What is it about?

We are working on the extension of Serverless Computing for heterogeneous platforms (the computing continuum) using a network of distributed heterogeneous target platforms called Function Delivery Network (FDN) analogous to Content Delivery Networks. FDN provides Function Delivery as a Service (FDaaS), delivering the function to the right target platform based on the required computational and data demand.

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Why is it important?

Serverless computing has rapidly grown following the launch of Amazon's Lambda platform. Function-as-a-Service (FaaS) a key enabler of serverless computing allows an application to be decomposed into simple, standalone functions that are executed on a FaaS platform. The FaaS platform is responsible for deploying and facilitating resources to the functions. Several of today's cloud applications spread over heterogeneous connected computing resources and are highly dynamic in their structure and resource requirements. However, FaaS platforms are limited to homogeneous clusters and homogeneous functions and do not account for the data access behavior of functions before scheduling. We introduce an extension of FaaS to heterogeneous clusters and to support heterogeneous functions through a network of distributed heterogeneous target platforms called Function Delivery Network (FDN). A target platform is a combination of a cluster of homogeneous nodes and a FaaS platform on top of it. FDN provides Function-Delivery-as-a-Service (FDaaS), delivering the function to the right target platform. We showcase the opportunities such as varied target platform's characteristics, possibility of collaborative execution between multiple target platforms, and localization of data that the FDN offers in fulfilling two objectives: Service Level Objective (SLO) requirements and energy efficiency when scheduling functions by evaluating over five distributed target platforms using the FDNInspector, a tool developed by us for benchmarking distributed target platforms. Scheduling functions on an edge target platform in our evaluation reduced the overall energy consumption by 17× without violating the SLO requirements in comparison to scheduling on a high-end target platform.

Perspectives

Writing this article was a great pleasure as it has co-authors with whom I have had long standing collaborations.

Anshul Jindal
Technische Universitat Munchen Universitatsbibliothek Teilbibliothek Stammgelande

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This page is a summary of: Function delivery network: Extending serverless computing for heterogeneous platforms, Software Practice and Experience, March 2021, Wiley, DOI: 10.1002/spe.2966.
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