Rise of Serverless Functions
Recently I have been to various meetups and conference around Serverless architecture. Lately this architecture has been gaining ground within the IT industry. As IT is seeing a rapid accession up the abstraction curve. Barriers that have existed in the past are dissolving before our eyes. From virtualization, to cloud compute, to containers, now Serverless. Serverless allows developers to deploy functional components of code to a cloud platform for execution. Once the function is complete the resources for that function are relocated for the next process. The developer’s function is now in a total on demand execution model.
If leveraged in the right way this becomes an excellent value proposition for particular components of applications. All the developer needs to do is deploy their code, no need to worry about the infrastructure below, scaling, hosting, or any of the other traditional activities needed to deploy your code. The value proposition is you’re only charged for the execution time of your function. Batch services, event base activities, and scheduled join are prime sweet spot for this technology.
Architecture and developers have to start taking a hard look at their applications to see what pieces of the apps can leverage this technology. Areas in the applications that would potentially have radical spikes because of influx of demands can leverage these functions to offload processing to a background event.
There are a growing number of players offering services in this space Amazon AWS/Lambda, IBM OpenWhisk/Bluemix, and Microsoft Azure/Azure Functions. So OpenWhisk can be downloaded and ran within your environment. It seems that the greatest value is achieved when IT doesn’t have to be responsible for the underlying resources for particular workloads.