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Nimbella 2021 Predictions: The Rapid Rise of Serverless Computing

vmblog 2021 prediction series 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2021.  Read them in this 13th annual series exclusive.

The Rapid Rise of Serverless Computing

By Rodric Rabbah, Co-Founder and CTO, Nimbella

Serverless computing made great advances in 2020 and we expect this to grow as technologies like cloud computing, API-first, DevOps, and open-source movements continue to evolve. In 2021, we can expect that there will be a greater adoption of serverless computing at a faster pace. Anything you want to do in the cloud, users will be able to accomplish with an API, creating an even more so interconnected world.

The biggest benefits of serverless is that it allows for rapid development and deployment, allowing developers to significantly reduce the development cycle and reducing costs for an organization. As we see more and more companies adopt a serverless computing infrastructure, we can expect to see a faster rate of innovation within the industry. In fact, the serverless computing market is forecasted to gain market growth of over USD $13 billion by 2025.

Here are of my top five predictions for 2021:

1.  The number of servers organizations manage will shrink in half over the next 18 months. As organizations that maintain servers move to the cloud, they will decommission some of their servers. These organizations will achieve better performance and improved security from the cloud, while also being able to build and innovate faster thanks to a more nimble infrastructure.
2.  Organizations will unlock operational efficiencies as they adopt a serverless model. As the infrastructure sheds, employees who have been dedicated to maintaining infrastructure will be given the opportunity to retrain and engage in more strategic and creative work. Jobs will not go away but will look different as employees dedicated to maintaining infrastructure apply their skills in a different context. This also allows organizations to develop at the speed of innovation and deploy faster without the burdens of server management. There will be more "dev" and less "ops" in DevOps.
    3.  You can't talk cloud without talking APIs. Our world will become even more interconnected as everything we do can be done through an API. To consume something from the cloud, you do it through an API. Projections show that everything will have an API, so from a developers perspective, when building an application it is about creating and understanding APIs, reducing cognitive dissonance between API and the code that backs it, and working on what features are needed for the API
    4.  Cloud adoption will continue to accelerate due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The greatest evidence has been seen in the boom of SaaS companies, which reflects increased usage because of particular needs that developed due to restrictions created by the pandemic. There was suddenly a prominent need for new services that had to be cloud hosted. With that momentum, we can see that cloud computing, and particularly serverless computing, is inevitable. It is the future for a large segment of the market. The innovation that is created by companies that adopt cloud and serverless is going to far exceed old legacy ways of working. There will be many companies that ultimately fail because they weren't able to adopt to a cloud computing model fast enough and they will be beaten out by smaller companies that will swiftly surpass them simply by being able to recreate their businesses much faster because they are focusing on value and not infrastructure.
    5.  Edge computing will grow at a rapid pace. Cloud applications will be rearchitected to take advantage of the technological advances occurring at the edge of the network — advances such as lower latency, local state management, and greater compute density. These advances mean the computing power of the cloud will stretch from giant data centers directly to the network, and in turn will allow developers to transform user experiences, in web, mobile and augmented reality.


    About the Author

    Rodric Rabbah 

    Rodric was a Principal Researcher and the technical lead for serverless computing at IBM. He is the creator and the lead contributor to Apache OpenWhisk, an advanced and production-ready serverless computing platform. He was awarded an IBM Outstanding Innovation Award and an IBM Outstanding Accomplishment Award for his leadership and impact on IBM Cloud Functions. At IBM he also worked directly with several of IBM's earliest serverless clients to help them become cloud-native and succeed in their adoption of serverless computing. Rodric received his B.A. in Computer Science from NYU and Ph.D from Georgia Tech. He was a Research Scientist at MIT for several years. His contributions are a unique mix of programming language design, compilation technology for accelerators, hardware design and synthesis, and user-facing tools.

    Published Monday, December 28, 2020 6:33 AM by David Marshall
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