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Serverless computing - the business model of the future

Serverless computing, although a fairly new concept, is becoming increasingly common within the IT vernacular. For organisations looking to build a more agile, scalable and cost-effective infrastructure, serverless is often cited as central to enabling this. But what exactly does serverless computing mean, and how does it fit in within your existing cloud architecture?

What is serverless?
The principal concept of a serverless model – otherwise known as ‘Function-as-a-Service’ – is that the end-user no longer has to itself manage the servers which run its application code, with this instead being run by the cloud provider. This enables developers to focus purely on writing code using precisely the resources needed, rather than having to overprovision for anything beyond this. In an era of widespread mobility, and constantly evolving technology, such agility within the IT architecture is a much sought-after commodity amongst CIOs and their teams.

A scalable, cost-effective approach
As a result, serverless is viewed as the next step to achieving this beyond microservices. By removing ties to often cumbersome legacy systems and having a managed service execute code, organisations are able to pay for exactly what they need – no more, no less. A charge occurs only when a function – for example, data processing or aggregation, encoding, or real-time analytics – is executed. This automated scaling at the same time removes any concerns about performance due to under-provisioning.

The model of the future
The appeal of such a model is clear considering these benefits, and uptake is projected to be on the rise over the next few years. The global serverless market is estimated to hit $7.72 billion by 2021, a significant increase from just $1.88 billion in 2016. Whether organisations are ready to go fully serverless remains to be seen, and it certainly doesn’t offer a one-size-fits-all approach right now – for example, running such a service from a public cloud may leave an organisation exposed to external, vendor-related, performance and reliability factors. It certainly is a developing trend though regardless, and many IT leaders are already trialling such an approach with some, if not all, traditional workflows.

The rise of clientless solutions
In parallel, organisations are now looking to the cloud to more securely manage their business-critical data. The rise of mobile zero clients, which nullify device-based threats by storing data centrally via a VDI rather than on the hardware itself, is one such example. This removes the threat of malware being stored on devices, eliminating concerns should a device be lost or stolen. To find out more, read our whitepaper here: The solution for secure flexible working

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