Serverless is Real - and Growing like Gangbusters

Lori MacVittie サムネール
Lori MacVittie
Published October 15, 2018

Serverless is showing just how fast the technology adoption curve is today.

The term serverless has barely become a standard entry in the technology vernacular and yet its usage is growing quickly. At the end of 2017, 19% of backend developers were using serverless platforms according to a survey conducted by Developer Economics. If that isn't impressive, consider that Stack Overflow's 2018 survey found that 57.9% of the more than 100,000 respondents identified as "backend developers".

It is not yet the end of 2018, and a new report by Sumo Logic has found that one in three enterprises use AWS Lambda. That's serverless.

Other surveys and research show similar, almost startling adoption rates. It took us ten years to get the bulk of enterprises on-board with cloud in general, but less than four to get a third embracing the newest addition to the cloud family.

Serverless is not the only new technology to experience rapid onset adoption. It's merely the poster-child today because the shiny hasn't worn off yet.

It may be hard to believe given adoption and usage rates today, but Docker was introduced in 2013 and its cousin Kubernetes in 2014. Both have experienced what are explosive adoption rates for technology. Sumo Logic found that a third of enterprises are using managed or native Kubernetes solutions and 28% use Docker containers in AWS. We see this being driven by digital transformation efforts, which internally result in a focus on adoption of new architectures (microservices) and technologies (containers) as well as methodologies (agile) that innately are more supportive of the fast, frequent delivery of new applications and application features to market.

Serverless is the ideal form of cloud - or at least it is if you're a developer. There's no infrastructure to worry about. Nothing to provision. Nothing to configure. There are no yaks to shave in serverless. Some might say that is its greatest benefit.

But business, too, sees value in serverless in its speed and business model. It is truly utility computing. It's not billed by the half-hour or hour. You pay for the cycles you use and that's it. Combined with the frictionless nature of deploying code with serverless, you can be out the door with functionality in hours rather than weeks or months.

Serverless is not just an off-premises cloud offering. Seventeen percent (17%) of respondents to the 14th edition of the State of the Developer Nation indicated they were using serverless on-premises. Platforms like Apache Open Whisk make this possible and introduce serverless as a potential platform for both operational and application development.

Serverless is real, and it's growing like gangbusters. Welcome to the new technology adoption curve.