March 4, 2024

Serverless computing in 2024: GenAI influence, security, 5G

Any time one can eliminate a step (or steps) in building and maintaining an enterprise IT system, you can bet your sweet Bugzilla that an architect or developer will take advantage of it.

This is precisely what serverless computing does. It is a cloud-based application model that allows developers to build and run applications without having to provision or manage servers. Serverless technology allows developers to focus on writing code and building applications, while the cloud provider takes care of the underlying infrastructure.

As the complexity of IT systems continues to grow, administrators need all the help they can get. Serverless comes to the rescue of a growing number of companies.

Some background

Some background about this sector:

The concept of “utility computing,” where computing resources are treated as a metered utility like electricity, emerged in the 1960s and 1970s. Virtualization technologies, such as VMs (virtual machines) and containers, signaled the path for abstraction of the underlying hardware in the 1990s and 2000s. In 2008, Google App Engine became one of the first platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings, with features such as auto-scaling and pay-as-you-go billing, heralding serverless principles.

Amazon launched AWS Lambda in 2014, marking a pivotal moment for serverless computing. This Function as a Service (FaaS) platform popularized the term “serverless” and enabled event-based code execution, further simplifying development. Since then, Microsoft Azure Functions, Google Cloud Functions, and other FaaS platforms have emerged from major cloud providers, solidifying serverless technology as a mainstream focus. Once the IT giants entered the market, that pretty much sanctified everything.

So where is serverless computing headed?

This nascent segment is going nowhere but up. It is experiencing constant growth, driven by its agility, scalability and profitability. Estimates of its current size vary significantly, from less than 1% to potentially 5%. Below are some key market figures and projections, along with sources:

  • The global serverless computing market is expected to reach around $10.5 billion by 2023 (MarketsandMarkets, October 2023). It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 33.5% from 2023 to 2030 (MarketsandMarkets, October 2023).
  • Key drivers include the growing adoption of cloud-based applications; demand for agility and scalability in application development; profitability benefits; growing popularity of event-driven architectures; and integration with other cloud services, such as AI/ML and IoT.
  • 451 Research reported in August that the serverless market is expected to double in size every two to three years over the next decade.
  • Serverless could account for 20% of all cloud workloads by 2025 (Forrester Research, July 2023). The Asia Pacific region is expected to be the fastest growing market for serverless computing (MarketsandMarkets, October 2023).

Industry analysts maintain that the continued growth and evolution of serverless technology will continue with an increased focus on event-driven architectures, security, integration with other cloud services, open source options, and edge computing applications.

“In some ways, serverless IT represents the closest thing to the future of on-demand computing that vendors envisioned and promoted a couple of decades ago,” veteran technology analyst Charles King of Pund-IT told The New Stack.. “In those scenarios, IT was analogous to electric or water utilities, where customers and end users simply requested the type and amount of computing, memory, and storage they needed for specific tasks and paid for the services they used.” .

“At this point, serverless IT is popular with developers (and their employers), and for other use cases and applications that can benefit from capacity flexibility.”

Chatbots for customer service were one of the first use cases, although serverless support for AI-related chatbot services and projects also seems likely to grow, King said. “Another area of ​​growth is media streaming, particularly live events. The continued growth, adoption and evolution of live streaming should help drive serverless adoption for many years to come,” King said.

Improved serverless capabilities mean more applications can take advantage of the benefits of serverless technology, Carolyn Duby, Cloudera field CTO, told The New Stack. “Enterprises will look for barriers to control costs, observability to provide insights into how to optimize performance and costs, and application portability to move processing to data across multiple clouds,” Duby said.

GenAI will play an important role in Serverless

Scott Petry, cloud engineering partner at PwC Consulting Services, told The New Stack that “there is a growing buzz around generative AI in the software development lifecycle, with a focus on how automation can enable developers to unleash their creativity when creating applications.

“Infrastructure and cloud technology companies are dedicated to optimizing time to value for software products, resulting in a continuous influx of new serverless capabilities that developers can take advantage of without investing excessive time and effort in tasks.” mundane. Consequently, the emphasis will increasingly shift toward delivering valuable features that drive innovation,” Petry said.

Overall, GenAI presents a valuable set of tools that can streamline and improve the production of serverless computing workloads, from design and development to deployment, operations, and optimization. With GenAI, developers and organizations can achieve faster development cycles, improved performance, cost savings, and improved security for their serverless applications.

That serverless technology is a blessing for developers is already a fact. Here are some key features relevant to developers:

  • Auto scaling: Serverless applications can automatically scale up and down to meet demand. This means that developers don’t have to worry about over- or under-provisioning resources.
  • Pay-as-you-go billing: Developers only pay for the resources their applications use. This can save money compared to traditional server-based applications.
  • High availability: Serverless applications are highly available because they run on a global network of servers.
  • Rapid development: Serverless applications can be developed and deployed quickly because developers don’t have to worry about managing the infrastructure.

Serverless and security/compliance

Security and compliance factor into every corner of IT. How does this interact with serverless technology?

“Serverless/SaaS gives you a standardized panel of security features, without you having to prepare or create your own, which is where a lot of problems tend to arise,” Adam Bellemare, a technologist at Confluent, told The New Stack.. “Good SaaS providers will follow all the usual best practices, such as encryption on the network and at rest, strict access controls, and layers of defensive measures to prevent unauthorized access. The end user directly benefits by leveraging a mature security model, saving time and effort and reducing risk.”

Compliance can be more challenging because it varies between countries and business domains, Bellemare said. “Compliance can be modeled similarly to security, where there is a standard set of compliance best practices. However, ultra-specific compliance requirements may require you to stay away from serverless, especially if you need fine-grained control over your compliance workflow. “Serverless options may not offer enough features, and your domain may be specific or limited enough that it is not financially viable for your SaaS provider to prioritize adding necessary compliance features,” Bellemare said.

How serverless will help enable 5G

Serverless computing is poised to play a major role in the development of 5G and other next-generation technologies. This is what analysts say:

  1. Enabling real-time applications: 5G promises incredibly fast data speeds and ultra-low latency, opening the doors to real-time applications like augmented reality, virtual reality, and autonomous vehicles. Serverless’s event-driven architecture and on-demand resource allocation are ideally suited to these fluctuating workloads, ensuring responsiveness and efficiency. (Gartner, “Hype Cycle for Cloud Computing, 2023”)
  2. Enabling edge computing: The distributed nature of 5G networks requires processing data closer to the source, reducing latency and bandwidth demands. Serverless functions can be deployed at the edge of the network, enabling real-time data analysis and decision-making without relying on centralized servers. (IDC, “Serverless Computing Market Forecast 2023-2028”)
  3. Scaling for unpredictable workloads: 5G applications may experience sudden spikes in demand, such as during a virtual concert or an autonomous vehicle encounters unexpected traffic. Serverless automatically scales up and down resources based on real-time needs, ensuring optimal performance and profitability. (451 Research, “Serverless Application Platform Market Forecast 2022-2026”)

Cluster Created with Sketch.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *