Omdia has compared leading players as well as promising niche players in the space in its new report: Omdia Universe: Serverless Services Solutions, 2023

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Serverless services adoption is rising as businesses begin to see how to gain the best value from this technology. When AWS launched Lambda toward the end of 2014 there was a lot of curiosity followed by hype about its potential. However, it has taken the last few years to see cloud hyperscalers add increasing numbers of serverless services to their portfolio, and go beyond function as a service.

Omdia has compared leading players as well as promising niche players in the space in its new report: Omdia Universe: Serverless Services Solutions, 2023. The report examines the benefits and challenges of working with serverless technology and how the different players have diversified their offerings and positioned themselves in a growing market.

The benefits of serverless services

Omdia uses the label “serverless services” or “serverless computing” as an umbrella term to refer to a range of cloud services that encapsulate three essential characteristics as they affect the user:

  • No infrastructure provisioning, administration, and management
  • Pay-per-use charging, based variously (depending on context) on function calls, code execution time, and memory usage
  • Near real-time availability of computing resources, at internet scale, for event-based applications, with scale to zero when not required.

Using serverless services, application developers can focus on building business applications and not have to be concerned with the running of the infrastructure.

Cloud service providers that offer serverless services can make the economics of their use beneficial, so that billing is highly granular on a millisecond basis. This pay-per-use model makes serverless services ideal for occasional running applications and burst requirements; for example, a retailer does not need to provision infrastructure all year round in order to meet the high peak demands of Christmas shopping.

With greater awareness of what serverless can offer, for a startup that does not want to build its own data center or use a cloud service and still needs to hire IT staff to run those cloud services, then serverless offers an attractive alternative: go serverless wholesale from the start, and keep the business focused on the commercial aspects of the business.

The limitations of serverless services

However, it’s not all plain sailing as serverless has its own idiosyncrasies. Perhaps the most significant is related to its consistency of startup times. The response times can vary, depending on whether an application is launched for the first time or is being rapidly scaled out. Solution providers have ways to mitigate these cold starts and users need to be aware of how to navigate such latencies.

Serverless functions were originally conceived for applications that run for short execution times, so cloud providers set execution time limits. Yet the boundary of what users want to run on serverless is continually being pushed – some want long-running applications, some want high-performance compute loads, and some want durable functions as a service (traditionally, serverless functions are stateless). In response, vendors are widening the range of serverless services on offer.

Writing event-driven applications requires a different skill set from writing procedural programs, so there is the question of skill-set availability within the user organization. Organizations should look at which applications are a good fit with serverless, such as having the following characteristics:

  • Event-driven
  • Highly modular
  • Short-lived execution time
  • Benefits from rapid and high scalability up and down
  • Short time to get from concept to production.

Omdia Universe: Serverless Services, 2023, delves into the serverless market and offers deep comparisons into leading solutions in the market.



Michael Azoff, Chief Analyst, Cloud and Data Center Practice