Admin automation: the serverless low-hanging fruit

If we could go back in time and start using public cloud in 2009, we’d probably be better off today. The AWS beta started in 2006 and was entirely API-driven, without either a console or a command line interface to make interacting with the service easier than what we know so well now. Three years later, it was more mature. Early adopters started to solve real problems with it, padding their resumes and bringing value to their organizations in ways that seemed impossible before.

Serverless computing in 2018 is about where cloud computing was in 2009. But what exactly does serverless mean, and what are some easy ways to get started with it?

Function-as-a-Service: making serverless architectures possible

As cool as the technology is, serverless computing is a terrible name because (spoiler alert) there are, in fact, servers under the hood. The name comes from the idea that developers don’t have to worry about the server, or even a container, as a unit of compute any more as public cloud services like AWS Lambda, IBM OpenWhisk, Google Cloud Functions and Azure Functions handle the details.

A better way to think about serverless computing is that serverless is the software architecture built on top of function-as-a-service (FaaS), which is the underpinning that enables small pieces of software to get loaded into memory off of a disk in a few milliseconds.

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