers can focus solely on writing and deploying code. 

Serverless stream processing

Serverless streaming uses frameworks such as Kafka stream processing, which allows ingestion and storage of data. Along with this, it uses technology like that of Apache Spark, which enables the processing of near real-time data. Serverless architecture platforms like AWS Lambda take a more effective approach to application design that helps lower costs and reduce complexities that come with dealing with servers. It holds advantages like eliminating cold servers by ensuring charges are only incurred when work is carried out. 

Use cases of Serverless Architecture

Serverless architecture is best suited for short-duration tasks or handling unpredictable traffic. It ensures that applications can run smoothly and also across multiple devices.

  • Trigger-based tasks: An activity that triggers a particular event or a series of events is well suited for serverless architectures. Eg. a user signing up to a mailing list can trigger a change in a database which further triggers the sending of a welcome email. The backend work for this is handled by serverless functions. 
  • Asynchronous processing: Serverless applications are capable of handling behind the scene tasks for applications such as rendering information about a product, and transcoding videos post their upload, without disrupting the flow of the application.
  • Security checks: When a new container is spun up, a function can be tasked to scan for misconfigurations or possible vulnerabilities. They can also be used as a secure option for two-factor authentication or SSH verification.

Best practices 

  1. Organizing code repositories: Using frameworks such as the AWS Serverless Application Model (SAM) or the Serverless Framework makes it easier to group functions into services. Each of these services created can have its own repositories. When an application gets broken down into services with separate templates, it serves as an easier way to resource groups.
  2. Principle of Least Privilege: Serverless functions are made up of small services. You can minimize the number of permissions granted and only allow what is necessary for a task to be completed. It helps reduce damage during an attack and also minimizes the attack surface.
  3. Scan for vulnerabilities: Make sure to scan a code and identify any potential malware and security vulnerabilities and make a note to check security announcement tools and any open source products. Ensure keys and secrets within functions are well encrypted to reduce the risk of any disclosure.
  4. For scaling and design: It is important to make an estimate of the number of active instances and limit them to maximize cost efficiency. Also, check the amount of memory required to execute a function and try configuring it for maximum effectiveness.

Serverless architectures are gaining popularity in the software industry. By taking over execution processes, they are enabling convenience and better efficiency for software developers. Using serverless platforms means that developers can focus completely on writing code and deploying it without worrying about server infrastructure. 

To make sure serverless systems run smoothly, it is necessary to design, develop, and test applications in different approaches in order to bring about the best solutions. Serverless architecture also offers better scalability, flexibility, and faster time for outputs. It also provides resources in real-time and any unforeseen peak loads with its high terror tolerance. Taking up serverless architecture also proves to be cost-effective for people as users only have to pay for their resources. All in all, serverless architecture has brought about better functionality and more convenience for software developers in the industry.