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Unleashing the Power of Serverless Architecture: Optimal Hosting for Large Laravel Applications

Optimal hosting for Laravel Application

Serverless architecture is a game-changing innovation, promising automatic scaling of your applications, optimizing resource allocation, and reducing operational overhead.

With traditional architectures, many developers need help scaling certain apps, such as large Laravel applications, or managing the infrastructure. Even if they don’t use the resources, they are paying for it as the payment model is fixed.

As a result, their productivity and code quality suffer, and they end up paying for resources they need to use.

Going serverless is an excellent solution to this problem.

According to a report, the global market size for serverless architecture surpassed US$ 9 billion in 2022. It’s likely to grow at more than 25% CAGR during the forecast period 2023-2032.

Serverless Architecture Market

Image credit source

If you are creating and maintaining Laravel applications, hosting it on serverless architecture can save you money and effort while giving you much-needed scalability and productivity.

In this article, we’ll explore what serverless architecture truly means and how it’s the best option for large Laravel applications.

Let’s begin!

What Is Serverless Architecture?

Serverless Architecture

Serverless architecture is a model that enables a cloud service provider to provide backend services and resources to a business on demand to create and deploy applications.

In traditional ways, the customers have to pay a fixed amount for a fixed number of servers or bandwidth even if they don’t use all of the resources. But in serverless architecture, you will need to pay the fee only for the services and bandwidth you use, also called a pay-per-use basis.

Generally, serverless providers provide these backend services like storage, database, a FaaS solution, etc., to developers and businesses.

However, the term “serverless” is not entirely appropriate. Going serverless doesn’t mean there are no servers involved; servers are still part of the process. It is just that the business or software development team doesn’t have to own or manage any server or infrastructure. Instead, the service provider handles all the infrastructure, maintenance, configurations, scaling, and so on.

This means that you not only can save money with serverless architecture but also stay clear of hassles. Thus, you can focus more on the development deployment of your Laravel applications and/or other applications and services.

Some of the applications of serverless architecture include:

  • Mobile and web applications
  • RESTful APIs to integrate with mobile and web applications
  • AI and ML-based workloads
  • Live streamlining services
  • Chatbots
  • IoT data processing
  • Automated CI/CD pipelines
  • Running automated or scheduled tasks
  • Real-time data processing

How Does Serverless Architecture Work?

Serverless Architecture Work

Here’s how the serverless architecture works:

Creating a Function

In the first step, the developer creates an application that has a function(s) to perform certain tasks. This function decides how the app will respond to a given user action. The cloud provider can also offer a function-as-a-service (FaaS) solution that will come with prebuilt elements and streamline code development for developers.

Defining an Event

An event can be an HTTP request, file uploading, database changes, scheduled tasks, etc. When you define an event, it will indicate when and how the function will get triggered.

Deploying the Function

The developer can now deploy the function(s) to the cloud provider’s serverless platform. It will manage all the code execution and deployment. Now, the user can access the application and make a request.

Triggering an Event

When a specific event finally happens, the function or code associated with it automatically gets triggered and executed. For example, a user can ask for certain information in an application (by making an HTTP request). So, the associated function will be triggered and the application will be instructed to find and deliver the required information to the user.

Execution

After the function gets invoked, the application will pass on this event to the serverless provider who will allocate the required resources (memory, network, and CPU) dynamically based on the predefined function in order to respond to the user action.

The service provider will execute the code on a currently running server or deploy a new one if no server is running. In the end, the user will be supplied with the requested information as per the function definition.

In case there’s no request or task to execute, the cloud provider will not allocate any resources or store data. This means that no resources or storage space will be wasted. Thus, you can save money and ensure only the latest data is accessible to the users.

In addition, the serverless architecture can scale automatically based on the workload by scaling up or down the function instances. During heavy workload or traffic, it will spin up additional instances. During low or no activity, it will reduce instances or make it zero.

The best thing is that all this process happens in the background without bothering the developers who will just focus on creating and deploying code.

Components of Serverless Architecture

Components Serverless Architecture

The key components of serverless architecture include:

The Client Interface

This is the external interface that supports user requests, flexible integrations, and stateless interactions. It’s made to work with data transfers, even if the volume is very high or very low. It must fit the serverless architecture in terms of scalability, flexibility, and other aspects.

FaaS

Function-as-a-Service (FaaS) is the basis of serverless architecture. It executes the code or logic that decides resource allocation for a given task or event. When an event is triggered, these platforms read your application’s backend database to extract information and deliver it to respond to the event.

In Laravel applications, you can use FaaS to build modular components to respond to different requests or triggers while ensuring the design is event-driven and scalable.

API Gateway

An API gateway is used to connect the FaaS platform with the client interface. You can increase your app’s functionalities by connecting the interface to several FaaS services.

Once an action is initiated (by a user), it goes to the API gateway in order to trigger a new event through the FaaS platform.

Web Servers

A web server stores the information that will be delivered to the user asking for information. After the user makes a request, an event or stateless interaction initiates in the web server.

For example, if you are a blogger, all the user requests, responses, etc., will be stored in the web server, while your videos will be stored in the backend storage. When a user requests for it, they will be served with the data.

Backend Database

This database stores the data that will be delivered to the user asking for a particular piece of information.

To reduce admin efforts and maintenance, many development teams use backend-as-a-service (BaaS). However, it must be compatible with the FaaS solution you are using, which most cloud providers take care of. Backend databases could be media storage, content repositories, SQL databases, and more.

Security Services

Since cybersecurity issues are rising everywhere, you must ensure to protect your Laravel applications. Your application manages plenty of user requests; thus, you must ensure to authenticate each one of them before the response is sent to the user.

In addition, the app can’t go back to previous activities to authenticate future activities because the system is serverless and doesn’t store historical data. Plus, serverless architecture involves several vendors and services, which requires you to ensure you are dealing with secure ones.

For security, serverless applications leverage security token services (STS). It generates temporary user credentials to invoke a specific function. Additionally, you can use other security systems such as serverless IAM, SSO, etc.

Benefits of Serverless Architecture

Scalability

Applications using the serverless architecture are highly scalable as per your requirements. They can perform optimally no matter whether there is one user or thousands of them.

Cloud providers hosting serverless applications can spin more resources automatically when there’s a high traffic surge and can shrink resources really fast when the traffic is low. It will ensure there’s sufficient bandwidth to meet the varying needs.

Laravel applications with larger workloads will benefit from automatic scalability in order to meet changing traffic demands.

No Maintenance Efforts

As opposed to traditional services, the cloud provider, such as AccuWeb.Cloud, will take care of all the maintenance work, backups, configurations, provisioning, de-provisioning, server availability, etc.

Thus, you only need to focus on creating better code and deploying it to the platform for end users. This will save you plenty of time and effort that otherwise could have been wasted.

Cost Efficient

Going serverless will save you plenty of money since you only pay for the services and resources you use. This is called pay per use model. When there’s no user activity or traffic, the cloud provider will not allocate any resources or servers. This will help minimize resource and money wastage.

This was not the case with traditional computing where you had to pay for the storage space and resources even if your app doesn’t have any traffic.

Similarly, when the application receives user requests or needs to run any tasks, the cloud provider will allocate the resources automatically to respond to the request.

Enhanced Productivity

Since you don’t have to stress about owning or managing servers and maintenance tasks, you will have all the time and energy to focus on writing code for your application and deploying it on the serverless platform. This will help improve your productivity on the task you are good at.

Quick Time-to-Market

With serverless architecture, you can create and iterate code without hassles. The reason is each function is small and built for a specific task plus there’s no complex deployment process. As a result, you can quickly develop and deploy your application to the market for users and gain a competitive advantage.

In addition to the above advantages, serverless applications exhibit high availability since they operate on the cloud and functions can be distributed across several regions and data centers. This reduces ping and improves uptime, reliability, and performance, and enhances overall user experience.

Why Host large Laravel applications on serverless architecture?

Released in 2011, Laravel is one of the most popular and widely used PHP frameworks. This open-source, free web framework has the power to support the creation of complicated web apps from scratch with its model-view-controller (MVC) architecture.

This PHP framework has robust features like modular packaging, object-relational mapping (ORM), reverse routing, elegant syntax, and more. However, it previously followed a monolithic architecture, making the web development process complex. If you want to change even a monitor thing, the entire system needs adjustments.

With traditional architecture, large Laravel applications face difficulties scaling up or down quickly, managing resources, handling operations, and so on. It will also require you to provision resources and monitor everything manually. All these consume significant time, money, and effort.

On the other hand, serverless hosting breaks down the big monolith into smaller, easy-to-manage functions. While leaving all the maintenance and heavy lifting to the serverless hosting provider, it requires the developers to shift their focus on application logic and creating better code for end users.

To enable serverless architecture in large Laravel applications, you will need to identify specific endpoints or functionalities to create serverless functions; one function for one specific task. Break down the application into independent and smaller functions (microservices). Based on the serverless platform you chose, you can write the function in a compatible programming language or PHP.

As a result of leveraging serverless architecture in Laravel applications:

  • You can ensure the Laravel functions will be capable of handling large workloads with automatic scaling.
  • Deployment cycle will become faster since you will concentrate only on creating code instead of maintenance.
  • You can save your money with the help of the pay-per-use model, paying only for the server and resources you use.
  • Your app will be replicated across different data centers located globally, ensuring high availability.

How to Choose a Serverless Platform for Hosting Laravel Applications

Keep in mind the following points before choosing a serverless platform to host your Laravel apps:

Reliable Provider

Choose a reliable serverless platform for your Laravel applications, such as AccuWeb.Cloud. Compare the features, capabilities, and supported integrations for reach and choose what works for you against the pricing.

API Gateway and Supported Triggers

Choose a platform that offers an API gateway since it’s a crucial component of serverless architecture. It will connect the FaaS solution with the client or external interface. It must support HTTP triggers so that your Laravel applications can receive user requests and send them to the web server for execution. The serverless platform you choose must also support the Laravel framework so that you can use it in your Laravel-based application.

Security

Look for a serverless provider who offers advanced security measures to protect your application and data from attackers. You can look for IAM solutions, SSOs, authentication systems, authorization services, and so on. Also, keep updating dependencies and maintain code hygiene to secure your functions and application.

Conclusion

Large Laravel applications need more capabilities to scale and perform optimally to user requests; thus, hosting them on serverless architecture makes total sense. Serverless architecture enables you to break down complex applications into smaller, simpler functions that execute based on certain triggers. This will optimize resource utilization and help you achieve higher scalability, business agility, and cost savings.

If you are searching for a reliable hosting service for your applications, AccuWeb Hosting has a variety of solutions for you. Let’s chat!

FAQs

Are there no servers in serverless architecture?

Contrary to its name, serverless architecture involves servers, but the cloud provider is responsible for managing and maintaining it and not the user.

What is the main advantage of using a serverless architecture?

Many developers prefer serverless because it offers scalability and does not need them to manage servers.

What are the characteristics of serverless architecture?

They are – automatic scaling, pay-per-use billing, and high availability, among others.

Scaling Laravel applications on Accuweb could be the perfect combination to build a scalable PHP architecture. Click here to learn more!