The role of microservices in serverless computing

Are you excited about the world of serverless computing? Because you should be! The ability to build and run applications without the need for servers is a game changer in the world of cloud computing. It's a technology that's becoming increasingly popular, as it provides a range of benefits to companies and businesses of all sizes.

One of the key elements of serverless computing is the use of microservices. Microservices are a crucial component of building scalable and flexible applications that can respond to changes quickly. In this article, we'll explore the role of microservices in serverless computing, and why they are so important.

What are microservices?

Firstly, let's define what microservices are. According to Martin Fowler, a renowned software engineer, microservices is a software architectural style that structures applications as a collection of services. Each service runs in its own process and communicates with other services through an API (Application Programming Interface).

In simpler terms, microservices are small, focused, and independent services that work together to perform a specific function. Rather than building an application as one monolithic entity, developers break it down into smaller services, which can be developed, managed, and scaled independently.

Why are microservices important in serverless computing?

Now that we know what microservices are, let's discuss why they are important in serverless computing. Serverless offers a wide range of benefits, including reduced costs, increased agility, and automated scalability. However, building and managing serverless applications can be complicated, and microservices can help alleviate some of these challenges.

Microservices enable developers to break down an application into smaller components. This makes it easier to change individual parts of the system without affecting the entire application. Instead of rewriting the entire codebase to make a change, developers can simply modify the relevant microservice.

Because microservices are independent, they can be developed and deployed in parallel, eliminating bottlenecks and reducing development time. In addition, they can be scaled independently, meaning that resources can be allocated where they are needed most.

Microservices also improve fault tolerance by reducing the blast radius of a problem. When an application is composed of multiple services, a problem with one service doesn't necessarily affect the entire system. Instead, it only impacts the relevant service, which can be fixed quickly without causing downtime for the entire application.

How do microservices work in serverless computing?

Microservices work differently in serverless computing compared to traditional server-based architectures. In a serverless environment, microservices are often built using Function-as-a-Service (FaaS) providers such as AWS Lambda, Google Cloud Functions, and Azure Functions.

With FaaS, developers can write code that performs a specific function and upload it to the cloud provider. The provider then takes care of running, scaling, and managing the function. When an event triggers the function, such as an HTTP request or a database update, the provider spins up a container to handle the function and shuts it down once it's done.

Each function in a serverless application is a small, independent microservice that can be developed and deployed independently. Developers can also use APIs to communicate between functions, allowing them to build complex applications using multiple microservices.

Best practices for using microservices in serverless computing

While microservices offer many benefits for serverless computing, they also require careful planning and management to ensure success. Here are some best practices for using microservices in serverless computing:

  1. Design services for specific tasks: Each microservice should have a specific task or function, ensuring that it's focused and easy to manage.
  2. Ensure communications are reliable: Because each microservice communicates with other services over an API, it's crucial to ensure that communications are reliable and secure.
  3. Design for fault tolerance: As microservices are independent, it's important to design for fault tolerance. A single service should be able to fail without causing downtime for the entire application.
  4. Monitor performance: Each microservice should be instrumented to provide insight into its performance. Monitoring can help identify problems early and ensure that the service is running optimally.
  5. Use automation: Building and deploying microservices in a serverless environment requires automation. The process should be automated as much as possible to ensure that deployments are efficient and consistent.


In conclusion, microservices play a key role in the world of serverless computing. They offer many benefits, such as increased flexibility, scalability, and fault tolerance. By breaking an application down into smaller components, developers can build and deploy applications more quickly and efficiently.

If you're working with serverless computing or considering it for your organization, understanding the role of microservices is crucial. By following best practices and taking advantage of the benefits that microservices offer, you can ensure that your serverless applications are effective, efficient, and scalable.

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