a-z tech jargon

The real meaning of… Serverless Architecture

This week we investigate the mysterious world of Serverless Architecture.

Taken literally, this term would imply that it’s about not having a programme or device that provides some useful function for other programmes. (That’s the server less bit). And somehow applying that to the art and science of designing and erecting buildings. (Architecture). It doesn’t add up, but things rarely make logical sense in the logic-based information technology industry. 

Once again, it seemed like there was a smokescreen at play. Our investigation would have to go undercover if we were going to dig deeper. After a series of queries with PRs and Veeps, we were getting nowhere. It seems like nobody wanted to tell us, or they didn’t know the answer. We were no closer to finding the elusive Mr or Ms Big who masterminded (or mistress-minded) The Operation. 

Out of the blue, we found someone who wanted to talk, but they wanted to be off the record. Whispering out of the corner of his mouth, our contact at the shoe shine stand said we should look out for applications that depend on third-party services.

The word is that some ‘custom code’ was going to come in on some ‘ephemeral containers’. Don’t bust our chops, we told the contact, nobody’s going to pay you for blowing smoke up our AAS. But he insisted that Backend as a Service and Function as a Service really are genuine entities, coming in on containers. 

They’re saying that AWS Lambda is moving behaviours to the front end, which means that the 'always on' server system will soon be sleeping with the fish as a service. It’s nothing personal, it’s all about the money. And, of course, getting people hooked on a vendor they’ll be stuck with for life. Then the vendor can make them offers they can’t refuse. 


Also read:

The real meaning of… ‘As A Service’
The real meaning of… Bitcoin
The real meaning of… ChatBots
The real meaning of Disruptive Technology
The real meaning of… the e-prefix
The real meaning of… Futurology
The real meaning of…3G and 4G
The real meaning of… Hard-wired
The real meaning of... Information Age - interruptive technology
The real meaning of… Jabber
The real meaning of…. Killer apps, Kyoto, Keyword stuffing and Knowledge
The real meaning of… Legacies and Leverage, Leadership and Language
The real meaning of… Mobile, Machines and the Malware Man-in-the-Middle
The real meaning of… NAND
The real meaning of… Open Source
The real meaning of… Phishing
The real meaning of… Quantum Computing
The real meaning of… Ransomware


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Nick Booth

Nick Booth worked in IT in the UK’s National Health Service, financial services and The Met Police, witnessing at first hand the disruptive effects of new technology. As a journalist and analyst, his mission is to stop history repeating itself.

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