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6 Things to Know About Serverless Computing

Are servers a thing of the past? Owning, maintaining and operating on-premises infrastructure is costly and inefficient, requiring significant capital investment as well as ongoing provisioning and management, bogging down development teams with various tasks like cluster provisioning, patching, operating system maintenance, data security, database management and capacity provisioning. Conversely, serverless computing is know to drive low cost experimentation, removing IT roadblocks and allowing development teams to focus on core competencies and product innovation. With over 20% of global enterprises expected to deploy serverless computing by 2020, firms are progressively making a business case for building and running serverless computing. Here are six things to know about serverless.

  1. Moving to the cloud: Serverless computing is synonymous with cloud computing. Providers like AWS, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, and IBM Cloud Functions automate the delivery, scaling, and management of compute and storage on the cloud, essentially handling most of the capabilities required of on-premises servers...but more efficiently. That means simplifying code deployments and using only the most precise amount of computing resources needed.

  2. Lifting the IT burden: Today’s development teams are burdened with a litany of issues. Performance, scalability, data security, and user privacy are just a handful of issues that the average programmer needs to field on a daily basis. Transferring these responsibilities onto a cloud provider allow IT teams the time and resources to write code, experiment, iterate and innovate on projects. Forrester finds that over three-quarters of cloud consumers increased their ability to adapt, experiment, and innovate.

  3. Agility is the name of the game: The native architecture of the cloud is one of the core differentiators of serversless vs. on-premises infrastructure. Functionality like quick deployments, the ability to scale up and/or shut down as workloads change, alongside auto scaling allow firms to tap into the cloud for speed, experimentation, and ultimately a culture of innovation.

  4. Scaling global cloud networks: While serverless doesn’t actually mean no servers (servers still exist, cloud providers are just taking on the provisioning and scaling of runtimes), providers offer the benefit of global reach at a moment’s notice, while remaining cost-neutral with a pay-as-you-go model. AWS is just one example, with access to 20 global Regions and 12 Availability Zones that are highly available, fault tolerant, and scalable.

  5. Lowering your Total Cost of Ownership (TCO): On that note, economies of scale allow cloud providers to pass low costs onto consumers. That means your capital expenses as a firm (i.e. the millions of dollars in infrastructure investment for space, cabling, cooling, racks, servers, storage, labor and more) are moved to variable expenses in which you pay for what you use. Additionally, with no virtual infrastructure to manage firms gain increased operational efficiency and savings.

  6. Understanding your security limitations: The jury’s still out for overall security of serverless. While providers develop security measures at every layer of their architecture, responsibility remains on the cloud consumer to secure any data in the cloud (i.e. ensuring that both data at rest and data in transit is encrypted and implementing appropriate access management). The potential of latency and performance issues exist, particularly for high-performance computing, which is often limited by cloud providers.

Serverless is redefining IT, from roadblock to springboard for launching projects. Talk to one of our experts about how serverless computing can add value to your enterprise business.

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