Iron was one of the pioneers of Serverless, so we’re excited to announce that we’ll also be one of the first companies to offer the next generation of compute: It’s called Computerless™.
Unlike Serverless, this technology removes the physical machine completely. Our offering piggy-backs off the recent developments in fiber optic technology developed at the University of Oxford. If you haven’t heard about this breakthrough, we’ll do our best to explain:
Researchers have found a way to control how light travels at the molecular level, thus being in complete control of the resulting attenuation. Molecular gates can then be created, and state stored in finite wavelengths. It’s somewhat equivalent to qubits in quantum computing, but in the case of optical fiber, it’s a physical reality.
The end result of this technological release allows for computers to be fully encapsulated in fiber optic cable. The usual components needed are now mapped 1-to-1, via light. This has allowed Iron’s infrastructure to completely change. While we’ve run our infrastructure on public clouds like AWS and GCP in the past, we’ve been able to leave that all behind. We’re now able to push our entire suite of products into optical cable itself:
In the next few months, we’ll be pushing all of our customer’s sensitive data into the cables shown above as well as running all Worker jobs through them. We’re pretty sure the cables we purchased are for multi-tenant applications, so you can probably rest assured that we’re doing the right thing. In fact, NASA has already expressed an interest in licensing this technology from Iron. Other interested parties include the government of French Guiana and defense conglomerate Stark Industries.
Researchers have kind-of concluded that this technology is ready for prime time, and also are quick to state the fact that in 1998, The Undertaker threw Mankind off Hell In A Cell, and plummeted 16 ft through an announcer’s table.
One of our main goals for the Iron.io platform is run anywhere. This means we enable customers to use our services on any cloud, public or private. With Hybrid Iron.io, we’re making it drop dead simple to get the benefits of the public cloud, with the security and control of a private cloud.
The Cloud Expo was held June 7-9, 2016 in New York City, and Iron.io sent a team to present our vision for the future, collaborate with other attendees and answer questions. Below is a summary of three technical sessions representative of the Containers track at the conference:
It was an honor to give a talk on the future of Serverless at goto Chicago, an enterprise developer conference running from May 24 to 25, 2016. As you can see from the full room, containers, microservices and serverless are popular topics with developers, and this interest extends across a wide swath of back-end languages, from Java to Ruby to node.js. Unfortunately, the talk was not recorded, so I’m providing these notes (and my slide deck) for those who could not attend.
The Evolution of Deployed Applications
Before we look forward into the future of Serverless, let’s look back. We’ve seen a historical evolution in deployed applications at multiple different levels. Whereas before the unit of scale was measured by how many servers you could deploy, we’ve moved through rolling out virtual machines to the current pattern of scaling our containerized infrastructure. Similarly, we’ve seen a shift from monolithic architectures deployed through major releases to containerized, continuously-updated microservices. This paradigm is Iron.io’s “sweet spot,” and we’re leading the enterprise towards a serverless computing world.
Here’s some cool news. Iron.io was recently named a “Cool Vendor” in the Cool Vendors in Platform as a Service, 2016report by Gartner. The report puts Iron.io on an extremely short list with just three other vendors in the space: Clusterpoint in London, England; Flybits in Toronto, Canada; and Neoway out of Florianopolis, Brazil.
The Cool Vendors research by Gartner is designed to help CIOs and other top IT leaders stay ahead of the IT technology curve. It also helps them make better strategic decisions about technology and services. “The vendors in this report offer new platform opportunities for business and IT, in response to increasing demand for intelligent business operations with cloud levels of scale, agility and responsiveness,” the report states. Continue reading “Gartner Names Iron.io on 2016 “Cool Vendor” List”
Recently, SAP TV asked Iron.io CEO and Co-founder Chad Arimura to explain mircoservices in 60 seconds. It was great to have Chad included in SAP’s “Meet the Innovators” series. We’re sharing the video with you here, not only because it is a concise explanation of microservices, but it’s clear from hearing Chad speak why all of us at Iron.io are so excited about a future with teams of developers using microservices.
My previous post, Distinguished Microservices: It’s in the Behavior, made a comparison between two types of microservices – real-time requests (“app-centric”) and background processes (“job-centric”). As a follow up, I wanted to take a deeper look at job-centric microservices as they set the stage for a new development paradigm — serverless computing.
Of course, this doesn’t mean we’re getting rid of the data center in any form or fashion — it simply means that we’re entering a world where developers never have to think about provisioning or managing infrastructure resources to power workloads at any scale. This is done by decoupling backend jobs as independent microservices that run through an automated workflow when a predetermined event occurs. For the developer, it’s a serverless experience.
Microservices is more than just an academic topic. It was born out of the challenges from running distributed applications at scale; enabled by recent advancements in cloud native technologies. What started as a hot topic between developers, operators, and architects alike, is now catching on within the enterprise because of what the shift in culture promises — the ability to deliver software quickly, effectively, and continuously. In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing landscape, that is more than just desirable; it’s required to stay competitive.
Culture shifts alone are not enough to make a real impact, so organizations embarking down this path must also examine what it actually means for the inner workings of their processes and systems. Dealing with immutable infrastructure and composable services at scale means investing in operational changes. While containers and their surrounding tools provide the building blocks through an independent, portable, and consistent workflow and runtime, there’s more to it than simply “build, ship, run.”
As a Customer Success engineer here at Iron.io, I’ve been fortunate enough to see people using Iron.io in ways I never thought about. It’s actually one of my favorite parts of my job.
Recently, I was chatting with a customer who mentioned his students were using Iron.io in their final project. This peeked my interest, so I interviewed Soumya Ray, an associate professor at National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan, about his experience. Professor Ray’s Service Oriented Architecture class is an 18 week course that takes students from idea creation to final product. And, as a cherry on top, the class has students create the building blocks of their own startup with zero dollars spent.Continue reading “The Next Frontier: Learning Microservices in the Classroom”
Microservices are great! Or, at least that’s what the internet keeps telling me. There are a lot of upsides, but there are more than a few challenges too.
For example, microservices are a polyglot’s dream. Have a Rails app and a use case where Ruby seems a bit too slow? No problem, microservices and Go are a good starting point.
As you might imagine, it’s a nightmare keeping track of style guides and best practices on a per service basis. If only there were a tool to help manage this mess. Oh, hey there pre-commit!