A lightweight design for serverless Function-as-a-Service

13 Oct 2020  ·  Ju Long, Hung-Ying Tai, Shen-Ta Hsieh, Michael Juntao Yuan ·

FaaS (Function as a Service) allows developers to upload and execute code in the cloud without managing servers. FaaS offerings from leading public cloud providers are based on system microVM or application container technologies such as Firecracker or Docker. In this paper, we demonstrate that lightweight high-level runtimes, such as WebAssembly, could offer performance and scaling advantages over existing solutions, and could enable finely-grained pay-as-you-use business models. We compared widely used performance benchmarks between Docker native and WebAssembly implementations of the same algorithms. We also discuss the barriers for WebAssembly adoption in serverless computing, such as the lack of tooling support.

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