Welcome!

Related Topics: Java IoT, Containers Expo Blog, @CloudExpo

Java IoT: Blog Feed Post

Tune into the Cloud: At the Hop | @CloudExpo #API #Cloud #Serverless

Over a year ago we tuned into 'the need for speed' & how a concept like 'serverless computing' was increasingly catering to this

Tune into: Hype Hopping

About a year ago we tuned into “the need for speed” and how a concept like "serverless computing” was increasingly catering to this. We are now a year further and the term “serverless” is taking on unexpected proportions. With some even seeing it as the successor to cloud in general or at least as a successor to the clouds’ poorer cousin in terms of revenue, hype and adoption: PaaS.

The question we need to ask is whether this constitutes an example of Hype Hopping: to effortlessly pivot to the next new thing once the previous one turns out to be just a bit less attractive and certainly a lot more complex then we all thought at first. The Gartner Hype Cycle has been calling this for years the trough of disillusionment, a valley that only the strongest of innovations manage to pass in order to reach the slope of enlightenment or even the plateau of productivity that lies beyond.

But even before the through there are pitfalls that hypes need to survive in order to thrive. Cloud computing itself once started its journey as “on demand” or “utility” computing. Terms that in retrospect were not sexy enough to survive. Whether Serverless will survive the markets sexiness test is something that remains to be seen. Also because – unlike there are no real clouds in cloud computing – there are plenty of real servers in what is called serverLESS computing.

Whether serverless indeed will be sufficiently different to be deemed as the next generation of “How to do IT” is not easy to answer. After all, we saw plenty of earlier generations of different approaches, such as Structured Programming, Object Orientation, Service Oriented Architectures and now Micro Services, all lay claim to such a change agent role. But deep down they all were just similar enough to allow a grey bearded mainframe type to claim: “been there, done that, on our sixties S/360”. And let’s face it, when it comes to serverless, did not virtualization, software appliances, containers and everything delivered “as a service” already take many steps to remove any physical servers from our direct field of vision.

The most visible incarnation of serverless is currently Amazon Web Services’ Lambda. Although this was by most accounts not the first implementation of the idea. Manta of IaaS provider Joyent – recently acquired by consumer electronics giant Samsung – and Iron.IO’s Iron Worker arguably were earlier. And neither is Lambda any longer one of a few. Due to rapid succession introductions of new offerings such Azure Functions, Google Cloud Functions and IBM OpenWhisk. Although many of these newbies are still in a beta or even alpha stage, the term functions is rapidly becoming a standard when it comes to naming serverless offerings. And Functions as a Service (FAAS) or Function Platform as a Service (fPaaS) is even used broadly as a more precise (but therefore more confined) alternative for the term Serverless altogether.

Most of today’s serverless implementations enable users to execute user-defined functions based on various event triggers. For example, one can have a thumbnail created every time someone saves a picture, or send a bill every time someone streams a song, or verify the identity of a user every time he triggers an event. Behind the scenes the invoked function is usually performed in a container (mainly because they are so fast to start-up). While the individual containers are often running in an isolated and secured user dedicated environment, in most cases a Virtual Machine (mainly because they provided proven insulation and safety). On some platforms you declare your functions by inserting a piece of code or a script, with others you can insert functions in the form of a ready to run (binary) container. The latter feels -with a container basically being a portable machine incarnation – somehow a lot less “serverless” than the script approach.

The essence of serverless in my view is, however, that in addition to no longer having to worry about WHERE (on which server or which virtual machine) your functionality will be running, you also don’t have to worry anymore about WHEN your function will be performed. This is taken care of by the trigger or event engine of the serverless platform. This may make classic programming constructs such as loops and infinite, nested and complex “If – then – else ” trees, a thing of the past. And we all know how much code it can take to handle the logistics, versus the core transformation, in any real world applications. Not to mention how hard it is to debug such logistical flow code. Not surprisingly one of the most frequent comments heard about serverless computing is how amazingly little code you have to write to get something done.

With serverless the provider/operator of the platform is responsible for the WHERE and the WHEN and the user/developer needs only to determine the WHAT. In some way this sounds as a familiar promise. Did not non-procedural and event-driven 4th generation languages lay similar claims? And if so, could serverless long-term turn out to have the same disadvantages as these predecessors. And I don’t mean just the increased lock-in that these platforms brought, but the fact that in case of performance issues tuning let alone refactoring was almost impossible, as the environment almost fully abstracted the user/developer from the HOW.

Whether we will all be shredding our just recently printed business cards and updated linked-in profiles claiming our new found role as “Cloud Something” to replace them with “Serverless Whatever” is therefore questionable. If only because “it runs in the cloud” still sounds so much better than it runs “at the Serverless”.

“At the Hop” by Danny & the Juniors rose directly to the top of the charts in 1958 and turned out to be the bands’ biggest but certainly not their only hit song. Others were the largely forgotten “Dottie” and the more persistent “Twistin ‘USA”. Although the dance moves of the Hop were clearly different from the Twist and from subsequent Rock & Roll and Hip Hop variants, for many older people it all seemed just more of the same pointless hopping around.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Gregor Petri

Gregor Petri is a regular expert or keynote speaker at industry events throughout Europe and wrote the cloud primer “Shedding Light on Cloud Computing”. He was also a columnist at ITSM Portal, contributing author to the Dutch “Over Cloud Computing” book, member of the Computable expert panel and his LeanITmanager blog is syndicated across many sites worldwide. Gregor was named by Cloud Computing Journal as one of The Top 100 Bloggers on Cloud Computing.

Follow him on Twitter @GregorPetri or read his blog at blog.gregorpetri.com

Latest Stories
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
Technology vendors and analysts are eager to paint a rosy picture of how wonderful IoT is and why your deployment will be great with the use of their products and services. While it is easy to showcase successful IoT solutions, identifying IoT systems that missed the mark or failed can often provide more in the way of key lessons learned. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Peter Vanderminden, Principal Industry Analyst for IoT & Digital Supply Chain to Flatiron Strategies, will focus on how IoT de...
SYS-CON Events announced today that China Unicom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. China United Network Communications Group Co. Ltd ("China Unicom") was officially established in 2009 on the basis of the merger of former China Netcom and former China Unicom. China Unicom mainly operates a full range of telecommunications services including mobile broadband (GSM, WCDMA, LTE F...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Roundee / LinearHub will exhibit at the WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LinearHub provides Roundee Service, a smart platform for enterprise video conferencing with enhanced features such as automatic recording and transcription service. Slack users can integrate Roundee to their team via Slack’s App Directory, and '/roundee' command lets your video conference ...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
Almost two-thirds of companies either have or soon will have IoT as the backbone of their business in 2016. However, IoT is far more complex than most firms expected. How can you not get trapped in the pitfalls? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, a renowned visionary and thought leader, will introduce a holistic method of IoTification, which is the process of IoTifying the existing technology and business models to adopt and leverage IoT. He will drill down to the components in this fra...
Without a clear strategy for cost control and an architecture designed with cloud services in mind, costs and operational performance can quickly get out of control. To avoid multiple architectural redesigns requires extensive thought and planning. Boundary (now part of BMC) launched a new public-facing multi-tenant high resolution monitoring service on Amazon AWS two years ago, facing challenges and learning best practices in the early days of the new service. In his session at 19th Cloud Exp...
There is growing need for data-driven applications and the need for digital platforms to build these apps. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Muddu Sudhakar, VP and GM of Security & IoT at Splunk, will cover different PaaS solutions and Big Data platforms that are available to build applications. In addition, AI and machine learning are creating new requirements that developers need in the building of next-gen apps. The next-generation digital platforms have some of the past platform needs a...
I'm a lonely sensor. I spend all day telling the world how I'm feeling, but none of the other sensors seem to care. I want to be connected. I want to build relationships with other sensors to be more useful for my human. I want my human to understand that when my friends next door are too hot for a while, I'll soon be flaming. And when all my friends go outside without me, I may be left behind. Don't just log my data; use the relationship graph. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Boyd, Engi...
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Numerex Corp, a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT), will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Numerex Corp. (NASDAQ:NMRX) is a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT). The Company's solutions produce new revenue streams or create operating...
While DevOps promises a better and tighter integration among an organization’s development and operation teams and transforms an application life cycle into a continual deployment, Chef and Azure together provides a speedy, cost-effective and highly scalable vehicle for realizing the business values of this transformation. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Yung Chou, a Technology Evangelist at Microsoft, will present a unique opportunity to witness how Chef and Azure work tog...
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at EMC, will introduce a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organizati...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Secure Channels will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The bedrock of Secure Channels Technology is a uniquely modified and enhanced process based on superencipherment. Superencipherment is the process of encrypting an already encrypted message one or more times, either using the same or a different algorithm.
The vision of a connected smart home is becoming reality with the application of integrated wireless technologies in devices and appliances. The use of standardized and TCP/IP networked wireless technologies in line-powered and battery operated sensors and controls has led to the adoption of radios in the 2.4GHz band, including Wi-Fi, BT/BLE and 802.15.4 applied ZigBee and Thread. This is driving the need for robust wireless coexistence for multiple radios to ensure throughput performance and th...