Build Newsletter: Serverless Applications, Containers & Microservices

March 10, 2016 Gregory Chase

sfeatured-buildWelcome to the next BUILD Newsletter. Last week, we covered the new development platforms around virtual reality, augmented reality, wearables, and more. This week, we have a roundup of the latest news in cloud platform development.

The IDC Directions conference happened last week. One of the more noteworthy topics shows the increasing trend for PaaS right now. First, this IDC Directions slide shares that while only 22% of companies have truly begun a digital transformation today, this number is expected to double in the next 3 years. And according to one analyst at IDC, spending on 3rd platform tech is set to exceed 2nd platform spending this year, starting what will be a 7x spending increase by 2020. So, there is a lot of runway ahead of us. Importantly, PaaS is going to be the driving force behind the 3rd platform as explained by Stratecast in their new PaaS landscape report—PaaS will eclipse IaaS and SaaS in importance because PaaS is the cloud layer that facilitates innovation.

Cloud Foundry Updates

Moving on to the biggest PaaS conference on Earth…Cloud Foundry has announced the North American Summit, coming to Santa Clara on May 23-25. Two thousand attendees are expected. In case you missed the previous years, here are the playlists for 2015 (86 videos) and 2014 (44 videos—you will see, the lineup has been nothing short of amazing, and this year is predicted to be even better!

In other Cloud Foundry news, we shared Pivotal’s Onsi Foukhouri’s edu-taining sales kickoff presentation on the Pivotal Cloud Foundry Roadmap for 2016. In an iconic—or rather emoticonic—style, this fun video explains the power of the platform and “The Big Picture” for where the 40 different teams at Pivotal are driving towards this year. TIBCO joined the foundation, Sam Ramji, Cloud Foundry Foundation CEO, said 50% of multi-cloud IT shops are running Cloud Foundry, and convinced this skeptic at Programmable Web that it is already disrupting the industrial sector. Finally, Pivotal is looking to amp up the number of tiles, or ready-to-run services, available by inviting 21 companies to build their tiles at the first ever Pivotal Cloud Foundry Industry Day. The event was such a success, we will be running private betas in a couple weeks to test the tiles and expect to run at least one more of these events in Q2.

Serverless Applications

Serverless apps are now gaining attention across the industry. InformationWeek published an article on serverless applications, quoting one former Netflix engineer, “Containers will be a fad that will quickly disappear. People doing containers will just move on to creating serverless applications.” In parts one and two of this series, a Forbes contributor explains the 5 key factors that are fueling the serverless computing trend—a solid perspective on how the space has evolved. Of course, the same PaaS benefits called out by this author will still apply to serverless computing—faster deployments, more predictable systems, flexible options, greater control, a variety of tools, better SLAs, better collaboration between developers and operations staff, and built in business continuity and disaster recovery.


In the world of containers, both positive and negative viewpoints continue to come in—Goldman Sach’s and Bank of New York Mellon shared positive container perspectives on WSJ Blogs. Note, BNY Mellon is also a Cloud Foundry sponsor and touts that Cloud Foundry helps them prevent vendor lock-in. On the negative side, reports that 44% of CIOs aren’t yet running containers and many don’t see the value prop—as the article points out, this might be because the value prop of containers is greatly expanded when digital transformation, devops, continuous integration, and continuous delivery are considered. Lastly, this interview on InfoQ, just came out on the heels of the 2016 Container Summit—it is a great perspective and points out the interconnection between devops, microservices, and containers.


In the land of microservices, TheServerSide just re-published Creating a Microservice? Answer these 10 Questions First—we thought these questions were a great way to start thinking about design. As well, our own Josh Long had an interview with InfoQ’s Charles Humble at QCon SF 2015 in November, and the video and interview Spring Boot, Spring Cloud, and Microservices was recently posted. Some are touting new microservices projects that might foster mass adoption, and we agree that there is more to microservices than Spring Boot—this podcast and its part 1 predecessor explain how Spring Boot, Spring Cloud, and Cloud Foundry all fit together along with this article and a Spring tutorial. Lastly, if you didn’t catch them, the videos from Microservices Practitioner Summit and microXchg 2016 are now available.

As a parting thought, we thought this piece was a good perspective for migrating your career towards a devops role, which is where the future is headed.

See you next week.

P.S. Find all the Build Newsletter archives here.

About the Author

Greg Chase is an enterprise software business leader more than 20 years experience in business development, marketing, sales, and engineering with software companies. Most recently Greg has been focused on building the community and ecosystem around Pivotal Greenplum and Pivotal Cloud Foundry as part of the Global Ecosystem Team at Pivotal. His goal is to to help create powerful solutions for Pivotal’s customers, and drive business for Pivotal’s partners. Greg is also a wine maker, dog lover, community volunteer, and social entrepreneur.

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