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Serverless vs Containerization – What, When, and Why to Choose?

serverless vs containerization


Serverless and Containerization computing had become quite popular with DevOps lately and for a very good reason. Both are cloud-based, and are more efficient than virtual machines, enabling developers to develop the most flexible and robust applications. These can also help in reducing infrastructure costs when leveraged in the right use cases. But ever wondered how do they complement each other? What all are the potentials and pitfalls of each architecture? 

To help you better understand both of the technologies, we have done all the legwork and laid it on the line. It’s serverless vs containerization, let’s dive in and know more about 2 of the hottest technology trends.

Serverless Computing:- 

An execution architecture wherein the application code runs on-demand without the need to provision, manage and maintain the infrastructure. Moreover, this simply states that users can execute code at any time and pay only for the number of resources used for running the application code. And when you compare the cost of traditional servers with the serverless execution model, you’ll realize it means a lot of cost-cutting!!

Why Use Serverless Functions? 

The traditional approach of deploying applications over huge servers comes with the added responsibility of provisioning and managing the resources. This can also cause some server-related problems like additional charges for space, scaling or downsizing the capability, and some secret updates. This could impact the overall time to market and delivery cost – both of which are crucial to software development projects. 

Now, this is where serverless computing comes into play. This architecture helps to reduce time, complexity, and finally the cost of running a reliable and scalable server for modern applications. Further, with a chosen cloud platform (AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud) and dynamic resource allocation – a piece of code can be executed.

Advantages of Serverless Computing? 

advantages of serverless computing

Use Cases of Serverless Computing:-

Web and Mobile Applications:- 

Build backend APIs that efficiently service web and mobile applications even with fluctuating loads.

Hybrid Cloud Apps:- 

When individual cloud providers don’t meet unique business requirements, development teams leverage powerful features from various vendors and deploy services that enable essential tweaking and get functionality that fits the unique format needs of cloud vendors.

CRON Jobs and Cloud Automation:- 

Moreover, changing configurations, backing up databases, and performing periodic jobs that don’t need a constantly running server. 

What are Containers? 

A lightweight virtualization architecture that contains both the application and related components ensuring its smooth operation, including libraries, and settings. Moreover, they allow deploying of individual applications inside portable, isolated environments. This application could consist of a database, an application server, or a web server where each is running in a different container. Above all, it’s like an instant premix – all you need to do is to host and run the application.

Why Use Containers? 

What are you could pack your application along with all the dependencies into one box and run it any environment? Containerization makes it possible – regardless of the dependencies installed in the host system. 

This also helps ensure that the software runs optimally when it is moved from one computing environment to another. This enables the DevOps team to work on individual parts of a large, complex application for speedy development, deployment, and testing. 

Benefits of Containerization:-

benefits of containerization

Use Cases For Containerization:- 

App Modernization:- 

This eliminates the need to completely rewrite applications and offers portability to redesign the applications with less effort and at a lower operating cost.

Mobile Computing & IoT:- 

The increase in the number of IoT devices and smartphones is generating an ocean of data. While networks are already crowded, public cloud platforms are also struggling to keep up. Fortunately, enterprises can quickly spin up as many containers as needed to store and process data for uninterrupted communication.

Low Latency Applications:- 

Consistency of operations results in the processing of requests with a shorter time frame for applications that require immediate cloud processing – AR and VR capabilities, real-time streaming, online games, and more. 

Serverless vs Containerization:- How Do They Complement Each Other!!!

As we all know both serverless and containerization are different from each other, but they have some aspects in common. Let’s have a look at how both help the development team.

Both serverless computing and containers help development teams to;

  • Deploy app codes consistently at all times.
  • Automates and dynamically scales the workloads.
  • Above all, they both reduce costs and avoid the complexities of virtual machines.
  • Abstract apps from the latent host environment.

Now let’s do a comparison between both serverless computing and containers, to have a better idea about both.




Scalability The backend of an application inherently and automatically adapts to meet the desired demands. Requires planning to scale up by procuring the server capacity to run the containers.
Host Environment Is tied to host platforms – based in the cloud. Runs on certain windows versions and the latest Linux servers.
Availability Typically runs for a short duration and shuts down as soon as the processing of current data or events is complete. Designed to run for a prolonged duration.
Cost Eliminates the unnecessary expenses incurred on resources as you’re only charged for the server capacity that the application uses.  Containers that are constantly running, and cloud providers charge for the server space even if the application is not in use at that time.
Maintenance Serverless computing is much easier to maintain since the serverless vendor takes care of software management and updates.  It is the developer’s job to manage and update each container before deployment.
Deployability Functions are relatively smaller, do not come bundled with system dependencies, and only take milliseconds to deploy. These apps go live as instantly as the code is uploaded.  Containers take relatively longer to set up initially as configuring system settings and libraries takes time. Once configured, they only take a few seconds to deploy.

Even while the features overlap in certain aspects, none of the above architectures are interchangeable. Serverless computing works better for certain use cases, while in others, Containerization is something that you need.

When to Choose What? – Serverless vs Containerization:- 

Serverless Computing is a perfect fit when you want to:-  

choose serverless computing when

Containers are the best choice when you want to:- 

  • Custom design solutions with version-specific requirements.
  • Develop container-native apps.
  • Refactor a complex monolithic application.
  • Use the OS of your choice and ensure total control over the runtime versions and programming language.
  • Migrate legacy apps to a modern environment.

How CodeStore Can Make Containers and Serverless Work in Sync? 

Both Serverless vs Containerization are not mutually exclusive so, they can complement each other’s pros and cons!!! Combining both can bring your business a relative advantage. At CodeStore Technologies, whether your application uses a monolithic architecture or you have a complex containerized system, our team of experts can help you make use the most of the ease and economy of serverless. 

If you have any requirements then get in touch with us at [email protected]

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