As we reflect on the past year, Heraclitus’ phrase “The only constant in life is change” has never rang more true. With the pandemic, companies had to shift operations, launch new products and adapt to extreme demand patterns, sometimes within a matter of weeks.
To respond to customer needs faster and more efficiently, many companies turned to serverless technology, designing applications with real-time signals and intelligence built in. From apps and sites for healthcare appointments and vaccinations, public-sector employment benefits, contact tracing, retail logistics, curbside delivery, hotel and travel booking—you name it, companies built it with serverless.
The world changed, the market changed, our lives changed and we here at Google Cloud also changed, introducing new products to meet our customers’ needs and grow with them.
Serverless technology, in particular, has changed a lot since it was first introduced. Google first launched serverless compute in 2008 with the launch of App Engine, helping customers scale their applications faster and seamlessly. We then added the ability to run Functions as a Service with Cloud Functions, giving customers a simple developer experience with integrated telemetry and observability. In parallel, we also introduced innovations to the container market with Kubernetes. Pretty soon, customers started asking us if we could combine the awesome serverless attributes of auto-scaling and developer experience with the flexibility of containers.
Enter Cloud Run, the next generation of serverless. Serverless is now no longer just about event-driven programming or microservices. It’s also about running complex workloads at scale while still preserving a delightful developer experience. In fact, serverless with Cloud Run is about having a true developer platform with the flexibility to run any language, any library, any binary.
There are three capabilities that make Cloud Run the next-generation of serverless, and not the same ‘serverless’ you find elsewhere:
- A great developer-centric experience
- Versatility: expanding to a broader set of containerized apps
- Built-in DevOps and security
Let’s take a look at the attributes in greater depth.
A great developer experience
Being developer-centric comes from having fully-managed self-operating infrastructure and a great developer experience. We want everyone to be able to develop smart applications and for that we have to make it easy. We also want to be sure we are bringing your technical talent closer to where you generate your business value.
To make things easy, last year we introduced buildpacks, which creates container images directly from source code. No need to learn Docker or containers. Although there are containers underneath, they’re transparent to the developer.
To simplify things further, we also introduced a single “gcloud run deploy” command to build and deploy code to Cloud Run. These types of features are some of the reasons why 98% of Cloud Run users deploy an application on their first try in less than 5 minutes.
In fact, in the past year alone, we added over 25 new features and services to our serverless stack, making development of complex apps easier. One of our main launches was Workflows, which lets you combine Cloud Run with any Google Cloud product or any HTTP-based API service. As a developer, this is very useful when automating complex processes, or integrating GCP’s analytic services across a variety of systems.
Taken together, all these new features make the Cloud Run developer experience far easier than its competitors’, according to a recent report by User Research International.
Next-generation serverless is also about versatility. It supports a wider variety of applications and caters to enterprise requirements. Functions and web apps of course, but also heavyweight applications, and in the fullness of time, also brownfield and third-party containerized apps. This versatility is enabled by the container primitive, which removes restrictions on languages, run times, and hardware.
Being able to run a greater variety of apps on our serverless stack means you can optimize for predictable usage. Today, we announced new spend-based committed use discounts for Cloud Run. Enterprises with stable, steady-state, and predictable usage can now purchase committed use contracts directly in the billing UI. There are no upfront payments, so these discounts are a perfect way to reduce your spend by as much as 17%.
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Source : https://cloud.google.com/blog/products/serverless/how-next-gen-serverless-tools-help-the-enterprise