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4 Trends in serverless computing

Serverless computing is a technology that has transformed the way applications are developed and implemented in cloud computing. It provides an abstracted layer for developers to write code without needing to manage servers, shifting from traditional server-based architectures towards models without worrying about server management. The global public cloud computing market is projected to reach $679 billion in 2024, continuing its upward trajectory.

The benefits of this shift include lower costs, improved scalability, and fewer operational complexities. The increase in serverless computing is changing how businesses function, making this an important field to investigate within the framework of current technology progressions.

What is serverless computing?

Serverless computing is a type of cloud computing model where the cloud provider takes care of server allocation and provisioning. In this arrangement, programmers can create and put their code into use without concerning themselves with the base setup. This means they don’t have to manage servers or arrange for resources because that responsibility is taken up by the cloud provider, enabling them to concentrate only on building applications and making them work.

This article highlights the trends in serverless computing. 

4 Trends in serverless computing

1. Rise of multi-cloud strategies

In serverless computing, a major trend is the growing use of a multi-cloud approach. Although serverless is primarily deployed on a single platform, such as AWS Lambda or Azure Functions. However, the Microsoft CSE team partnered with Serverless Inc to deploy both Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud platforms, using the Serverless Framework. 

Zhao et al. (2022) offer a proof of concept multi-cloud architecture as solution because of the the challenges of vendor lock-in in serverless computing. Some benefits of multi-cloud deployment for serverless applications are mitigating the risk of being locked into a single FaaS provider and increasing availability. They do mention that in serverless, multi-cloud library should also have to be versatile, scalable, lightweight and conversion-enabled.  

The open-source Serverless Framework by Microsoft CSE is a platform where serverless computing solutions can be deployed across cloud providers. These plans have several benefits like preventing dependence on only one vendor and improving adaptability. This will allow developers to benefit from unique features offered by different providers while ensuring better redundancy and compliance with several regulatory needs.

2. Expansion of use cases to AI/ML

Serverless computing has grown from its early use into fresh domains, like real-time data processing, IoT (Internet of Things), and the deployment of AI/ML models. In real-time data processing, serverless functions can process large amounts of information quickly and resourcefully to allow prompt analytics and decision-making. Applications in IoT can take advantage of serverless computing’s ability to scale up or down as required. This makes it easier to manage large networks with many connected devices. 

AI/ML models can be deployed and run inference using serverless platforms. This is a good solution because it provides cost-effective and scalable options for machine-learning tasks. Serverless computing is becoming popular in many industries, including finance, where it helps with fraud detection, and healthcare, where it aids in processing patient data to find useful insights.

A growing trend is the use of serverless computing in applications specific to certain industries. For example, finance companies are using this technology for handling fraud detection through ML models. Health care uses it to process patient data coming from IoT devices or monitors so it can generate useful insights without needing constant servers running all the time.

3. Improved security and compliance

Serverless computing exposes a large attack surface, which is making security and compliance issues more significant. Some of the most critical risks for serverless computing are broken authentication, overprivileged permissions and roles, inadequate function monitoring and logging, and insecure third-party dependencies. In addition, there are some more risks such as insecure application secrets storage, improper execution handling, obsolete functions, and business logic manipulation. For example, a 2023 study found two risks in Azure serverless — secrets in environment variables that can lead to full compromise if exploited, and the use of a master key for SSH access, which allows privilege escalation.

To handle these security risks, businesses have to employ a range of security best practices and policies which are tailored to serverless architectures. Businesses can use automated security tools such as SIEM systems and vulnerability scanners that help to continuously monitor serverless environments. Using API gateways and properly configured IAM roles and permissions will also act as primary defense mechanisms and offer fine-grained access control. 

4. Quantum computing in the cloud

Quantum computing is a fresh technological development in cloud computing that employs principles from quantum mechanics to carry out operations on data at an unmatched pace and intricacy. This technology will significantly alter how we work and create software as it becomes more available via cloud platforms. Per a Market Research Future study (MRFR), the quantum computing market was worth $866 million in 2023. It can grow and touch $4,375 million by 2028 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 38.3% during the prediction period that covers 2021 to 2028.

Nonetheless, quantum computing such as the IBM quantum serverless will augment the cloud, not replace it. Like AI and machine learning, quantum computing in the cloud can potentially disrupt multiple industries. By utilizing serverless architectures, developers can invoke quantum computation on-demand, integrating these advanced capabilities into their applications seamlessly and cost-effectively. This convergence of quantum computing and serverless computing in the cloud represents a promising frontier for innovation, offering powerful new tools for tackling complex computational challenges.

What’s next in serverless computing?

The serverless computing field is experiencing changing dynamics, and crucial patterns affect its future. The growth of multi-cloud and hybrid cloud methods, extension to fresh application cases, increased security and compliance rules, and cost optimization tactics all contribute to the expansion and progress of serverless technology. 

As these directions keep growing, the importance of serverless computing will rise more in businesses’ IT strategies around the globe. Companies should adopt these movements to improve their cloud computing capabilities. This will lead to quicker innovation, less workload on operations, and more effectiveness.

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