Growing competition and increased customer expectations drive the speed of development. Adopting DevOps, meanwhile, can be a challenge, as it includes adjusting practices and new infrastructure. However, although engineering resources may be slim, serverless offers new solutions to tackle the DevOps challenge. From improved IoT devices to cost-effective machine learning applications, the serverless ecosystem is helping promote DevOps adoption.
Why Is Serverless Beneficial for DevOps?
DevOps accelerates development while stabilizing downtime, giving enterprises a competitive edge, a quicker product maturity in terms of features and capabilities and an improved customer experience. Although the benefits are appealing, DevOps adoption is expensive and time-consuming. Serverless can combat the barriers and support the implementation of DevOps solutions, at lower cost and with greater returns.
Serverless technologies provide a pay-as-you-go model, allowing enterprises to pay for the resources used. For instance, with AWS Lambda, users pay based on the number and duration of invocations, potentially lowering costs. Functions as a service (FaaS) could become more expensive than containers, depending on the traffic experience. The higher and more consistent the traffic, the higher the costs of serverless tools, and these costs can rise higher than container costs.
Since serverless technology is auto-scalable and fully managed, it allows teams to focus on the business logic that the DevOps infrastructure was actually built for, instead of spending countless hours maintaining the DevOps architecture.
Availability and Performance Monitoring
FaaS services such as AWS Lambda or Azure Functions are comparatively easy to spin up, auto-scalable and cost-effective. The functions can make API calls to your service, and API calls can be made by the user via the front-end interface. These periodic checks ensure your services are available continuously and any failures incurred in the production environment can be captured by monitoring tools to inform you of any performance degradations. The alerts from the monitoring tools can be consolidated by incident management SaaS tools.
FaaS functions can be used for automatic availability and performance checks. However, serverless event buses communicate alerts as invocations of the FaaS functions throughout the DevOps infrastructure, lowering the overall cost from the pay-as-you-go model and auto scalability of FaaS functions.
ChatOps Improve the DevOps Process
Developed at GitHub, ChatOps is a conversation-driven development that allows users to type commands in a chat tool to kick off the CI/CD process through custom scripts and plugins. The operation of the scripts requires backend support, which is where serverless technologies can support.
FaaS functions give DevOps engineers the ability to simply write the script to perform the intended operations and upload it to the function while ensuring that the chat tool can invoke it. This removes arduous container orchestration and networking setup. Furthermore, costs are only incurred when the FaaS function is invoked via the chatbot, not on an hourly basis.
Serverless Enhances the CI/CD Process for Continuous Deployment
Similar to ChatOps, serverless can be used to enhance the CI/CD process, but unlike ChatOps serverless can automate the entire process by merging pull requests to deploy in production. This is also known as GitOps.
Conceived by Weaveworks, GitOps is a methodology for Kubernetes cluster management and application delivery. By leveraging Kubernetes’ convergence properties, continuous delivery is triggered by git push. GitOps allows Kubernetes cluster management and application delivery by using Git as a single source of truth for declarative infrastructure and applications. With Git at the center of delivery pipelines, developers can accelerate pull requests and simplify application deployments and operations tasks to Kubernetes.
GitOps provides a “source of truth” for the infrastructure and application code to further increase the velocity of development teams. The workflow that makes this possible starts with CI tools to push docker images to hosting tools. Then cloud functions copy the configs and helm charts from the master storage bucket to master git repo. Finally, GitOps operators update the cluster according to the config charts and pull helm charts by the Lambda function.
By copying the helm charts, FaaS functions can be used to the master git repo. The FaaS functions are easy to set up and cost-effective, which means DevOps engineers can focus on other parts of the GitOps infrastructure and achieve low costs in the process.
The Road to DevOps is Challenging, But Serverless Can Help
Serverless can relieve the complexity of DevOps adoption through its pay-as-you-go, auto-scalability and fully managed services, enabling a more efficient and cost-effective implementation of DevOps infrastructures. Serverless technologies can be used across the DevOps stack from development and testing to CI/CD and incident management, it operates at optimal cost and is highly effective in development velocity and code reliability.