Editorials

FaaS? Good grief.

Psssst… just a quick note – have you registered for the SSWUG.ORG Virtual Conference? It’s free.
Here’s a direct link – we’re looking at more than 1,000 people there, more than 35 sessions… it’s going to be grand.
http://www.sswugvc.com

I’m glad “aaS” allows for all sorts of initial abbreviation characters, but the new FaaS is as intriguing as it could be challenging to manage. I say that because I can’t imagine keeping track of discrete functions (“F” in FaaS is Functions, so Functions as a Service).

It seems to me that the splitting functions into pieces and using a series of different services offers up some interesting optimizations, but perhaps adds *just a little* complexity to the management of that application environment.

I do think the whole idea of serverless environments – where you build out a solution without real regard for how it gets done – are interesting. And, if those same environments can scale and respond to load automagically and help with that aspect of cloud flexibility, then that will also be a step forward.

Clearly it’s early in the process of making this available. And I suppose you can see some of this today in a way with analysis services, reporting, etc. Where the functionality is more what you’re plugging into than the service overall. It’s a short jump from “setting up a reporting server” to use in the cloud to “running a report” that pulls the resources it needs to produce the results you want.

I also think the thought of “chained” functions – where the output of one directs the actions of another function – are interesting because of the flexibility that could be involved. Still, the management will need to be addressed (how do you troubleshoot a runaway function – rather than, you know, paying the massive bill as it churns on an ill-formed process).

I’m not trying to be negative on the whole thing, in fact I think it’s something that may make rolling out software and updates and changes a bit easier because you’d not have to potentially worry as much about the deployment pieces and parts.

Here’s a look at a good overview post, and here’s an example, using a chat bot on Azure.

I think there will be some very interesting functions released – and we’ll probably start to see pieces and parts of our favorite online applications become available as FaaS opportunities. Like that streaming service? Here’s their toolset. Like that CRM lead scoring? Here’s one to apply to your customer database.

It’s going to be very interesting to see how things mature in this space.

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  • Tom DiSarlo

    “discrete functions”, not “discreet functions”, unless they’re trying to be subtle. 🙂

    • Yes. They’re very sneaky. 🙂 Thx for the catch. Updated.