CloudNativeDay: WASM will drive the next era of computing
WebAssembly (WASM) is poised to drive the next era of cloud-native application development that can truly run anywhere.
Liam Randall, CEO of Cosmonic, a provider of a platform for building and deploying WASM applications, told attendees at a CloudNativeDay virtual event that WASM will be at the heart of a new era of computing that will empower organizations faster to create highly portable applications that are not tied to any IT infrastructure platform and more secure.
This approach replaces the current predominant method of building software that relies on aggregating software components that tend to lack distinct boundaries between them. One of the problems with this approach is that it becomes relatively easy for malware to infect all components of an application.
The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) is now trying to advance the adoption of a Cosmonic WASM runtime environment that allows WASM applications to run on any platform instead of being forced to build applications that can only run, for example, on Windows or Linux.
This level of portability will prove crucial as more organizations seek to drive application deployments across a wide range of edge computing platforms, Randall noted.
It may be a while before WASM becomes the preferred artifact for building applications, but it’s clear that the walls that separated one computing platform from another are finally beginning to crumble. Once apps become much more portable, the long-held goal of writing an app once and then deploying it anywhere can finally be achieved. This is not only critical in terms of the overall productivity of application developers, it has major implications in terms of streamlining the management of DevOps workflows as it becomes easier both to initially deploy applications and to update them continuously.
In the meantime, as organizations continue to revise their application development practices to better secure software supply chains, it has become clearer that legacy approaches to building applications are fundamentally flawed. Rather than trying to redesign processes to encourage developers to make apps more secure, it may be more effective to change the way apps are built. After all, given all the processes required to secure legacy approaches to app development, it may be cheaper and easier to adopt a new way of app development.
The challenge, of course, is, as always, to take that initial first step away from the inertia of legacy application development approaches.