Tolga Tarhan, Onica’s SVP, GTM AWS Services, was recently featured on Next Platform Radio’s program on March 10th in a segment that covers upcoming trends in the world of Containers and Serverless computing.
During the segment, Tolga Tarhan shares his insights on how containers and serverless architectures are normalizing in today’s computational world and addresses the changes that these technologies are undergoing as they evolve.
Discussing the abstraction of internet computing, Tolga Tarhan mentions that computing progressed from hosting on physical hardware in the form of racks and stacks of servers in 2000, to virtual machines (VMs) run on hypervisors, which allowed for the hardware to be extracted from computation. This was followed by the emergence of cloud computing in 2008, when hardware could be further extracted, requiring no ownership or control as capacity could now be purchased from cloud vendors.
Today, the next step in abstraction can be seen in the form of containers and serverless and, according to Tolga Tarhan, the potential these technologies hold together is more interesting than how they perform and operate individually. Serverless represents a step further abstracted from hardware where even the operating system does not need to be managed. Code is written straight onto the execution environment agreed upon with the cloud provider. On the containers side, abstraction is to a lesser degree, as you are concerned with the runtime of the environment that the container runtime is going to provide. Hence, the two approaches are similar in how they move you up the stack but they differ in the way they operate.
Serverless approaches are vendor specific and aren’t very compatible across vendors, despite software abstraction efforts. According to Tolga Tarhan, “It hasn’t gotten to the point where you can write once and run anywhere for your serverless applications”. They however, offer the quickest path to production, the greatest abstraction from hardware and a sum of other advantages at the cost of this flexibility. Containers on the other hand, offer a big level up in portability over serverless and even VMs from earlier times which were constrained in flexibility across cloud providers as well as between cloud providers and on-prem. They hold a consistent agreed upon packaging format that is small, easy to move around and defines the environment or application it must run in. Kubernetes, a winning container technology at this point, takes flexibility to even greater levels by automating the process of scaling, managing and updating containers.
Tolga Tarhan feels that these technologies will bring about a new era in how software is distributed. “Today, if you buy enterprise software, it comes with very complex installation requirements and very specific configuration that’s needed before you can install and port software. I think containers will give us a way for major software vendors to say, here is a container image, go run it in your environment and there’s no installation process like there used to be”.
To listen to a recording of the March 10th segment, click here.
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