What Is FaaS?


Technological trends over the last decade have made it possible for organizations to rely on “as a service” models. Instead of purchasing software, companies can pay service providers for access to the specific tools and services that they need. FaaS, which stands for “function as a service,” provides a robust, cloud-based approach to helping businesses operate efficiently and accurately while lowering their cost.

If you haven’t tried any FaaS platforms, then you will want to learn about how function as a service works, some common examples of how other organizations use FaaS, and some of the popular platforms that provide FaaS to enterprise clients.

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How Does FaaS Work?

Some industry experts talk about FaaS as “serverless computing.” It’s important to understand what phrase means. Obviously, you cannot initiate cloud-based functions without relying on a server. When people say “serverless computing,” they mean that you – the client – don’t have to set up or manage the server to get reliable results.

FaaS provides some unique features that can help businesses become much more efficient while controlling costs. Without getting into the technical details of how FaaS works, you can still understand the process by looking at how it might function within your organization.

When a triggering event takes place within your organization, the FaaS cloud provider responds by executing a function or piece of code. The server will activate, do its job, and shut down when it finishes executing its tasks.

Within your company, FaaS may look like:

  • Someone requests an analysis of customer data.
  • The server comes on to perform the requested work.
  • The server finishes the task and sends information to the person who placed the request.
  • The server disconnects and charges you for the time needed to complete the request.

The server completes work for your team member; you pay a low cost; and you don’t have to worry about maintaining the equipment that performs the work for you.


Benefits of FaaS

You have probably already spotted some of the benefits of FaaS from the above description. Still, it never hurts to make the benefits of FaaS as obvious as possible by creating a list. If you want any of the benefits listed below, you will want to learn more about how to take advantage of FaaS.

Some of the most popular benefits of FaaS include:

  • Giving your developers more time to focus on projects instead of processing menial tasks.
  • Outsourcing your server management to save money on hardware and personnel.
  • Saving money by only paying for the resources you use.
  • Automatic, horizontal scaling that adjusts to your company’s needs on the fly.

Additionally, FaaS doesn’t force you to use a specific programming language. You can write functions in practically any language that you prefer. If you feel more confident with one coding language than others, feel free to use that to your advantage.

Examples of FaaS

Triggering events for FaaS can come from clients or employees within an organization. Not every company needs FaaS. Those that can benefit, though, usually find it tremendously useful. If you find that your employees or customers do the following things, then you should do yourself a favor and explore FaaS.

Triggering Events From Clients and Customers

  • Customer submits an online order that triggers the FaaS to store information in a database.
  • Customer submits an order that triggers identity authentication, sends information to a database, and sends the order to the person responsible for filling it.
  • Client logs into a secure account with 2-factor authentication that triggers the FaaS to send a one-time access code to the person smartphone or email address.

Triggering Events From Employees

  • Employee triggers FaaS by scheduling tasks that they need completed by the end of the day.
  • Developer requests a server to debug code efficiently.
  • Marketing team member wants to get real-time analytics as new data enters the system.

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Platforms That Offer FaaS

Several platforms now offer FaaS to fill the services growing demand. Some of the most popular platforms include:

Make sure you research these and other options before you commit to a FaaS service provider. Many companies choose AWS Lambda because it works well and gets relatively good reviews from clients. Users on G2 give AWS Lambda 4.5 out of 5 stars. Reviews of TrustRadius and Gartner offer similar ratings.

IronFunctions and FaaS

IronFunctions has features that make all XaaS easy and affordable. You can download IronFunctions at GitHub to experience its usefulness.

IronFunctions has features that benefit developers and operators. Developers can expect extremely simple, straightforward coding that doesn't require monoliths. The serverless design means you can just upload your code to the platform without spending time managing your on-site or cloud-based server.

On the operator side, benefits include simple scaling and easy monitoring. Plus, you get improved efficiency because your APIs only consume resources when they're working. They don't get in the way when they're idle.

If you’re curious about using IronFunctions as your FaaS solution, schedule a meeting with someone from our team. Our experts can explain whether IronFunctions has the right tools for your organization. You can also get a free trial of the IronWorker platform to help you determine whether it’s the right platform for your technology.

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