Ceci n’est pas une infrastructure

Continuously build and deploy the next generation of software solutions, without ever noticing your infrastructure

Sounds like a pipedream. But the ultimately invisible infrastructure (the “no” infrastructure) is certainly within reach. Many startups would agree with this idea, as they prefer asset-free business models for their next disruptive solutions anyway. Software-defined “everything,” radical automation, software containers, microservices, orchestration, and the cloud are paving the way toward a retail-style, catalog-based infrastructure. Perhaps there is no catalog at all, just software. With software being continuously developed and deployed on an infrastructure that automatically adjusts, IT infrastructure can finally become the powerful utility it was destined to be; always available, just not noticeable. C’est tout.

WHAT

  • A new breed of providers focus on providing measurable business outcomes for their clients’ consumers with turnkey infrastructures that are transparent and measurable in terms of value delivery.
  • The mix of virtualization, software-defined networking and data centers, cloud, APIs, and software containers makes IT infrastructure a commodity that can be easily orchestrated and procured from a catalog of services.
  • This can even evolve into “NoOps” and “serverless” computing, in which applications – or microservices – are instantly deployed on a cloud-based infrastructure that remains fully hidden from the developers.

USE

  • Startups often rely on an event-based, architectural combination of IoT, image processing, AI-driven analytics, and social media functions; for that, the default design mix now would consist of third-party APIs and “serverless” computing.
  • Cloud-based development – even in full DevOps mode – typically involves building software, checking it into a source code management system, and deploying it to an application server, scaling up and down when needed. With serverless computing platforms such as Azure Functions or OpenWhisk, it’s only a matter of uploading the code and watching it run within seconds.

IMPACT

  • Speed to digital value: no waiting for infrastructure procurement and installation, just on-demand usage.
  • Elastic scalability, varying with business volumes.
  • Full business focus on software-based solutions, rather than on the underlying infrastructure challenges.
  • Easy-to-start new initiatives, based on minimum viable products (MVPs), no limits to scaling out, and small costs for failures.
  • Modest to no upfront IT infrastructure investments.

TECH

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