Mode2 signed a deal with Cloudability to use serverless computing architecture to help companies better manage spending on public cloud deployments.
Mode2 will use Cloudability’s cost usage recommendations to analyze enterprise cloud and legacy spending. Mode2 will then create a business case for redeveloping applications and workloads that use serverless computing to lower development and operational costs.
“Our partnership with Cloudability enables enterprise cloud users to have high confidence in the cost models of current workloads and to create business justifications for modernizing software with cloud native architectures using microservices and serverless functions,” said Mode2 CEO Simon Plant in a statement.
Mode2 launched its serverless consulting service late last year with an initial focus on Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) Lambda platform. Cloudability launched in 2011, and is part of the AWS ecosystem with an analytics tool to monitor cloud spending and usage.
The deployment assistance and potential cost savings offered by the deal comes at a critical time for the serverless computing ecosystem that is starting to witness growing traction.
RightScale, which offers a hybrid cloud management platform, noted in a recent survey that serverless was the fastest growing cloud service. Use surged 75 percent year over year from being used by 12 percent of those surveyed in 2017 to 21 percent of those surveyed earlier this year.
According to a survey from cloud security platform provider PureSec, almost two-thirds (65 percent) of companies said they used serverless for cloud automation tasks that might previously have been handled by scripts, while 45 percent said they deployed serverless as the back end for running websites. The survey also found other popular uses for serverless included data processing (38 percent) and as providing back-end services for mobile applications (35 percent).
Dmytro Melnyk, product marketing manager at Google, in a recent blog post compared the time it took to stand up a basic web application from scratch. Using Google’s Kubernetes Engine (GKE) container platform it took six steps and six hours. Using the company’s serverless-based Cloud Functions platform took two steps and 15 minutes.
“My goal was to grasp the fundamentals of every option in the GCP’s compute stack and assess the amount of work required to get from point A to point B,” Melnyk wrote of the comparison. “That said, if there is ever a cross-technology ‘Top Gear’ fighter jet vs. car style contest on standing up a scalable HTTP microservice from scratch, I wouldn’t be afraid to take on a Kubernetes grandmaster like Kelsey Hightower with Cloud Functions.”
Hightower is an open source developer advocate at Google.
However, as the Mode2 deal with Cloudability indicates, there is still some hand holding and guidance required when it comes to deploying serverless in a production environment.
Shannon Williams, co-founder and vice president of sales at Rancher Labs, recently told SDxCentral that while serverless brings a lot of potential value and innovation to the table, there are a number of issues that are hindering adoption.
“Right now, serverless is already extremely valuable within some cloud deployments, and these types of function-as-a-services [FaaS] are very valuable when you are in a cloud,” Williams said at the recent DockerCon 2018 event. “But, they don’t offer a lot of portability. In a lot of cases you are really just building on the mainframe again. But, instead of it being an IBM mainframe, it’s just an Amazon mainframe.”
Williams explained that Kubernetes and containers could be what allows serverless to fulfill its potential. This involves running serverless platforms strictly on containers using Kubernetes as the orchestrator running behind the scenes to direct where those serverless commands are being executed.
This model was echoed by James Governor, analyst and co-founder at RedMonk, in a recent blog post.
“Arguably these platforms are not ‘proper serverless’ because they’re not built on a web scale infrastructure, don’t include per function billing as standard, and require some configuration to set up,” Governor wrote. “But…there will be a world of triggers and events outside AWS Lambda. We’re going to need choreography across platforms, on prem and off.”
For that he touted the recent CloudEvents specification released by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) Serverless Working Group.
CNCF in May unveiled its initial work behind its CloudEvents efforts. The project wants to provide a common platform for developers to describe serverless events, which are what trigger serverless-based applications. This will allow for greater portability of serverless application across different platforms, such as AWS Lambda and Google Cloud Functions.
“[Serverless] is a huge area of focus for CNCF,” said CNCF Executive Director Dan Kohn at the recent DockerCon event. “The serverless working group has been able to bring together basically the entire serverless industry. It’s still in the early stage, but it’s a big focus.”
Kohn said CNCF was looking at ways to build serverless on top of Kubernetes, which is also housed within CNCF. “Bigger picture is how can we take many of those things that people love about serverless and make that available on top of Kubernetes as a set of cloud native services,” he explained.
Kohn specifically cited the ability to handle infinite scalability, micro-billing, and a more “pleasant deploy cycle” in an environment where the developer does not need to think about deployment.
“The idea is that you can build in many of those things as a layer on top of Kubernetes,” Kohn said.