AWS Highlights Trend Towards DevOps in a Serverless World

Charlotte Dunlap – Principal Analyst, Application Platforms

Summary Bullets:

• EventBridge advances AWS’ DevOps Agenda

• Cloud rivals are challenged to bundle DevOps and Serverless technologies

Enterprises continue to struggle with application modernization complexities involving new microservices and serverless computing architectures. As a result, public cloud providers are trying to do more of the heavy-lifting of infrastructure constructs through new DevOps solutions supporting event-based workloads.

During the recent AWS Summit, CTO Werner Vogels announced the general availability of EventBridge, which integrates operations’ external data and helps automate the DevOps processes within a serverless model. The concept is attractive to enterprises moving into cloud technologies because Amazon is acknowledging their need for application lifecycle management (ALM) technologies while having that data available, typically in a SaaS format, and tucked into the management services within AWS (e.g., AWS Consule/CLI/SDKs).

AWS EventBridge is a serverless event processing model based on CloudWatch Events and provides the integration between AWS apps and business systems important to operations teams, such as analytics and application performance management (APM). The event bus leverages Lambda serverless functions with the goal of further abstracting infrastructure complexities to DevOps members.
Cloud rivals are beginning to offer similar DevOps solutions, but need to do a better job highlighting and bundling their own event-based functions offerings. EventBridge rivals Microsoft Azure DevOps, formerly called Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS). Microsoft positions the solution’s CICD and pipeline capabilities as complementary to Azure Functions for helping developers create microservices-based applications without having to manage the infrastructure.

The new AWS offering also rivals Google Cloud Platform (GCP) whose DevOps and serverless solutions include Google Cloud Functions and Stackdriver, a monitoring system which provides IT teams with performance data about apps and VMs running on GCP and AWS.

AWS has a reputation for providing innovative cloud services, but lacks in development tools and frameworks that offer guidance and best practices for companies moving into new business transformation territory. Operations teams in general have struggled with moving modern apps into production and tying into those apps proper security, governance, and policy management. During his two-hour keynote speech, Vogels tried to reassure enterprise developers of AWS’ commitment in easing complexity around cloud native app development and deployment. In addition to EventBridge, he provided a recap and some updates of AWS’ key developer tools, including:

– AWS Cloud Developer Kit (CDK), an app development framework for developers of infrastructure as code, provisioned through CloudFormation.

– AWS App Mesh, to improve visibility and network traffic controls associated with services built across multiple types of compute infrastructure.

– Amazon Managed Blockchain, to simplify the creation of blockchain networks under the industry standards Hyperledger Fabric and eventually Ethereum.

– Amazon SageMaker, an AI platform that serves developers as well as data scientists.

Interestingly, Vogels made no mention of the fall 2018 announcement of Firecracker micro-VM technology which targets DevOps teams tasked with managing, governing, and securing the implementation of serverless computing scenarios. The technology was well-received in the developer community for its ability to leverage KVM and boost the performance of containers and serverless infrastructures including AWS Fargate and AWS Lambda. AWS donated FireCracker to the open source community, which triggered a positive response from cloud providers for its ability to further DevOps’ technologies.


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