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Cloud Native Ecosystem / Open Source / Serverless

Putting Hybrid and Multi into Cloud Native

With Knative and other open source software you can get all the cost-reducing and agility-boosting advantages of serverless without “lift and shift” cost.
Jun 8th, 2020 3:00am by
Featued image for: Putting Hybrid and Multi into Cloud Native

TriggerMesh sponsored this post.

Mark Hinkle
Mark has a long history in emerging technologies and open source. Before co-founding TriggerMesh, he was the executive director of the Node.js Foundation and an executive at Citrix, and Zenoss where he led their open source efforts.

When people hear the term “cloud native,” they typically assume public cloud. This implicit public cloud bias extends to the terms “serverless” and “Infrastructure as Code.” But with Knative, and other open source software like Kubeless and OpenFaaS, you can get all the cost-reducing and agility-boosting advantages of serverless without the risk and cost of “lift and shift” (the process of migrating a workload from on premise to the cloud, with little or no modification).

The current economic climate has lit a fire under many IT and application teams to move aggressively to the cloud. These moves were already well underway before COVID-19, but now they’ve been accelerated.

The lift and shift strategy carries significant cost and risk, though. Another approach — call it hybrid shift or “facelift” — leverages the portability strength of Kubernetes and Knative to allow you to rapidly modernize applications piece by piece, service by service. Among the advantages of this approach are de-risking your cloud choice and extending the useful life of legacy systems, while still enjoying all the cloud native advantages like lower computing costs and pivoting apps to an event-driven footing.

Take the following scenario, for instance. You’ve got an existing on-premises e-commerce application and you want to modernize it to take advantage of new SaaS engagement platforms like Amazon Lex, Slack, or Mattermost. There is no need to lift and shift to achieve this; not anymore.

Risk Reduction in Cloud Choice

The amount of innovation happening in the cloud native and serverless space belies the market share gains of the leaders. But cloud migration is a big strategic bet. The ideal scenario is to test drive several services to evaluate performance, features, and support. But when the learning curve for each vendor is steep and unique, this can be impractical. This is one of the primary reasons why Kubernetes is so important. It has become the consistent fabric of the cloud, providing the ability to run workloads and build event-driven serverless applications using any cloud that supports the CloudEvents specification.

Extend the Useful Life of Legacy Systems

In a time of uncertain revenue growth, squeezing extra years out of existing systems carries much appeal. That is, as long as it doesn’t compromise the cost-savings and increased responsiveness you get with cloud and infrastructure as code. Until the advent of Kubernetes, this was the unfortunate trade-off that enterprises faced. Today, though, you don’t need to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

Lowering Compute Costs and Increasing Utilization

By migrating from virtualization or bare-metal, you can improve utilization of your hardware; and by adding Knative, you add the benefits of serverless scale-to-zero to improve the utilization even further. You’ll clearly want to build new applications in the cloud, but many organizations have years or even decades of investment in core legacy systems. Now, you can see the same infrastructure savings by moving from VMs to containers with Kubernetes, and then to serverless with Knative — all behind your firewall.

Rest assured that you will be well-supported on this trajectory, as evidenced by the top contributors to Knative:

Rank Company
1 Google
2 Red Hat
3 VMware
5 Pivotal
6 TriggerMesh
7 DropBox

Pivoting Apps to Event-Driven

Real-time responsiveness to constantly changing consumer preferences means IT needs to be event-driven. Only then can you build the necessary flexibility into your application architecture to accommodate an uncertain future. Conventional cloud native thinking would have you believe that your apps must be 100% in the cloud to do this. Not so. Knative unlocks the ability to trigger functions and/or Kubernetes workloads from other clouds or your legacy data center applications, by sharing events from one architecture to another.

If you’re interested in learning more about this approach to serverless and how TriggerMesh is helping, join Sebastien Goasguen — TriggerMesh co-founder, creator of Kubeless, and author of the Kubernetes Cookbook — for a webinar on June 11. Sebastien will demo how to use the Knative API to simplify building event-driven applications with any on-premises and cloud service. Learn more and register here.

Feature image via Pixabay.

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