Until a few years ago, physical servers were a bedrock technology, the beating digital heart of every data center. Then the cloud materialized. Today, as organizations continue to shovel an ever-growing number of services toward cloud providers, on-premises servers seem to be on the verge of becoming an endangered species.
Serverless computing is doing its share to accelerate the demise of on-premises servers. The concept of turning to a cloud provider to dynamically manage the allocation of machine resources and bill users only for the actual amount of resources consumed by applications is gaining increasing acceptance. A late 2019 survey conducted by technical media and training firm O’Reilly found that four out of 10 enterprises, spanning a wide range of locations and industries, have already adopted serverless technologies.
Serverless is not just a technology, but an entirely new way of viewing fundamental IT operations. “A major benefit of serverless is that it forces you to think about designing your systems in a cloud-native way,” says Brent Austin, senior architect of cloud platform strategy at Liberty Mutual Insurance. “If you think about designing applications with a serverless-first mindset, you’re more likely to implement a cost-effective, scalable, and resilient architecture, without being bound by specific technical choices within that system.”
Where to use serverless computing
Serverless computing can be deployed in an almost unlimited number of ways. Many use cases focus on relatively simple needs, such as web page apps, which are now commonly coded in serverless, reports Miha Kralj, managing director of cloud strategy, architecture and delivery at professional services firm Accenture. “Because serverless platforms automatically scale up when needed, simple applications can be quickly developed without having to