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VMblog Expert Interview: Q&A with Red Hat's William Oliveria on Serverless Strategy
interview-redhat-oliveira

Ahead of the KubeCon + CloudNativeCon 2020 event, VMblog spoke with William Markito Oliveira, Senior Manager, Product Management, OpenShift at Red Hat.

VMblog:  Why is having a serverless strategy in place more important than ever?

William Oliveria:  Serverless is becoming the ubiquitous way many developers start building new applications or functionalities, due to the short lead time to get an application up and running. Serverless offers auto-scaling and the ability to scale up or down based on events. The benefits of serverless adoption are now pervasive across many industries and it is being used to build complex use cases, including Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications or multi-step ETL pipelines. In the end, Serverless is becoming the highway leading developers to cloud native development, lowering the barrier to cloud adoption.

VMblog:  How do you create a streamlined serverless offering?

Oliveria:  Serverless was originally a feature only available in hosted offerings by cloud providers, but  the momentum of hybrid cloud and multi-cloud demanded more flexibility and portability, which is why modern Serverless offerings provide alternatives that can be run on-premises, at the edge, and obviously on any cloud platform. The local developer experience is also a critical part of modern offerings, which used to be the achilles of most hosted serverless offerings.

VMblog:  What are some of your tips and tricks to get started with serverless?

Oliveria:  Don't think about serverless as a paradigm that will require a complete application rewrite, instead, you can choose to run your containerized workloads as Serverless with no rewrite.  If you are interested in experimenting with greenfield applications, writing a function just with your business logic comes in handy. But, if you started your journey to microservices using technologies like Spring Boot or Quarkus, you can still leverage those applications and enable them to run as Serverless workloads. 451 Research published a whitepaper explaining how OpenShift Serverless can help with migration to the cloud and provided some interesting insights on that topic.

VMblog:  How does serverless fit into the current shift to the hybrid cloud?

Oliveria:  Serverless can lower the bar for cloud adoption, simplifying how anyone can get access to cloud native practices without too much concern about infrastructure, at least from a developer perspective. So far, the most popular solutions were really focused on public cloud, but as hybrid cloud grows, that's starting to change. The old joke that "Serverless has servers" becomes more of a reality since now operations teams will be maintaining the infrastructure of the on-premise serverless offering and the experience to install, upgrade, and patch your serverless platform is a real need that gets materialized by hybrid cloud deployments.  Now your administrators need to monitor and visualize multiple Kubernetes clusters running across heterogeneous environments.

VMblog:  Does serverless align with a move to hosted services?

Oliveria:  Absolutely.  A managed serverless offering is still a great way to start your journey, but the moment you go beyond a single cloud provider or consider how you will bring those same benefits to your own datacenter, you realize that there can't be a one-size-fits-all solution.

VMblog:  Where do new technologies like Quarkus fit into a serverless offering?

Oliveria:  Quarkus, Red Hat's Kubernetes-native Java framework, injects new life into the Java ecosystem, specially in this new cloud native world where containers are spun up for short periods of time and at large scale. The Java Virtual Machine (JVM) was originally conceived as a system that gets better overtime, with heuristics that learn how to optimize a workload after it's "warm," but with containers being short-lived or redeployed so frequently, many of those benefits of the JVM don't apply. That's why Quarkus leverages GraalVM, which is a high-performance runtime that improves the execution mode for Java applications, reducing startup time and delivering a lower memory footprint. Quarkus makes the whole developer experience as joyful as possible, keeping Java developers and the language itself fresh, when compared to modern programming languages like Go or Rust, which are also growing in popularity.

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***To learn more about containerized infrastructure and cloud native technologies, consider joining us at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon NA Virtual, November 17-20. 

William Markito Oliveira is an energetic and passionate Technical Product Manager for Red Hat OpenShift, with expertise in software engineering and distributed systems. He leads a group of product managers working on innovative and emerging technologies, from inception to market, acting as a proxy for customers, business units, and engineering teams. He is currently focused on the intersection between serverless, cloud computing, and Kubernetes, looking forward to applying AI/ML concepts whenever possible.

Published Thursday, October 29, 2020 7:35 AM by David Marshall
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