Serverless Confusion: A Tech/Non-Tech Dialogue

In the digital age where technology is a fundamental part of our lives, understanding the concepts and nuances can be a bit of a challenge, especially for those who are not as technologically inclined. This is the story of an exaggerated dialogue between a tech-savvy person (TSP) and a non-tech person (NTP), who is trying to comprehend the seemingly counterintuitive idea of “serverless” applications in a world seemingly dominated by servers.


NTP: If all the servers in the world disappeared, would this serverless app work?

TSP: Not really. The term ‘serverless’ doesn’t mean that there are no servers involved. It actually means that the developers and operators don’t have to manage or even think about the servers. The infrastructure is abstracted away and managed by the cloud service provider.

NTP: Hold on! A server contains a communication app, right? Users download that app into devices like mobile phones. So, aren’t mobile phones connected to servers, like Apple servers?

TSP: Yes, you’re correct. The app itself is hosted on servers. However, with serverless apps, these servers are managed and maintained by third-party companies, like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud.

NTP: Alright, what about these VPN things? They’re housed in servers, right? And they can allow two app users to connect privately. Does the VPN provider have the ability to know the two users are communicating?

TSP: Good question! Yes, VPNs are also hosted on servers. The VPN service provides a secure tunnel between your device and their servers. In a sense, they could have that ability. But reputable VPN providers have strict no-log policies. Meaning they don’t keep track of your internet activity.

NTP: But my ISP still knows who I’m communicating with because the communication is carried by and controlled by that ISP’s servers, right?

TSP: Not exactly. When you’re using a VPN, your ISP can’t see what you’re doing online. All it can see is that you’re connected to a VPN server.

NTP: So everything runs on servers! There’s nothing serverless about this. This is misleading.

TSP: You have a point there. The term ‘serverless’ is more of a marketing buzzword. It simply means you, as a user or developer, don’t have to worry about server management. It doesn’t mean that servers don’t exist in the process.

NTP: So, serverless isn’t really serverless… What a time to be alive!

TSP: Indeed! The tech world is full of these nuances. But remember, while the word might seem misleading, the benefits of ‘serverless’ architecture are very real – less maintenance, lower cost, better scalability. So, it’s not all just tech trickery.

NTP: I guess I’ll stick to the non-tech life. Less confusing and more straightforward.

TSP: Absolutely! On the other hand, if the call of the wild suddenly sounds like ‘0101’ or you start finding clouds more interesting in gigabytes than in the sky, ping me! ‘Serverless’, after all, doesn’t mean a world without servers, it’s just outsourcing the headache of managing them!

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