A Cloud Guru
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A Cloud Guru

Evolution of business logic from monoliths through microservices, to functions

Underlying technology advancements are creating a shift to event driven functions and radical improvements in time to value

The early days of process optimization

At the start of this journey, the cost of delivery dominated. It took a long time to procure, configure and deploy hardware, and software installations were hand crafted projects in their own right.

The DevOps movement

Eventually common frameworks like Puppet and Chef became popular, and “infrastructure as code” sped up delivery of updates. The DevOps movement began when operations teams adopted agile software development practices and worked closely with developers to reduce time to value from months to days.

The age of containers

Another wave of optimization arrived when docker made containers easy enough for everyone to use. Docker containers provide a convenient bundled package format that includes a fixed set of dependencies, a runtime that gives more isolation than processes, but less than a virtual machine instance, startup times measured in seconds, and a substantial saving in memory footprint.

Advances in CPU and network technology

The optimal size for a bundle of business logic depends upon the relative costs in both dollars and access time of CPU, network, memory and disk resources, combined with the latency goal for the service.

Advances in storage & database technology

Storage and databases have also gone through a revolution over the last decade. Monolithic applications map their business logic to transactions against complex relational database (RDBMS) schemas, that link together all the tables, and allow coordinated atomic updates.

Moving from project to product

It’s common to talk about “people, process, and technology” when we look at changes in IT. We’ve just seen how technology has taken utilization and speed of deployment to the limit with AWS Lambda, effectively 100% utilization for deployments in a fraction of a second.

The early days of functions

Lambda based applications are constructed from individual event driven functions that are almost entirely business logic — and there’s much less boilerplate and platform code to manage. It’s early days, but this appears to be driving another radical change.

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adrian cockcroft

Work: Technology strategy advisor, Partner at OrionX.net (ex Amazon Sustainability, AWS, Battery Ventures, Netflix, eBay, Sun Microsystems, CCL)