How Serverless Computing is Used by AstraZeneca, ZenDesk, Mosaic Life Care, Lucille Games, and Hemnet: Case Studies

Serverless computing is a powerful cloud computing execution model designed to automatically provision system resources on demand in response to application functions and events. When applications stop running, resources automatically scale back to zero.

Without the need for financial or time investments into provisioning and managing hardware and network infrastructure, companies and developers are free to focus on developing, optimizing, and maintaining application code and business logic.

The following five case studies illustrate how organizations in a variety of industries are experiencing the benefits of serverless computing:

1. AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is an organization dedicated to developing and launching new medicines used in the fields of oncology, biopharmaceuticals, and rare disease.

Processing data at scale translates into petabytes of genomic sequencing data that informs drug research and development. With these goals in mind, combined with the desire to focus on scientific exploration instead of the technology used to drive it, AstraZeneca turned to serverless computing and AWS Lambda.

AWS Lambda supports the work being done by AstraZeneca, dealing with data acquired through multiple sources in large bursts. This powerful, scalable, solution dynamically provisions and manages resources anytime they are needed.

Industries: Pharmaceutical and biotechnology

Serverless computing solutions: Amazon AWS Lambda

Outcomes:

  • Can run over 51 billion statistical tests in under 24 hours
  • Scales up and down to accommodate the erratic demands for genomic sequencing
  • Provided genetics input into more than 40 of AstraZeneca’s drug discovery projects in 2020
  • On track to reach the company’s goal to analyze two million genomes by 2026

2. Mosaic Life Care

Mosaic Life Care is a physician-led health care organization based out of Missouri. Responding to the vaccination demands created by the COVID-19 pandemic, Mosaic Life Care wanted to create a streamlined way for patients to register for shots without the limits imposed by their current on-premises environment.

Using the serverless computing power of Azure Functions, Mosaic Life Care deployed a vaccine registration portal where patients could sign up for an appointment. With the high demand for vaccinations, and the limited supply available, it was important that appointment scheduling was accurate and responsive.

“We needed to handle any number of registrations without patients experiencing downtime,” says Brandon Gockley, VP of IT at Mosaic Life Care.

“We tried to think outside the box to make our portal scalable, and that’s when we knew we wanted to move to Azure.”

Azure Functions provides a scalable solution with the security options required by healthcare organizations.

Industry: Health care

Serverless computing solutions: Azure Functions

Outcomes:

  • Quickly and efficiently administered more than 60,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine
  • Mosaic’s team no longer worries about back-end maintenance or infrastructure security

3. Lucille Games

Lucille Games is a collaboration between technology company, Aumentia, and YouTuber Daniel Matias. The partnership has become well known for building augmented reality experiences, mobile applications, and social games.

Because of the traffic spikes made possible by YouTube influencers, Lucille Games needed a platform that could handle the tremendous boosts to traffic, sometimes resulting in millions of new users. Using the serverless solution provided by Google Compute Engine and Google Cloud Functions, Lucille Games can affordably maintain stability for their applications under heavy loads.

Taking advantage of serverless computing has allowed Lucille Games to focus on core development competencies and eliminated the need to sink capital into buying and maintaining hardware and network resources that may end up sitting intermittently idle.

Industry: Software development

Serverless computing solutions: Google Cloud Functions

Outcomes:

  • Supported the growth of 15 million users in two weeks
  • Handles huge spikes in traffic with ease
  • Reduced server costs by an estimated 30%
  • New instances for game servers are created in 20 seconds
  • Developers don’t need to be concerned with infrastructure management

4. Hemnet

Hemnet is responsible for the leading property platform in Sweden, combining the highest number of visitors with the largest inventory of real estate listings into a single application. A loyal visitor base translates into an average of 61.4 million visits per month, making Hemnet a recognized and trusted brand.

With eyes looking toward growth on a global scale, Hemnet needed the power of Cloudflare serverless technology to provide secure, scalable, and high-performance solutions.

“Performance is a fundamental part of the user experience, and Hemnet wants to provide a best-in-class experience for our users,” says Christoffer Hamberg, technical director at Hemnet.

“But above all comes the security aspect, which we will never compromise on. Cloudflare allows us to deliver both to our users, ensuring that they can access our services in as fast and secure a manner as possible.”

Cloudflare Workers is backed by a network that spans over 200 cities in 90 countries, making it possible to have applications run in data centers closest to each end user, which reduces latency and ensures the best performance while maintaining uptime.

Industry: Media

Serverless computing solutions: Cloudflare Workers

Outcomes:

  • Hemnet is able to reach customers quickly and efficiently
  • Easy configuration and management that saves time and internal resources
  • Integrated security solutions also provided by Cloudflare mitigate 100,000+ cyber threats every month 

5. Zendesk

Zendesk is highly regarded as being a service-first customer relationship management (CRM) company, dedicated to delivering software that helps to manage and improve customer relationships. To best serve their users, Zendesk’s developers needed to focus on building and deploying new features quickly.

This goal was achieved by leveraging AWS and Kubernetes, but Zendesk still needed the ability to monitor workloads and infrastructure in a way that would integrate well with their new cloud-based production environment. Datadog serverless monitoring was able to meet Zendesk’s needs by helping to maintain an always-on, high-performing platform for their customers.

Using the logs and infrastructure metrics provided by Datadog, Zendesk can easily make a correlation between poor application performance and the underlying issues needing to be addressed. Trace search and analytics can even isolate specific traces that match individual customers, users, error codes, endpoints, services, or custom tags.

Industry: Software-as-a-service

Serverless computing solutions: Datadog Serverless Monitoring

Outcomes:

  • Developers can easily investigate and respond to reported issues
  • Datadog is easy to install and use
  • Over 500 included integrations allows Zendesk to leverage existing dashboards and alerts 
Jillian Koskie
Jillian Koskie
Jillian Koskie is an experienced software developer, writer, business analyst, and usability design expert. With over 24 years in these roles, she has enjoyed applying her considerable skill set to assist clients and users across a wide variety of sectors, including legal, health, and financial services. Combining these professional opportunities with a love of technology, Koskie is pleased to act as a trusted advisor, contribute articles, voice opinions, and offer advice to numerous organizations, news outlets, websites, and publications.

Latest Articles

Top 10 Data Recovery Certifications

Data recovery is the process to restore lost or corrupted data due to a disaster, and companies must data recovery experts to recover their...

Top 10 Companies Hiring for Data Recovery Jobs

Data recovery is a vital part of the technology industry today. When data is accidentally deleted, corrupted, lost, or damaged, there is a risk...

Data Recovery Q&A With Kathy Ahuja at Qumulo

Enterprise data is at constant risk of physical destruction, cyber attacks, and theft or unexpected system or hardware failure. To mitigate these risks, enterprises...