November 29, 2016
A re:invent revelation: Serverless architecture is very much real and ready for prime time
By: Michael Liebow

For most of my tech career, dating back decades, the word “servers” conjures the image of rows and stacks of metal boxes on concrete. These physical “boxes” look cool, but take up space and consume power, and now represent a bygone era for countless of corporations.

The IT industry has now entered a new era, a "post-infrastructure" era, with the concept of “serverless computing.” Not new, we’ve been moving to this era for a number of years now. But thanks to the cloud, the serverless computing architecture is no longer an abstract concept but a technical and economic reality. In fact, it’s currently delivering companies the benefits of the as-a-service economy, such as agility and innovation, all while reducing costs.

Here at AWS re:Invent 2016 in Las Vegas this week, it’s obvious serverless has hit prime time. That point was driven home by my Accenture colleague, Tom Myers, senior cloud architect, who related our story of the “Accenture Cloud Platform Serverless Journey” in front of a ”sold-out” crowd yesterday.

Take a load off

Many businesses still spend a lot of time and money maintaining their own servers and networking equipment. This configuration makes it more difficult and expensive to scale apps up and down and perform other IT support functions. It’s a growing operational challenge and, frankly, a burden a business doesn’t need.

Companies that go serverless choose to outsource these infrastructure functions to a public cloud vendor, such as AWS. The servers are still “out there,” of course—but AWS is responsible for them. This frees up space, people and money to focus on driving growth and innovation.

Music to your ears

Putting serverless architecture to work requires coordination and orchestration of many moving parts, and I’d be hard-pressed to give it full justice in a single blog post.

Perhaps, think of it as a “symphony”—a collection of diverse, top-flight musicians (cloud-delivered services and micro services) assembled on demand to suit the tastes of the audience (your business and customers) and led by a seasoned “conductor” (your vendor’s cloud-based platform). Under their expertise, you are able to close your eyes and enjoy the music, without thinking about who is performing which part.

As Tom explained, that’s the kind of “orchestra” we aim for with the Accenture Cloud Platform, which is built on the serverless options available from AWS. What’s special about serverless is that you only use what you need when you need it. This creates an efficient solution design that ultimately costs less and performs better.

Are there challenges on any given cloud journey? Of course. Tom also detailed the inevitable hitches we’ve encountered and the lessons we’ve learned along the way. In the end, one takeaway emerges: The benefits are well worth the effort.

Still, I’ve barely scratched the surface. Tom can really take you into the real nuts and bolts of our serverless vision, so be sure to download the presentation.

Click to find out more about our presence at AWS re:Invent.

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