The software design paradigm of breaking apart monolithic applications into small, modular pieces has mobilized the government sector much like it did the commercial world. Microservices architectures are enabling government agencies to incrementally and continuously develop and deploy applications, resulting in agility and efficiency.
Application modernization services and solutions like SAIC’s transform legacy apps to cloud-enabled microservices apps. Moreover, they set up agencies for agile, DevSecOps, and cloud-native development.
The government has embraced container technologies such as Kubernetes to package and deploy microservices apps on cloud platforms as loosely connected collections of autonomous functions, but serverless microservices apps are starting to catch on. Serverless computing is seen as the next, natural progression for modern app design, taking the speed, scale, and cost benefits of microservices architectures to even greater levels.
Just like containerized microservices do, serverless architectures use managed services and automation tools from cloud platforms such as AWS and Microsoft Azure for app deployment. But, where containerized app deployment requires custom tuning and management of resource requirements and scaling, serverless design completely hands over packaging, configuration, and infrastructure capacity handling to cloud service providers (CSPs).
Serverless computing services like AWS Lambda dynamically assign and provision the exact amount of compute and storage resources needed to run an app based on demand. If five people are using the app, resources are precisely matched for those five users, and ditto 5,000 or 1 million users. When no one uses the app, it stops running and scales to zero.
No longer burdened with figuring out infrastructure provisioning and scaling requirements, app developers can focus purely on the business logic and microservice code.
The process of deploying code for an individual app function into production is simplified, automatically handled by the CSP, and immediate. Agencies can rapidly and continuously build and improve apps one microservice function at a time, in a LEGO-like manner, and expect to see a few services up and running within several weeks. Serverless architectures also mean that a government agency divests its cloud infrastructure back to the CSP and consumes resources only on demand triggered by app users. In other architectures, agencies are paying for infrastructure even when no one is using the apps.
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Descriptions like event-driven computing, pay-as-you-go computing, and function-as-a-service have been applied to serverless.