Is Serverless computing a new paradigm for public cloud vendors?

Serverless computing seems to be the latest craze for cloud service providers these days and Amazon Web Services stands out as best example in this segment. AWS started Lambda in 2014 and the service remained largely unchallenged till this date. But now, IBM, Google and Microsoft are showing a lot of eagerness in rolling out their own iterations to this market segment- hmm…. may be to take the customer base of Lambda.

The increment gained by this concept is that developers can deploy their code without having to worry about procuring, provisioning or managing any underlying resources. Serverless architectures allow developers to chop their app into smaller pieces and deploy them in highly scalable fashion on an elastic infrastructure- more easily than with containers.

A common example to get the merit for serverless computing model is uploading a photo to a blog or website. Generally, a developer could write a long string of code with a host of responsibilities, including launching a folder, resizing the image, making a backup copy of the photo and then ensuring the image is properly cropped/sized and is embedded onto a website.

Alternatively, the developer could write a snippet of code and use a lambda function to watch a directory, execute the code and upload the image. This helps users to upload a photo in just a matter of millisecond, rather than minutes or hours that cloud platforms would otherwise require to run an instance.

All this boils down to prove one point and that is Serverless architecture has the potential to change how computing resources are being used, more closely linking the infrastructure and app developer platform, existing somewhere between infrastructure as a service and platform as a service. This could also offer an alternate option to users who want to rent a server on minute or hour basis.

Amazon has proved it with lambda and Google has began alpha testing cloud functions in Feb this year. IBM is already out with OpenWhisk by adding it to its PaaS offering Bluemix, though that service is currently listed as experimental. Microsoft is also stepping into the business by adding Azure functions soon- still in preview.

Speaking about Amazon Lambada customer base, already, the service has been adopted by high profile customers like Netflix, Capital One, and MLB. Google also once depended upon Lambda for its YouTube.

However, all is not green with Lambda and so is not fit for legacy applications and should be limited to companies working in a DevOps mode with cloud native architectures.

DNF Corp offers more such knowledge base about Servers and Storage.


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