New Relic Bolsters Serverless Monitoring Strategy

New Relic has strengthened its ability to monitor serverless computing frameworks by acquiring IOpipe, a provider of a monitoring tool for the serverless computing framework service provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Andrew Tunall, general manager for serverless and emerging cloud services at New Relic, said IOpipe’s monitoring technology will be used to augment the monitoring tool for AWS Lambda included in the New Relic One platform, which was launched earlier this year.

New Relic also plans to expand its observability capabilities for serverless computing to other platforms based on customer demand, said Tunall.

Serverless computing frameworks are gaining traction because they enable developers to write less code within their applications by allowing them to employ functions to call on a cloud service to process, for example, analytics externally rather than within the application itself. The challenge serverless computing frameworks create from a DevOps perspective is they don’t create any logs that can be analyzed. Instead, monitoring tools need to be able to employ distributed tracing tools to analyze the streams of metadata that serverless computing frameworks create based on event-driven architectures. That requirement has forced providers of monitoring tools to extend the capabilities of their core platform to enable the consumption of that metadata.

Adoption of serverless computing frameworks is already outpacing the ability of many DevOps teams to observe. According to AWS, hundreds of thousands of customers are already doing trillions of invocations a month of AWS Lambda. Gartner has predicted that by 2023, 100% of enterprises using IaaS or public cloud will also use some form of serverless platform-as-a-service (PaaS) capability in production applications, up from 25% in 2019. In most cases, those serverless computing frameworks will be employed to process stateless workloads, while stateful workloads continue to run on a virtual machine or within a container.

While most of the usage of serverless computing frameworks thus far is on public clouds, it’s only a matter of time before organizations increasingly make use of multiple serverless computing frameworks in on-premises IT environments. There are already more than a dozen different types of serverless computing frameworks, most of which are being made available as open source projects.

Naturally, the rise of serverless computing frameworks complicates DevOps even further. DevOps teams will now need to build, deploy and update applications that are making frequent external application programming interface (API) calls to potentially multiple serverless computing frameworks. Rather than requiring organizations to acquire separate tools to monitor serverless computing frameworks, New Relic is making a case for extending a single platform to monitor all the various types of IT platforms being employed.

There’s almost no doubt most organizations will wind up invoking serverless computing frameworks in one fashion or another, but it’s too early to say how pervasive serverless computing frameworks will be. However, DevOps teams will be required to monitor those serverless computing frameworks alongside every other platform already being employed across an increasingly diverse IT environment.

Mike Vizard @mvizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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