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    Explained | The rise of serverless computing & what it means for large enterprise business

    Explained | The rise of serverless computing & what it means for large enterprise business

    Explained | The rise of serverless computing & what it means for large enterprise business
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    By CNBCTV18.com Contributor  IST (Published)

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    As data has become a more critical asset, and the core of a business, enterprises are increasingly migrating from fully on premises databases towards hybrid, and even fully managed cloud database management systems.

    The growth of every organisation depends heavily upon how readily they accept new technology. Enterprises are constantly adapting digitisation and data-enabled solutions to gain a competitive edge in the market. As data has become a more critical asset, and the core of a business, enterprises are increasingly migrating from fully on premises databases towards hybrid, and even fully managed cloud database management systems (DBMS). The fully managed database in the cloud is referred to as Database-as-a-service (DBaaS).

    This form of serverless computing has the ability to provide greater flexibility and scalability, which is required for large enterprise businesses. Serverless computing is a cloud-based service model in which the functions are executed in an off premises manner. However, moving to the cloud can be considered an architectural change that has repercussions for the dependencies on the infrastructure. Although enterprises get a chance to evaluate the software that can cater to the needs such as digitising, analysing and automating the database, which eliminates any confusion related to serverless computing.

    Serverless computing: Why is it beneficial for large enterprises?

    To move faster in their domain, organizations must consider widespread adoption of serverless technology that helps to gain elastic computing capacity, support mobile devices, reduce hardware costs and lifts the burden from IT administration. These time and cost savings are leading enterprises to readily incorporate cloud-based serverless computing. Gartner validates this point with their prediction that 75% of global databases will be on the cloud by the end of this year. While we think that’s an aggressive number, we do believe that most enterprises will at least move to a hybrid cloud environment, meaning that in the short term, some applications remain on premises, while new applications are built in the cloud.

    The technology that best supports both the hybrid approach and a multicloud strategy is the open source database Postgres (also known as PostgreSQL). Enterprises are also realising the importance of data ownership and portability, and are therefore looking for options that reduce dependency on a single vendor. Once again, this is where open source databases such as Postgres offer an advantage. Organisations can run the same Postgres on any cloud platform, without vendor lock-in.

    Postgres is also inherently more affordable than legacy systems and servers and its license is extremely permissive, allowing enterprise customers to use every cloud, every deployment technology, every virtualization method and every storage technology. With database spend being a significant portion of overall IT spend, moving to open source provides distinctly better economics. These cost savings can add up to a significant economic impact on a regional economy.

    Organisations prefer the PAYG model

    One of the main benefits of serverless computing is the pay-as-you-go (PAYG) model in which organisations get a fully managed service. No matter the size of the organization, this option ensures resilience and cost savings, as organisations are only charged for the tools and services they use. The cloud provider also allocates the machine resources on-demand and also takes care of the servers for the customers, freeing the organisation to focus on business strategy rather than database management. Enterprises can select servers, control, storage space, memory, operating system and network capacity under this model of pricing.

    Scalability in the cloud drives enterprise innovation

    Serverless computing lets organisations build new applications and features at an accelerated pace. Operating in the cloud means that data storage can be adjusted without disrupting workflows or causing database downtime. Additional benefits include faster time to market, boosted developer productivity and cost savings on ownership. Serverless computing can also scale applications and data pipelines dynamically, proving that it is worth investing in improving the infrastructure of the organization. Postgres then becomes the perfect database for cloud computing as it enables business leaders to scale quickly, operate anywhere and support multiple complex applications at a higher pace and lower costs than legacy systems.

    Maintaining data security and compliance

    Like any database, the serverless cloud has sensitive organisational data which can be prone to breaches and cyber-attacks if not properly protected. Fortunately, serverless technology can be secured through technologies such as encryption keys, API configurations and database access credentials. As one weak link can break the security chain, serverless computing builds up multi-chain functions with encryption to avoid any fragile points. Additionally, enterprises should use robust authentication methods and tools to control a board of triggers, functions and events. The hassle of monitoring, visualizing and debugging is also solved with detailed login which also enhances the visibility of the actions and prevents long-lived attacks such as DDOS.

    Postgres is the open source option for database management in the cloud

    While cloud service providers are helping enterprises move their databases to the cloud, these vendors are not database specialists or experts. They are data centre infrastructure and hardware experts. Using the cloud service providers to manage a database is a bit like buying a car from a company that builds roads. This can be problematic for enterprises navigating the complexities of cloud adoption, especially for their mission critical applications.

    To fully benefit from Postgres, which is governed by an independent and robust community, enterprises should consider database expertise to be a primary factor. Done right, enterprises can experience the freedom and flexibility of the cloud, scalability and cost savings, without the need to manage their own servers.

    — The author, Scott Horn, is CMO at EnterpriseDB, a provider of enterprise-class products and services based on PostgreSQL
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