Serverless Databases

Learn all about serverless databases and the applications they support

What is a serverless database?

This page covers the following to help you better understand serverless databases:


Serverless databases are elastically scaling databases that don’t expose the infrastructure they operate on. They make it simpler to develop applications because you don’t have to worry about managing your servers. And serverless databases are often a good choice for cost-conscious developers and enterprises because you can license them through a consumption model and pay only for what you use.


Serverless NoSQL databases offer exceptional scalability in many cases, especially when workloads spike and then contract. And serverless databases are also easier for DevOps to manage because scaling is automatic. Due to their many benefits, serverless distributed databases are becoming more popular as the data delivery foundation for applications powered by Functions-as-a-Service (FaaS) platforms.

What are the advantages of using serverless databases for developers?

While serverless databases may introduce new workflows and application designs for development teams, they also allow the developers to focus more fully on application functionality rather than on the entire application, data, and infrastructure stack. The practice of using multiple data access methods such as relational, document, key/value, or search may still be implemented as serverless operations.


While this design offers a high degree of functionality to the application, it doesn’t eliminate the complexity of using, storing, and syncing multiple types of databases. For that purpose, a serverless database that is also a multi-model database would be most efficient.

Data persistence for serverless applications

Serverless databases work well for stateful persistence with applications that are designed as serverless, ephemeral, stateless functions that react to events, execute their work (including data reads or writes), and then disappear until another event awakens them.

What applications are supported by serverless databases?

Serverless databases support the following applications:


Applications that require personalization or have a highly variable workload are well suited for serverless databases. These systems not only need to elastically scale their user experience and business logic, but also need a database that can keep pace with the ups and downs of the work involved in handling user sessions, updating personalization data, processing multiple transactions at once, and triggering multiple simultaneous events such as inventory updates and purchase receipts.


Overall, serverless databases are rising in popularity because they offer the following operational advantages:

  • Invisible infrastructure
  • Optimal use of resources
  • Infinite and automatic scalability


Serverless databases also offer important advantages for developers, such as:

  • Ephemeral, event-driven functions
  • High productivity and low friction
  • Easy maintenance

Because Couchbase supports distributed scale, multicloud, multi-model data access, and edge and mobile use cases, we’re exceptionally well suited to address many serverless database challenges that could arise.

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