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The Rise Of Knative In Serverless Computing & Why It Is The New Industry Standard

Knative announcement has created a lot of buzz when it was released at Google Next. It provides a complete platform for managing serverless workloads, providing building, scaling, and event sourcing features. Kubernetes-based platform to build, deploy, and manage modern serverless workloads. As per the Google documentation, Knative allows developers to focus on writing code without the need to worry about the “boring but difficult” parts of building, deploying, and managing their application.

What Is Knative?

In order to understand what Knative is, it is important to know about Kubernetes. Kubernetes is a portable, extensible open-source platform for managing containerised workloads and services, that facilitates both declarative configuration and automation. It has a large, rapidly growing ecosystem. It was started as an attempt to elevate the conversation about cloud computing.

Knative is a follow up on this success. It is to build and manage serverless space to enable the developers to focus on business solutions rather than infrastructure. It is a very good platform for application developers who are already using Kubernetes as it gives tools that focus less on infrastructure and more on the code. What makes Knative unique is that they build tools and services such that they elevate the existing Kubernetes experience.

Knative is built with the same patterns, API, and infrastructure as Kubernetes. Knative also provides scale-to-zero functionality, which enables true zero-cost usage for idle applications, and Blue/Green deployments for testing new versions of your serverless applications.

Goals Of Knative

There are primarily two major goals:

  1. Create building blocks to enable a high-quality OSS serverless stack
  2. Drive improvements to Kubernetes, which support both serverless and general-purpose computing.

As a set of OSS building blocks, Knative allows on-premises IT departments and cloud providers to provide a common serverless development experience for web sites, stateless API services, and event processing.

Importance Of Severless

Today more developers are in support of and are deploying serverless computing. It provides an ease of control over the infrastructure. They serve as an excellent option over traditional servers to host their applications. It’s easy, flexible, less time consuming and is gaining a lot of popularity.

Serverless computing saves cost to a considerable amount. Costs revolving around reevaluating the wheel for authorization, presence detection, and image processing can be greatly saved. In a serverless situation, the framework is only provisioned for the duration in which the application is running, an audio function is running and sound software code is running. The user does not have to pay after the code is done running, which is really huge from a cost-saving point of view.

It also improves developer productivity greatly and improve scalability. With stateless functions multiple containers can be initialised, allowing as many functions to be run as needed to continually service all incoming requests.

Knative Vs The Rest

Knative is not a complete serverless solution on its own, but a platform to build serverless solutions on top. That makes Knative to be more likely to be used by vendors or operators to build serverless solutions on top of Kubernetes. Knative is a set of software building blocks, not a hosted and packaged solution like Lambda and Cloud Functions. It is also very simple to use and saves time. It is the best options for running a serverless framework inside Kubernetes.

Knative can take a source upload and build a container, but it also works with any existing workflows that produce a container. Knative isn’t tied to a single cloud vendor. It is hybrid and cross-cloud. There will be plugins to enable vendor-specific features , but the core experience and runtime behavior will translate from one cloud to another. The source code can be downloaded, contributed to the bug fixes and participate in the working groups to make it better.

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