Cloud computing architectures and the competitive edge they offer 

Deciphering cloud strategies: Lift-and-shift vs Serverless

There is a plethora of cloud-based services in the market these days. Why? 

Because it’s changing lives, not only organizations and how they operate.  

The shift to the cloud-based world has become pivotal for organizations and for all the right reasons. Experts at Gartner predict that worldwide spending on the public cloud services will grow by 20.4% in 2022 to $494.7 billion, a rise from $410.9 billion in 2021.  

A popular strategy for cloud migration is lift-and-shift. It simply means migrating your applications to a cloud-powered infrastructure without needing to redesign or halt your routine operations. Also known as rehosting or Infrastructure-as-a-Service, lift-and-shift is one preferred approach by the customers and end-users alike to make a cloud transition.  

This blog dives deep into key differences between lift-and-shift and serverless architecture and provides insights into their features and functionalities.  

What is serverless architecture? 

The serverless concept refers to a model of cloud application development that enables developers to build and run code without managing or maintaining servers.  

Although called serverless, it doesn’t quite mean that there won’t be any servers involved. Simply put, it corresponds to exactly what your team will be working with: no servers. While behind the curtains, cloud-managed services take care of server operations, abstracting away from the actual cloud-native development.  

Putting Lift-and-shift & Serverless face-to-face  

When it comes to putting both together, serverless computing entirely revolves around the ‘event-driven computing’ concept, also called Function-as-a-service (FaaS). 

While lift-and-shift is a broader term that refers to ‘on-demand usage’ of cloud services without unnecessary owned infrastructure. 

In other words, it means migrating your application on a temporary infrastructure, or in technical terms, a virtual machine (VM) provided by a cloud service provider where you can host cloud services.  

Conversely, the FaaS cloud computing service allows you to develop, run, and manage applications by executing an event-based or request-based response. 

Here is a quick run-through of the key aspects of lift-and-shift and the serverless architecture. 

Serverless Lift-and-shift 
Enhanced scalability The serverless application scale automatically as the number of users or the usage increases, hence improving scalability.  
Less time taking Since it requires no change to the application architecture or the application code, it reduces the time taken for the transfer and minimizes disruptions.  
Reduced administrative burden  The serverless application does not need to be managed, hence developers can focus on other important tasks, reducing the administrative burden.  Cost-competitive Reduces the cost incurred by the management and maintenance of the on-premises infrastructure  
No capacity planning required As no on-premises capacity is required, there is no need for capacity planning.  
Foolproof and secure After the transfer, applications are able to benefit from cloud security services, hence they are more secure than applications stored on-premises.  
Maximizes resource utilization The serverless application has no idle capacity, therefore resources are efficiently utilized and there is minimum wastage.  Gateway to improved performance It offers your organization the opportunity to make use of better-performing hardware, without having to pay for it.  

Should I go serverless or try IaaS? 

End-user spending on public cloud is forecasted to reach a staggering $500 Billion in 2022 at a fine 30.6%. That being said, cloud-based services are getting popular with every passing day. Whether you choose a serverless architecture for transformation or transition to cloud using the lift-and-shift approach, it entirely depends on the type of service you are looking for, whether on-demand infrastructure or an event-based cloud service.  

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