Serverless vs Containers: Choose Right Architecture for Your Application

serverless vs containers choose right architecture for your application itechnolabs

In recent years, there has been a significant shift in the way applications are developed and deployed. Traditional monolithic architectures, characterized by their tightly coupled and centralized nature, have given way to microservices-based architectures that offer greater flexibility, scalability, and reliability. With microservices, applications are broken down into smaller, loosely coupled components that can be developed, deployed, and scaled independently.

As a result of this shift, two new technologies have emerged as popular choices for deploying applications – serverless computing and containerization. Serverless computing, also known as Function as a Service (FaaS), allows developers to focus solely on writing code without having to manage the underlying infrastructure. It offers automatic scaling, pay-per-use pricing, and eliminates the need for server provisioning and maintenance. On the other hand, containerization, powered by technologies like Docker and Kubernetes, provides a lightweight and portable environment for running applications. Containers encapsulate the application and its dependencies, ensuring consistency across different environments and making it easier to deploy and manage applications.

What is Serverless Computing?

Serverless computing, also known as Function as a Service (FaaS), is a cloud-based execution model where the cloud provider takes care of the dynamic allocation and provisioning of resources, ensuring that developers only pay for the exact usage. This innovative approach relieves organizations from the burden of managing servers or infrastructure, freeing up valuable time and resources to focus on core application development and deployment.

With serverless computing, developers have the flexibility to write functions in popular languages like Node.js, Python, and Java, which are then seamlessly executed in the cloud environment. The serverless architecture boasts remarkable scalability, effortlessly handling large workloads without requiring any manual intervention. This means that applications can easily adapt and scale based on demand, providing a frictionless user experience even during peak loads.

By leveraging serverless computing, organizations can drastically reduce costs associated with traditional infrastructure management, optimizing resource utilization and eliminating the need for upfront investments in hardware. Moreover, the dynamic nature of serverless computing enables rapid development and deployment cycles, empowering developers to iterate quickly and bring new features to market faster than ever before.

In summary, serverless computing offers a paradigm shift in the way applications are developed and deployed. It empowers organizations to focus on innovation and agility, leaving behind the complexities of traditional server management. With its scalability, cost-effectiveness, and streamlined development process, serverless computing is revolutionizing the way cloud-based applications are built and maintained.

Coca-Cola Went Serverless in 2016

In 2016, one of the world’s largest beverage companies, Coca-Cola, made a bold move towards serverless computing by migrating its website to the cloud and adopting AWS Lambda. This decision was driven by the need for a highly scalable and cost-effective solution to handle peak traffic during promotional campaigns and events.

The move to serverless not only allowed Coca-Cola to seamlessly handle spikes in website traffic, but it also significantly reduced their infrastructure costs. By only paying for the actual usage of Lambda functions, Coca-Cola was able to eliminate the expenses associated with maintaining and scaling servers.

Serverless computing has experienced a remarkable surge in popularity in recent years, with an increasing number of organizations opting for a microservices architecture. This architectural style allows for the deployment and management of individual functions independently, facilitating the development and maintenance of complex applications.

The serverless approach not only enables improved fault tolerance but also relieves developers of the burden associated with tasks like scaling and load balancing, thanks to its built-in automation capabilities. By leveraging these advanced features, organizations can streamline their operations and achieve higher levels of efficiency.

Why Do Organizations Need Serverless Computing?

Serverless computing works by executing functions on a cloud provider’s serverless platform. These functions are triggered by events, such as user requests or changes in data, and are executed only when needed, unlike traditional servers that run constantly. This allows for efficient resource utilization and cost savings. When a function is triggered, the cloud provider automatically provisions the necessary resources to execute it, such as computing power, storage, and network connectivity. Once the function is completed, these resources are released back into the pool for other functions to use.

This process eliminates the need for organizations to manage servers and infrastructure, reducing overhead costs and freeing up resources to focus on core business activities. Additionally, with automatic scaling capabilities, serverless computing can handle sudden increases in demand without any manual intervention.

How Serverless Computing Works?

Serverless computing is ideal for applications with unpredictable workloads or varying levels of demand. It is also well-suited for event-driven and microservices architectures, where individual functions can be developed and deployed independently.

Furthermore, serverless is a great option for organizations looking to reduce costs and increase agility. By eliminating the need for managing servers, teams can focus on developing innovative features and responding to market changes quickly.

When Should You Use Serverless?

When it comes to building a healthcare app, there are several scenarios in which using a serverless architecture can be highly beneficial. Serverless technology, also known as Function as a Service (FaaS), refers to the utilization of cloud-based resources and services to develop and deploy applications without the need to manage traditional servers or infrastructure.

By adopting a serverless approach, healthcare apps can leverage the scalability and flexibility provided by cloud platforms. This allows for rapid scaling of resources based on demand, ensuring optimal performance even during peak usage periods. Additionally, serverless architectures offer automatic load balancing and fault tolerance, minimizing the risk of downtime and ensuring uninterrupted service for healthcare app users.

Furthermore, the serverless model eliminates the need for upfront infrastructure investments and reduces operational costs. With serverless, healthcare app developers can focus on building and refining the core functionalities of their applications, while leaving the management of underlying infrastructure to the cloud provider.

VISA Chose Containerization in 2020

In 2020, Visa chose to adopt containerization as part of its digital transformation strategy. This decision was driven by the many benefits that containerization offers, including increased flexibility and scalability.

By adopting containerization, Visa is able to break down its monolithic applications into smaller microservices, allowing for more efficient deployment and management. This also enables Visa’s teams to make changes and updates to different parts of the application independently, without disrupting the entire system.

Containerization also allows Visa to easily migrate its applications between different environments, such as on-premise and cloud. This gives Visa more flexibility in choosing their cloud provider and reduces the risk of vendor lock-in.

Another major benefit for Visa is the reduced maintenance and operational costs associated with containerization. By using a serverless platform, Visa no longer has to worry about managing and maintaining servers, leading to significant cost savings.

In addition, containerization provides increased reliability for Visa’s applications. With microservices spread across multiple servers, there is less risk of downtime due to hardware failures or updates.

Overall, choosing containerization has proven to be a strategic move for Visa as they continue to innovate and improve their digital infrastructure. It allows them to stay competitive in the constantly evolving world of technology and provide a seamless experience for their customers.  So, it is clear that containerization was an important step for Visa’s digital transformation journey.

What are Containers?

In the world of technology, containers refer to a lightweight and portable way to package and run applications. They contain all the necessary components for an application to run smoothly, including code, runtime environment, system tools, libraries, and settings. Containers provide a standardized environment for applications to operate in, making it easier for them to be deployed and managed on different systems.

Containers are becoming increasingly popular in the software development and deployment process due to their many advantages, including portability, scalability, and efficiency. They have revolutionized how applications are built, delivered, and run, making it easier for organizations like Visa to keep up with the rapid pace of technological advancements.

How do Containers work?

Containers utilize a technology known as containerization, which involves isolating an application and its dependencies from the host system. This is achieved through the use of container engines, such as Docker or Kubernetes, that create and manage containers. These engines handle all aspects of a container’s lifecycle, including creation, deployment, scaling, and removal.

When a container is created, it is given its own isolated environment, including its own file system, network interfaces, and resource allocations. This allows applications to run independently from the host system and other containers, providing a secure and stable environment for them to operate in.

Serverless vs Containers: Need for Containerization in Visa

While serverless computing has gained popularity in recent years, containers still play a crucial role in the technology stack at Visa. Serverless functions are great for specific use cases, such as handling individual tasks or functions, but they lack the capabilities to handle complex applications and environments. This is where containers come in.

Containers provide more control over application dependencies and can easily be configured to run in different environments, making them a more suitable choice for Visa’s complex and highly regulated environment. Additionally, containers offer more flexibility and scalability compared to serverless functions, allowing Visa to efficiently manage its workload.

Furthermore, containerization allows for better collaboration between development and operations teams. With containers, developers can easily package their applications with all the necessary dependencies and configurations, making it easier for operations teams to deploy and manage them. This streamlined process helps to improve overall efficiency and reduces the time and effort needed for deployment.

In summary, while serverless computing has its benefits, containers still play a crucial role in Visa’s technology stack due to their flexibility, isolation, and ability to handle complex applications. As Visa continues to innovate and scale its services, containerization will remain an essential component in its infrastructure.  So, it is important for Visa to continue investing in and leveraging containerization technology to stay ahead of potential vulnerabilities or attacks that may arise in the rapidly evolving tech landscape.  With the right balance between serverless and containers, Visa can ensure a secure and efficient environment for its customers and stakeholders.  The combination of these two technologies will play a key role in Visa’s future success and continued growth. 

When Should You Use Containerization?

Containerization can be a valuable tool for any organization, but there are certain scenarios where it may be particularly beneficial. For Visa, containerization is essential due to the nature of its business and the requirements of its highly regulated environment. However, other companies may also benefit from adopting containerization in the following situations:

  1. If an organization’s applications require extensive customization and have fluctuating resource needs.
  2. As businesses increasingly rely on multiple cloud providers and on-premises infrastructure, containerization offers a portable and consistent way to deploy applications across different environments.
  3. Containers allow for fast and automated deployment, making them ideal for organizations with high traffic or seasonal spikes in demand. 
  4.  For organizations embracing DevOps practices, containerization can facilitate seamless integration between development and operations teams.

Serverless vs Containers: How Similar and Different Are Both?

Although both serverless computing and containers are popular techniques for deploying and managing applications, there are some key differences between the two.


  • Both serverless and containers offer ways to deploy applications without worrying about underlying infrastructure.
  • They both provide scalability options, allowing apps to handle varying levels of demand.
  • Containers and serverless architectures promote a microservices-based approach for developing and deploying applications.


  1. Resource management: Containers require some level of infrastructure management, whereas serverless computing fully abstracts this responsibility from developers.
  2. Scalability approach: Containers scale by adding more instances of the containerized application, while serverless functions scale on-demand based on incoming requests.
  3. Billing model: Serverless computing is billed based on the number of requests or compute time, while containers are typically charged based on server usage.
  4. Startup time: Serverless functions have a cold start time, meaning they take longer to launch compared to containers which can start up almost instantly.
  5. Complexity and control: Containers offer more control over the underlying infrastructure and allow for more complex deployments, while serverless computing abstracts away this complexity for easier management.

In summary, while serverless computing and containers have some similarities in terms of deployment and microservices-based architecture, they also have distinct differences in terms of resource management, scalability approach, billing model, startup time, and complexity/control. Both techniques offer valuable solutions for modern application development and it’s important to understand their similarities and differences to choose the best approach for a specific project. Additionally, it’s worth noting that some companies are utilizing both serverless and container technologies to take advantage of the benefits each offers in different parts of their application architecture. This hybrid approach can offer the best of both worlds when properly implemented.

Serverless vs Containers: How to Choose Between Both for Your Application?

When it comes to modern application development, serverless computing and containers are two popular options that offer scalable and efficient solutions. But how do you know which one is the best fit for your application? In this section, we’ll dive deeper into the factors that can help you make an informed decision between serverless and containers.

Application Development and Code Testing

In the competitive world of healthcare app development, having a solid idea is just the first step. The success of any healthcare app ultimately depends on its functionality and user experience. Therefore, thorough application development and code testing are crucial to ensure that the final product meets the highest standards.

One of the key aspects of healthcare app development is integrating various data sources such as electronic health records, wearable devices, and medical sensors. This requires extensive testing to ensure the accuracy and reliability of data collection and analysis.

  • Serverless Applications

One of the top smart healthcare app ideas for startup businesses is developing serverless applications. Serverless computing, also known as function as a service (FaaS), is a cloud computing model where the cloud provider manages and runs the back-end infrastructure dynamically. This means that developers only need to write and deploy code functions without having to manage servers or worry about scaling resources.

For healthcare apps, this can significantly reduce the time and cost of development while also ensuring scalability and reliability. In addition, serverless applications have built-in security features provided by cloud providers, making it easier to maintain compliance with healthcare regulations.

  • Containerized Applications

Containerization is another emerging trend in healthcare app development. Similar to serverless computing, it helps reduce the complexity and cost of managing infrastructure by packaging an application and its dependencies into a lightweight, portable container that can run on any platform.

In healthcare, this has many benefits such as easier deployment, scalability, and security. Containerized applications also allow for seamless integration with other systems and platforms, making it easier for healthcare providers to access and share patient information securely.

Performance and Scalability

In the fast-paced world of healthcare, performance and scalability are crucial for a successful app. Patients and healthcare providers need access to real-time information, making it imperative for healthcare apps to have low latency and high performance.

Cloud computing offers solutions such as auto-scaling and load balancing that can handle increasing traffic without compromising performance. This ensures that the app can handle millions of users, making it suitable for large and growing healthcare institutions.

  • Serverless Applications 

Both serverless applications and microservices using containers have their own advantages and use cases. Serverless computing is ideal for small, event-driven applications that require quick response times and flexibility in resource usage.

On the other hand, microservices using containers are better suited for larger, complex applications with multiple services and dependencies. This approach offers more control over resource allocation and easier management of microservices.

  • Containerized Applications 

It is also worth mentioning that serverless computing and containerization can work together to provide even more benefits. Developers can use containers within serverless functions to provide a more flexible and customizable environment.

For example, developers can package their code in a container and deploy it as a serverless function, allowing for greater control over the runtime environment. This approach also enables easier integration with existing containerized applications and services.

Deployment and Architecture 

When deciding between serverless applications and microservices using containers, it’s important to consider deployment and architecture options.

Serverless computing is often seen as simpler and more straightforward as developers don’t have to manage servers or infrastructure. However, this can also lead to vendor lock-in and potential limitations in customization.

In contrast, containerization gives developers more control over their application’s deployment and architecture, but also requires more expertise in managing containers and infrastructure.


  • Serverless Applications

 Ultimately, the decision between serverless applications and microservices with containers depends on the specific needs of a project.

For smaller, simpler applications that require quick deployment and scalability, serverless computing may be the best choice. However, for larger or more complex applications that require more control over architecture and customization, microservices using containers may be a better option.

It’s also important to consider the future growth and evolution of the application. Will it need to scale rapidly or handle varying levels of traffic? Will it require frequent updates and changes? These factors should be taken into account when deciding on the best approach.

  • Container-based Applications

When using microservices with containers, there are also several architecture options to consider. Some common choices include the use of a container orchestration platform such as Kubernetes or Docker Swarm, or a serverless framework like AWS Fargate.

Container orchestration platforms provide powerful tools for managing large numbers of containers and automating deployment processes.

Portability and Security

In addition to performance and scalability, portability and security are also important factors when considering serverless applications and microservices with containers.

Serverless computing offers a high level of portability as the underlying infrastructure is managed by the provider. However, there may be limitations in terms of compatibility with different platforms or lock-in to a specific cloud vendor.

On the other hand, microservices with containers offer more control over the infrastructure and can be easily migrated between different environments. However, the responsibility for securing the application falls largely on the developer.

Therefore, it’s crucial to carefully evaluate the security measures in place when choosing between serverless computing and microservices with containers. This includes considering aspects such as data encryption, access controls, and vulnerability management.

  • Serverless Applications 

In summary, both serverless computing and microservices with containers offer unique advantages for developing modern applications. The choice ultimately depends on the specific requirements and needs of the project.

However, it’s worth noting that these two approaches can also be used together in a hybrid architecture. In this case, serverless functions can be integrated within containerized microservices to combine the benefits of both.

Furthermore, as technology continues to evolve, we may see further advancements and innovations in serverless and container technologies. It’s important for developers to stay updated on these developments and continuously evaluate the best approach for their projects.

  • Container-based Applications

While microservices with containers offer more control over the infrastructure, they also require a greater level of management and maintenance. This is where container-based application platforms come into play.

These platforms provide a layer of abstraction between the developer and the underlying infrastructure, making it easier to manage and scale containerized applications in the cloud. Examples of such platforms include Kubernetes, Docker Swarm, and Red Hat OpenShift.

Additionally, these platforms also have built-in security features that can help ensure the safety of containerized applications. However, developers should still take the necessary steps to secure their applications as well.

How iTechnolabs Can Help You to Choose  the Best Architecture for You?

how itechnolabs can help you to choose the best architecture for you itechnolabs

At  iTechnolabs, we understand the importance of choosing the right architecture for your project. Our team of experienced developers can help evaluate your project requirements and determine the best approach to ensure efficient and effective development.

We have expertise in both microservices and serverless architectures, as well as container-based application platforms. This allows us to provide valuable insights and recommendations on which architecture would best suit your project.

Furthermore, we also keep up with the latest advancements and innovations in these technologies, ensuring that our clients always have access to the most efficient and modern solutions for their projects.

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