What is the future of the DevOps approach in the age of Serverless technology? Will DevOps remain as relevant as before once the Serverless architecture matures? As the global cloud market continues to grow, Serverless technology will also grow its infrastructure. The prevailing thought is that the Serverless infrastructure will require the development of software components, which will demand a DevOps market (although it may be smaller than now).
Additionally, the adoption of cloud-based services means that the DevOps model will remain integral to the development workflows. For companies that are already following (or evaluating) the DevOps model, Serverless technology can be the way forward. For instance, DevOps teams (operating in the Cloud) can migrate some of their modular services (or components) from the pipeline to Serverless to eliminate pipeline-specific tasks and focus completely on application development and deployment.
Another advantage of Serverless-based infrastructure is it can enable DevOps automation. Let us now discuss how Serverless will impact the future of DevOps.
How Serverless is Impacting DevOps
By using Serverless computing, the traditional infrastructure and security-related tasks can be further automated. Operational teams can be freed from the responsibility of server management and can now focus on new roles and skills like computing farms.
According to this Deloitte report, large enterprises including Netflix, Coca-Cola, and New York Times, are in the process of adopting Serverless technology and are exploring ways to use it to scale their existing DevOps practices and build new applications.
Another interesting case study is that of Commonwell Mutual Insurance Group using the DevOps and Serverless frameworks to increase the growth rate of their insurance premiums. By adopting the NoOps model, the insurance company has transformed the way its IT team manages its operations. The company’s delivery manager Paul Stamou says that “some people think of DevOps as eliminating steps of the development life cycle, but we see it as expediting some of the more repetitive, time-consuming parts of workflow.”
Serverless deployments can improve DevOps productivity in multiple ways including the following:
- Infrastructure-as-a-Code (IaaC): Code infrastructure is a significant part of serverless deployments. Application developers can use serverless services to power through the development and release stages. IaaC helps application users to perform these tasks smoothly using declarative languages like Terraform.
- Flexible deployments: Serverless services facilitate an immutable infrastructure that allows deployments, which are more flexible than traditional infrastructures. Using serverless infrastructure, users can now switch between application versions without any service interruptions or limited rollbacks of updates.
- Distributed DevOps: Finally, the serverless technology enables the DevOps team to work in a distributed environment with minimum impact on each other. This enables workloads to be distributed at scale and ensures the availability of the infrastructure.
Is Serverless the future of cloud computing? Let’s discuss next.
Is Serverless the Future of Cloud Computing?
In the coming years, the Serverless approach is going to be the prevailing trend as more developers plan to build their code on a cloud platform.
According to the 2021 IBM report on serverless adoption, 85% of the respondents agree that Serverless technology is worth all the effort and expense. Microsoft estimates that over the next five years, over 500 million applications will be developed. This is more than the total number of applications developed over the last 40 years.
Santosh Kumar Bhandari of Atos Syntel mentions that with a serverless architecture, “businesses have the possibility to maintain their application efficacy to high, all the while rapidly scaling their services and growing their customers and productivity.” On its part, serverless computing will reduce development time for cloud-based applications in the future.
The IBM report reports that 64% of application users agree that serverless architecture is a long-term approach to application development, while only 5% treat it as a “temporary fad.”
Having said that, organizations will not reap the benefits of Serverless technology, until they have truly imbibed a DevOps culture. For instance, a software developer can code the application but if they need external support to deploy the application, then the company cannot leverage the gains.
Here is a look at the emerging trends that makes serverless valuable to business enterprise and cloud service providers:
- The use of APIs for building modern applications. As most APIs are Serverless, Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS) capabilities will be delivered using APIs.
- Cloud-based products and services will go the serverless route in the future.
- The emergence of Serverless systems will target the entire cloud product system including computing power, storage, intermediate layers, and other services.
As more organizations look to modernize their infrastructure and adopt a cloud-first strategy, serverless architecture will emerge as a vital part of this implementation. As discussed in this article, the Serverless approach cannot thrive without a true DevOps culture within the organization.
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