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Essential guide to serverless computing in the enterprise

It's hard to believe that some people have already begun talking about a post-container and post-virtual machine world, considering that many organizations are still only figuring out how to properly harness these approaches in production environments. But that's precisely the kind of shift in attitudes that the emerging serverless computing model has begun to have on development organizations.

Pioneered by Amazon, serverless computing is an approach where the cloud provider takes full responsibility for loading and executing your application code and ensuring that sufficient resources are available to run the code optimally. The model eliminates the need for developers to worry about system software and physical infrastructure. In the nearly three years since Amazon introduced the concept, other cloud majors, including IBM and Microsoft, have begun offering their own versions of serverless computing services.  

The following roundup of stories from TechBeacon tracks the major developments in serverless computing and offers expert advice on how to harness its several benefits.

Containers demand new data center designs: 5 steps for survival

Experts weigh in on serverless computing

Serverless computing: 5 things to know about the post-container world

Amazon ushered in the serverless computing paradigm with its Lambda cloud service launch at the 2014 AWS Reinvent conference. A lot has happened to the movement in the nearly three years since then. Navica CEO Bernard Golden highlights five of the most important things you need to know about the new computing model and what really makes it "serverless."

The essential guide to serverless technologies and architectures

Serverless computing offers developers a way to address some of the challenges that can arise when tying a microservices-based architecture to a legacy, distributed systems infrastructure. Over the next few years, expect to see serverless applications play a central role in enterprises looking to move away from the need to maintain physical systems and software.

Do you know what it takes to implement a serverless model, or the best use cases for it? Do you understand how to make use of existing APIs and third-party services to implement a serverless architecture more quickly? Peter Sbarski, vice president of engineering at A Cloud Guru, outlines five guiding principles for implementing a serverless system.

The roadmap to serverless computing: Are you prepared?

The best approach to getting started with serverless apps is to think of them as functions as a service (FaaS), says Bernard Golden, CEO of Navica, in this second of a two-part series on the new cloud-computing model. The developer uploads a function-bounded application segment to the cloud, defines how the provider should run it, submits any needed configuration information, and then leaves it entirely up to the provider to load and run the user-defined code whenever needed.

Golden offers advice on how to prepare a FaaS function for Amazon's Lambda serverless infrastructure computing service, explains how FaaS functions get executed in Lambda, and explores some of the limitations of the approach. 

An essential guide to the serverless ecosystem

The concept of a FaaS is critical to serverless computing, but that's not all the model is about. The only way to harness the true power of the serverless approach is to integrate your hosted functions with all your other services and applications as well.

Starbucks consultant Rafal Gancarz explains why it is a mistake to think of serverless computing solely in terms of FaaS. Approach it instead as a form of platform as a service (PaaS) that is optimal for running volatile and event-driven workloads, he says.

Securing serverless apps: What IT Ops needs to know

Security is an important consideration when deploying serverless applications. As with other cloud models, your organization and your cloud provider have a shared responsibility for the apps you host in a serverless environment.

But do you know where and how to split the responsibility? Can you tell if your serverless design is going to be as secure as your traditional environment? Do you understand how to integrate security into a serverless system? Mark Nunnikhoven, vice president of cloud research at Trend Micro, highlights the key security considerations IT Ops teams need to keep in mind in a serverless world.

The economics of serverless computing: A real-world test

So you are up to speed on serverless computing and have a pretty good handle on all the benefits and downsides that go with the approach. That's great. It's time now to crunch the numbers and understand the economics of the serverless approach in your environment.

A serverless stack can be incredibly inexpensive compared to other cloud service models so long as you have the right workloads running on it and you choose the right service. Compute-intensive workloads, for instance, can make serverless models somewhat less cost-effective. Similarly, not all serverless services offer the cheaper pay-as-you-go pricing model that has made FaaS so attractive to so many. Starbucks consultant Rafal Gancarz offers the lowdown on all the factors you need to consider when figuring out how much you can save with serverless computing.

Serverless computing has landed: How IT Ops can adapt

With serverless computing becoming a reality at many organizations, IT Ops teams are under pressure to integrate serverless applications with the rest of their IT environment.

Doing that successfully means understanding how serverless apps affect operations management, service management, data center orchestration, and your overall cloud strategy. David Linthicum, senior vice president at Cloud Technology Partners, offers expert advice on how IT must adapt to the changes being driven by the serverless trend.

AWS open sources serverless model: What you need to know

At least in these relatively early days, Amazon has become synonymous with the serverless movement in the same way that Docker became associated with container technology not so long ago. That is why Amazon's new AWS Serverless Application Model (SAM)—though vendor-specific—should still serve as a model for building serverless applications. TechBeacon's Mitch Pronschinske reports on what developers need to know about AWS SAM and open serverless model in general.

Containers demand new data center designs: 5 steps for survival
Topics: IT Ops