Which Architecture – Serverless vs. Microservices – Should A Business Use?

When it comes to coding architecture, the market is overflowing with choices today. Microservices and serverless architectures have been the dominant ones in the software development industry for some time now. Recent years have seen a sharp increase in cloud use, which has resulted in a lot of debate about when the use of these technologies is best. These methods are the ones that software developers choose because of their dynamism and agility and can be a really powerful tool if used correctly. So which one, serverless or microservice, should your business use?

Well, without further ado, let’s dive into exactly what Serverless and Microservices architectures are, and how their unique traits benefit us.

What Exactly is a Serverless Architecture?

Serverless architecture simply means that the program may be partially or entirely hosted on a third-party server, or in the cloud. The name implies there is no server, which isn’t actually the case. Instead, it signifies that the organizations are relieved of the responsibility of investing in and maintaining the location’s actual hardware. The network, storage, physical infrastructure, and other elements are managed by a trustworthy third party.

Benefits of Serverless Architecture

1. Operations and Management are Reduced

By handling infrastructure management, auto-scaling, and server provisioning, serverless systems free up enterprises from the administrative burden. Developers don’t have to worry about managing infrastructure; they can concentrate on developing code.

2. Cost Reduction

Serverless architectures provide a pay-per-use business model in which companies are only charged for the period that functions or services are used. Cost optimization may result from serverless or Kubernetes consulting, particularly for systems with variable or erratic workloads.

3. Architecture Motivated by Events

Event-driven architectures, in which functions are triggered by certain events or requests, are ideally suited for serverless systems. For applications that need high scalability, event processing, or asynchronous processing, serverless is an excellent match.

4. Resource and Execution Time Limitations

Platform limitations on execution time and resource use are common for serverless operations. Serverless architecture may not be appropriate for lengthy procedures or resource-intensive operations, which would need the use of other methods.

What Exactly are Microservices?

Microservices are a decentralized design pattern that divides an application into several autonomous functions (services), which may collaborate and interact with one another through APIs. Every microservice is independently tested and has its database, libraries, and templates. For instance, you may be running a Node + Express application to serve up images from a 3rd party API and running a headless e-commerce backend from Shopify. These two services are called from separate domains and perform separate functions but can interact together on the frontend.

Architecture of Microservices

1. Scalability

Granular scaling is possible with microservices, allowing each service to be scaled individually depending on its unique need. This scalability offers versatility and effective resource management.

2. Diversity in Technology

Utilizing various technologies and programming languages, distinct services may be constructed utilizing microservices. This enables companies to choose the best technology stack for each service based on its needs. Although it should be noted that this is also a trade-off in technical skill. Since most programmers aren’t proficient in many languages, it can slow down development time and result in poor coding output. However, the option the choose whatever language or framework for your backend is a powerful one.

3. Agility and Flexibility

Microservices provide developers, deployers, and updaters flexibility. The ability to separately build and launch each service allows for quicker iterations and more agility in reacting to changing business requirements. It also makes debugging large applications easier since each service is managed seperately from one another.

4. Operations and Complexity

Multiple services may communicate with one another in a distributed system thanks to microservices. This complexity may make it difficult to control interactions, plan deployments, or guarantee data consistency across services. Operational complexity could need more work and skill.

Deciding on the Best Architecture

1. Application Difficulty

Serverless architecture might provide advantages in terms of streamlined operations and cost efficiency if the application is reasonably straightforward and has predictable workloads. Microservices design, however, can be more suitable if the application is complicated and has many interconnected services.

2. Granularity and Scalability

The microservice design gives additional control over individual service scaling if fine-grained scalability and independent service deployment are essential. For event-driven applications or bursty workloads that need great scalability and short response times, serverless architecture is a good fit.

3. Building Team Skills

Consider the development team’s qualifications and experience. Serverless design requires experience with function-oriented programming approaches, however, microservices architecture may demand extra understanding and administration of distributed systems.

4. Supplier Lock-in

Consider the possibility of vendor lock-in with serverless systems. Although they are convenient, it might be difficult to transfer platforms or leave a serverless service.


Microservices and serverless are two structurally similar architectures that use different methodologies. In contrast to monolithic architecture, serverless and microservices both emphasize scalability, flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and ease of adding new features. All of which are crucial aspects of the development process.

Hopefully, this article has helped you understand the difference between serverless and microservices in software development and how they can both be used for your business or project. In you have any questions, feel free to contact me from the link below!

As always, happy coding!

Grant Darling

Grant is a full-stack / frontend software developer passionate about writing & coding. He has many years experience working in the tech industry both as a freelancer and as an employee.

The Code Bytes is all about providing people with honest information about programming. To learn more about Grant, read his about page!

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