Serverless Computing in a Container Driven Development Space

serverless computing container development

Containers become more accessible each year with new complimentary solutions available. For example, teams can find tools enhancing container security, management, monitoring, and more. However, many see serverless as the future of computing. At this year’s AWS New York Summit, many speakers discussed the benefits of serverless versus VMs and even containers.

Although some say serverless provides objective improvements to containers, many enterprises choose to use containers and serverless at the same time. We chatted with cloud-native security company, Twistlock, to learn more about serverless in an IT space focused on containers.

Serverless computing has emerged as an alternative option to running applications in containers. How do you see adoption growing among serverless computing in the next year? Please expand on what you are hearing from customers. 

Ben Bernstein, CEO

Serverless will continue to grow, but it will continue to be “containers’ little brother.”(i.e., it will scale proportionally to containers). I believe serverless is not a stand-alone stack, and performs best when combined with other cloud native technologies, therefore I predict that in 2019, we’ll continue to see serverless computing grow, alongside containers, Kubernetes, OpenShift, istio, and other cloud native technologies/solutions.

John Morello, CTO  

It’s not an either or; what we see in the real world is that customers see them as different tools with different strengths and weaknesses.  Every customer we see using serverless is also using containers and choosing per scenario what’s the best fit for a given app.  For example, in financial services, serverless is often used as the modern equivalent of batch jobs whereas containers are a more natural fit for modernizing J2EE apps.  When you want more control and compatibility, you choose containers; when you want simplicity and are willing to give up some control, serverless can be attractive.  Nearly everyone will have some of both.

Dima Stopel, VP of R&D and Co-Founder

I do not see serverless as a natural replacement to the container paradigm. Serverless technology is great for stateless applications, but while theoretically any application can be refactored into storing all the state in the database, it just doesn’t make sense in many cases. Containers, on the other hand, can support state. I also believe that the adoption rate of the serverless environment will be different. In the case of a new application, it is relatively easy to develop it using both containers and serverless. However, given a typical existing application it is substantially easier to put it inside a container than to refactor it into a stateless, serverless app. This is why containers conquer the market so fast. I don’t think it will be the same with serverless.