Serverless computing is gaining tremendous traction among developers, mainly aided by the ease with which they can deploy their code to production. The agility factor and the fine-grained cost model have made serverless computing attractive to many developers. Serverless is an abstraction that completely removes the complexities associated with managing the servers and middleware layers needed to deploy the application code. Unlike other cloud services like virtual machines and containers, developers need not worry about infrastructure configuration (eg: the YAML complexity in the Kubernetes environments) and they can just focus on the business logic needed for their applications. This ease of use results improves the developer productivity, contributing to better ROI and rapid innovation. Zoho had announced pre-release access to the Catalyst platform in 2019 and they are making it generally available (GA) today.
Catalyst goes GA
This is a significant milestone in the evolution of the Catalyst platform, catering to the needs of developers supporting a wide variety of use cases from web applications to modern machine learning applications. This highly scalable serverless platform goes beyond offerings like compute functions as a service to a full-fledged developer suite with storage, backend services, and more. This allows developers to start coding on their applications without having to set up their local or developer sandbox environments for free. Once tested, they can easily provision the Catalyst resources in production and pay only for what they use. This dramatically increases the speed to market, allowing developers to take their ideas to market rapidly without any capital expenditure. Catalyst platform serves as the catalyst for rapid innovation which every business should aspire to in today’s global digital economy. Many early users of Catalyst have seen a dramatic reduction in their time to market. Read this case study to learn how one such organization benefited from Catalyst.
Some of the key features of the Catalyst platform are:
- Catalyst supports event-driven functions, REST endpoints, and cron jobs
- Database, file storage, and cache built into the platform
- Powerful ML/AI models built into the platform and available out of the box as REST APIs
- The necessary application services like user management, API gateway, monitoring, logging, mail, analytics, etc. are integrated into the platform
- A fully free developer sandbox for testing out their applications before deploying in the production
In short, this is a comprehensive developer suite that makes it easy to take an idea to production at the speed of the developers and allows them to innovate at the speed of the business.
The Catalyst Advantage
Unlike the first-generation serverless platforms offered by hyperscale cloud providers, the Catalyst platform offers some significant advantages to developers, making it the go-to platform for their needs. Some of the advantages of the Catalyst platform over others in the market include:
- Superior developer experience offered by seamless UI and tighter integration with other services needed to deploy the applications. Not only the UI is intuitive, but the platform also makes it easy for developers to implement features like user management and other dependencies for the application. For example, adding user management with support for Zoho and GSuite single sign-on is as simple as copying and pasting few lines of code into the application code. This significantly reduces the developer overhead and helps accelerate the deployment time. The agility benefits for developers is significant compared to other platforms including the ones offered by hyperscalers.
- While a developer typically incurs DevOps overhead in using database or cloud storage in the Serverless compute offered by hyperscale providers, the Catalyst platform completely removes this DevOps overhead and makes it easy for developers to use these services to build their applications. This allows for supporting many different use cases out of the box
- ML and AI engine integrated with the Catalyst platform makes it easy for developers to build AI applications without having to train the model first. They can take advantage of pre-trained models and save significant time and overhead in deploying these applications.
- The website hosting feature allows developers to build an entire web application and deploy it on the Catalyst platform. There is significant overhead in deploying a fully functional web application on other serverless platforms offered by hyperscalers. Catalyst is so easy to use that you can build a simple serverless application in just 10 minutes using node.js functions, databases, and other Catalyst services.
- Developers need not pay for sandbox environments in the Catalyst platform where they can test their applications before deploying to production. They only start paying after the production deployment. This offers considerable cost savings which are not available in the Serverless offerings from the hyperscale providers
These are some of the advantages offered by the Catalyst platform and there are others to help improve developer productivity. You can check out the platform by signing up here. (It’ll take you less than 5 seconds)
Tools offered by Catalyst
CLI: Empowers developers to initialize projects, and develop, test, and deploy the components of your applications and microservices from your local machine.
SDK: Helps developers to create software applications on a specific platform that the SDK targets.
Console: An integrated console providing a great user experience with the ability to access resources from development as well as production.
What is New
As the Catalyst platform goes to GA, developers can get the following benefits:
- Multi DC support
In addition to the US DC, Catalyst is now available in European as well as Indian data centers, and is accessible from both EU and IN domains.
Monitor and analyze applications. Get instant, contextual insights into Functions characteristics, and component usage trace, and speed up application testing with improved testing and diagnostics.
- 125 M free invocations*
Receive 125M free invocations in the production environment, upon deploying your first Catalyst project
*Free for the first year upon deploying your first project to production and considering single credit operations like Select Query in DataStore and heavy usage pricing
Disclaimer: Zoho is a sponsor of TalkingServerless.com