Solving for serverless: How do you manage something that’s not there?

Function-as-a-service (FaaS) technologies, including AWS Lambda, Azure Functions and IBM/Apache OpenWhisk, are experiencing mass adoption, even in private clouds, and it’s easy to see why. The promise of serverless is simple: developers and IT teams can stop worrying about their infrastructure, system software and network configuration altogether. There’s no need to load-balance, adjust resources for scale, monitor for network latency or CPU performance. Serverless computing can save you a lot of time, money and operational overhead, if you play your cards right.

Say goodbye to the idle instance

There’s also less waste with serverless computing. You only pay for infrastructure in the moment that code gets executed (or, each time a user processes a request). It’s the end of the server that just sits there. But with all these advantages, IT practitioners are also faced with an avalanche of complexity and new challenges.  

The fundamental challenge of serverless computing is easy to imagine: if something is ephemeral, how do you observe for standard infrastructure metrics on health, uptime and availability? While serverless removes some of the heavy lifting associated with infrastructure management, there are a new set of issues which IT infrastructure teams will need to address:

Efficient code is now business-critical

Nothing ruins your potential serverless cost savings like spinning up an instance to rewrite code or fix errors. You’ll want more visibility into error handling and resource usage to understand where your serverless costs can be streamlined.

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