Serverless, is advancing into the heart of cloud computing

Posted Jun 28, 202011 min read

On June 19, 2020, the world's most prestigious Serverless Conference-ServerlessDays · China was officially held in the form of online live broadcast. As the pioneer of Serverless, Tencent Cloud has been growing rapidly every year since 2017. After three years of precipitation, the user scale of Tencent Cloud Serverless and the number of product downloads and calls have increased rapidly. Will the second half of cloud computing be serverless? Will Serverless lead the next dividend in cloud computing again? All this was revealed at this conference.

Serverless start

On June 19, 2020, ServerlessDays, which entered China for the first time, started live broadcast. During the period ServerlessDays Organiser--Ant Stanley, Author of "A Berkeley View on Serverless Computing"--Johann Schleier-Smith, CEO--Austen Collins, and many other well-known serverless technical experts from abroad came to the scene.

At the opening, Ant Stanley, the organizer of the ServerlessDays conference and a technical expert in the Serverless community, shared his understanding of serverlessness, from Herman Hollerith to a simple Lambda function, Ant Stanley believes that serverlessness is the constant innovation in the past century Final Results.

Serverless, this also highlights the reason why Serverless is gaining momentum today.

In the past few years, with the development and popularization of cloud computing technology, the business form of enterprises has fundamentally changed. Offline to online has become an evolutionary trend in many industries. Even if the business is restricted to offline scenarios, online has also become an important entry point for enterprise business.

Not only that, cloud computing has also derived a lot of technical capabilities that can only be achieved based on the scenarios on the cloud, distributed storage, virtualization, big data, containerization, etc.... Without the development of the cloud, it is difficult to imagine big data What will happen to the industry, maybe it will change from data-intensive to human-intensive; without cloud computing, it is difficult to imagine what the platforms that support artificial intelligence today will look like... If there is no cloud computing, many lines The Internet business will be forced to stop. For business development, it is forced to form a large number of offline push teams.....

It can be said that cloud computing not only serves as a platform, but also covers all fields in an ecological manner. From top to bottom, the blue ocean of cloud computing is spectacular.

According to He Wenlei, a Google software development engineer, Serverless has three major advantages for developers, namely agility, simplicity and low risk. Simplicity means that Serverless shortens the time from code development to production environment deployment. Simplicity means that Serverless can make teams and individuals more focused on the problem itself, and low risk brings extremely high reliability and security to the entire business Sex.

From All in Cloud to All in Serverless

"The serverless architecture can now fully support the cloud requirements of an enterprise," Yunong Xiao, general manager of Tencent Cloud Serverless Product Center, said at the conference.

Serverless is a new revolution in cloud computing. After the industry generally recognizes the value that the serverless architecture can bring, what is needed now is not a lot of practice, but different companies or products in different fields. The Serverless architecture has worked together to establish a benchmarking case, allowing more industries to recognize the changes that Serverless can bring.

Yunong Xiao mentioned that the current domestic serverless development has entered a new stage, and the current domestic serverless coverage and coverage market scenario have expanded a lot compared to previous years. Mentioned Serverless last year, more people just stay in front-end, applet and other application scenarios. This year, more people have expanded their understanding of Serverless to include multiple services such as HTTP services, IoT event response, and multimedia transcoding.

Just like the original All in Cloud, this goal has now been basically achieved. Nowadays, the improvement of Serverless's one-stop development tool capabilities and the expansion of product coverage are driving the era of "All in Serverless" to accelerate.

Landing, the future has come

"Serverless research highlights, and why serverless is the next phase of cloud computing."--Johann Schleier-Smith

Serverless, as a microcosm of the huge cloud computing ecosystem, is regarded by the industry as the third-generation general-purpose computing platform after virtualization and container technology. Serverless has gradually moved from concept to implementation in 2014, and it has only been six years since then. But in this short six years, the development of Serverless has provided a brand-new system architecture for applications running in the cloud, and provided a broader imagination for the Internet of Everything.

Google Cloud Functions, Azure Funcions, IBM OpenWhisk, Tencent Cloud Serverless, etc. In just a few years, Serverless products have blossomed everywhere.

According to Gartner report, by 2020, 20%of the world's enterprises will adopt Serverless technology deployment. Serverless will transform the form of computing resources from the bottom, introducing innovative technical design ideas for enterprise software architecture design and application service deployment.

According to the serverless usage research report released by consulting firm O'Reill in December 2019, 40%of the respondents' organizations have adopted serverless, and the industries that use serverless technology are also very extensive. More worthy of attention is that more than 50%of the respondents adopted Serverless within one to three years, while 15%of the respondents have started using Serverless three years ago.

The reason is that Serverless encapsulates almost all of the underlying resources and system operation and maintenance work, making it easier for developers to use cloud infrastructure, greatly simplifying the programming of cloud-based services. In this sense, the changes serverless technology brings to cloud computing are revolutionary.

With the rapid development of container, IoT, 5G, blockchain and other technologies, the technical demand for decentralized, lightweight virtualization, fine-grained computing and other technologies is becoming stronger, and Serverless will definitely take advantage of the rapid development!

Although the landing speed is very fast, for the domestic development environment in 2020, it still faces the following three challenges:

  • The scenarios that require Serverless capabilities are very wide. The requirements in each scenario are different, and each scenario requires a customized solution;
  • The development tools and experience are not yet the best. Serverless advocates integrated development, but in the current development environment, the environment and tools required for development-debugging-deployment-operation and maintenance are different, which is also for troubleshooting. Ability and developer experience lay the groundwork;
  • Excessive fees. Although most Serverless products have implemented a billing model of 100 milliseconds, there are still many services that will not fully utilize the space in 100 milliseconds. After a long time and volume growth, this is also a part of Not a small expense.

As the world's top 3 serverless cloud manufacturer, Xiao Yunong, general manager of Tencent Cloud Serverless Product Center, proposed a series of solutions such as integrated development and 1ms billing for the above three challenges at this conference, because "Tencent Cloud Serverless, focus on business, not the underlying resources", which also shows the important progress and exploration direction of Tencent Cloud in the field of Serverless.

Serverless accelerates DevOps to Opsless

Elastic computing has always been a prominent symbol of cloud computing capabilities, and virtualization and containerization have further highlighted the advantages of elastic computing. In the serverless environment, elastic computing has finally achieved a millisecond breakthrough. Enterprises do not need to rent or purchase servers, nor do they need to plan and estimate the computing resources required by the container. As long as the program to be run is handed over to the cloud, the cloud will automatically calculate the computing power. Demand dynamic adjustment in milliseconds.

With the support of Serverless, elastic computing can have many characteristics such as high efficiency, no waste, low cost, and fast delivery. With the blessing of elastic computing, the role of back-end services has also begun to move forward.

Coding R&D Director Wang Zhenwei believes that Serverless has driven the new form of DevOps to a certain extent and promoted the development of Opsless. Traditional software engineering can be divided into development stage and operation and maintenance stage from the perspective of DevOps. With the development of the cloud, less and less work needs to be done in the operation and maintenance stage, and Serverless appears to even achieve zero operation and maintenance. In the serverless era, functions as a new basic capability of cloud computing will inevitably bring innovations to the existing tool systems, processes, and organizational effectiveness in the current development stage. This is also the constructive role of serverless for the DevOps system.

According to Zhang Jian, the head of Didi Elastic Cloud Platform, Serverless has more impact on the application of DevOps system. In the application scenario of Didi, Serverless can effectively reduce the cost of DevOps from the following four points:

  • Service access:Based on the configuration of the template, reduce the cost of service access for students of the same business line;
  • Dependency management:unified BaaS database management package, reducing the management of dependent configuration;
  • Online and offline:Isolate the agent dependency into the sidecar container to avoid the coupling of business code and operation and maintenance components, and get online and offline;
  • Elastic scaling:Intelligent elastic scaling provides intelligent scaling based on prediction.

What are the achievements of Tencent Cloud Serverless in these years?

Tencent Cloud Serverless is a provider of platform capabilities, not a disruptor.

Since Serverless entered the Tencent Cloud in 2017, it has been landing in the industry practice at a very fast speed, and there have been major movements in the past two years:

  • Tencent Cloud Function SCF, as a FaaS(Function as a Service) product, provides various triggers to control the execution conditions of functions. The code is completely triggered by events, and the platform automatically adjusts the service resources in parallel according to the request , By performing function calculation on a piece of data and then output;
  •, the world's most popular serverless development platform, has reached a strategic cooperation. Its serverless framework for domestic developers has the capabilities of resource orchestration, automatic scaling, and event-driven, covering the entire life cycle of coding, debugging, testing, and deployment. Help developers quickly build Serverless applications through linked cloud resources;
  • The number of Tencent Serverless developers has reached 50w+;
  • As a representative of domestic Serverless, introduce the global Serverless grand event-ServerlessDays to accelerate the maturity of the domestic Serverless ecosystem;
  • Sponsored Serverless Chinese Network;
  • ......

Among them, Tencent Cloud Serverless Framework, the number of stars on GitHub has reached 35000+, reaching the number of millions of monthly live applications.

In addition, Tencent Cloud has maintained a pragmatic style for a long time during the implementation of Serverless, and this optimization of focus on practical capabilities has also been recognized by Forrester, a global consulting and service organization. In Forrester's newly released "The Forrester New WaveTM:Function-As-A-Service Platforms, Q1 2020" report, Tencent Cloud FaaS capabilities stand out with their absolute advantages in product experience, security, strategic vision, etc. Ranked in the top three in the world, it is also the only cloud manufacturer in China that has entered the global Top3, and was officially praised by Forrester as a "strong performer", which is undoubtedly the biggest affirmation of Tencent Cloud Serverless capabilities.

In the second half of cloud computing, Serverless hopes to dominate

The birth process of cloud computing is how to solve the process of rationally allocating rapidly growing data and computing power resources, and this is also an important reason why Serverless capabilities can be maximized at the moment.

At this stage, many enterprises have delivered the application operating environment and common components to cloud vendors for implementation, that is, the cloud vendors at this stage are equivalent to a provider of basic capabilities.

And Serverless is in line with this trend, and fundamentally changed the design of application architecture. Even if it is containerized, it just relocates the application in a virtual environment, and the logical architecture has not changed significantly. As a developer, you still need to consider the service resources required by the workload.

Since Serverless is an event-driven model, it also means that Serverless can use each function on the cloud as a computing unit from a business perspective, and accurately allocate resources based on the real needs of the business, that is, FaaS under Serverless Partly, it is a way to re-allocate data and resources with function as the granularity.

On the other hand, the BaaS part under Serverless is also a product that adapts to the development of cloud computing. The BaaS+FaaS approach encapsulates almost all the underlying resource management and system operation and maintenance work. There is no need to write complete logical components. The provided interface can be integrated with the model, making it easier for developers to use the cloud infrastructure.

At today's ServerlessDays conference, the technical experts at the meeting also gave a more scientific prediction on the development direction of Serverless in the next few years:

  • The emergence of new BaaS services, which will provide temporary and persistent storage services;
  • In the case of conforming to the concept of Serverless, reduce the communication overhead between services;
  • The combination of hardware and software will provide higher processing performance;
  • The adoption of Serverless technology will effectively reduce IT expenditure costs;
  • Using Serverless can realize functions more conveniently and quickly;
  • ......

The serverless era is here

The era of Serverless has arrived. An epidemic has made everyone pay more attention to cost issues, and reducing costs and increasing efficiency is one of the main capabilities of Serverless. With the popularization of Serverless concepts and technologies, various industries are now re-understanding the new value that Serverless brings to it.

ServerlessDays came to China this time and brought great help to the domestic technical community and ecology. When introducing a new technology or idea, everyone needs to understand and learn, as does Serverless. One of the most important functions of this conference is to allow serverless fans in China to see that Google, IBM, Didi, Tencent Cloud, Baidu and many other technology giants have applied Serverless technology in specific business practices. One of the biggest promotion of the domestic Serverless ecology.

As a hot technology topic under cloud computing, Serverless brings different architecture usage and implementation methods. Just like the goal of Tencent Cloud Serverless, focus on the business rather than the underlying resources. This is not only the keynote of the development direction of Tencent Cloud Serverless, but also the direction that Tencent Cloud Serverless strives to empower each developer to develop more comprehensively.

The second half of the magnificent cloud computing has arrived, and serverless will definitely lead cloud computing into the next decade. In the process, we can bring out several successes of Serverless, and how Serverless will evolve in the future. After passing this conference, let us wait and see.

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