Unleashing the Power of SaaS: Serverless Cloud

by Alex Labonne

What and Why

In our last newsletter, we touched on digital and why this new era has come along. One catalyst of the digital era is the commoditisation of infrastructure resources from the big Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) providers.

This in turn creates a wonderful ecosystem for the proliferation of applications that are also commoditized; not only our hardware financing can switch to almost full Operating Expense (OPEX), but so can our software, per hour, per tonne, per throughput etc.

One would think the financial aspect (not always cheaper but certainly more manageable) would be reason enough for the adoption trend of Software as a Service (SaaS) solution for varied industries, but there are many more.

Elasticity and the ability to respond on demand to large flux of data and usage to then scale back during quieter periods allows the small guys to play with the big ones, provided they convert that traffic into business of course.

Many Cloud providers also provide SaaS components and the ability to create many additional components over and over, with de facto backup, horizontal scale, security, deployment processes, usage tracking etc., reducing development, test and deployment times to allow businesses to focus on what matters most: innovation and their market.

Finally, the flexibility, the ability to run many components and applications in a networked and loose coupled way underlines the need for SaaS adoption. Running several component versions side by side to remove older ones smoothly, deploying updates seamlessly to provide the best upgrade experience. The list goes on…

Hermes offers SaaS today

Hermes provides a version of its software fully hosted and handled in the Cloud (Azure or Amazon). Whilst it provides exactly the same functionality for a slightly cheaper overall cost, it is still deployed as a “tenant” for any given customer.

This takes away many concerns about data safety, whilst removing most infrastructure headaches for customers. It also allows us to support our customers more efficiently.

But we feel that the software commoditisation aspects, savings and dynamism, are not at their real potential by using virtual machines or containers. We still need to manage Operating Systems, patches etc., spending time we can dedicate to developing better cargo apps.

True SaaS power

The Hermes application is moving towards becoming a much more open platform, with all the trimmings one might imagine. But as the components of Hermes are broken apart, grown significantly, scaled, opened and moved to the Cloud, core system and business aspects become more complex; security, scalability, OS patching, system upgrades, RDBMS tuning, etc.

To accelerate software development, Hermes needs to leverage existing SaaS technologies to stand upon. Enter Serverless components.

Rather than deploying the Hermes stack within containers such as VMs in the Cloud, HLT will leverage existing SaaS/PaaS facilities in the Cloud to accelerate its productivity, giving our customers more innovative applications and services. No hardware, no VMs, no OS, just pure business logic and good design patterns focus.

Hermes to rendezvous with the future

As we highlighted the Digital Trend show stoppers in our previous article, one would be forgiven to see the HLT strategy as a risky move. After all some markets are not ready, nor permitting the use of public Cloud. I say public with a pinch of salt, as much of the business logic and data can actually be hidden and VPNed solely to a customer’s network.

We know that customers in different countries will adopt these technologies at different rates, depending on their government regulations, financial practices or competitive appetite. Hermes will be ready to bring great advantage to those who adopt Hermes SaaS with more granular purchase schemes and/or pay-as-you-go full OPEX financing.

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