How Serverless Computing Enables Microservices and Micropayments

Eugene Istrati shares his insights from ServerlessConf London

How Serverless Computing Enables Microservices and Micropayments

What is Serverless Computing?

Serverless Computing is the new trend in IT that empowers developers and businesses to focus less on infrastructure and platform tiers (symbolically labeled as “servers”), and focus more on application and services tiers (following the symbolism — “no servers” or “server-less”). There are various definitions on Wikipedia or Quora, but my favorite one is this tweet by Adrian Cockcroft:

If your PaaS can efficiently start instances in 20ms that run for half a second, then call it serverless. (Adrian Cockcroft)
Original tweet by Adrian Cockcroft

What is #ServerlessConf?

ServerlessConf is a community led conference focused on sharing experiences building applications using serverless architectures. Serverless architectures enable developers to express their creativity and to focus on meeting user needs rather than spend time managing infrastructure and looking after servers.

This conference is for all practitioners, enthusiasts, experts, and fans interested in serverless technologies (be it, function-as-a-service, backend-as-a-service, or related patterns & architectures). We will hear use case, discuss architectures, learn about new products and features, and debate whether to rename Serverless to Jeff.

How Serverless Computing Enables Microservices?

Since the beginning of Mitoc Group’s existence, our small team of engineers didn’t have enough resources, time and bandwidth to deal with servers. Because of that, Serverless Computing was adopted naturally and quickly, becoming one of our strategic directions — we don’t manage servers or, in other words, our engineers focus only on applications and services tiers.

But serverless computing is not a silver bullet. It is powered by language-agnostic APIs, and the more features you need for your application, the more processes you need to engage with. That’s why serverless computing providers are building these services highly decoupled, focused on small tasks, independent processes that can communicate easily to each other. Does this ring a bell?

From Wikipedia: In computing, microservices is a software architecture style in which complex applications are composed of small, independent processes communicating with each other using language-agnostic APIs. These services are small, highly decoupled and focus on doing a small task, facilitating a modular approach to system-building.

Overall, as you can see, serverless computing enables us (and developers in general) to build new applications or migrate existing applications using microservices architecture.

How Serverless Computing Enables Micropayments?

Although serverless and microservices is a perfect tandem, using serverless computing for a micropayments platform is not an obvious choice. Besides common technical challenges like high availability or global distribution, there are also financial industry standards like PCI compliance that makes it a very interesting business challenge.

AdTechMedia — Advertising Platform with Micropayments Capabilities

AdTechMedia aims to become an advertising platform with micropayments capabilities. This product helps publishers and content providers generate complimentary revenue streams that are immune to ad blocking software. Readers decide who pays for content consumption: either they contribute out of their pockets through native micropayments or they watch an ad through native advertising and continue reading for free. In any case, everybody wins: end users control their reading experience, advertisers expose themselves to relevant consumers, while publishers and content providers get paid for quality content.

Overall, as AdTechMedia emerges from experiment into sustainable platform, serverless computing enables micropayment capabilities that are solving both business opportunities and technology challenges.

Last, but not the least, if you didn’t have a chance to attend or have missed Eugene’s presentation at ServerlessConf in London, the organizing team has done a great job by publishing all the videos from the conference (Eugene’s session is shared here below):

Eugene’s Presentation from ServerlessConf in London 2016

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