The Pros & Cons of FaaS

FaaS, the abbreviation for Function as a Service, is a type of a cloud service model. Before discussing the pros and cons of FaaS, let us touch upon cloud services and Function as a Service.

Cloud Services

“With the cloud, individuals and small businesses can snap their fingers and instantly set up enterprise-class services.” This quote reflects the trend towards a consistent shift of enterprises to cloud-based technology for carrying out their business operations. The popularity of cloud adoption by enterprises stems from the fact that it has a slew of benefits to offer, such as, enhanced functionality, productivity and scalability along with simplified IT management and a substantial decrease in costs. Cloud services are scalable and are provided through a remote cloud computing server. These services are delivered on demand to clients over the Internet.

Cloud servers are hosted in data centers and are managed by third parties. There is no need to manage the physical servers by the users of cloud services. Cloud servers enable any device with an active Internet connection to be used for accessing files from any location. Cloud services entail the use of the Internet by users for accessing computing services that have to do with analytics or networking. These services are meant to provide easy access to resources as well as applications. The main models of cloud services are IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service), SaaS (Software as a Service) and FaaS (Function as a Service).

To digress, cloud technology is used in cloud hosting (a type of web hosting), wherein a website or an app is hosted on the cloud rather than on a single machine. Cloud technology enables data to be present on multiple servers that are interconnected and exist in a virtual environment. Cloud hosting is provided as a web hosting service by web hosting companies for the purpose of making websites accessible over the Internet. The “Top Cloud Hosting Company”, the “Best Windows Hosting Company”, the “Best Web Hosting Company” etc. are used to refer to the most efficient web hosting service providers.

Function as a Service

As mentioned previously, Function as a Service (FaaS) is one of the types of cloud service models. FaaS includes a category of services that utilize cloud computing and allow a code’s execution as a response to an event. It provides a platform that enables customers to develop, run as well as manage application functionalities without having to build and maintain the necessary infrastructure. When FaaS is availed, it becomes the cloud service provider’s responsibility to take care of the virtual machine operating system, the web server software management and the physical hardware. This helps the FaaS client to solely focus on his application code’s individual functions.

Benefits of FaaS

There are many benefits of Function as a Service, which is an extremely useful tool for migrating applications to the cloud efficiently as well as affordably. One of its main benefits has to do with it being a cost-effective solution. This is especially true with regard to dynamic workloads and scheduled tasks. Moreover, FaaS enables a client to pay for only those resources that are used and as and when those resources are used. In FaaS, a client doesn’t have to pay in advance for any specific amount of bandwidth, which is the case with vendors that use a server allocation model. This helps to eliminate the probability of incurring additional costs.

Function as a Service makes it possible for applications that are built on FaaS platform to scale up or down instantaneously, automatically as well as independently, based on requirement. This benefit of scaling is managed by the vendor and not by the developer. Additionally, FaaS offers high availability and it can be deployed across many regions without letting one incur incremental costs. Another advantage of FaaS is that it provides the option to either upload a single function at a time or one’s entire application. Moreover, it facilitates writing independent functions’ backend code. By enabling one to focus on the app codes rather than on the infrastructure, it aids in significantly reducing the TTM (time to market). Since FaaS gets applications ready swiftly and enables carrying out modifications easily, it results in faster time to market. FaaS decreases latency when its vendors run applications closer to their end users. All these pros of Function as a Service make it a highly sought-after cloud service model.

Downside of FaaS

Before opting for FaaS it is important to consider its drawbacks. One of the major downsides of Function as a Service has to do with vendor lock-in, which might make it difficult for a client to change vendors in the future. Another drawback that is often encountered depends entirely on the vendor and entails a client facing challenges in the creation of a test environment for his application. Moreover, for certain types of applications even a delay of a few seconds in the execution of a function can adversely impact such applications.

Security can be another concern as it is one’s vendor’s responsibility. To make matters worse, one might not have the visibility that is needed to ensure that one’s vendor is complying with the necessary regulations that govern one’s storage as well as usage of certain types of data.


For the success of any cloud service model, including FaaS, it is essential to take stock of its pros and cons and then take a decision that is based on one’s business’ needs and strategies. In the event that an organization has zeroed in on FaaS as its ideal solution with regard to cloud services, then it will be beneficial for it to follow certain best practices. These best practices not only aid in deploying FaaS easily but also render it more effective.

To attain the full benefits of Function as a Service, it needs to be ensured that each function isn’t performing more than a single action. Moreover, each function should not carry out more than one task in response to an event. Additionally, the codes need to enable swift loading and execution of functions. Another best practice is to use the least number of libraries in one’s functions to avoid rendering functions slow and difficult to scale. Last but not the least, FaaS’ value depends on the isolation of functions and this should be taken care of to ensure the efficiency of Function as a Service.

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