Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, William Schmarzo, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Containers Expo Blog, @CloudExpo

@DevOpsSummit: Blog Feed Post

Choosing a #Serverless Architecture | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #AI #Docker

In the future, some applications will be entirely serverless, especially if the price point is better than cloud-based instances

What to Look for When Choosing a Serverless Architecture
By Sunil Mavadia

Information Technology has advanced in different areas at different speeds. This has always been true, as people found workable solutions to the problems that faced them today, most often before there was a market for those solutions. While things like virtualization and eventually cloud computing grew slowly, programming languages sat at the same point for around a decade before the current round of new languages and approaches—Python, Ruby, Node, Swift—came about. These things seem unrelated, but there is a union of the two sets of changes that we are about to see blossom.

That union is serverless computing. The joining of easily deployable instances–ultimately in the form of containers–with the ubiquity of REST-based APIs and the new programming languages that made REST-based APIs an easy and viable option. These technologies combined have created a new and different form of computing. While much of it is familiar (we know how to do REST, and we know how to do microservices), some of it is not.

Learning from Node.js
My very first Node.js program was probably not a lot different from most people’s. I set up listening on a port and path, wrote some code to execute-and-exit, and then used a browser to hit the full URI. Once it did what I wanted it to do, of course I started playing with ways to take advantage of Node’s parallelism and other features that the language brought new or made easier to use.

That first app was not a REST API, it was a simple HTML response to a request. A dynamic web page that changed as I required. But combined with REST, Node becomes an endpoint. And still, it executes when a call comes in, and except for the part of the infrastructure listening to the port, it exits.

The Infrastructure Wall
But in order to get a simple Node application (or Python/Django, or Java/Spring, or RoR, or…) to run, there is network configuration, firewall configuration, OS configuration and hardening, storage configuration, if you’re using a Web App Firewall (you should be for web apps), then WAF configuration… DevOps makes all of this easier, for certain. But what if you didn’t need to do any of this at all?

A Serverless Architecture
That is precisely what a growing list of companies are proposing. What, they posit, if a developer could write code, deploy it, and have it there when needed, not doing anything when not needed, and be as scalable as required? What if the configuration of things like WAF was automated, and the code could be limited for accessibility to just the right subset of people/machines? What if deployment really was as simple as uploading a zip file, or writing code in an editor and hitting “deploy”? And finally, what if things like database and storage access came pre-configured so you could just include them?

The appeal for developers is obvious. To be able to write code and deploy it without the previously necessary (whether physical, virtual, or cloud) operations procedures is many a developer’s dream. But there are some real-world use cases that spring to mind also. The first is the bottleneck functionality during peak periods. Let us assume you have an online order system and that it suits your organization perfectly. But during peak sales periods (Black Friday, for example), address validation takes too long and constantly bogs the system down.

What if you could spin address validation out to a serverless function that would take an address and return whether it was valid or not. And the function could scale at a rate that allowed for practically unlimited scalability? (You do still have to worry about network bandwidth–sorry.) Suddenly, your bottleneck is less of a problem, and you’re only paying for the time that your validation function is actually using. Meaning the more deliveries you’re making, the more you pay, but when you’re not making a lot of deliveries, you’re not paying a lot.  You’re only paying for what you’re using.

What if all of this could be done on your site or in the cloud, and for a price that was affordable? The products out there today (including Microsoft Functions, AWS Lambda, and nanoscale.io) offer all the above.

It’s Not All Rainbows
But there is always a catch. Things you want to watch for when choosing a serverless architecture vendor are:

  1. Tool support. Support for your development tools, particularly your CI/CD/ARA tools, is critical. It does you far less good if you can’t integrate serverless into your existing Dev environment and your pipeline for that matter.
  2. Charges and fees. Never forget that these are businesses same as you. Their goal is to make money. Yours should be to make sure you understand how much of that money they make is coming out of your budget. All things on-demand have a bit of fudge factor because they depend on the vagaries of usage by an unpredictable customer base. But understand what your organization will be charged for and what rights to change those charges the vendor reserves.
  3. Security functionality. Divorcing a chunk of code from the core of the application and putting it out in the cloud can mean a hefty investment in securing just that one bit of code. Make certain your vendor of choice either offers help in this area or allows you to keep the code behind your firewall and WAF.
  4. Your overall architecture. While our example above is a good illustration of “low hanging fruit,” more complex cases can run into problems of data access, data security, cost concerns, and even uptime concerns. Make certain your team has taken a good look at what to make serverless and that it will be well served by this method of computing.

Building the Right Application
In the future, some applications will be entirely serverless, particularly if the price point works out to be better than cloud based instances. But even if it doesn’t, there will be cases where the lack of infrastructure configuration is worth the cost. Meanwhile, look to serverless as a solution to bottlenecks that are caused by individual functions, and see if they can increase your applications’ capacity without increasing your infrastructure budget by more than is necessary. In the end it’s about the right selection of services to achieve the goals, and serverless offers another tool in the IT pack to solve problems.

The post What to Look for When Choosing a Serverless Architecture appeared first on XebiaLabs.

More Stories By XebiaLabs Blog

XebiaLabs is the technology leader for automation software for DevOps and Continuous Delivery. It focuses on helping companies accelerate the delivery of new software in the most efficient manner. Its products are simple to use, quick to implement, and provide robust enterprise technology.

@CloudExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
Regardless of what business you’re in, it’s increasingly a software-driven business. Consumers’ rising expectations for connected digital and physical experiences are driving what some are calling the "Customer Experience Challenge.” In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Marco Morales, Director of Global Solutions at CollabNet, will discuss how organizations are increasingly adopting a discipline of Value Stream Mapping to ensure that the software they are producing is poised to o...
IBM helps FinTechs and financial services companies build and monetize cognitive-enabled financial services apps quickly and at scale. Hosted on IBM Bluemix, IBM’s platform builds in customer insights, regulatory compliance analytics and security to help reduce development time and testing. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Tom Eck, Industry Platforms CTO at IBM Cloud, will discuss how these tools simplify the time-consuming tasks of selection, mapping and data integration, allowing developers ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outscale, a global pure play Infrastructure as a Service provider and strategic partner of Dassault Systèmes, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2010, Outscale simplifies infrastructure complexities and boosts the business agility of its customers. Outscale delivers a secure, reliable and industrial strength solution for its customers, which in...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outscale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Outscale's technology makes an automated and adaptable Cloud available to businesses, supporting them in the most complex IT projects while controlling their operational aspects. You boost your IT infrastructure's reactivity, with request responses that only take a few seconds.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Systena America will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Systena Group has been in business for various software development and verification in Japan, US, ASEAN, and China by utilizing the knowledge we gained from all types of device development for various industries including smartphones (Android/iOS), wireless communication, security technology and IoT serv...
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real r...
Cloud applications are seeing a deluge of requests to support the exploding advanced analytics market. “Open analytics” is the emerging strategy to deliver that data through an open data access layer, in the cloud, to be directly consumed by external analytics tools and popular programming languages. An increasing number of data engineers and data scientists use a variety of platforms and advanced analytics languages such as SAS, R, Python and Java, as well as frameworks such as Hadoop and Spark...
Cloud promises the agility required by today’s digital businesses. As organizations adopt cloud based infrastructures and services, their IT resources become increasingly dynamic and hybrid in nature. Managing these require modern IT operations and tools. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Raj Sundaram, Senior Principal Product Manager at CA Technologies, will discuss how to modernize your IT operations in order to proactively manage your hybrid cloud and IT environments. He will be sharing bes...
Interested in leveling up on your Cloud Foundry skills? Join IBM for Cloud Foundry Days on June 7 at Cloud Expo New York at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Foundry Days is a free half day educational conference and networking event. Come find out why Cloud Foundry is the industry's fastest-growing and most adopted cloud application platform.
Five years ago development was seen as a dead-end career, now it’s anything but – with an explosion in mobile and IoT initiatives increasing the demand for skilled engineers. But apart from having a ready supply of great coders, what constitutes true ‘DevOps Royalty’? It’ll be the ability to craft resilient architectures, supportability, security everywhere across the software lifecycle. In his keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Jeffrey Scheaffer, GM and SVP, Continuous Delivery Busine...
In order to meet the rapidly changing demands of today’s customers, companies are continually forced to redefine their business strategies in order to meet these needs, stay relevant and continue to see profitable growth. IoT deployment and development is integral in this transformation, and today businesses are increasingly seeing the value of investing their resources into IoT deployments. These technologies are able increase ROI through projects such as connecting supply chains or enabling sm...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Twistlock, the leading provider of cloud container security solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Twistlock is the industry's first enterprise security suite for container security. Twistlock's technology addresses risks on the host and within the application of the container, enabling enterprises to consistently enforce security policies, monitor...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CollabNet, a global leader in enterprise software development, release automation and DevOps solutions, will be a Bronze Sponsor of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, taking place from June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CollabNet offers a broad range of solutions with the mission of helping modern organizations deliver quality software at speed. The company’s latest innovation, the DevOps Lifecycle Manager (DLM), supports Value S...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus intern...
Everywhere we turn in our industry we can find strong opinions about the direction, type and nature of cloud’s impact on computing and business. Another word that is used in every context in our industry is “hybrid.” In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Alvaro Gonzalez, Director of Technical, Partner and Field Marketing at Peak 10, will use a combination of a few conceptual props and some research recently commissioned by Peak 10 to offer a real-world consideration of how the various categories of...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in compute, storage and networking technologies, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In his Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, will explore t...
This talk centers around how to automate best practices in a multi-/hybrid-cloud world based on our work with customers like GE, Discovery Communications and Fannie Mae. Today’s enterprises are reaping the benefits of cloud computing, but also discovering many risks and challenges. In the age of DevOps and the decentralization of IT, it’s easy to over-provision resources, forget that instances are running, or unintentionally expose vulnerabilities.