The SPEC-RG Reference Architecture for FaaS: From Microservices and Containers to Serverless Platforms

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Erwin van Eyk, Johannes Grohmann, Simon Eismann, Andre Bauer, Laurens Verslusi, Lucian Toader, Norbert Schmitt, Nikolas Herbst, Cristina L. Abad, Alexandru Iosup - IEEE Internet Computing, 2019

A key milestone towards the serverless benchmark that we are working on in the SPEC RG Cloud group, our findings on the architectures of FaaS platforms and related systems got published in IEEE Internet Computing. The key contribution in this paper is a reference architecture for these FaaS platforms, which has been the result of a lengthy survey of the FaaS part of the serverless landscape. Although (unsurpisingly) some results are already a bit outdated since we invetigated the FaaS platforms—AWS released more details about the internal architecture of Lambda, and Knative substantially improved—the contributions of the paper remain valuable.

Abstract - Microservices, containers, and serverless computing belong to a trend toward applications composed of many small, self-contained, and automatically managed components. Core to serverless computing, Function-as-a-Service (FaaS) platforms employ state-of-the-art container technology and microservices-based architectures to enable users to manage complex applications without the need for systems-level expertise. Victim of its own success, and partially due to proprietary technology, currently the community has a limited overview of these platforms. To address this, we propose a reference architecture and ecosystem for FaaS platforms. Based on a year-long survey of real-world platforms conducted within the SPEC-RG Cloud Group, we highlight specific components and identify common operational patterns.

Publication

Note: I am planning to write a more in-depth blog post on this topic. Stay tuned.