The next wave of cloud computing: Resurgence of serverless as a paradigm

As developers continue to be a force to be reckoned with in the modern enterprise world, making their lives easier is taking center stage.

WebAssembly is emerging as a key enabler of the serverless concept meant to boost developers’ productivity because they set their eyes on what matters and not issues such as infrastructure, according to Matt Butcher (pictured), chief executive officer at Fermyon Technologies Inc.

“There was the developer-oriented movement in the cloud early on and platform as a service,” Butcher said. “We started to lose developers and developers started saying, ‘I don’t want to be an operations person; simplify my life for me.’ Serverless is really the pendulum swinging back the other way … and WebAssembly seems to us to be like the platform upon which to build sort of this next little motion, the next wave of cloud.”

Butcher spoke with theCUBE industry analyst John Furrier and guest analyst Rob Strechay at Open Source Summit NA, during an exclusive broadcast on theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio. They discussed how serverless simplifies developers’ lives and the way artificial intelligence fits into the picture.

AI levels the open-source playing field

AI is making the open-source playing ground better based on the way people interact with ecosystems. For instance, Copilot — a cloud-based AI tool that enables the automation, collaboration and analysis of specific business content and context — is a perfect example, because it is the next iteration of pair programming, according to Butcher.

“When Copilot came out from GitHub, my first reaction was, ‘I mean we don’t want to use a tool like that that’s basically gonna make me a lazy programmer,’” he noted. “But I was talking to a friend, and he said what they discovered was that all of the developers who used Copilot to help them write code experienced 30% boost in their productivity. That means every three developers are essentially acting like a four developer team, and that’s remarkable.”

As distributed computing continues to gain steam, WebAssembly and serverless are getting to the limelight. As a result, developers have the opportunity to write small serverless functions that they can quickly deliver value, Butcher pointed out.

“Serverless makes it possible for the developer to say, ‘Look, the only thing I actually really care about is this little chunk here. Don’t want to know anything about the infrastructure; don’t want to know anything about how many systems my thing is running on. I’ll build it to be scalable because it’s a small bit of code and I’ll push it out there,’” he said. “And that’s a lot different from the Kubernetes world.”

Human plus AI is better than AI alone

Since humans can move faster with brain cycles, bringing AI into the picture leads to better results based on the resources provided. As a result, functionality is advanced and creativity explodes, Butcher pointed out.

“AI provides us a tool that will help people who have never written code before to start getting involved or people who are reasonably experienced in one language, in one domain, suddenly pivot and be able to contribute to another project that’s in a different language or a different domain,” he said.

As generative AI gains momentum, distributed computing continues to be showcased. This also pushes the serverless narrative.

“OpenAI and generative AI models work really well in a serverless context,” Butcher added.

Here’s the complete video interview, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of Open Source Summit NA:

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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