The Benefits of Serverless Applications in a Data-Rich World

Serverless applications are the source of much confusion of late. For one thing, they’re not “serverless” at all. In fact, it’s more accurate to refer to them as “multiserver apps” — their components are distributed among cloud servers far and wide and assembled on demand.

This begs the question, “Do you know where your app is?” In today’s microservices-based computing environments, the question becomes meaningless. Exactly where particular pieces of a full-blown application live matters much less than the network’s ability to retrieve and assemble the required components accurately, and in a timely manner, when and where they’re needed.

Such widely distributed applications demand a new approach to development, deployment, maintenance, and updates. Forbes’ Janakiram wrote in a March 22, 2016, article that the growing interest in serverless apps is driven by two trends: mobility and the Internet of Things. In both cases, applications need to follow the IFTTT model: respond in an instant as current circumstances dictate in terms of location, time, input, and context. Read more..

AWS Still Owns the Cloud

When Amazon announced its earnings for its Amazon Web Services cloud division on Thursday, the results were hardly surprising. While AWS might not have the eye-popping growth percentages of its rivals, it still grew at a decent 47 percent, with earnings of $3.53 billion on an astonishing $14.2 billion run rate.

You may point to the rivals and say, well, they had better quarters from a growth standpoint, but it’s important to remember it’s easier to grow from a small number to a bigger small number than it is to grow from a big number. In that sense, AWS could be seen simply as a victim of its own success. Read more…

Top 6 Disruptive Trends: Shaping the Future of Public Cloud

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Talking of public cloud, provisioning storage, launching VMs and configuring networks are no more cutting edges. New IaaS capabilities enable enterprises to operate their workloads in the cloud. Innovative Cloud services are helping organisations drive transformation through agility, cost effectiveness and reduced IT complexities. With IaaS evolving at a rapid rate, the public cloud is seemingly gearing up to the next level.

Cloud providers have already started investing in emerging cloud technologies that will deliver managed services to the customers. Here are six disruptive trends that are shaping the future of the public cloud.

Serverless Computing:

Serverless Computing or more precisely, FaaS(Functions as a Service) focus on code instead of infrastructure – delivering what PaaS promises. It enables developers to write modular functions that perform one task at a time. By writing and executing multiple such functions, a meaning and complex application is built. The best part is, it allows developers select framework, language and runtime of their choice instead of using a particular platform. This implies, each developer has liberty to choose his preferred language and deliver a module.

Serverless Computing or FaaS is rapidly becoming the most preferred way of running code in the cloud.

Blockchain as a Service:

Bitcoin is considered dead long ago, but the technology behind it is alive and kicking to make public cloud all the more powerful. Blockchain is a cryptographic data structure used to create a digital ledger of the transaction happening across distributed networks of computers. It eliminates the need for central authority as cryptography is the only medium to manipulate ledger. However, in this environment, transactions are immutable meaning operations once made cannot be modified. Transactions are verified by the parties involved in the transaction.

Blockchains have many use cases in the domains spanning across manufacturing, finance, healthcare, supply chain and real estate.

Cognitive Computing:

Cognitive Computing adds human senses to the computers. It simulates human thoughts by applying latest technologies like natural language processing, machine learning, neural networks, deep learning and of course, artificial intelligence.

Multiple factors fuelling the trend of Cognitive Computing are affordable hardware, abundant storage, seamless connectivity and compute capacity.

Heavy lifting needed to process the inputs for cognitive computing is handled by deep-pocketed cloud providers. Only the simplest of APIs are exposed for the developers to comprehend and build compelling interfaces for applications.

Data Science as a Service:

Managed NoSQL and relational database started data revolution in the cloud but Hadoop and Big Data empowered the public cloud.

Public Cloud Data Platform takes care of everything spanning from data ingestion to processing, analysis and visualisation. Machine Learning for data enables organisations to tap the power of data analysis and execute predictive analytics.

As organisations are shifting data to the public cloud, they will be catered with an end-to-end approach by the cloud providers for more actionable insights to customers.

Verticalized IoT PaaS:

Internet of Things – the next big thing that is taking distributed computing network by storm already is deployed by organisations for device management capabilities, predictive analytics, data processing pipelines and business intelligence.

Mainstream cloud providers are reaping the benefits of IoT to drive device management, data processing capabilities and cloud-based M2M connectivity.

It is expected that going forward; the cloud providers will use IoT platforms to target automobiles, retail, manufacturing, healthcare and consumer markets. It is soon going to become the prime enabler for Data Science as a Service.

Containers as a Service:

Containers have already buzzing in the cloud market. Though it is as young as two years old, enterprises are readily using containers alongside VMs.

New categories like orchestration, logging, security, monitoring and container management are evolving rapidly. However, when microservices and container workloads become mainstream, they will increasingly dominate the public cloud deployment space. It is poised to be the fastest growing delivery model in the arena of the public cloud.

In conclusion, it is inferred that future of cloud is dictated by the data driven applications powered by Blockchains and IoT. Containers, Serverless Services and the Microservices will be used to deal with the abundance of data hitting the cloud!

Startup Sutra: To Scale Quick, Ride A Cloud

Small is Big makes a catchy label for a startup to stick at the office water cooler. But Small is Big with cloud computing makes for business gyan. To put it in another way, Startup + Cloud = Another Facebook kind of valuation in the works (read on to know how). So think big. Work smart. Keep it lean and mean. Deliver stuff that works straight off the shelf. That’s what the cloud is all about, particularly for a startup. Enabling anyone to do any work or any play anywhere, anyplace, anytime. Is that not why when people say they are on cloud, they mean they are on cloud nine, eight times out of nine?

Reverse the equation for a moment. What if you are a startup actually offering cloud services? Impossible is nothing! You can potentially set the investors’ pulse racing and have over-eager venture capitalists knocking on your doors! Workday, a young Californian firm selling cloud-based software hit pay dirt managing the back-offices of large companies and ended up with a valuation of nearly $4 billion at the New York bourses. Another company, Yammer that offers social networking software, was snapped up by Microsoft for $1.2 billion.

Let’s rewind to Ground Zero when you have just buckled your straps and are starting from scratch. As a startup, you cannot afford to be straight-jacketed. You need to keep your options open. Like, one door should open when another closes.

Suppose you start with investing big on creating an all-purpose fully loaded virtual architecture, and this model ends up as a white elephant? All the more sensible therefore that you keep your investment on virtual architecture lean and mean and to the minimum, and fully leverage Cloud Service to the maximum by using it for accessing application infrastructure, processing, storage, etc.

Unless you are starting your enterprise with a billion dollars (!) your number one concern will be about how to thread your costs thin. Remember Google’s pay-per-click (PPC) concept? It’s the same with startups using cloud service. You only pay per spend, or pay per user or per quantity of processing/storage.
With cloud services, your resources are “elastic”, and you enjoy out of the box mobility by way of easy and instant access to IT facilities from any suitably configured device, including faster access to latest software and hardware upgrades on the cutting edge. For instance, days after your new state-of-art server farm arrives on its pallets, the market is abuzz about the launch of a new server that has double the processing power and is available at half the cost of your server! But if you have adopted the cloud model, you are able to access up-to-date hardware resources and software functionality, and its newly added features, at little or no extra cost.

However, many startups would like to cross the bridge to the cloud only when it becomes par for the course and not when it is still a fashion statement.

For instance, in situations where data requirements are huge, working on a smart phone view is like watching the spectacular Avatar on a 9’ inch screen and writing a review of it!

When a startup relies on a network provider for most, if not all, its IT needs, how will it cope in the event of a network disruption? How will you ensure uptime in case you lose connectivity to your data? How will you manage your Windows Active Directory servers?

Cloud for startups has its advocates and critics and it would be fair to say that it is an idea whose time will not go for some time to come. Wish we had Steve Jobs to ask the right questions and provide better answers. Or is it that he is on cloud ??

If you want to bootstrap your way to scale, your ticket is a cloud away.