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Our Take on The New Stack's Guide to Serverless Technologies

|November 8, 2018|

We have read with great interest the recently released The New Stack ebook entitled: Guide to Serverless Technologies. It is a great report with great insights! We encourage you to read it as well (it's free!).

We have recently closed our own survey and are tabulating the results and have seen many similarities and some differences in the responses. Weighing in on the findings of the New Stack survey in advance of releasing our report, we wanted to comment on three key themes from this eBook…

  • Is serverless more than just FaaS?
  • Is serverless driving yet another cultural change affecting development and operations?
  • Will serverless allow business goals to drive metrics?

The answer to all of the above is "Yes!" but let’s drill down into each.

Is Serverless More than Just FaaS?

The New Stack report asks this question and underscores that FaaS “gets most of the attention these days because it’s the most transformative aspect of serverless. It fundamentally changes the way developers build applications”. The study goes on to say that FaaS is only one part of a complete serverless stack, we instead like to think of Serverless as a “Spectrum” as shown in our graphic here. You can listen to our CEO, Erik Peterson, talk about the spectrum in his presentation on the Serverless Age.

Serverless is more than FaaS — it is a spectrum — with every AWS service falling somewhere on that spectrum.

Is serverless driving yet another cultural change affecting development and operations?

The survey goes on to say that “Serverless is more than just a technology. It’s also a movement.” We couldn’t agree more and we feel that serverless is driving cultural change as well… “adopting serverless architectures influences the way organizations work. Team dynamics change. Business processes change. Budget processes change.”

We see an emerging culture - FinDevOps - evolving just as operations and development merged to create a new culture around Cloud technology. Now, finance must also be integrated if we are going to fundamentally change how we build businesses around technology and how we code. Why is that? Because Serverless computing enables applications and systems to be built for variable cost. Development has a new technology (serverless) at their disposal that will enable them to build product and maximize margins. What’s missing to make this a reality? Financial feedback, in the form of operational cost metrics, in the hands of developers. DevOps is about breaking down silos of work, however it didn’t include all the silos. Read our blog, Unlocking the Promise of the Cloud; 5 Core Capabilities of FinDevOps to learn more about the capabilities unlocked by FinDevOps.

Will serverless allow business goals to drive metrics?

We noted from the survey “Serverless is pay-as-you-go, calculated according to actual consumption rather then pre-purchased services based on guesswork. Serverless is also accessible to people. This is infrastructure as it was meant to be: completely invisible.”

This is good news/bad news and plays right into another area of the survey looking at areas where serverless has fallen short. It ties to this invisible nature of infrastructure, unfortunately in serverless, although you may save more money in the short term, costs can easily run out of control due to lack of insight and observability into real-time operational costs - no one needs surprises when the bill arrives.

What’s needed is real time insight into the operational costs of your entire infrastructure. Serverless can allow business goals to drive metrics - but only when there is a single source of truth for the real costs of cloud computing. It is possible and can be done today, but only when you have technology to observe the real time costs of your applications, resources and features. Read our blog, Unlocking the Promise of the Cloud; 5 Core Capabilities of FinDevOps to learn more about the relationship between operational cost and your infrastructure, and why adopting cost as an operational metric will lead to well architected systems.

Any perspectives on FinDevOps? We would love to hear from you — tweet us @CloudZeroInc.

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