The main difference between serverless and containers is that serverless is a technology that runs the server and manages the infrastructure required to develop and deploy applications while containers are software units that have all dependencies to run an application faster and reliably.
Generally, software development is a complex task. It is important to minimize the cost and use the resources in an effective manner. Therefore, using traditional servers is expensive. Both serverless (serverless computing) and containers allow the developers to build applications with more flexibility and minimum overhead.
Key Areas Covered
Cloud Computing, Containers, Server, Serverless
What is Serverless
Serverless or serverless computing provides backend services on an as-used basis. The developer can write the code and deploy the application without focusing much on the infrastructure. Instead of having physical hardware to run a server, now the developers can use serverless computing to development applications.
Using serverless computing, the developers can obtain backend services on a flexible “pay-as-you-go” basis. In other words, they only have to pay for the required services. Even though the term is “serverless”, there are servers in serverless computing to provide backend services, but the server space and infrastructure are managed by the vendor.
Overall, serverless or serverless computing provides multiple advantages. It provides easy scalability. Therefore, the developers do not have to pay attention to scaling up their code. The serverless vendor manages all the scaling tasks. One other major advantage of serverless computing is that it simplifies the backend code. Furthermore, it is also easier to do modifications.
What are Containers
A container consists of the application and the required components to run the application. It includes system libraries, system setting, and other dependencies. Using this, it is possible to execute any type of application. Also, it is easier to host an application using a container.
In a machine, the host operating system runs on the host hardware and several containers run on the host operating system. Each container executes its own application and contains the dependencies. Likewise, a container divides a machine or server into independent user space environments. Each container runs its own application, and it does not interact with the applications on the other containers or any other partitioned sections of the machine. However, each container shares the machine’s kernel with other containers.
Difference Between Serverless and Containers
Serverless is a cloud computing execution model in which the cloud provider runs the server and dynamically manages the allocation of machine resources while containers are standard units of software that packages up the codes and all dependencies to allow applications to run quickly and reliably from one computing environment to another. Thus, this describes the main difference between serverless and containers.
In serverless, the servers are controlled by the serverless vendor while a container runs on a single machine at a time and uses the operating system of that machine. Hence, this is another difference between serverless and containers.
Thus, when compared to serverless, containers have more control over the environment in which the application runs
However, the developer has to update and manage the container. In serverless, the vendor handles the server. Therefore, the containers require more maintenance than serverless.
Time of Deployment
Moreover, while serverless takes milliseconds to deploy, containers take seconds to deploy.
Furthermore, scalability is another difference between serverless and containers. Serverless is more scalable than containers.
Also, it is easier to test the applications in containers than in serverless applications.
Besides, serverless is more cost-effective than containers.
Both serverless and containers are cloud-based and reduce overhead. The main difference between serverless and containers is that serverless is a technology that runs the server and manages the infrastructure required to develop and deploy applications while containers are software units that have all dependencies to run an application faster and reliably. In brief, serverless applications are cost-effective and more scalable than containers.
1.“Serverless Computing.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 29 Apr. 2019, Available here.
2.“What Is Serverless Computing? | Serverless Definition.” Cloudflare, Available here.
3.“What Is a Container?” Docker, Available here.