When Thomas Watson announced that “… there is a world market for maybe five computers.” he had clearly underestimated the power of computers as well as the technology that came with it. This was many years ago and we have come a long way since then. Formerly computers were huge and immobile compared to their smallness and mobility nowadays. We can now use the existing infrastructure and the given abstraction to not deal with all the underlying burden of servers and just focus on delivering the best experience through serverless technologies.
weXelerate was happy to welcome IBM and the startup Txture on December 12th for a Tech Breakfast with the focus on serverless computing. The term serverless computing refers to a cloud a computing model, whereby code is executed on servers, but the abstraction means that you do not have to care about the server anymore, dynamically managing the allocation of machine resources. Pricing is based on the actual amount of resources consumed by an application, rather than on pre-purchased units of capacity. Therefore, serverless computing is not a solution for a few but it will be transforming the way developers deploy and manage complex software, and it has vast implications on how organizations deliver their applications.
weXelerate has asked the two speakers from the Tech Breakfast – Hannes Höttinger, ML expert at IBM and Matthias Farwick, CEO at Txture – to share a few insights on this topic.
weX: Matthias, Hannes, welcome and thank you for your time for a few questions. To start off, could you define the term “serverless computing” for end-users like me?
Hannes: Well, let me try to explain it with an example. There are online services like the ORF tvthek that don’t have the same number of users every day. On Tuesday noon fewer people might use the service compared to a Friday night. Serverless computing enables companies to offer their services in the same quality to a few as well as to many users. Engineers do no longer have to worry about the infrastructure, they just provide the code and a particular business function. The business functions are run on the open source framework Open Whisk. The service is scalable, customers only pay when their online service is actually in use.
Matthias: I couldn’t have defined the term better.
weX: Is there a current project or cooperation between IBM and Txture?
Hannes: No, we don’t have a current project, but at the moment IBM is evaluating the Txture tools for future use in our transformation projects with other companies.
Matthias: Today’s presentation at the Tech Breakfast showed that both companies are working in serverless computing, an area, which is of much interest to companies and consumers alike. It’s quite easy to imagine for me that Txture and IBM will be partners for future serverless computing projects.
weX: What do you think about the weXelerate Accelerator program?
Matthias: We are happy to be part of this program. Many opportunities have opened up for us. Especially the mentoring program has been really helpful, we have connected and networked with a number of interesting people.
Hannes: We like the weXelerate idea, but are still working out how we fit into the weXelerate ecosystem.
weX: As experts do you think that serverless computing is just another fashion-trend or will we still use this technology in a few years’ time?
Matthias: I wouldn’t go as far as calling serverless computing a fashion trend. I think that some companies and business areas are more likely to make use of this technology than others. For example, BMW announced on an Amazon Web Services event that they are using serverless for their online car-configurators.
Hannes: There are three stages with every new technological trend Research/Experimentation, Commercialization and Growth As far as I know, serverless computing is already in stage three and being used by many companies. Consumers might not know it, but Amazon’s Alexa is running on this technology.
weX: Well, an exciting future is ahead of us. Thank you for your time and the interview.
Hannes: Thanks, my pleasure.
Matthias: Thank you.