This week it was announced that software architects have been struggling with legacy relational database. Some examples of relational databases include Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle Database, MySQL and IBM DB2. These databases have been widely employed because they allow companies to outsource database maintenance and to allow for a cleaner infrastructure support. However, a recent survey published in Couchbase’s Can architects meet the demands of the digital age? report, found that IT architects have effectively taken a second look at their ability to engage in digital transformation. This survey reports that 80% of IT architects have had to reduce their ambitions for new internet of things (IoT) or mobile applications and services because of the many challenges in using data. Where legacy databases are often considered a “bottleneck to digital transformation,” the solutions for how to use information within new technology is continuing to be a challenge for software architects. That said, there are many businesses thriving because of how software architecture is able to relate cultural modalities to certain industry mandates.
The reality of software development today is that most everything we do in and out of business requires our dependence upon new tech that most of us simply do not understand. In fact, most of us don’t even read the user agreements we quickly click through in order to access our latest updated software. Yet this small print we barely understand is dwarfed in complexity by the code used to ensure that our privacy is maintained, our passwords encoded, or that our access to certain websites is completely private and unhackable. All this while providing the end-goal of what the software is supposed to do and today what this software is supposed to do across multiple devices!
In the field of green energy, software is integral to ensuring that renewable and green energy is moderated to the most efficient ends. Confronting issues such as electricity fluctuations from the grid to moderations in green energy production based on weather conditions, software development is critical to the future of green energy. Damian Merlak, founder of NGEN tells me, “Our software systems are moving towards the IoT model because of how IoT can be applied to energy networks and “smart cities” which can help us reduce waste and improve energy efficiency.”
A more common measure today for handling the need to focus on software has been to rely on serverless architecture which doesn’t mean that there is no server, but rather that architects have opted for a third-party service provider which handles the processes, operating systems and servers. Serverless architecture frees programmers to focus on building excellent software intended for the cloud. As many enterprises have concerned themselves with the differences between the traditional client-server model of architecture to a peer-to-peer model, serverless architecture is sparking new discussions in IT to include those of privacy and security. For example, it was announced quite recently, cryptocurrency needs to implement better digital privacy protocols within its architecture least it face myriad regulatory penalties. But this doesn’t address the ecological pros and cons of serverless architecture much less the efficiency and economics of such architecture which some have set out to experiment.
As legacy applications manage information through servers, the notion of a serverless architecture is not only appealing to many IT architects today, but it causes many problems for the transfer of information seamlessly from server to cloud. Or, as Eddie Jauregui of Media Temple points out, serverless applications “break out the application’s functional components into standalone modules, with transactions choreographed via event-based API calls.” Noting how legacy applications manage “client-side and server-side logic and infrastructures within a closed, monolithic architecture,” Jauregui shows the advantages of serverless architecture.
Even the travel industry is beginning to use serverless architecture where microservice-driven platforms can handle increased traffic at peak booking times while allowing the software to run more smoothly. In this way when you book a family vacation or trip to Sri Lanka in the winter, the travel booking software is able to meet the requests even under the pressure of heavy traffic. Between streaming data predictions and wrapping Machine learning as API, AWS Lambda is just one of many companies that allow companies to run code without thinking of server compatibility.
Certainly as IT architecture evolves and is being pushed towards the serverless realm, more and more industries will have to face the hardships of not being able to use older data or to be left with the bottleneck of information that is left in a virtual holding pattern. Indeed, one of the answers to the current dilemma of bottlenecked information is to cut losses immediately and move forward towards a serverless future and create newer platforms that bridge the benefits of new technology with cultural, social and economic advancements.